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Transition Towns


Blueskin Energy Project

Solar PV and Solar Thermal

Solar PV: You can generate renewable electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems. PV systems convert sunlight into electricity. A system is usually made up of one or several PV panels, an inverter (DC to AC), a racking system that holds the solar panels, electrical interconnections, and mounting for other components. Grid-tied systems (you buy and sell electricity from/to a retailer) and off-grid systems (stand alone, often with a battery bank) have some different requirements but the principle of turning your home or building into a mini power station is the same. The cost of photovoltaic panels has dropped dramatically in recent years and now many people are wanting to 'go solar'.

Solar Thermal: You can heat your water using the sun's heat. Solar thermal refers to the technology for capturing thermal energy (heat) from the sun. Solar thermal is a very efficient conversion of the sun's energy into something very useful - hot water (a thermal panel converts over 50% of the available solar energy into heat, while a good PV panel won’t get much more than 15%). Hot water is both for domestic supply and can also be used for space heating (radiators and underfloor heating). Solar thermal installations while more efficient in terms of energy tranformation, are usually more complex than PV systems to install as they involve plumbing, as well as electrical work and must interact with other household technologies (hot water cylinders).



In 2012 BRCT received strong interest in solar energy and Chris Le Breton, one of BRCT’s volunteers, began work to facilitate the uptake of solar in Blueskin.
On the 4th of Feb 2013, a public meeting on solar was held.  The majority of those present liked the idea of arranging our own community purchase of a container of PV panels from China and fixing the solar equipment in local teams.
It makes sense to harness the power of the sun.  Below [watch this space] are some different options. Alternatively, contact us and we will send you the information or arrange a meeting to provide assistance.


If you are interested join the group, email: solar@blueskinpower.co.nz