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Planet Traveler BIPV

In the heart of downtown Toronto, the greenest hostel in North America greets travelers from all over the world. Dynamic Solar Tech was instrumental in helping the Planet Traveler hostel earn this distinction.

Dynamic Solar Tech was able to preserve rooftop space for guests while integrating solar power into the building by designing a solar awning. Planet Traveler asked for a photovoltaic installation over the exit from the bar to the patio outside. Originally, a wood awning was going to be built to hold the solar panels but Dynamic Solar Tech saw an opportunity to create something special. The solar awning serves a dual purpose: providing shade and protection from the elements while providing approximately 6,000 kWh of solar energy per year. As the exterior walls of the bar are primarily floor-to-ceiling glass, the summer sun used to make the room uncomfortably hot. The shading that the solar awning now provides allows users to use the space quite comfortably even without the use of air-conditioning, a luxury that was impossible before the awning. Another feature of the solar awning is the use of industrial sealant to seal the seams between the solar panels. This provides a uniform surface for the elements to slide off. The awning is also visually appealing, enhancing the image of the hostel, and serves as a conversation piece for guests, a perfect ice-breaker for visitors meeting from around the world.

The 6,000kWh of electricity generated per year is approximately enough to power the hostel all year round – a testament to the energy-efficiency of the building – however, while the solar electricity could meet most of the needs of the hostel, all of the electricity generated is actually sent to the grid. The hostel generates income from this through Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff program. This enables the hostel to achieve an excellent return on investment while helping the environment.

The panels are from Solgate a manufacturer located in Woodbridge that’s been in Ontario for over 6 years – well before there was much of a solar industry to speak of. To invert the power from DC to AC, we chose Enphase Microinverters for optimal energy harvesting and per-module monitoring for the best window in to the performance of the system.

Planet Traveler is just one example of the groundbreaking solar solutions offered by Dynamic Solar Tech, a leading Canadian solar integrator. See the photos below to learn more about the process of installing this innovative solar solution.

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