Solar Test Site


While much of the world may still depend on fossil fuels for electricity generation, a sustainable alternative is gaining momentum. Research conducted at the Living City Campus Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Testing Field is helping to foster and accelerate the growth of technologies that harness solar energy.

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.

solar test site at the Living City Campus

This facility is equipped with a state-of-the-art solar radiometric weather station, a custom automated I-V measurement system, an outdoor incidence angle modifier testing set-up and roughly 40 kW of PV across several inverter types, all of which is integrated with a custom, facility-wide data acquisition and control system.

The Lab includes PV system design configurations that can be easily modified or re-wired to serve different purposes.

Research projects at the Solar PV Testing Field have focused on the development of PV module performance rating standards and on benchmarking PV system performance.

Photovoltaic modules at the Living City Campus solar test site

Much more than a research laboratory, the facility is also used by solar companies looking to demonstrate or develop their products, and as a training and education hub for those looking to learn more about solar.

In addition to the on-site arrays, The Living City Campus 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.

close-up view of a solar panel at the Living City Campus

Experienced staff from TRCA’s Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) conducts independent third-party product evaluations at this Lab.

This research yields valuable information on the performance of these technologies and helps to determine best practices for their operation and maintenance, which STEP disseminates to industry, government, academia and the general public.


Evaluation of an International Photovoltaic Module Power Rating Standard


Power Quality of Solar Photovoltaic Inverters


Evaluation of the Influence of Tilt Angle on the Performance of Photovoltaic Panels


Age Degradation of Solar Photovoltaic Panels