Auckland solar potential being mapped

By SkySolar

Auckland solar potential being mapped

A few months back we posted an article about Google’s Project Sunroof. This was Google’s way of measuring the solar potential of your roof. Project Sunroof of course started in the USA and hasn’t yet made it to New Zealand yet, but it seems there’s a local researcher –Dr Kiti Suomalainen – looking to create a 3D model of half a million Auckland homes, measuring the Auckland solar potential. Perhaps inspired by Google’s project? Who knows, but it’s exciting news for consumers to be able to really measure to some degree of accuracy the solar potential of their roof.

While the model hasn’t been made available to the public yet, the plan is to do so. In a recent NZ Herald article, the best regions for solar panels in Auckland have been revealed, with a rating system of 1 to 5 grading how much solar exposure each square metre receives. A Grade 1 being less than 1100kWh of solar energy per square metre, and a Grade 5 being between 1400 and 1500kWh of solar energy per square metre. The best suburbs for solar power in Auckland? Kilkenny (Shelly Park/Sommerville) with a rating of 3.92, Maungamaungaroa (Shelly Park/Cockle Bay) with a rating of 3.9, Millhouse (Botany Downs) with a rating of 3.89, Westgate (Massey) with a rating of 3.84 and Pt View (Flatbush/Dannemora) also with a rating of 3.84.

The article mentions that with Auckland solar installs, leafy areas with large trees, and hilly terrain areas suffer as both factors limit sunlight that reaches roofs.

Directly quoting the article:

Ultimately, the model suggests that if 250,000 houses had 36sq m of solar rooftop panels, they could together meet Auckland Council’s “low carbon” target of powering the equivalent of 176,565 homes with the sun.

While the average Kiwi home annually consumes about 8000 kWh, Dr Suomalainen said that for well-placed solar users, the amount they could save on electricity costs would depend on their configuration. “It will depend on the electricity price, and whether you are renting a solar panel or have bought one yourself,” she said. “But generally, with the current electricity price, you tend to save money as long as you are consuming all the electricity you produce yourself.”

Another strong message in support of using more of the solar power you generate. Last week we wrote an article covering the planned charges in the Hawkes Bay region for exporting solar power back to the grid, and how Power Genius could help in that situation by reducing the amount of power you export back to grid, simply by increasing the amount of solar power your home uses during the day.

PowerGenius is SkySolar’s way of helping you achieve as much as 95% usage of your solar power, by controlling when your home appliances and features consume power. Easily installed either with a new solar installation or an existing one, Power Genius essentially works to shift your home’s power use into the middle of the day when more excess solar power is available. For more information please contact us.

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