Solar Panels and NZEB

Solar Panels can be used to provide the renewables contribution of up to 20% for NZEB buildings. Glenergy supply quality solar panel solutions which can cater for NZEB requirements.
Solar panels are very flexible in terms of installation but there are a few considerations to take into account:

• Solar Panels should ideally be installed in a southerly facing orientation but anywhere from east to west can be used with design compensations. North facing installations are bad value due to the lack of sunlight available.
• The panels can also be installed on pitched roofs, flat roofs or be ground mounted on frames.
• Shading of the solar panels should be avoided or minimised.
• Designing according to base thermal or electrical loads is best practice.

Glenergy supplies two types of solar panels to consider when designing NZEB buildings;

Solar PV (Photovoltaic)

Solar PV panels produce electricity. The electricity can be used to power base electric loads or can be stored using battery technology. These are the most straight forward technology to use as they can be designed and installed quickly and require less maintenance over time. They also produce electricity which is a more flexible energy source with more applications within the building. A good combination in an NZEB building is to use solar pv with hot water heat pumps as the electricity produced by the pv can be used by the heat pump to produce hot water eliminating costs.

Solar Thermal

Solar thermal panels produce heat. These are typically used to heat DHW but can also be used to support space heating with careful design. They require regular maintenance checks particularly if the system is large. Solar thermal systems will always need another heat source to provide heat when adequate solar energy is not available particularly in winter. There are two types of solar thermal panel; flat plates and evacuated tubes – both have their advantages so should be considered equally. Solar thermal systems will most likely be installed in tandem with other renewables in an NZEB building.
  • Renewables will need to cover a substantial part of energy use in NZEB buildings (up to 20% on non domestic)
  • Solar panels can provide full compliance with NZEB renewables requirements but can also be combined with other complimentary technologies to provide compliance.
  • Solar PV panels can be combined successfully with Heat Pumps as the heat pumps use the electricity produced by the solar panels
  • Base load considerations should be taken into account when designing Solar panel systems.

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