All about solar
Have you ever wondered what the impacts on the power system are if everyone put solar panels on their roof? Here at Transpower, so have we.
We need to understand what electricty flows into and out of a region might be at different times of the day and therefore what changes we might need to make to the Grid to enable new technologies such as PV to be widely used.
We are exploring various solutions to help us better understand how our country can lower its CO2 emissions and further increase our renewable electricity generation: this includes how efficiently and effectively we can enable more wind and solar generation into the Grid.
Solar generation is attractive as it can be located close to the source of demand, like the roof of your house or a supermarket. We all know that the sun doesn’t shine all the time, and that batteries will let us store excess solar energy for use at night and cloudy days, but how much of the instantaneous demand of a city or the total electricity demand over a 24hr period can be meet from solar energy and batteries. These are some of the key questions we are wanting to understand.
To do this Transpower has undertaken a lot of studies and has worked with partners to get some live solar data from various locations across the country.
We have used the actual solar output data from their solar panels (which are installed in various regions across the country) to calculate what the potential solar output of a region might be if every house in that region had solar panels. What we have found out so far about each region is shown in the graphs and gauges below.
How to read the graphs
To understand what is happening hour by hour in each region a gauge shows what the maximum electricity being used is (black needle) and what the potential solar output (green needle) is at the same time (note a red needle indicates no solar data). To see how much electricity is being used over each day, we also have a graph. The graph shows the accumulated energy that is consumed in a region (black line) as well as the possible accumulated solar electricity (green line) produced in the region that day. Just remember when reading the graphs and gauges that:
- The max value at the end of the scale is either the max solar output or the max electricity demand ever recorded in that region
- The black needle is the actual demand for electricity in that region
- The green needle assumes every household in a region has a 3.6 kW solar panel and it is generating at the same rate as all the other solar panels actually installed in the region. We get the actual solar panel output in a region by adding up all the output from solar panels that are actually installed and sending data about their output and averaging their performance across that region.
- By clicking on the legend of the graph you can choose to add or remove data.