Tools - PV Technology

To facilitate exchanges between the Canadian PV industry and users, the PV energy research group encourages you to consult and to register your company in the Marketplace  database, maintained by RETScreen International.

Photovoltaic (PV) potential and insolation web-based maps

Interactive maps of photovoltaic (PV) potential and insolation for Canada have been developed by the Canadian Forest Service (Great Lakes Forestry Centre)  in collaboration with the CanmetENERGY Photovoltaic systems group. These give estimates of the electricity that can be generated by photovoltaic arrays (in kWh/kW) and of the mean daily global insolation (in MJ/m2 and in kWh/m2) for any location in Canada on a 300 arc seconds ~10 km grid. They are presented for each month and for the entire year, for 6 different PV array orientations: a sun-tracking orientation and 5 fixed South-facing orientations with latitude, vertical (90°), horizontal (0°) and latitude ± 15° tilts. Data can be obtained at any grid location by "querying" the maps. Data can also be obtained directly for individual municipalities by searching a municipality database (over 3500 municipalities are included).


Buyer’s guides from Natural Resources Canada provide information on the characteristics of renewable energy technologies, and recommendations on their use. Photovoltaic Systems: A Buyer’s Guide (PDF, 2.6 MB) can help you to determine if a PV system will meet your electricity power supply requirements.

The Stand-Alone Photovoltaic Systems Design Manual provides information to help you better understand the principles of designing and operating PV systems.

For more information on how solar panels work, see the International Energy Agency Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme Website .

RETScreen International

The RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis Software  is a unique decision support tool developed with the contribution of numerous experts from government, industry, and academia. The software, provided free-of-charge, can be used worldwide to evaluate the energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability and risk for various types of Renewable-energy and Energy-efficient Technologies (RETs). The software (available in multiple languages) also includes product, project, hydrology and climate databases, a detailed online user manual, and a case study based college/university-level training course, including an engineering e-textbook.