Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


David S-K Ting


Paul Henshaw




Photovoltaic arrays in the Arctic have been observed to produce power at values higher than their rated capacity. A solar photovoltaic (PV) array’s efficiency depends on the PV cell temperature, which is based on the balance between solar isolation and heat loss. Two PV arrays in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada were studied to estimate the possible effects of panel cooling and albedo on the array efficiency. PV power (W) output data from the inverter and ambient temperature and wind speed data from Environment Canada from 2017 were used to estimate the effect of ambient temperature and wind speed on the solar PV array efficiency. These data were then used to estimate the horizontal solar irradiance (G) at the locations in Iqaluit. The first array has a PV panel reference efficiency of 15.89%, but performed at efficiencies of 16.1% to 18.8%. The efficiencies for the second array on the same days were 16.4% to 19.1% versus the PV panel reference efficiency of 16.16 %. Considering an energy-weighted average of the efficiency enhancements for one clear and sunny day in each month, designers can expect the mean annual power output to be 4% to 7% above the rated output. On selected clear and sunny winter, spring and summer days, during the period when both arrays were not affected by shading, the average difference in back calculated G between the arrays was 6 W/m² on the winter day while for the spring and summer day it was 6 W/m² and 28 W/m². For the spring and summer, these represents deviations of 1% and 5%, respectively.