So­lar ra­di­a­tion ben­e­fi­cial

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

In New Zealand, so­lar ra­di­a­tion is an abun­dant en­ergy source. Many homes are ex­posed an­nu­ally to 20 - 30 times more en­ergy from the sun than they use in electricity or gas. So­lar pan­els have many ben­e­fits, of which the most com­mon is to pro­vide homes with both light and warmth. How­ever, there is sig­nif­i­cant po­ten­tial for pro­vid­ing hot water as well. So­lar water sys­tems are able to pro­vide re­li­able hot water in times of electricity short­age and con­trib­ute to the low­er­ing of electricity costs. At cur­rent electricity prices, you could save be­tween $350 and $450 a year at home by installing a so­lar water heater and these sav­ings will con­tinue to in­crease as electricity and gas prices are pro­jected to in­crease over the com­ing years. The en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits are also sig­nif­i­cant. If each house­hold in New Zealand had its own so­lar­wa­ter heater, car­bon diox­ide emis­sions from electricity gen­er­a­tion would be re­duced by about 2 mil­lion tonnes per year. Us­ing so­lar water heat­ing more widely through­out New Zealand would also take a huge load off our other en­ergy re­sources. So­lar water heat­ing sys­tems are com­monly in­stalled in both new and ex­ist­ing houses, es­pe­cially when ren­o­vat­ing, and are in­te­grated with house­hold electricity and gas sup­plies. Good house de­sign can also re­sult in sig­nif­i­cantly less heat­ing costs in win­ter, through retaining so­lar en­ergy. Sim­i­larly, good de­sign can re­duce the need for cool­ing in sum­mer.

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