Story: Wind and solar power

Home-grown wind and solar power

Photographed in 1984, Frank Cresswell of Petone was heading for energy self-sufficiency, using a variety of methods to harness Mother Nature’s energy in his back yard. His solar panels heated water to 80°C in summer and 50°C in winter, and the conventional wind turbine produced 200 watts of electrical energy. He had not determined the energy output of his oil-drum wind generator.

Another resourceful inventor, Michael Lawlie, takes motors from discarded washing machines and converts them to small wind turbines by adding a couple of blades and tweaking the electronics. Listen to Michael talking to Sean Plunket on Morning Report in 2003.

Sound file from Radio New Zealand - Te Reo Irirangi o Aotearoa

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1984/2513-F
Photograph by Greg King

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Veronika Meduna, 'Wind and solar power - Wind energy in New Zealand', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 23 January 2022)

Story by Veronika Meduna, published 12 Jun 2006