CNV Photovoltaic Solar Panels Installation

Practical Guidelines :
Links & Resources :
1. Solar Photovoltaic’s must be designed in accordance with CSA Standard; CAN/CSA C6121508 - Crystalline silicon terrestrial photovoltaic
(PV) modules – Design qualification and type
approval (Adopted IEC 61215:2005, second edition, 2005-04), CAN/CSA C61646-2 - Thin film
terrestrial PV modules - Design qualification and
type approval ULC ORD C1703-1 PV Module
Safety Standard, CAN/CSA F382-M89 (R2004)
– Characterization of Storage Batteries for
Photovoltaic Systems
Canadian Solar Industry Association
3. They must be installed and maintained in accordance with CanSIA (Canadian solar Industry Association) standards and by persons registered/
certified with Solar BC to carry out this work.
4. Where systems are not yet CSA certified, a detailed engineers drawing has to be reviewed
against the CSA standard and stamped by an independent engineer.
Natural Resources Canada
Solar Panels Plus—product resources
Photovoltaic Systems—Sustainable Resources
Solar BC
Photovoltaic Array
5. Your contractor should contact the municipality
to find out if there are any site specific requirements for an installation of solar panels being
proposed other than applicable permits.
Building permit
Electrical permit
Community Development
141 West 14th Street
North Vancouver, BC
V7M 1H9
Tel: 604.983.7355
Fax: 604.985.0576
Information Handout #
Revised Feb. 2010
Solar Panels - Photvoltaic
A photovoltaic array is a linked collection of
photovoltaic modules, which are in turn made of
multiple interconnected solar cells. Photovoltaic systems use these cells to convert solar
radiation into direct current electricity via the
photovoltaic effect.
The cell consists of one or two layers of a
semi-conducting material. When light shines
on the cell it creates an electric field across
the layers, causing electricity to flow. Most PV
arrays use an inverter to convert the DC
power produced by the modules into alternating current that can plug into the existing infrastructure to power lights, motors, and other
loads. The greater the intensity of the
light, the greater the flow of electricity is. A
photovoltaic system therefore does not need
bright direct sunlight in order to operate only
daylight. Therefore it also generate electricity
on cloudy days. Solar arrays are typically
measured by the peak electrical power they
produce, in watts, kilowatts, or even megawatts.
The most popular type of solar PV system for
homes and businesses in developed areas is
for connection to the local electricity network
also known as a ‘parallel’ system. This allows
any excess power produced to feed the electricity grid and to sell it to the utility ( BC Hydro
rebates 1c/kw to consumer while Ontario rebates range between 60-80c/kw). Electricity
can then be imported back from the network
when there is no sun.
In remote settings such as mountainous areas, islands, or other places where a power
grid is unavailable or can be intermittent, solar
arrays can be used as the sole source of electricity, usually by charging a storage battery
Accounting for clouds, and the fact that most
of the world is not on the equator, and that the
sun sets in the evening, the correct measure
of solar power is insolation – the average
number of kilowatt-hours per square meter per
day. For the weather and latitudes of the
United States, Canada and Europe, typical insolation ranges from 4kWh/m²/day in northern
climes to 6.5 kWh/m²/day in the sunniest regions. Typical solar panels have an average
efficiency of 12%, with the best commercially
available panels at 20% +. A photovoltaic installation in the southern latitudes may expect
to produce 1 kWh/m²/day and somewhat less
here in BC. BC is very similar to Germany in
terms of # of hours of daylight and other climatic conditions and Germany has had the
greatest public response/uptake of all solar
energy technologies.
A typical "150 watt" solar panel is about a
square meter in size. Such a panel may be expected to produce 1 kWh every day, on average, after taking into account the weather and
the latitude.
There are several ways to mount panels—
fixed, fixed with adjustable tilt angles, manual,
passive or active tracking. All these approaches can be placed on the ground, roof or
wall except for some active trackers which are
pole mounted. Fixed mounts are the least
costly and should be of suitable metal construction as they outlive the best wood assemblies available.
They should also be tilted to the correct azimuth, quite often at 45 degrees, to maximize
the efficiency throughout the year.
Batteries are the best method of storing energy from a PV system for the periods when
the sun is not shining and is generally not
used for a grid connected system.
Solar Ready Homes
A Solar Ready home must meet six basic requirements for the installation of solar energy
a roof location of suitable size, pitch and
labeled conduits from the mechanical
room to the attic
extra plumbing valves and fittings on the
water heater
an electrical outlet at the planned solar
tank location
construction plans that indicate the future
component locations
a vertical service shaft shall extend from
the service room, which contains the service water heater, to the attic space, consisting of at least two 50 mm PVC pipes,
capped at both ends, and having at least a
20° angle.
A Solar Ready home has features installed
now that will make it possible to install solar
energy systems later.