Make the most of the sunlight hours and powers.
Panels installed on the roof convert sunlight into electricity, which provides household power through an inverter. The system can be ‘grid tied’, meaning it is still connected to the network, or ‘off-grid’ meaning all power generated is used or stored in batteries. In a grid tied system, the power company will pay you for excess, unused power generated during the day*, meaning you can build up a credit to buy power back from the power company at night for your electricity use when your panels are not generating.
*In NZ, the power company buy back rate is low and the purchase rate is quite high, so depending on the size of your system and usage, homes could generate enough to “break-even” but solar PV is not generally considered an ‘earner’ when also taking into account the cost to install the system.
Solar Collector Panels
Panels on roof collect heat which is then transferred to the hot water cylinder by a small pump through a flow and return pipe.
Suitable for domestic hot water supply as a source of water heating with backup required (supply will fluctuate depending on sunlight hours). Also suitable to supplement an underfloor heating system – solar water heating can reduce the running costs of the primary heat source e.g. Air-Water Heat Pump or Gas.
Power & Water Heating
Hybrid panels are designed to generate power and hot water at the same time. All solar panels work most efficiently when kept at a low temperature. Hybrid panels have been designed to take advantage of this, serving a dual purpose. The system works by passing cool water through the pipework, keeping the panels cool (therefore working at optimum efficiency) while also heating the water which can then be used for low temperature applications such as ground source or swimming pool heating.
Excellent option for central heating systems when larger amounts of hot water required, or integrated systems using solar collectors. Also used as an upgrade from a standard electric hot water cylinder for domestic hot water supply.
An advanced water heater and water storage unit combined, the Rotex stores 500L of water. Set up can be customised allowing for integrated heating and energy solutions.
Most suitable for low temperature applications (e.g. underfloor or swimming pool heating) due to the large amount of cool water required to pass through the panels to keep them at a low temperature and therefore optimum efficiency. Also suitable as a combined PV and water heating system when roof size limited, although this is a more costly option for domestic hot water supply than installing two systems. Works partially when combined with ground source heating.
Swimming Pool Heating
A pool pump moves water from the pool through the solar collectors, the water is heated as it moves through the top header pipe and is then returned to the pool.
Suitable for any swimming pool as the system can be configured according to size. Target temperature is 28°c for extended season of 4-6 months, depending on weather.
Optum brought a high level of expertise to what was a complicated job, which included solar and gas installation."