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Solar Water Heating System: How It Works

If you are considering installing a solar water heating system, there are a few things to consider first. Before you go around asking for quotes from various solar installers it’s best if you know the ins and outs of solar water heating. That way you know what questions to ask.

How does it work?

There are many different ways in which a solar water heating system can work. However the basics are all the same. Free energy from the sun is used to heat either water or another liquid. The use of technology allows the water to get much hotter than if it was just a glass of water in the sun. This heat is then transferred to your home’s hot water cylinder for use when you need it.

How much hot water will my solar water heating system provide?

That depends, both on the time of year, where in New Zealand you live and the size of your system. For a home of 1-2 people we recommend a 20 tube system. This will provide enough hot water for the standard water use of 1-2 people. Just like with buying a hot water cylinder, the bigger the household, the bigger the system will need to be.

What happens when the sun isn’t shining?

It can be expected that during winter or just every so often, the days will be shorter or clouds will block out the sun. Also what if you want a hot shower in the morning? Will this be impossible since there was no solar energy to heat your water overnight? 

Using a solar water heating system in conjunction with a booster system is recommended for those who live in areas with less sunlight. To ensure you always have a consistent and on demand supply of hot water, no matter the weather.

Is it worth it?

Is the cost really worth installing a solar water heating system? Our opinion is absolutely! Our case study in Nelson managed to eliminate water heating from their energy bill with just a 20 tube system. Reducing their power usage by 35%. That is a 35% discount on your power bill every year. Down the road if you decide to also install electric solar panels, you would in theory need to spend 35% less on your solar panel system.

If you are interested, call 0508 449 274 or contact us online for some expert advice and a quote.

Solar Installers: 3 reasons Kiwi’s aren’t Installing Solar

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace are urging kiwi’s to install solar panels in the fight against climate change. As solar installers we believe there are a few reasons why New Zealand is struggling to meet Greenpeace predictions for the number of homes with solar in this nation.

Firstly, many kiwi’s still hold outdated perceptions regarding the cost of solar. Being solar installers for the better part of two decades we have seen the cost of solar dramatically decrease. A trend that continues to this day. Even as much as five years ago installing solar panels could take decades to even see a return on investment. However, over the last seven years the price of solar has dropped 70-80 percent.

The second reason kiwi’s may have tossed installing solar panels to the side is the price of batteries. This is fair enough, having a battery large enough to supply power to your home during the evening when the sun has set has been historically costly. However, as the global push for green energy ticks away, innovations in battery technology are driving the price down drastically. 

 

But, do you even need a battery in your home if you have solar? If self reliance is something you value then perhaps a battery is a must for you. However, solar panels can sell their power to the grid during the day while you are at work. Offsetting your power bill from the energy used at night.

The third reason people might avoid installing solar is because they plan on moving home shortly in the future. This harps back to the outdated belief that solar panels are a long term investment. Yet, a recent study from homes.co.nz found that properties with a 3KW solar system made 4.4 percent or $35,000 more when selling on the real estate market.

Overall, there are many different reasons to install solar on your home, with some options more suited to different individuals. Call your local Solar Installers and have a chat about the best option for you. You can contact the team at ESolar online or give us a ring at 0508 449 274.

How long do Photovoltaic solar panels last?

One question that we get asked a lot is “how long will my Photovoltaic solar panel last?”. This is a fair question and important factor that may influence your decision to install photovoltaic solar panel on your home. PV panels are a sizable investment. So, if they were to break after a few years it probably wouldn’t be worth it. Most solar panels tend to last 25-30 years without loss of efficiency. However that number could be extended or shortened by a variety of factors. So, let’s look at some of the factors that can affect the lifespan of one’s photovoltaic solar panel.

Weather

If photovoltaic solar panel are subject to extreme weather conditions, their lifespan can be dramatically shortened. However, this is typically not a concern in New Zealand. It is rare for the majority of the country to experience heavy snowfall, tropical storms, or dramatic changes in temperature. Therefore, in New Zealand you can expect the weather to not significantly impact the lifespan of your photovoltaic solar panel.

Maintenance of Photovoltaic Solar Panel

You can’t control the weather, but you can control the level of care your photovoltaic solar panels receive. Throughout the year things like dust, debris, pollen and dirt can accumulate on the surface of your panels. Regularly hosing down your panels can allow them to output their maximum power year round and extend their life.

It is also important to have your panels serviced every few years by a specialist. A quick check for any damage from weather or birds can ensure your panels stay in top shape for the duration of their life. 

Call the Photovoltaic solar panel specialists

Photovoltaic solar panels tend to be pretty low maintenance, as they have no moving parts. Keeping your panels clean and staying aware of their physical condition is all that is needed to ensure you get the entire 25-30 years.

If you are interested in installing photovoltaic solar panels then give us a call at 0508 449 274 or contact us online. We are happy to offer you a custom solution to fit your needs.

Is It Worth Installing Solar Panels?

The short answer is yes, if you live in New Zealand and are thinking about installing solar panels then you will not regret your decision. There are many factors and reasons to install solar panels, such as energy savings, environmental impact, and access to reliable power. Depending on your goals there is something solar powers can offer to satisfy your needs.

Solar Panels Energy Savings

One of the most common reasons people have for installing solar panels is to save money on their power bill. However, is there any truth to this idea? Solar panels and installation can be expensive, and many fail to factor in the cost of supplementary equipment such as batteries. With these things considered is it still worth installing solar panels? Let’s explore.

The average Kiwi home spends over $2,200 on their electricity bill each year. During the daytime while you are away from home at work, your solar panels are busy generating electricity, only to be useless by the time you return home. If this is the case your energy savings may only be small.

Solar Panels Power

With an Solar electric system batteries, the energy produced during the day can be stored for use later at night, when majority of energy is consumed. With a full solar power system one can expect to make massive savings on their power bill and potentially become self-sufficient. After a few years your solar panels will have paid for themselves, and the extra savings will go right into your pocket.

If you live in an area with an exceptional amount of sunshine hours such as in the Tasman Bay you may benefit from something know as solar power export. Solar power export is when you can sell your excess power to the energy grid. This could mean making money from your solar investment once you have paid off the panels.

Solar panels in Nelson are extremely popular as the Tasman Bay area gets some of the longest mean sunlight hours out of anywhere in New Zealand.

Environmental factor

Regardless of savings or other benefits a big motivational factor to install a solar panel system for many in here in New Zealand is to reduce personal carbon footprint. Since New Zealand doesn’t plan to completely phase out fossil fuels until 2030 it is still worth switching to solar power if you don’t want to contribute to carbon emissions.

Off grid solution

Off_grid_solar

To learn more about off grid solar panel systems we have an article on a recent installation we completed. Off-grid systems are typically used in places not serviced by the power grid or where power may not be reliable enough.

If you are interested in Solar panels for your home for whatever reason, give us a call at 0508 449 274 to enquire, or you can contact us online here so we can explore if solar panels are worth it for you.

Solar Power Panels – How Power Export Works

Have you been thinking about installing a solar PV system? If yes, then you’re likely asking the same question as most interested folks – “how does solar power export work?” How can your solar power system send unused energy into the grid? More importantly, how can you benefit from it? To know the answer to these questions, we will need to understand how a photovoltaic solar system works.

What is a Photovoltaic System?

A solar photovoltaic system works in a straightforward manner. Sunlight that hits the PV panels gets converted into direct current (DC) electricity. Then, the energy generated flows into the inverter, which transforms the energy into AC, a more usable form of energy for appliances and electronics.

Notably, most of the PV solar systems sold in the market today connect to the national power grid. This allows you to send excess energy or draw energy from the grid, depending on how much power the system generates. Essentially, when you send surplus energy to the grid, you can earn rebates in each monthly electricity bill, helping you offset the upfront costs of the PV panel systems.

The Efficiency of your System’s Power Export Relies on the Inverter

But how exactly do your PV panels send power to the national grid? The answer lies in the design of the inverter, especially its component we refer to as the current transformer. Apart from helping you connect to the grid, the inverter constantly monitors energy fluctuation through the current transformer. This way, you get to ensure a smooth flow of energy to and from your system.

It also helps you limit the amount of energy sent to the grid. So, if you set the export limit settings to 3.5kW for a 5 kW PV panel system, this means that no more than 3.5kW of surplus solar energy will get exported to the grid. Additionally, this means that the inverter will only kick in and begin sending excess energy if your household consumes less than 1.5 kWh per day.

Notably, if a problem occurs in the grid, the inverter tends to shut off automatically, helping reduce the risk of electrocution, especially among line workers who need to check and maintain supply lines. Then, when it all goes back to normal, the inverter switches on again, reconnecting you to the system.

What to Remember When Shopping for a PV Panel

Every year, we see more and more NZ households opting for cleaner and carbon-neutral sources of electricity such as solar power. If you’re looking to tread the same path, then we can certainly help you at ESolar. We have a variety of solar panel systems to choose from, depending on your property’s energy requirements.

When you’re trying to choose between the available options, you should remember to look into the following factors:

  • The system’s efficiency and compare it to industry standards (around 16 to 18 percent).
  • The quality and durability of the components such as the panels, inverter, and battery storage units.
  • The design and size of the system, especially if you have limited space in your property.
  • The type of solar cells used (Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Amorphous.
  • The costs involved in installing a specific type of solar power system.

Your Best Source of Solar Power Systems

Are you hoping to switch to a cleaner source of energy? Would you like to know more about photovoltaic panels? Feel free to check out our guide to PV panels here at ESolar. You may also reach out to our team for additional queries or other concerns. We would love to be your partner in seeking clean and sustainable energy sources in NZ. Give us a call at 0508 449 274 or contact us here.

Auckland Off Grid Solar Panel Installation

Last month the team at Esolar completed an installation of solar panels and a battery bank for an off grid system in an Auckland home. Some advantages of going off grid including eliminating your power bill or simply bringing electricity to a home not serviced by the current electrical grid.

Our client was looking for a cheaper source of electricity for their Remuera home. The position and design of their roof meant we were able to fixe the solar panels directly to the roof cheaply and with minimal effort.

One thing that clients wishing to go off grid often neglect to take into consideration is the placement of the required power bank. Solar panels only produce power while the sun is shining. So, to harness the full potential of one’s solar panels, a power bank is needed to store the electricity produced during the day for use later. We identified a garage extension that allowed for ideal placement against the client’s home, while simultaneously shielding the power bank and inverter from extreme weather.

Once we were done the client was left extremely satisfied. The solar panels meant no more power bills and an increase to the value of their property. If you are in the market for solar panels or looking to go off grid, Esolar is happy to provide you with a free quote.  Call us at 0508 449 274 or contact us here.