Solar Power Generated in New Zealand
How much solar power can we generate here in New Zealand?
The amount of electricity a solar power system produces depends on the intensity of the sunlight that hits the solar panels and the amount of clear sunny days you have;
- The intensity will vary depending on your location, generally the further north you are the more intense the sun is.
- Cloudiness does affect how much solar power the system generates, such that on a cloudy day although there will still be power generated, it will not be at optimal output.
Below is a solar radiation map of New Zealand showing the parts of the country that will experience the most sun. Areas that have a higher proportion of clear-sky days correlate with higher solar irradiance include Nelson, Blenheim, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, and Hawke’s Bay. The more Northern parts of New Zealand benefit from higher sun angles.
Resource from NIWA Science
Solar in NZ compared to the world
Installing a solar power system is still worthwhile for all areas of New Zealand. Invercargill , for example , get’s a lower proportion of sun hours and intensity compared to other parts of New Zealand, but it gets more sun than Germany, which is one of the world’s top solar power installers with nearly as much installed solar power systems as the rest of the world combined.
Interestingly you’ll see a solar power system produce the most amount of power when the sky is partially cloudy and direct sunlight is hitting the solar panels, as well as sun bouncing off the clouds and then hitting the panels.
When you get a quote you can ask the companies how much power you will generate from the solar power system size you have been quoted for.
Main Regions Annual Solar Generation Chart for Different Sized Systems
Below is a chart the showing the approximate annual energy production of different size systems range from a 1.6kW system to a 8kW in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. This data is collected from SMA’s Sunny Design Web.
Wellington Solar Power System Performance Chart
Below is a chart showing what you can expect a solar power system to perform at different tilt angles and difference orientations from north. The different orientation performance ratings is the same for either east or west. The information in this chart has been sourced from NIWA.
The chart shows that the optimal solar panel position for people living in Wellington is 25° from flush and directly north facing.
Example of using this chart: If the solar panels were placed on a roof with a 30° pitch and roof is facing 40° west, the system will perform at 92.2% of amount it could perform at the optimal position.
More performance charts for different locations will be posted up shortly, please check back soon.
<Source: Kristy Hoare>