Air New Zealand

Going beyond the energy status quo

Air New Zealand installed New Zealand’s largest single solar array at their Auckland Technical Operations base in 2014: 480 solar panels on the roof of one of the airline’s hangars, covering an area of around 750 square metres or four times the size of the average Kiwi house.

The challenge

The airline’s Technical Operations engineering team needed a monitoring system that would continuously track the amount of power being generated by the panels and the amount of power being consumed on site, combined with a control system that would regulate solar power output to the grid.

In addition, Air New Zealand needed the real-time data collected from their monitoring and control system to feed into their existing building management system.

The result

The metering technology allows us to constantly monitor and profile energy use in each of our buildings, enabling smarter business and investment decisions due to transparency of consumption and cost.

Captain David Morgan, Air New Zealand Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer

SolarNetwork’s flexibility provided immediate benefits to Air New Zealand. The ability to track power generation and consumption and regulate power output to the grid was already a proven feature of our platform’s zero export monitoring and control system. We then worked with the Air Newzealand Tech Ops team to integrate the real-time data into their building management system.

The chart below highlights the zero export system in action. The blue area represents power consumption at the operations hangar; the green area represents solar power generation. The dotted green line approximates the expected power generation if the zero export system were not in place. Over the course of a day, the system actively manages solar power generation to keep it within a safe margin of the hangar’s actual power consumption.

SolarNetwork Zero Export system in action