Getting the most out of solar panels

Getting the most out of solar panels
NIWA has developed a new method for analysing the best position for solar panels at any location in the country.
The placement and tilt of solar panels is crucial to the amount of solar radiation they can capture. Conventional wisdom advises that in this part of the world the panels should face north, and that the tilt should match the latitude of the site.

A NEET solution

A NEET solution
A project run by NIWA’s Māori Development Unit, Te Kūwaha, aims to improve the lives of people in two rural Māori communities through the use of New and Emerging Energy Technologies (NEET).
Te Kūwaha is working with the communities at Waihi (Lake Taupo) and Waipoua (Northland) to assess the potential for solar, wind, and hydro energy at both sites; for geothermal at Waihi; and for wave energy at Waipoua.
So far, future possibilities for Waihi include development of a micro-hydro system and selling the power to the national grid.

Secure, clean, internationally competitive energy solutions will be the focus of CRL Energy under a new ownership deal signed last week.

Pylons marching across the New Zealand landscape are a central part of our lifelines and energy-delivery infrastructure. NIWA research is helping to develop new sources of renewable energy and plan for our future energy needs.

A single tidal turbine 10 metres in diameter in the Cook Strait’s Tory Channel could generate enough electricity to power 12 homes, says NIWA scientist Derek Goring.

The effect of New Zealand’s climate on energy supply and demand will be examined in a new six-year programme worth more than $1 million. The research was announced in the budget last week and will be carried out by NIWA and funded by the Foundation for Research, Science & Technology.

New Zealand farmers can get energy from animal waste and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time.

Keeping your car in tune could do more to help reduce motor vehicle pollution than fitting catalytic converters, says the National Centre for Climate–Energy Solutions.

The announcement last week that the Maui gas field might run out 2 years early is a worry because New Zealand relies on natural gas for much of its energy needs. There are also emission problems associated with burning fossil fuels, and fossil fuels are not renewable. So, where can we get the energy we need if we want to increase our economic prosperity and improve our standard of living, without damaging the environment?


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