How solar works
A grid-connected solar power system generates electricity from light using solar panels, mounted on your roof or a suitable location. A grid-connect inverter converts the solar DC power to the AC power used in homes and businesses.
The electricity generated is consumed by your daily demand and any excess power is automatically exported (sold back) to your electricity provider. If you require more electricity than generated by your system during the day, this is supplied by your national grid connection. This process is fully automated and our energy meters show you exactly how much you are generating and consuming in your home or business.
Should your system generate more power than you use this is automatically sent to your electricity retailer, who will offset this against what you draw from them.
Fitting a solar power system to an existing home is easier and cheaper than a new build.
It generally takes less than a day to install, with savings starting from day one. It will add value to your home, and most banks waive any mortgage fees to add solar to your existing loan.
Our recommendation is to consume as much of your own power as possible for best return on your investment.
We can recommend load controlling technology to send excess power to where there is generally greater need such as your hot water cylinder, your pool pump or spa heating.
All our systems use the latest quality components and all are battery ready, so we can add energy storage at any stage.
A grid-connected solar system has few moving parts and requires minimal maintenance. They make no noise and create no pollution.
Hybrid or Battery storage system
A hybrid solar system is a grid tie solar system with a battery. The principal works the same as a grid tie, where you use your solar power directly, but your battery is charged with any excess (export) power and discharged when your home demand exceeds your solar generation and at night.
Hybrid battery sizing is not critical like off grid, any shortfall is made up from the grid but we will calculate your night time load to recommend the optimum system for your installation. The optimum system will get you through the night in the winter months.
Battery expansion is simple and cost effective for a well designed hybrid system. Not all hybrid systems provide power during a power cut and this will add cost. Give us a call or book an interview to determine the best solution for your lifestyle.
What do we mean by battery ready?
A battery system allows you to store excess energy generated in sunshine hours for use when it’s not sunny or during the night.
All our quality solar systems have the ability to add batteries at any stage so you’re future proofed. There are a variety of battery storage solutions so we’ll help you determine which will best suit your needs
A battery is not the only form of energy storage we install; with an electric hot water cylinder, we can install a hot water load controller that can divert excess generation to your cylinder to be stored as hot water. A quality load controller can reduce the power sent back to the grid by up to 75 percent. This means you are maximising use of your own power, generated by solar.
VetsOne is a long-established business in Hastings. Their recent expansion into a purpose remodelled building provided the perfect roof for solar. We worked with them to predict their energy demand and delivered a system to support their needs, check out a great video of their solar system.
The sun is imperative for the agriculture industry. Likewise, the global demand for sustainable growing practices makes solar power a "no brainer". You can capture the power of the sun and add that to the provenance story of your produce. Viticulturist Xan Harding has installed solar with Freenergy and is delighted. Listen to what he has to say or check out more here.
Xan Harding, Maraekakaho: Xan installed a 10kW grid tie solar power system, with a three phase Fronius inverter on the shed in his vineyard. The power generated supports pumps and irrigation needs in summer and any excess is sent back to the grid. In Xan’s words “solar was a no brainer”.
Reducing living costs is an overriding criteria for those on low incomes. Solar power is an option that contributes to low cost sustainable housing. We’ve provided our expertise to such projects, and Paul Sheeran shares his observations about the benefits we’ve helped achieve below.
Paul Sheeran, Hastings: Paul is the project manager for various Papakianga Maori housing developments around Hawke’s Bay including projects at Waiohiki, Waimarama, and Hastings. We’ve installed small grid tie power systems of 1.5-2.5 kW on five houses in Bennett Road. Minimising the ongoing running costs of these homes and sustainability is a key consideration in these developments.
Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngati Kahungunu Ki Heretaunga is a full immersion Maori School in Hastings. We worked with them to maximise their project budget and delivered a system we can easily expand in the future. The real time system performance monitoring will assist the students with sustainable energy education.
Freenergy enjoys engaging with schools to help students understand renewable energy and future career pathways.