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Since electic rates continue to rise and recent years have seen brownouts, many Californians have installed some solar panels to reduce our costs and to aid everyone by providing extra power when it's most needed: during hot sunny days.
See also water use
Over 230,000 homes in California have solar panels generating electricity.
According to a February 2015 Washington Post, investment by individuals and companies in US Solar/Wind energy production was 389 billion dollars over the years 2007-2014.
SunRun installed our solar plant. Sunrun seemed a little...disorganized during 2015. We don't expect to need any service for 10-13 years, so lets hope they fix their internal issues.
We have twenty eight panels installed. Eighteen facing slightly south of directly west, Ten facing slightly east of directly south.
We watch our power use and generation using The Energy Detective TED 5000 inductive couplers and the associated gateway device which provides a web server on our home network with all the power data.
alert: TED5000 discontinued and the gateway interface device seems be malfunctioning as of October 30, 2017. Since TED5000 is long out of production I ordered TED Pro: once that arrives I'll update this page.
TED can produce nice reports with just your browser on your home network, but I added my own software to make my own reports and to ensure the data is all captured on my systems (not relying on the wall-wart from TED to keep the historic data safe).
From examination of SunRun's historical data we were generating a maximum of about 20KwH per day in the summer of 2014 with the 18 panels installed then.
On a sunny day we generally generate 37 KwH. Here are some of the 5 highest recorded Kwh generation days so far. Five pine trees died in 2016 (two more died in 2017) and one eucalyptus was dangerously large. Getting rid of those trees has lead to generating over 40KwH in one day.
Generation high 2017-06-10 42.513 2016-07-16 41.847 2017-06-28 41.206 2017-06-30 40.854 2017-05-24 40.699 For the month of July 2017 a total of 1157 KwH generated.
Here are some low recorded Kwh generation days.
Generation low 2014-12-11 0.588 2017-01-08 0.841 2014-12-02 1.361 2017-01-10 1.872 2017-01-18 1.948 2014-10-13 2.091
Most of the 2014-2015 winter was just above 500Kwh per month.
Global Warming is having a marked local effect in our microclimate. We installed a Rasberry Pi B+ computer and some DS18B20 temperature sensors August 30, 2017 (combined with some software I wrote) to track local temperatures. The DS18B20 sensor is remarkably easy to use when combined with the drivers provided in the Raspbian OS.
outside highs(F) and lows(F) by day 01-26 01-27 01-28 01-29 01-30 01-31 02-01 02-02 02-03 02-04 02-05 67 66 68 64 61 61 58 59 55 51 50 51 48 52 49 49 52 50 49 49 40 39
Solar Electricity Generation. As recorded by TED5000