We are investigating the usefulness of domestic solar power to supplement New Zealand’s electricity supply. We are examining the potential impact of installing solar panels on the roofs of some houses in Lyall Bay.

Solar energy is a form of renewable energy, producing greenhouse gas free energy throughout the operation. The energy efficiency of the modules and minimizing the environment impact of Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing industry is improving everyday with time. In future, it may be possible to obtain carbon payback for PV modules because it is a carbon-free energy generating technology. However, photovoltaic arrays currently have a higher cost in $/W or cents/kWh than other options utilized in New Zealand. This study is intended to provide background information that will allow the potential contribution of photovoltaic energy to be assessed in the future.

A mathematical model is developed to predict the average solar radiation on the roof top of the houses. This depends on the latitude of the location, orientation of the house, angle of the roof and height of the adjacent buildings. However, the radiation value on the roof is used to estimate the photovoltaic (PV) array output for the Lyall Bay residents.

Each participant of this research may get a copy of the report explaining the existing solar radiation level photovoltaic array output and an economic analysis for the project. This is part of the study of selecting suitable solar energy conversion mechanism(s) for the region conducted under the sustainable cities program.