Free solar maps of Canada created by EcoSmart from solar data collected from 235 weather stations across Canada and /or SUNY satellite data.
The maps give the annual energy yield in kWh per kWp of PV solar system installed on various mounting systems:
- 2-Axis tracker,
- Vertical Axis Tracker (VAT),
- Polar tracker,
- Horizontal-Axis tracker ( in both directions)
- Fixed racking.
The results are corrected for the ambient temperature and low irradiation (PV Modules are more efficient at low temperature and less efficient at low irradiation level).
The maps are based on TMY or P95 @ 25 yr.
2-Axis Tracking: The most efficient system
A double-axis tracker always faces the sun. It is the most efficient mounting system. The map shows the maximum energy yield achievable by 1 kW modules under real conditions of temperature and irradiation with an exceedance probability of 95%.
VAT: the next most efficient system
A VAT system follows the sun azimuth (it rotates on a vertical axis from east to west). It is the second most efficient mounting system after 2-axis. VATs produce about 4 to 5% less energy than 2-axis trackers but have simpler mechanisms and are cheaper to fabricate. Our program calculated the optimum angle at each location. Thus, the map shows the maximum energy yield achievable by 1 kW modules on a VAT under real conditions of temperature and irradiation.
Fixed: The less efficient cheaper system
A fixed system is not the most efficient mounting system (trackers are more efficient). But it is cheaper to install. The program calculated the optimum angle at each location. Consequently, the map shows the maximum energy yield achievable by 1 kW modules on a fixed rack under real conditions of temperature and irradiation.
Note that fixed systems become less efficient as you go North.