Solar energy facts for kids in New Zealand are considered unnecessary by some. When winter hovers over New Zealand, it may seem that day after day is cloudy and grey – especially in some parts of New Zealand. On such days, it is difficult to imagine that solar energy could supply enough electricity for a New Zealand home. Most areas of New Zealand, however, have plenty of solar energy that can be harnessed.
Solar energy can be calculated with a map such as the one on the Sun Wize website. This is called a world solar insolation map. “Insolation” means it is exposed to the sun’s rays. The map shows how many hours of each day a country is exposed to the sun’s rays – in the worst month of the year. In other words, the map shows how much solar energy the country gets each day.
When you find New Zealand on a world solar insolation map, you will see that most of the country gets between 3 and 5 hours of solar energy each day. Remember that 3 to 5 hours is the amount of solar energy in the worst month! On average, counting good and bad days, New Zealand gets approximately 2000 hours of bright sunshine each year.
Solar Energy Facts for Kids
Solar energy facts for kids might include many things, depending on the age of the children involved. A small child of 6 years might understand only simple concepts such as the heat generated by solar energy. Older children of 14 to 17 can grasp the technology of solar panels and generators, and how they convert solar energy to electrical power.
We will not attempt to sort the following facts by age or importance, but simply present them as a collection of ideas to be explored.
* In New Zealand, a solar energy water heating system can save as much as 75 per cent of your family’s water heating costs.
* The word “photovoltaic” comes 2 words. “Photo” refers to light and “voltaic” refers to electricity. A photovoltaic array system changes solar energy collected from sunlight into electricity.
* Cover the roofs of every New Zealand home in photovoltaic (PV) panels, and together they would convert enough solar energy into power each year to supply more than 25 per cent of New Zealand’s needed electricity.
* Solar energy can provide the total electricity needed by a normal three bedroom New Zealand home that is energy efficient.
* Solar energy is quiet, easy to install, and needs little upkeep from the New Zealand home owner.
* Any New Zealand child can, with a little help, build a solar energy stove to cook a small banger.
* Solar energy has been used for many years by New Zealand mums to dry clothing outdoors.
* Germany, a country that is much cloudier than New Zealand, converts solar energy into electricity more than any other country does.
* Solar energy is greater than you might think on cloudy days, since the sunlight that gets through reflects off the bottoms of the clouds.
* Solar energy can turn ocean water into healthy drinking water.
* Solar energy can be used on boats and ships around New Zealand.
* Solar energy is absolutely free to New Zealanders. No other country can charge money for it.
Suggestion for New Zealand teachers: Have a contest to see which group of students can discover the most solar energy facts for kids. Younger children will have fun simply listing solar energy facts for kids. Older students might be required to expand each discovery statement.
Disclaimer: The author receives no compensation from any company mentioned in this article. The information is presented solely for educational purposes.