A New Plymouth home is drawing energy from the sun's rays to power a Christmas light display during the festive season.
Leith Robertson has decked out his St Ives Grove house in hundreds of flickering lights as part of the Light Up Your Home Xmas Light Trail.
An electrical engineer at Wells Group, Mr Robertson has offered his home to Powerco to test a new energy solution powered by solar panels. The system also features energy storage and automated load management.
The trial is focused on meeting customers’ energy needs at peak times and ensuring investments such as solar panels are a cost effective option. The aim is to allow customers to use new technologies so distribution companies can deliver a better priced network.
Powerco is working on the project with Wells, which developed a home energy management system that does not require consumer intervention or lifestyle changes to reduce peak demands.
Mr Robertson has had a key role in developing the system and is monitoring its performance. “There’s a lot of interest in the whole concept of storing energy, especially from solar panels,” he said.
Powerco Business Development Manager Jamie Silk said the energy storage and management system had the ability for solar generated energy to reduce residential peak demand, which would contribute to reducing network costs.
“For no effort and relatively low cost, consumers can potentially reduce their peak time use and power bills.”
Mr Silk said future work would look at how to best match solar generation through the day to the constantly changing use of electricity in the house.
This latest innovation follows on from Powerco’s integrated, stand-alone energy solution BASEPOWER, which alleviates the need for power lines.