Solar Myth 1: Solar PV systems don’t work in Canada because we get so much snow!
Firstly, it’s important to note that Alberta has a world-class solar resource, which is one of the highest in Canada and equal to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and far outweighs a leading global solar country Germany. Our solar irradiance changes drastically between the winter and summer months though, due to short winter days and long summer days. Since solar energy production is dependent on the amount of the Sun’s energy hitting the surface of the modules, annual solar production changes accordingly:
Most importantly, snow has a negligible impact on the overall annual performance of your solar array, as proven in a 5-year study by NAIT. Link:https://solaralberta.ca/sites/default/files/NAIT%20Reference%20Array%20Report.pdf
NAIT has carried out in-depth research over 5 years in regards to pitch and snow effect on solar modules. In the central Alberta region, on an average roof pitch, the gain of solar energy would account for an approximate 4% increase in production if snow was swept off the modules every time it snowed. This means that if your system has an annual production of 6,000 kWh, you would have gained an additional 240 kWh that year or $14.40 at $0.06/kWh. That is certainly not enough to put in the effort of clearing snow off the panels and it is never worth the risk of damage or injury.
Also, did you know that solar technology works more effectively and efficiently in cooler temperatures? Similar to how your computer has a cooling fan to prevent the hardware from overheating, cooler weather allows the solar modules to produce more power!
So there you have it, folks! Solar not only works in Canada, it works great and is sized to meet your annual consumption.