Solar cells have been with us for many years. You will have seen small solar cells in your calculators or on your garden lights. But did you know that large arrays of solar panels can now be found generating power for whole towns.
Photovoltaic technology was first used in space, powering satellites’ electrical systems as far back as 1958. Today you can use them to power your home.
New Zealand has good solar radiation levels in many locations compared to many other parts of the world. Many New Zealand homes are exposed to 20 to 30 times more energy from the sun than they use in electricity or gas, yet this energy source is vastly under-developed. On average, New Zealand has about 2000 hours of bright sunshine each year. In energy terms, New Zealand’s energy resource from the sun is about 4 kWh/m2 per day. To put that in perspective, if every New Zealand home installed a 3kW photovoltaic (solar) panel array, they would collectively generate enough power to satisfy over 25% of New Zealand’s annual residential electricity needs.
Radiation from the sun is an abundant energy source which is free, non-polluting, and renewable.
The Advantages are:
- Photovoltaic cells convert sunlight directly into electricity
- Solar Panel performance is predictable
- Solar Panels provide Silent operation
- Very low maintenance
- These systems have a long service life – 25 year warranty
Alternative Power Sources: