Using Solar Panels to Generate Electricity in NZ Homes

Date Jul 29, 2020
Blog category Power
By Michelle S
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Solar power is a renewable source of energy that’s becoming more and more common in New Zealand. Homeowners across the country are now saving money by using solar panels in their properties

As well as being environmentally friendly, using solar panels to generate electricity can be a worthwhile investment in the long run. Prior to installing a solar panel, it’s best to consult with a power company that specializes in solar. Some power companies have online solar tools that you can use, which will assess just how much you can save by switching to solar energy. 

While solar panels provide a number of benefits to some Kiwis, they are not suited to everyone. In this blog, we’ll dig deeper into solar panels, so you can determine if they’re the right fit for your home.

Solar panel and batteries 

When it comes to installation, the number of solar panels needed depends on the appliances and the amount of sunlight. If you live in a house that gets a healthy amount of sunlight, solar panels can store energy effectively. 

Ever wondered “where can I store excess solar panel electricity?” Batteries can be used in combination with the solar panels to make energy storage even more effective. Some would recommend a power management system to monitor energy usage. This allows homeowners to check power costs and to ensure energy savings. While solar panels and batteries can store vast amounts of energy, you may also need to buy electricity from a power provider.

What happens if the solar energy runs out?

Solar panels are useful as long as there’s enough sunlight. During nighttime, stored solar energy may not be enough to power everything, especially if you have heaters, and other appliances on. As solar panels sometimes cannot store enough energy - mainly during a cloudy day, winter or rainy weather - you would still need connection to an electricity grid. This allows you to still be able to purchase energy when your supplies run out.

Nevertheless, renewable energy is still one of the best money-savers around. Even NZ power providers make use of renewable energy - such hydro and geothermal - to distribute power throughout the country. When you want to save money on power, whilst being kind to the environment, using solar panels can be a favorable choice.

Where in the home are solar panels put?

Solar panels need to face the sunlight. Where to store solar panels will also depend on the type, as there are three basic types, all suited for specific purposes: 

The monocrystalline panel is commonly used due to its durability and high efficiency. This type of pane is enough for a small space, thus it is favorable to be placed at the rooftop.  It is easily recognizable with its dark appearance, however, the downside is its price. 

Polycrystalline, meanwhile, is a cheaper option to monocrystalline. The efficiency is lower, however, it is also favorable at the rooftop to harness solar energy. Because it’s cheaper and functions all the same, polycrystalline can be more suitable for homeowners. 

Thin film solar cells (TFSC) are the cheapest of the three but they are not suitable for residential uses, rather commercial The main benefit about TFSC is its flexibility under high temperatures. Overall, the most favorable place to put solar panels is the roof area, being the most exposed portion for sunlight. 

How else can I save with solar energy?

To make power savings even more effective, some providers offer to install or include batteries. Mercury Energy, for instance, features a battery storage solution to store energy when it’s not daylight. Some power providers offer online power management systems, which can be used to help consumers monitor energy storage and usage. 

Curious about power companies that offer solar power for homes? Visit Glimp’s comparison tool to find the right solar power provider for you!

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