Savings from the Sun and Wind

03 October 2014

Let nature work for you

Green is good, whether you are a farmer or live in town. Invercargill-based Awarua Synergy is hoping electricity consumers across the board will see the environmental benefits and cash savings in their new solar power systems or wind turbine systems.

The company, born out of the Bluff Healthy Homes project, has a wider aim of making homes all around Southland warmer and drier, and more energy-efficient. A team of 17 consultants visit people in their homes, farms and businesses and recommends heating options, from insulation, Solar PV systems, hot water heat pumps, Wind Turbines to heat pumps.

Manager Sumaria Beaton said our Solar PV Systems and Wind Turbine Systems are currently attracting attention, these could be used on both farms and in household settings. She has a solar PV system in her own home and said Southland’s summer sun helped the system lower her power bills over the past 12 months.

The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Wire conducts the electricity to an inverter that converts the DC power coming in from the panels to AC power that can be used by household appliances.

The system is tied to the national grid and is not stored. Excess power generated from the solar panels is fed back to the power company, effectively running the power meter backwards. At night power comes from the grid, and the net amount used is what is charged. Depending on the size of the solar system, the amount could be zero.

Ms Beaton said Awarua Synergy prided itself on giving great advice and keeping abreast of developing technology. The solar PV systems were commonly being installed in homes but there are dairy farmers in the region also weighing up installing it in their milking sheds.

She said using reputable and reliable partners was key for the technology to work. The solar panels are manufactured in Korea by international company LG and the inverters by an established Christchurch company. 

Solar systems were no longer just for “greenies”, she said. “We certainly have enough sunshine in Southland and it’s just a matter of telling people how they work.”

The solar systems cost between $9,000-$15,000 with a payback between six and 10 years, our team can also provide a personalised Independent Financial Report produced by Crowe Howarth Accountants.  The system installed in her own house had proven its worth, working in credit in the summer, with lower power bills overall.

Our wind turbines are made in the UK by a reputable company called Kingspan. Their wind turbines have already surpassed 22 years of successful operation around the globe, with no requirements to shut down in high winds and low servicing requirements. 

She said she hoped more farmers would consider the options of technology and the company was keen to see them in use commercially, making the most of Southland’s sunshine hours, which average around 1,600 annually, and our Southern winds. Some farms may require a combination of both technologies, or wind maybe best suited in their environment over solar due to the consistent wind generation.

Awarua Synergy works with more farmers promoting its Terra Lana pipe lagging. Dairy farmers are using this product to line their milking pipes, for protection from hot and cold extremes. The lagging is made from recycled and virgin wool at Terra Lana’s large manufacturing plant in Christchurch.

Ms Beaton said the lagging helped control temperatures in pipes transferring milk. “It is also easy to put in on existing pipes, generating savings from heat loss.” We also encourage farmers to look at other power saving technologies such as pipe lagging or LED lighting, that don’t require such a large investment but can help reduce electricity costs, our expert team are more than happy to run through these possible savings on a farm visit.

The company has a large showroom at its Eye Street, Invercargill headquarters, where people can see working demonstrations of how the hardware and software works.

Photo: Awarua Synergy Emil Rahiti and Tyrone Cranston at Southern Field Days displaying Wind Turbine

Heat, lighten and brighten your farm buildings – email or call us today to arrange a free, no-obligation farm visit. Email us right now, or call us on 0800 WARM SOUTH today to arrange a free, no-obligation farm visit.

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