A Woodville, Tararua dairy farmer is halving his dairy shed power bill with a solar power system he will pay for in six years. And it has no batteries. Peter Burke reports.
The facial fungus is gone and the shoes are now designer; renewable energy has hit the main stream, and is now a topic talked over many dinner tables. The endless rise in the cost of energy now makes the topic a firm consideration if you are building new, or indeed, renovating an older property. With this interest there has been a raft of new businesses formed to harness the energy saving properties of wind, rain and sunshine, and with such installations, major financial savings
Looking at sunshine in particular, and the early days of solar panels, we saw large, bulky glass panels that were clamped to north facing roofs after they had passed the rigours of the local planning department. They ‘looked’ different, and in many cases only got planning consent if they were hidden in roofing valleys where they as likely as not performed poorly. Solar panels also suffered a reputation of poor reliability, were easily damaged under the feet of a tradesman, or by an errant cricket ball hit for a six!
Calder Stewart Roofing Limited has come up with a solution that addresses many of the problems with a product called Solar –Rib
Featuring a steel roofing system with a modern wide valley profile, it would not look out of place on any modern design. If renewable energy is not your thing right now, no problem, it’s good roofing material. But if you do want to go down the RE route it lends itself to be used with photo-voltaic (PV) laminates, either from new or as an upgrade in the future.
PV laminates supplied by Calder Stewart are manufactured by Marcegaglia in Italy, who claim to be market leaders in this technology with 50 factories worldwide. The laminate panels are only 5mm thick and less noticeable than conventional glass solar units, and as such should fit in well where planning regulations require low impact on the surrounding environment.
The product comes with a 25 year warranty, and has the potential to generate 1kW of electricity for each 20m2 of laminate installed, so an average sized house has the potential to deliver 3-5kW of power. Other points to consider are laminates need a much shallower roof angle to generate the same power as conventional systems, they are resistant to rain, hail, snow and a tradesman size 11 safety boot.