Photovoltaic Field Test Site – Kortright Centre, Vaughan


Established in 2008, the photovoltaic field test site is a central location where photovoltaic technologies are being demonstrated, monitored, compared and assessed under weather conditions characteristic of the Greater Toronto Area.  The field test site is integrated with other Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) Living City programs and, as such, is intended to fulfill several objectives, including:

  • a visual demonstration of PV technologies;
  • a resource for on-site training and educational workshops;
  • a controlled setting where the performance of commercially available PV modules and system components are verified and compared; and
  • a research facility where studies are conducted on key topics relating to PV system performance and design.

To this end, the site includes various PV system design configurations that can be easily modified or re-wired to serve different purposes.  A custom monitoring and data acquisition system provides live data logging and archiving capabilities for education and research.  Solar radiation is measured adjacent to the site with a state-of-the-art rotating shadowband radiometer.  Temperature, rain, wind speed and other weather related variables are monitored at a nearby meteorologic station.

In addition to the on-site arrays, the Kortright Centre hosts a number of other solar installations.  These include PV arrays installed on neighbouring buildings, solar shingles, solar thermal and solar air demonstrations, as well as one of the oldest PV installations in Canada. The neighbouring Earth Rangers Centre generates electricity from a 28 kW fixed roof array and a 58 kW dual tracking array.