WARC Solar Panel Data


Explore the solar power production from a solar array installed at the Western Arctic Research Centre in Inuvik.

In the chart above (which will be online again soon), you can see the instantaneous energy produced by the WARC solar panels over a period of time (the orange line, in kW), as well as the total cumulative energy produced during that same time period (the blue-filled area, in kWh). The Western Arctic Research Centre (WARC) in Inuvik has 10 solar panels installed on its south-facing wall. Five were installed when WARC was built in 2011, while the other 5 were installed in partnership with Environment and Natural Resources and Arctic Energy Alliance during the summer of 2013. All 10 panels are continuously monitored to measure energy production - all energy is fed into WARC and used to offset the facility’s energy demands. You can also check out how much energy the entire array has produced during its lifetime on the project’s monitoring website.

Solar energy is a renewable resource that’s used in many parts of the world to provide affordable and clean energy. Whether the sun is a feasible source of energy in northern Canada, however, is still being explored. For example, sunlight in the north is highly impacted by the season, so although solar energy might be abundant during the summer months there is little (if any) solar energy potential during the darker winter months. On the other hand, heating and electricity bills are very high in northern Canada because traditional, non-renewable fossil fuels (such as diesel or natural gas) must be transported very long distances. Therefore, high utility prices may make solar energy a cost-effective way to offset energy use in the north during some months of the year.

Solar panels produce energy by converting sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. This is then passed through a micro-inverter that converts the DC electricity into alternating current (AC) electricity, which can be fed directly into the building’s power supply. This offsets the electricity pulled from utility lines into the building; if the solar panels produce more electricity than is consumed, the excess can be pulled into the utility lines and used elsewhere in the community.

In partnership with the Arctic Energy Alliance, we will continue to monitor the energy produced by the WARC solar panels to determine whether they are a feasible source of renewable energy in the Inuvik region.