Energy

Designing homes to conserve energy and use it efficiently, from sources that cause least environmental harm.

Additional components

Stand-alone power supply systems will most likely need batteries and may also need components such as inverters, rectifiers and controllers.

There are two types of electric current: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC). Household grid supply in New Zealand is AC, and therefore most household appliances work on AC electricity. Micro-hydro and micro-wind systems produce AC electricity.  However, photovoltaic cells produce DC electricity, and battery banks that store electricity from small generating units also work on DC.Three main types of additional components are used in small-scale renewable electricity generation:

  • Inverters convert DC electricity  (from photovoltaic cells or batteries) to AC electricity for household use or sale to an electricity company
  • Rectifiers with micro-hydro or micro-wind schemes convert some or all of the AC power to DC so it can be stored in batteries
  • Controllers take AC electricity and control it so the power is delivered at the required 240 volts 50 Hz.

Inverters and controllers can be combined in a single unit.

Updated: 14 August 2013