Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics
Solar Photovoltaics is still only a small part of Alberta’s energy provider but its popularity is growing. In our informative three-part series of articles, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about Solar Photovoltaics and help you understand the economics behind the sun. In part one, we discuss what a Solar Photovoltaic System was and how Battery Banks work to store your energy for when you actually need to use it. Continuing with part two, we will discuss “How Much Electricity Will a Solar PV System Produce?” If you have further questions or would like to discuss Solar options for your home or business, please feel free to contact us at 403-742-1676 for a no-obligation consultation.
How much electricity will a PV system produce?
Alberta is home to some of Canada’s largest renewable resources. Our annual solar energy resource is almost one million-billion kilowatt hours (1,000,000,000,000,000kWh – That’s a lot of zero’s!). As an example of this energy resource, Okotoks has a greater energy potential during the months of July to October than even Miami, Florida!
Solar PV systems produce the most energy on sunny, summer days where there is little cloud cover and the sun is high in the sky. This point in time will depend on the angle the modules were installed at as well as the time of day and time of year.
The average Albertan home consumes a minimum of 7,200kWh per year. Therefore, a typical home will need between 5 and 7kW to produce as much energy as it consumes. A typical solar photovoltaic module contains 72 solar cells. Three of these modules installed in Central Alberta will generate an average between 1,100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 1,300 kWh of electrical energy per year depending on where it is located and how it’s oriented. The average home will therefore require between twelve to eighteen 72-cell solar modules in order to fulfill their annual usage.
So Why Install a Solar PV System?
That seems like a lot of panels, so why would you install a system? There are many reasons why someone would want to install a solar PV system:
- A reliable and proven way to generate your own clean, green electricity during peak electricity demand
- To reduce personal CO2 emissions demonstrating your commitment to renewable energy and the environment
- To reduce monthly utility bills and the impact from swings in the price of electricity
Learn more about Solar Photovoltaics in Part 3 of our three-part series “Is PV Electricity Expensive?” to be released March 20, 2020.
Photovoltaic Potential Map