The Future Is Bright For Renewables

Renewables is a fast growing sector and we’re working hard to help electricians maximise the exciting opportunities it presents.

Our Solar and Electric Vehicle (EV) division, run by Business Development Manager – Renewable Energy Neil Soper, provides expert advice, and supplies a comprehensive range of flexible, world-leading renewable technologies for residential and commercial applications.

We have solar systems to suit all requirements and budgets from 2.5kW, generally suited to smaller homes through to 5kW, ideal for larger residences and smaller commercial premises.
Larger commercial and industrial users are also well catered for. Our 10kW 3 phase solar kit is a popular entry-level solution for these markets, helping them to reduce both energy and operational costs.

Neil says to ensure customers are getting the most efficient and cost effective solar solution for their needs, electricians should do some due diligence before selling out of the box solutions.

“There is no one size fits all when it comes to solar power systems, with building size, energy use and the lifestyle of the home or business owner key to choosing the right solution.”

He says people sometimes fall into the trap of thinking because they have a larger home, they will need a larger system, when the reverse is sometimes true.
“If homeowners are not there during the day and utilising the energy generated when the sun is shining, a smaller system may be a better solution. Conversely, a mother at home with young children in a smaller home may get a faster return on investment by choosing a larger system. The application is definitely more important than the size of the property when it comes to solar,” he says

Neil joined Ideal in 2015 and was instrumental in the company becoming the first New Zealand distributor for SMA, a top quality German brand of string inverters for grid-tied and off-grid battery installations.

“The inverter is the heart of any solar system. It does all the hard work transferring the power created by the solar panels on the roof to the electrical infrastructure of the home. SMA has the most comprehensive range of inverters on the market, and is the only vendor with a product range for any module type and power class. The brand has been around since 1981, seven times longer than the standard offered industry warranty, which gives our clients a lot of comfort.”

The modular nature of the system is a significant benefit, with people able to start with a solar solution to meet their immediate needs, then add to it over time.
“Extra modules such as the Sunny Island inverters can be added at any point, as well as batteries for people wanting to go completely off-grid, or store energy for later use.”
Neil says even more benefits can be enjoyed when an electric vehicle is added to the equation. He drives an electric vehicle himself and believes the EV charging market has the potential to be the biggest ‘mover and changer’ in the renewables sector.

“People are essentially driving for free when their car is charged from the solar. It is a very exciting time, with these technologies able to dramatically reduce or even cut electricity and fuel bills completely. These savings could be applied directly to debt reduction.”

As Ideal’s solar product range continues to grow, we are upskilling and training our entire branch network in Solar and EV. We will soon be announcing some exciting new training initiatives from accredited third party providers to assist contractors with the technical support they need to grow their existing renewables business or enter this exciting growth market.