be long, given that national parks are meant to be here forever. In the case of The Narrows Campground, which is 19 kilometers (12 mi.) from a major utility line, on-site electricity generation from sustainable sources made even more sense because bringing in a transmission line is also expensive." The campground runs from the May long weekend to the September long weekend, a time when the solar energy is maximized.

Redford says Natural Resources Canada was interested in the project both to support sustainable energy sources and especially to showcase a northern solar electricity project for potential use in fly-in fish camps, which can be found throughout Northern Canada. "A lot of camps might be open to the solar option after seeing it operating at The Narrows," says Redford. "The North is particularly well suited to summer solar applications given the long hours of daylight."

How the System Works

The Narrows solar-electric system was designed by solar consultant and engineer Ken Kelln of Kelln Solar of Lumsden, Saskatchewan, and was built by a local solar contractor from Prince Albert. The first stage of the project was completed with the installation of 64, 64-watt panels.

The direct current (DC) electricity the panels generate is routed to a bank of deep-cycle batteries, which store the solar energy for use at nighttime or during cloudy weather. A pair of charge controllers regulate the output of the PV array and keep the battery bank from being overcharged. The stored energy in the battery bank is converted to 120/240 VAC by the inverters, and a 240 to 600 VAC step-

up transformer enables high-voltage electrical transmission throughout the campground. Additional transformers step down the AC voltage to 120/240 volts to power electrical loads at their point of use.

The Narrows project incorporates a number of measures to reduce energy requirements. For example, the six washroom facilities had skylights installed to reduce the need for electric light. The campground lights are also activated by motion detectors, so they are only on when needed. And the 24 toilets at the campground were replaced with low-flush units to reduce the amount of water required.

Model for Parks

Parks Canada will be taking advantage of The Narrows Campground PV project as an educational opportunity. Asset managers from parks in Saskatchewan and other provinces have already attended a solar electricity workshop at the Park, and plans are underway to make northern outfitters aware of the solar option.

Other parks all over the country are impressed with the performance of the system, and are considering harnessing the sun's or wind's energy. Kelln Consulting Ltd. has designed and is in the process of installing a 9 KW PV system and a 50 KW grid-tied, wind-electric system for the information center at Fort Battleford Historic Park in Saskatchewan.

The Narrows Campground has become a haven for environmentalists, students, and campers, who come here to take advantage of Canada's first solar-powered campground located at the heart of Prince Albert National Park. As the load requirements have gone up over the years, Parks Canada officials are considering adding an additional sixteen photovoltaic panels, making it a 5 KW PV system, to keep up with the demand.


Kelln Solar, PO Box 94, Lumsden, SK, Canada S0G 3C0 • 888-731-8882 or 306-731-2224 • Fax: 306-731-2774 • [email protected]

Paul Hanley, 2506 Ewart Ave., Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7J 1Y8 • 306-554-2962 • [email protected]

Prince Albert National Park, Box 100, Waskesiu, SK,

Canada S0J 2Y0 • 877-255-7267 or

306-663-4522 • Fax: 306-663-5424 • [email protected]

The Narrows Campground Users Web site • • Information about & photographs of the solar-electric installation

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