Making rays pay

Trevor Foster (left) with production team leader Gilbert Best showing a ready home unit destined for Australia.

Trevor Foster (left) with production team leader Gilbert Best showing a ready home unit destined for Australia.

By Melinda Collins

Sunlight bathes us in far more energy than the world could ever possibly need—if only we could catch enough of it. Many scientists now say that with steady, incremental improvements and strong government support, no huge breakthroughs would be required to make solar power as economical and efficient as fossil fuels, setting the scene for innovations in solar energy.

Christchurch’s solar power capabilities are ramping up with the expertise of local manufacturer EnaSolar, to fit in with the new home building boom that’s about to break.

The company has developed a range of solar inverters for both residential and commercial applications and has just announced the launch of the new solar ready home kit, which is expected to be become an integral part of the rebuild.

EnaSolar’s grid tied photovoltaic (PV) inverters convert the energy collected by solar panels into a format which can be used to run home appliances, to help reduce electricity and home running costs.

Designed to fit most manufacturer’s solar panels, the EnaSolar system will allow excess power generated to be fed back to the national grid and, depending who your provider is, may even allow credits to your power bills, particularly when a family is away from home, global sales manager Trevor Foster says.

EnaSolar has a range of seven solar inverter systems ranging from 1.5 – 5 kilowatts in size, with built in isolation switches and a wireless monitor, so the homeowner can keep an eye on consumption from a personal computer or mobile device.

“At EnaSolar we believe every home should be built as economically and energy efficient as practical, so we can build for the future now with healthy and environmentally friendly homes,” Trevor explains.

“This is why we are launching the pre-wired home concept using the unique solar ready home kit.”

The solar ready home kit is a unique wall mount that can house any EnaSolar inverter. By pre-wiring during new home construction, or at the repair stage, installation becomes more cost effective, with system size and panels able to be decided at a later date.

Southern Response and its project partner Arrow International are offering the solar ready kit to all their clients, so they can take full advantage of the opportunity to save costs and future-proof their homes.

Other companies integral to the rebuild, such as Stonewood Homes, have also embraced this concept and is installing them as standard for new homes with no additional charge. Stonewood Homes managing director Brent Mettrick says the company received its first batch of 250 boxes before Christmas and was offering customers free installation.

The cost of this solar ready kit is $199.00 + GST, plus a possible small cost for installation. According to Trevor the end customer may not even be charged on a rebuild, as the cost is so small, and EnaSolar wishes to encourage group and private building companies to adopt the kit as standard.

He says that by using the EnaSolar inverters with quality panels and installation, you can expect an eight to nine percent return on your investment, while taking some control of your electricity cost.

EnaSolar inverters are being sold in the domestic market, with exports comprising around 65 percent of total sales. More than 10,000 solar kits have been completed globally and in the year to March 2013, between 3,000 and 3,500 inverters had been sold.

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