Tag Archives: Photovoltaics

Chatham Islands (New Zealand) vs. Great Barrier Island (New Zealand)

Let’s make this a quick comparison and start with the local government. Chatham Island’s local government is allegedly unique within New Zealand, as it involves a council established by its own Act of Parliament, the Chatham Islands Council Act 1995 (Statute No 041, Commenced: 1 November 1995). The Chatham Islands Council operates as a district council with regional council functions, making it in effect a unitary authority but with not quite as many responsibilities as the others [source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatham_Islands]. Obviously the way to go but we won’t see any of that here on Great Barrier Island, Auckland Council’s power and administrative arm is ever increasing and will certainly do its best to stay in charge of all interests in the city of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.   Continue reading Chatham Islands (New Zealand) vs. Great Barrier Island (New Zealand)

Pictures & Thoughts of the Week 22

Let’s start off with fishing. It’s been a while since I planned a land based fishing mission. I was certainly keen, eager and excited whilst hiking to the headlands of Schooner Bay on Tuesday. I was also confident. After all, I haven’t had fish on the table for almost two months and was also looking forward to calling in at my mate’s place and presenting him with fresh snapper.

This lovely bridge decker left as I arrived at my designated fishing spot; I had the entire bay to myself.
This lovely bridge decker left as I arrived at my designated fishing spot; I had the entire bay to myself.

Continue reading Pictures & Thoughts of the Week 22

Off Grid Power Systems II – Generating Power

In part one I wrote about some practical properties of electricity and energy, in this part I write briefly about realistic ways of generating electricity for off grid home use.  Focusing on costs of setups and on quantifying how much power is generated. Part III will be about storing electricity, maintaining batteries, charge controllers and DC-AC inverters.

This is a comment I added to the previous post (Off Grid Power Systems I – Electricity):

  • To gain a better understanding of quantities like power, voltage, current, charge, etc., it is helpful to consider the analogy to flowing water.

There are basically five realistic ways to generate electricity: Continue reading Off Grid Power Systems II – Generating Power

Off Grid Power Systems I – Electricity

If you are interested in off grid power systems and/or already rely on them – as we all do more or less here on Great Barrier Island – you may ask: ‘How much do I need to know about things like photovoltaics, wind-power, batteries and electricity?’

The answers are straight-forward. You don’t need to know anything, a tradesman/-woman will sort you out and you can know as much as you want about these topics. It is 2013 folks, just type what you don’t know into a search engine and you will be presented with brief and exhaustive explanations.

My intention here is to provide you with a conceptual understanding – if you will a foundation or framework that allows you to build up further knowledge – and to also give you some rudimentary examples and calculations. I’m not an electrician and am also not in the business of providing off grid power solutions. My motivation is to share with you what I know and obviously also to continue learning via this process. Continue reading Off Grid Power Systems I – Electricity