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Topic: Payback on solar power systems in NZ


This comment was made about the following article. Click on the title to view the article.

Solar Power in NZ - What is the payback?

This is the most common question we are asked on the subject of solar power systems. People are naturally curious about a technology that can produce a long-term supply of electricity with no continuous financial input, environmental side effect, or lifestyle change. Yet industry, consumers, and government only seem able to rela...
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by Ecobob.co.nz 14 Nov 11, 126 replies : Last Post Sort by:
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61 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 26 Jan 12 7:02 PM
Panels are BP 3215B's. They are angled at 37 degrees without adjustability - too much hassle and potential maintenance issues.


328 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 27 Jan 12 2:13 PM
Thanks nofear - will have a look at links.

Harm Less Solutions: did you summer bias or winter bias your panels? (What is your location's latitude - higher or lower or at 37 degrees?)

61 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 27 Jan 12 3:44 PM
@seeker,
We're at 39 degrees latitude so our panels are marginally summer biased.

5 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 2 Feb 12 9:58 AM
Interesting information on this site and I'm particularly interested in Solar Chris's recent install.

We are building a new home and I am going to install a PVC grid tied system. Makes, models, etc..are undecided, depends entirely on who we go through I suppose. I will be doing the installation myself, with the electrician providing the necessary connections, very similar to how Solar Chris has done it.

The section we have purchased and how the home will be sited is based purely on the sun.

How would you feel about opening up a direct line of communication Solar Chris so as to discuss further?

34 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 2 Feb 12 10:26 AM
No problems, I would be happy to help.

Where is your section located. I'm in Wellington.

5 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 2 Feb 12 10:33 AM
Cheers for the acceptance. I'll hit you up with my address if you want to email me then I can reply to start the ball rolling.

chris@outclassed.co.nz


1 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 3 Feb 12 12:36 PM
Hi Chris,

I am in Wellington and am researching the PV route. Any chance I can come and see your installation and have a chat about the problems/solutions you had?

Yours

Peter J


34 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 3 Feb 12 1:43 PM
Sure
04 9313232 for my work number

3 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 14 Feb 12 10:07 AM
I find this topic very informative given that we are about to embark on designing and building a new home on the Kapiti Coast. I had discounted solar PV but am now reconsidering given the solar PV v solar water heating investment as raised by Solar Chris.

Solar Chris, I would also like to make contact with you if I may to look at you installation.

61 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 14 Feb 12 12:49 PM
There was a great interview by Kim Hill on Radio NZ National on Waitangi morning regarding microgeneration. The interviewee was Michael Lawley whose forte' is off grid micro hydro systems but the info he gives on microgeneration matters in general is worth a listen. Interview runs from a couple of minutes in until about the 33 minute mark. Enjoy...
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/waitangiday/audio/2509258/waitangi-day-morning-hour-4.asx

34 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 15 Feb 12 8:55 AM
Sure KeithT

By work number is above (I'm in the office from 9am to 5pm).

I'm reluctant to leave my email address here for fear of getting copious quantities of spam.

Chris

96 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 15 Feb 12 10:10 AM
Great interview! Thanks for the link, Leo

18 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 20 Apr 12 9:51 PM
What I find interesting is after reading all the comments, there was no mention on the 'energy payback' time for using PV panels. That is, these PV panels do not simply fall out of the sky. There's a huge intensive amount of power (or carbon footprint) that goes into making these PV from the mining of the silicone (mostly in far away places in developing countries) and the shipping of the materials (the logistics).



215 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 21 Apr 12 8:10 AM
It was a discussion of the economic payback for the user.

The energy and carbon payback periods for PV are well documented if varying somewhat depending on assumptions made, climate etc. The main energy cost is the high temperatures required to extract the silicon from quartz sand (UK Parliament report). The range seems to be about 2.5-6 years , perhaps 3-4 for NZ conditions, compared to a panel life of 25-30 years. I guess most of this energy comes from coal so that would decrease dramatically if renewables are used to produce renewables.

PV energy payback is high compared to other renewable energy types but is decreasing over time due to better manufacturing techniques. I have noted a high proportion of PV articles on science/research reporting sites which shows the effort going into improving manufacture.

PV has a tenth the carbon footprint of fossil fuels according to this article.

http://info.cat.org.uk/questions/pv/what-energy-and-carbon-payback-time-pv-panels-uk

5 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 2 Jul 12 10:52 PM
This is indeed an awesome thread! Following up on that last point, which is another interesting one. I am wondering how applicable the CAT calculations are, since they are taken from the UK and US. Here we are comparing the relative footprint of personal PV systems (both grid linked and batteried) with NZ electricity supply, which is about 70% renewable. My guess is that it might still come out favourably, given the infrastructure requirements of the grid, but I wonder if that study has been done?

2 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 24 Aug 12 7:39 PM
Solar system are playing vital role for saving energy but they are not working on high level and this is the reason that the energy sources are limited. Hope of new energy sources is negligible and solar energy is the only hope to get the energy.


http://www.episensor.com/

2 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 24 Aug 12 7:40 PM
Solar system are playing vital role for saving energy but they are not working on high level and this is the reason that the energy sources are limited. Hope of new energy sources is negligible and solar energy is the only hope to get the energy.


http://www.episensor.com/

94 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 24 Aug 12 8:23 PM
apologies for not following up sooner on the steam/electricity and hot water websites.

www.tinytechindia.com is the indian site.

www.strathsteam is the Australian site.

I don't want to give the imression that solar pv panels are useless, as I use them myself.

Steam boilers are in are in everyday use in many of today's industries, including new zealand's, yet we tend to overlook the potential for home use..particularly for those with abundant fuel sources.

18 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 24 Aug 12 9:47 PM
Steam boilers - you've got to be kidding? and what do you propose to use as the source of fuel to heat the boiler? Firewood or fossil fuels?

LG & Samsung are in the race to manufacture CO2 (Ecocute) heat pumps (a technology mainly from Japan). Considering that NZ's climate doesn't get very cold nor very hot, the CO2 heat pumps may have shorter paybacks than hot water solar systems on the roof.


328 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 28 Aug 12 7:26 PM
Thanks Nofear

Seeker

6 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 1 Mar 13 2:45 PM
I have an 8kW grid-tied system. Meridian have informed me that they are about to cease net metering, and will instead pay 25c for the first 5 kWh per day, and 10c per unit thereafter. As I generate close to 50 kWh some days, my average credit will be pretty close to 10c per unit. I don't see how they can justify paying me so little when they are charging the users of that electricity (ie my neighbours) at least 25c for every unit. I doubt the electricity travels very far before being consumed, and surely the daily charge covers my "rental" of the grid anyway?
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ

61 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 1 Mar 13 3:04 PM
@Steve, Tidy set-up you have there.

The Meridian pay-back issue is a hot issue at present as it will make most grid tied micro-generation set-ups non viable economically. I have been contacted by Kim Hurring of Cambell Live as they plan to focus on the Meridian issue as part of their current stories on NZ electricity price and supply.

328 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 1 Mar 13 3:20 PM
Hi Steve

Yes - very nice looking.

What brand and wattage are those poly's on your array?

Seeker

15 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 1 Mar 13 3:26 PM
They can justify paying you only that much because that's how much they pay for electricity wholesale. Why would they buy power from you for 25c plus when they ccan buy it elsewhere, or produce it themselves, for much less?

328 posts
Re: Payback on solar power systems in NZ 
Posted 1 Mar 13 3:37 PM
I could never figure out why any of the buy-back tariffs were so high given how much lower the price on the wholesale market is normally (sometimes there's a glitch and the price goes up, but on average the wholesale price is circa 8c/kWh.

There is a mountain of difference between the output of a solar array and grid power - one is "secure". When it's a cloudy day, your neighbour would rely on the grid to supply their power, and so the lines have to be sized for that. And likewise the owners of arrays have to rely on grid power whenever the sun don't shine.

Your daily charge goes NOWHERE NEAR paying for the lines investment to your house.

Seeker

 

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