Solar Heating Case Studies

Government House leads by example with a solar water heating installation

The solar thermal system should offset at least 18MWh of energy per year and up to 240 tonnes of carbon over its 25-30 year predicted life span.

The Solar system includes 8 x 30 tube SolarPeak panels flush mounted and elevated 100 mm from the roof, as required by the architects, so that cleaning of the cladding is possible.

The system design includes 3 x high quality 430 litre duplex stainless steel preheat tanks that feed a gas boiler and ring main system.

SolarPeak New Zealand worked with its licensed Wellington area agent E.G. Glennie & Co, Master Plumbers, to perfect the design and then install the solar thermal system in December 2010. Data logging over the first 10 Months from January 01 until October 01 showed that the system performance is excellent and the operation of the system is trouble free. Read the full case study...


Gas is off, Solar is on

On the 26th of October 2011, The New Zealand Herald reported "Vector believes sub-surface ground movement may have caused a crack in the Maui pipeline which is crippling many businesses in the central and upper North Island... About 2500 businesses including steel mills and thermal power providers are expected to be without gas for at least two days as workers hurry to repair a leak in the Maui pipeline.”

Even though the Maui gas leak devastated many over the past three days, keen swimmers at Cameron Pools in Mt Roskill, Auckland enjoyed warm 27’C pool water, as Cameron Pools turned off the gas and turned on the Heliocol Solar System. The 275 sqm of Heliocol panels are capable generating around 200kW and keep the large pool thoroughly warm.

Solar Pool Heating is not only beneficial for the environment and pays back very quickly, but it also provides a diversity of the energy source reducing the dependency on gas or diesel. See the performance of Cameron Pools here.


Auckland Airport: a drive towards energy efficiency

Opened in 2008, Auckland Airport's new international passenger terminal is one of the first buildings in New Zealand to receive world-recognised accreditation for its sustainable and energy efficient design.

In 2007, the airport made a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint by 5% over the next five years (CO2 emissions at that time were around 10,000 tonnes of carbon per annum). So when a new international pier was required to meet projected visitor growth, the board demanded best practice in energy efficient design. Its success has inspired a formal energy management programme across the entire international terminal complex, which is already delivering results.

The roof of the building incorporates 300 square metres of photovoltaic cells, which produce 49,000 kWh every year towards lighting, as well as solar water heaters for hot water. Find out more: (PDF 266.46 KB)


Off shore and off the grid: Generating energy on the Department of Conservation's off shore islands

This report reviews the installation of small-scale renewable electricity generation systems on five islands around New Zealand, on Department of Conservation bases. The report reviews the economics and performance of the systems, the potential benefits that accrue from switching from diesel-fuelled generation to systems incorporating photovoltaic modules and micro hydro units, and sensitivity analysis to test the economics under a number of scenarios. Reducing diesel consumption and switching to renewable generation plant is shown to be cost effective in a wide range of situations and circumstances. Read more about this project here: (PDF 1.65 MB)


SkyCity - Reaching new heights in efficient hot water use

SkyCity has added further to their energy efficiency projects by installing 22 full-sized solar collectors to 'pre-heat' water before it is used in the large kitchens, restaurants and bathrooms on the casino's gaming floor. They will see annual saving of $7,000 - $8,000 on gas from using their solar energy pre-heat system.

SkyCity’s need for constant hot water meant it was possible to use a heat exchange system and avoid the need for large hot water storage tanks, which are typically one of the most expensive components of a solar water heating system. The system is expected to save as much as $8,000 in gas bills each year, but further value comes from the opportunity to showcase SkyCity’s energy efficiency investment to the public and build its brand as a company with a commitment to the environment. Read the full story here: (PDF 175.14 KB)


New Zealand schools warm to pool solar heating

Five New Zealand schools have opted to heat their pools using solar energy resulting in an extended swimming season and warmer pool water. Find out about Coroglen School (Thames-Coromandel); Glamorgan School (Auckland); Matawai School (East Cape); Sefton School (Canterbury); and Whau Valley School (Northland) and their choice to warm their pools with solar heating.

The schools’ solar heating systems were installed between 2009 and 2010. The systems ranged in size from 36 square metres to 148 square metres, and ranged in price from around $10,000 to $27,000. Grants available from EECA helped offset some of the cost of the outlay. Read more here: (PDF 144.86 KB)