4.5kW Grid Tied System Installed In Blenheim

We recently completed the installation of a 4.5kWp grid tie solar system in the Blenheim region. This area is perfect for utilising the benefits of solar, with one of New Zealand’s most sunny climates.

In this system we have used our new all black coloured Jinko solar panels, which match in very nicely with darker roofs and help to absorb the most energy possible. For the inverter we used our Austrian made Fronius string inverter, which we believe to be one of the best inverters in the world. Fronius offer very good performance, as well as some very nice features like web based monitoring of both solar production and household consumption, which is available to you on a phone app. Their 5 year warranty can now also be extended to 20 years.

In addition to the inverter you can see our Elios Power Reducer beside the switchboard, which is used to divert any excess solar energy not being used within the home into the clients hot water cylinder. This reduces the amount of energy exported to the grid, and rather used to save power within the home, thereby increasing the clients return on investment even more so.

Are you interested in a solar system for your home? Talk to us today and let us design and install a system specifically for your home!

Check Out Our New Solar Show Home In Nelson

Are you thinking about getting a solar system installed at your home but are still unsure about how it would work? Maybe you would feel more comfortable if you got to see one in action. Luckily for you, we can do just that!

We are preparing a show home in Nelson where we can show people interested in solar just how our systems work. We have set up the system using the latest Mono Perc all black solar modules on the roof and Austrian made Fronius string inverter, with Italian made hot water solar diversion system. This system is one we would recommend and is the latest in solar technology.

If you would like to come and have a look, please get in touch with us. We will organise an appointment to be able to take you through the home and show you everything you’d like to know. Contact Lance on 027 544 3025

Solar Installation For A Retirement Village In Christchurch

We are currently in the process of installing solar panels on each unit of a new retirement village in Christchurch. The retirement village containts 70 units and each of the 70 units will have a 3kWp solar array connected to an Austrian made Fronius string inverter, with Fronius smart meter to measure energy usage and energy production in the home. Having the ability to measure and monitor where your energy is coming from and going to enables the user to manage their energy in a much better way. 

In addition to the solar system, we are installing an Elios Power Reducer in each unit, which diverts any excess solar energy not used into the client’s hot water cylinder. This ensures that the bulk of the solar energy is consumed on site, rather than being sold to the grid at a reduced rate and maximising the return on investment.

With limited incomes, the solar systems will ensure that the monthly outgoings for energy are minimal for each unit owner. If a unit owner was to purchase an electric vehicle, this could also be charged from the solar energy available during the day, thereby reducing their running costs as well. We expect them to save a substantial amount with these new solar systems.

 

Renewable Energy

In your search for a solar energy solution you will have read about “renewable energy”. Is it a term that you are familiar with? Do you know what it really means? Often, when searching for a new product you will read terms that those in the know will happily bandy about – you can either skip over them and hope that you will understand eventually what they’re talking about or you can dig a little deeper and develop your own understanding.

So what is Renewable Energy?

What is the definition of Renewable?  Renewable means that something is capable of being replaced by natural ecological cycles. What about Energy? Energy can have many definitions, but today we will take the definition of “usable power” So, when you come across the term “Renewable Energy” you can understand this to be “usable power that can be replaced naturally”.

What sort of power is this? Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Hydro Electric and Biomass all fall under the renewable energy category. Each source of renewable energy has unique benefits and costs involved but all create much less environmental impact than traditional forms of energy. Wind, solar, and hydroelectric systems generate electricity with no associated air pollution emissions, however geothermal and biomass energy systems do emit some air pollutants – although the total air emissions from geothermal and biomass energy systems are generally much lower than those of coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

Why is it so important to choose to use renewable energy? Well, for centuries humans have been slowly, but surely, depleting the earth’s natural resources. Coal and Natural Gas have long been the world’s major source of energy for use in industry and home. Scientists have discovered though, that the world’s coal veins and gas fields are fast dwindling and on top of having a finite number of years left before there is no more, they both contribute carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions into the atmosphere. These bad emissions trap heat and steadily drive up Earth’s temperature and this in turn creates significant impacts on our health, environment and climate.

What kind of benefits are found with renewable energy? Generating electricity from renewable energy rather than fossil fuels can offer significant public health benefits. The air and water pollution emitted by coal and natural gas plants is linked to breathing problems, neurological damage, heart attacks, and cancer.

Wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supply by competing with agriculture, drinking water systems, or other important water needs.

Renewable energy can provide economic benefits too. Throughout the world, strong winds, sunny skies, plant residues, heat from the earth, and fast-moving water can each provide a vast and constantly replenished energy resource supply. These diverse sources of renewable energy have the technical potential to provide all the electricity the nation needs many times over with minimal cost.

While renewable facilities require upfront investments to build, once built they operate at very low cost and, for most technologies, the fuel is free. As a result, renewable energy prices are relatively stable over time.

The costs of renewable energy technologies have declined steadily, and are projected to drop even more. The cost of renewable energy will decline even further as markets mature and companies increasingly take advantage of economies of scale.

Using more renewable energy can lower the prices of and demand for natural gas and coal by increasing competition and diversifying our energy supplies. An increased reliance on renewable energy can help protect consumers when fossil fuel prices spike. 

What are the risks in relying on Renewable Energy? The risk of disruptive events will also increase in the future as droughts, heat waves, more intense storms, and increasingly severe wildfires become more frequent due to global warming. Renewable energy sources are more resilient than coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants in the face of these sorts of extreme weather events.

For example, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power depend on large amounts of water for cooling, and limited water availability during a severe drought or heat wave puts electricity generation at risk. Wind turbines and solar photovoltaic systems do not require water to generate electricity, and they can help mitigate risks associated with water scarcity.

Wind and solar are less prone to large-scale failure because they are distributed and modular. Distributed systems are spread out over a large geographical area, so a severe weather event in one location will not cut off power to an entire region. Modular systems are composed of numerous individual wind turbines or solar arrays. Even if some of the equipment in the system is damaged, the rest can typically continue to operate.

 

 

 

Solar Installers All Over NZ

If you like “One-Stop” shops, then Esolar is the company for you. Choosing to invest in a solar system for your property can be overwhelming. Having an expert take you through the whole purchase and installation process from the initial quote to you sitting back and enjoying “free” energy can really help you enjoy your decision.

Esolar have been installing solar systems for over 20 years. During this time, our technicians have installed over 1,000 solar power, solar hot water, wind, mini-hydro systems throughout New Zealand and Australia. This experience is appreciated and we have become a trusted name in this industry.

Esolar offer total energy solutions for homes and businesses. We enjoy working with you to ensure your solar system meets your energy needs. We provide system design, installation and after-sales service.

We take pride in our customer service and to this end we have created the easiest quote system we could think of via our website. Simply click on the “Free Quote” tab on the menu across the top of the screen. Each product section has a form that can be filled in and submitted for a quote. There are also system specifications and downloads for obtaining a building consent and drawing the system into the plans.

Once you have clicked on our “Free Quote” tab, select what type of system you are interested in, select what kind of environment it will be installed for – residential, commercial, agricultural (or we’ve even put a handy “I am not sure” option), complete the remaining questions regarding where you would like your solar system installed and your contact details and hit “send”. It is as easy as that.

Unlike some of the smaller solar companies we have offices and installers throughout all of the main centres in New Zealand. No matter where you are in the country there is an Esolar office near to you that can provide you with a full service solar technology solution. When you make an enquiry through our website your enquiry will be redirected to one of our branches in Auckland, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu/Wanganui, Otago, Taranaki, Wairarapa, West Coast, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Marlborough, Nelson, Northland, Southland, Waikato or Wellington.

One of our consultants from our closest office will prepare a quote based on your information and if any further information is required will make contact with you before finalising the quote to make sure all bases have been covered and the best products are quoted for you.
So when you’ve made your decision to invest in solar and want to deal with the best – contact Esolar. We pride ourselves in our communication and professional staff. We work with you and for you to get you the best solar system for your property with the least hassle possible.

Types Of Solar Panels

So you have your heart set on solar energy, but what kind of solar is best for you? When you first start investigating Solar and how it works and what you need for an effective system you will very quickly read about the various types of solar panels available. How can you make a good decision? Below you can find some top benefits and information regarding the four most popular types of solar panels available in the New Zealand market:

PV (Photovoltaic) Solar Panels

  • PV solar panels generate no harmful greenhouse gas emissions therefore solar PV panels are environmentally friendly.
  • PV solar panels do not interfere with your lifestyle and can be installed easily on rooftops or on the ground.
  • PV solar panels have very low, almost negligible, operating and maintenance costs compared to other renewable energy systems
  • PV solar panels have far less breakages or require less maintenance than other renewable energy systems due to have minimal or no mechanically moving parts.
  • PV solar panels produce no noise and so they are a perfect solution for suburban areas.

Solar PV electricity will allow you to reduce your carbon footprint as well as your annual electricity bills. You will minimise the impact of ever increasing energy costs and generate a tax free income for at least the next 20 years.

What is more, Solar PV systems are environmentally friendly as they draw on sunlight to produce zero carbon electricity. Solar PV electricity systems don’t release any harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) or other pollutants and the majority of Solar PV panels are made using silicon which comes from sand – one of the earths’ most plentiful natural resources.

Once installed, a typical PV system will produce around 50% of the electricity your household will use in a year. This means your energy costs will be greatly reduced.

Another reason to install PV Solar panels is if you are attracted to reducing your carbon footprint and would like to become carbon, you can choose to store excess electricity in batteries for use when you need it.

Evacuated Tube

  • Evacuated tube Solar panels are a great option if your climate is subject to freezing conditions. They contain no water are not affected by -0c temperatures.
  • Evacuated tube Solar panels have a curved tube shape. This allows thermal absorption from a greater range of sun angles. This also means that they absorb sunlight for a greater portion of the day
  • Evacuated tube Solar panels have a high heat retention ability. This means that during overcast days and through the night the heat collected through high sun hours can be used.
  • Evacuated tube Solar panels have their tubes fitted independently into the header pipe. This means that repairs and replacements can be made to individual tubes without having to decommission the entire system
  • Evacuated tube Solar panels are ideal for high temperature applications such as boiling water and steam production and because they have a large bore header-pipe, they are reliable if you are in a hard water (high calcium hardness) area.

Compared to some of the other solar panels available in the market, evacuated tubes have only been available since the 1970’s. Like the other types of Solar panels, there are more than one variety of evacuated tubes, however the most commonly used type employs the use of a heat pipe surrounded by a glass tube that is under a vacuum. The tubes consist of two walls of glass. In between the two walls, all the air is removed, resulting in a vacuum. This vacuum is a way of insulating and it gives the evacuated tubes a much better heat retention than just air space.

The heat pipe in the middle of the glass tubes is also pressurized. This allows the liquid inside, usually water, to boil very rapidly at a very low temperature (usually between 23C and 26C). As the water boils, the heat that is generated is carried to the top of the collector, where the heat is then collected by water or heat transfer liquid that flows around the top of the heat pipe, and then transferred to a storage tank or elsewhere in the system.

Flat Plate

  • Flat Plate Solar panels have a greater surface area than other Solar panels and so capture sunlight better.
  • Flat Plate Solar panels are more efficient in transferring heat than other Solar panel options.
  • Flat Plate Solar panels although work most efficiently in high temperatures are also effective in sub-zero temperatures
  • Flat Plate Solar panels are known for their durability and, like Evacuated Tube panels, if a tube should be broken, it can be easily and cheaply replaced.
  • Flat Pate Solar panels provide excellent performance in overcast conditions

Flat Plate Solar panels have been in production since the early 1900s. As one of the earliest forms of solar energy producers they are now time-tested, shown to be reliable, and currently dominate the market.

The principal component of a Flat Plate Solar panel is the absorber plate, which consists of an assembly of a copper sheet and copper tubing.

The top surface of the absorber plate is coated with either a dark coloured material or with a selective absorbent coating that is designed to extract as much as 15% more heat for the same active area.  The solar radiation that strikes this surface is converted to thermal energy that’s used to heat the fluid flowing through the tubes.

 Flat Plate Solar panels are a popular choice for homes that house large families or in situations where hot water demand is excessive. Flat Plate Solar panels are often installed in commercial premises like laundromats, car washes, and restaurants.

Poly Ethylene

  • PolyEthylene Panels are single polymer panels that are leak resistant due to having the riser tubes connected to the manifold header in a unique injection process.
  • PolyEthylene Panels are extremely stable mechanically due to having an individual tube design.
  • PolyEthylene Panels have spacer bars to prevent warping over time, this increases the lifespan of your panels.
  • PolyEthylene Panels are able to be installed over any type of roof due to the easy modular structure and easy connection ability between panels.
  • PolyEthylene Panels have no sharp edges or angles and all parts are rounded.

Solar panels that are made of polyethylene (a type of plastic) are the most robust on the market. Because they are super strong, you are not stuck with placing them only on your roof space. They can be positioned anywhere – horizontally or vertically.

Polyethylene as a material is relatively cheap to buy and easy to work with. When it is used in solar panelling, this means that adding more piping is inexpensive. Because of the flexibility of use, it means that if you have Polyethylene solar panels and you need to change or modify the size of panelling it is easy to modify the panels to any size or length required.

To make a solar panel, polyethylene pipes are enclosed in an anodized aluminium box and protected with a polycarbonate cover. Polycarbonate is hail resistant so your solar panels do not get affected by bad winter weather.

 

How Sustainable Is Sustainable Energy?

If something is to be called “sustainable” it conveys an understanding that it is able to be maintained at a certain rate or level. As fast as it is used, it is replaced. When we talk about sustainable energy it can make many people feel quite excited that they won’t be contributing to the detriment of earth’s natural resources. But, really, how sustainable is sustainable energy?

First, we must agree on what types of energy are commonly understood to be “sustainable”. The common types of energy that are referred to as being sustainable are:

  • Biomass
  • Solar
  • Wind
  • Hydro
  • Tidal
  • GeoThermal

Sustainable energy has an opposite. The opposite of sustainable energy is called Fossil Fuel. Fossil fuels are a natural fuel such as coal or gas, which has been formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms. Fossil fuels are slow to develop and time, lots of time, is required in order to have reserves for humans to use.

Whereas in the past life seemed to move at a slower pace, slow and life rarely go hand in hand now. Time is always of the essence and when people want things they want them now, there is no time to wait for geologists to find the next reserve to tap into.

This is where sustainable energy is advantageous. Where fossil fuels have served mankind for centuries, the worry we currently have is how far these fossil fuels can be used considering the fact that they are fast being depleted. Often case when fossil fuels are used, they cause some serious environmental problems which have been shown to contribute to global warming and climate change.

In order for an energy source to be considered “sustainable” it needs to fit within three parameters – environmental, social and economic sustainability. This means that the energy source needs to be able to:

  • Be naturally replenished.
  • Increase its’ efficiency by way of technology
  • Be available long term

Let’s look at the various types of energy that have been identified as “sustainable” and see just how sustainable they are:

Solar Energy
This form of energy almost always comes out on top when looking at sustainable options. Solar energy provides power in two ways: light and heat. Not only can we harness its energy for our day to day lives but solar energy can also be used for plant generation and to help us grow food. Because of this, solar energy systems generate confidence and ensure that how we live does not cause any further harm to our environment.

Wind Energy
Wind turbines can produce vast amounts of power by harnessing our natural resource of wind. Although a relatively new form of sustainable energy, many large companies have started to invest into wind turbines in order to tap into this energy source. In the future, wind power will be able to be on sold to people to power their homes and possibly even industry will be able to be powered. Wind power will allow fossil fuel exploration to stop.

Geothermal Energy
New Zealand is a great country for geothermal activity. The amount of power lying beneath our tectonic plates is undetermined but when you look at places like Rotorua, it is obvious that this is an energy source that we could draw from more so than we currently do. Geothermal energy is captured by installing geothermal power stations that use the heat coming out from inside earth and use it to generate electricity. There is a limitation to Geothermal energy in that it can only be harnessed in areas that have high seismic activity, however they are environment friendly and can produce energy throughout the day.

Tidal Energy
With around 14,000 kms of coastline, New Zealand is literally surrounded by water. On top of this, around 70% of the earth is covered with water. When tidal energy is harnessed correctly, it can be used to power millions of homes. The power of the waves can be used by oceanic thermal plants to convert the kinetic energy in the waves into mechanical energy. Once this has happened the mechanical energy can then be converted into electrical energy for use in homes and industry.

Biomass Energy
Biomass is produced by burning waste. It’s a form of recycling. Biomass energy can be created by burning wood, timber, landfill and agricultural waste. As humans continue to create waste, biomass energy is completely renewable. There is technically no production of carbon dioxide when biomass is made. Yes, burning items causes carbon dioxide but this is compensated for when the plant creating the biomass energy reuse the carbon dioxide created and produce oxygen. The creation of biomass energy also helps reduce the amount of rubbish that ends up in landfills.

Hydro Energy
Hydro Energy, or hydroelectric power, is very common. It is used to generate power in most parts of the world. The energy found in rivers and waterfalls is captured by directing the flow through turbines which generate power. This power is then on-fed through power lines throughout the country to power homes and industry.

Really, any form of “sustainable” energy is our best form of energy to use. Unless the sun stops shining, the moon stops influencing tides, humans stop creating waste to be used for biomass, the geothermal fields dry up and the rivers stop running, sustainable energy is sustainable for the next generation and for millennia.

Today’s Realistic Available Sustainable Energy Options

In a world where the cost of living seems to take massive leaps year to year instead of steady increases, finding ways to make your life simpler and more efficient is high on most people’s priority lists.

The costs associated with running a home, business or recreational enterprise can be crippling. A wise person looks at ways to reduce these costs, therefore allowing hard earned funds to be put to better or different uses.
The market for sustainable energy options has grown and improved substantially of late. But what is available for you and what are your realistic available sustainable energy options?

Largely, it depends on where you are located. However, New Zealand is blessed with options. Wind, Hydro, Solar, Bio, and Marine energy options are plentiful. New Zealand has the added option of geo-thermal power – something that sets us apart from other countries.
Renewable energy comes from sources that are naturally replenished in a relatively short timeframe. Currently, New Zealand sources around 40-45% of its energy from renewable sources.

When looking at your sustainable energy options, make sure you look at each one in depth. Talk to providers. Talk to installers. Talk to people who already have the options you are interested in working for them.

Why look at Solar energy?

Solar is a great option that you can use to complement your traditional power source – the electricity grid. Solar offers long term electricity price stability – this means that when every one panics about power increases you can switch your load to solar and carry on. We can harness the sun’s energy in several ways. Passive solar design is the use of solar radiation to heat our buildings. Buildings that have passive solar design make best use of the sun’s free warmth. Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, generate electricity directly from sunlight.

Why look at wind energy?

New Zealand has one of the best wind resources in the world due to the windswept nature of our land. Wind energy is renewable, requires no fuel, and cheaper than any other form of new energy generation.
Because wind turbines generate electricity and are easy to remove, and they don’t produce greenhouse gas emissions, this makes wind power is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of electricity generation. Wind energy infrastructure is also fast to build.

Why look at Hydro energy?

The advantages of hydro power are huge. Unlike solar and wind, hydro is stable and continuous – which means you will always get the same input no matter what.

Water stored in dams can be turned into electricity in minutes – a process that gives off no greenhouse gases. Where enough water can be stored, hydroelectricity is reliable and consistent.

More than ever, having access to sustainable energy is a realistic option for many people. Instead of abusing the environment, sustainable (also called renewable) energy allows us to have the comforts we have grown accustomed to in our homes without the ongoing costs. One major advantage with the use of renewable energy is that as it is renewable, it will never run out. Even more importantly, renewable energy produces little or no waste products such as carbon dioxide or other chemical pollutants, so has minimal impact on the environment.

A Testimonial From Health@132

We recently did a solar installation for Health@132. We received this testimonial from them:

To Whom it may Concern,

In early 2015 Solar Electric Technology installed a 50kWp grid connected solar system on our building.

We were extremely happy with the service given by Solar Technology. They were thoroughly reliable and professional. It seemed as if they were as enthusiastic about our project as we were. We have found that the system is performing around 7% better than projected by Solar Electric, which is fantastic.

I am happy to recommend Solar Technology for any project similar to the one we undertook in Health@132. I am also happy to talk to anyone about our experience.

Sincerely,

Sharon Brinsdon

Building Manager for Nelson Medical Partnership.

A Testimonial From A Customer In Nelson

We recently had the misfortune to have 2 of our 4 solar panels fail (they were pretty old – approximately 30yrs). This was evidenced by the failure of our batteries to be able to hold a decent charge and sought the help of Solar Electric Technology’s technician Lance Double to advice on what to do next.

Lance promptly checked the whole system and while the news wasn’t particularly good it was clear and correct.

We needed to replace our ageing panels, our batteries and as it turned out our regulator too.

Through this process Lance helped by providing prompt information, options and quotes by email and being on the phone when needed.

Once agreed he fitted our installation work into other work, reducing our travel costs and sent an update including pictures of completed work (it was at our bach not our home).

We took the opportunity to get some LED lights installed and this all worked out as above.

I am happy to recommend Lance to anyone fitting or re-fitting solar electric systems.

 

Richard Wells

Nelson