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Jul. 6th, 2015

Dina

Ooops. Time got away from me.

I've done a terrible job of keeping up with the journal since last fall.  With a newborn in the house, journaling time got away from me, and from January through April, I didn't even get statistics recorded, for the first time since the systems were installed. I'm trying to get back on track with them again now, though!

Brief summary of the past several months: Fall came, and then winter, and then spring.  The propane lasted a full year this time, now that we have the extra solar panels.  The original solar panels were temporarily shorted out in late April/early May due to poor installation wiring (yet one more thing to chalk up to the incompetent original solar guy) but were back in service within a couple of weeks.

It's a remarkably cool and wet summer so far.  The cistern is completely full and the daily temperatures have often not exceeded 80.  The grass is getting a bit out of hand due to always being too wet to mow, but the flip side of that is that the blackberries are plumper and more plentiful than I can remember them being any summer since we moved here.  I look forward to freezing enough for a full year of pies.

Stay tuned for (I hope!) a proper July statistics post at the beginning of the next month!

Oct. 16th, 2014

Dina

Monthly weather log: September 2014

sept2014monthly
Dina

Daily weather log: September 2014

sept2014daily

Aug. 4th, 2014

Dina

July 2014 renewable statistics

We had an exceptionally rainy July, which was lovely for the cistern -- we now have more than 6 feet of water on both sides.  This month also marked one full year with the new solar panels.

As I've noted in previous years, July is historically hot and muggy and therefore our least energy-efficient month.  The generator hours reflect yet another month of running the air conditioning 24/7.

We also had a serious mechanical breakdown this month: our original totally incompetent solar guy strikes yet again.  The connector between the original solar panels and the batteries melted down, and we're lucky it didn't actually cause a fire or other collateral damage.  It turns out that he had installed a much higher voltage going through that connector than it was designed to accommodate. Unfortunately we were about 2 months out of warranty (though I'm not sure it would have covered improper installation anyway).  To further complicate matters, Xantrex doesn't sell the necessary connector as a stand-alone part, so Howard undertook the task of manufacturing a replacement.  The statistics for the month reflect the lack of production from the original set of solar panels for the last 4 days of the month (for the purpose of identifying 35+ production days, I've estimated what our production should have been, based on the output of the new panels), and generator hours are likewise skewed by the fact that Inverter #1 was sending erroneous information to the generator for 4 days before we figured out what was going on, resulting in the generator frequently switching on when it shouldn't have.

In completely unrelated news, we finally have domestic solar hot water fully functional AND feeding the propane hot water tank!  Thanks to the massive amount of solar heat available right now, in the high summer, that means we're using no propane for hot water purposes at all right now.

July 2014 Solar Statistics:
Peak daily production: 40.23 kWh (.73 lower than June)

Lowest daily production: 21.51 (14.24 kWh higher than June) (excludes the 4 days of malfunctioning solar, although even the lowest of those was an impressive 18.38 even without the original panels working!)
Days of 35+ kWh production: 8 (same as June)
Total monthly production:  695 kWh (255 kWh lower than June) (est. 52-53 kWh lower than it would have been if solar panels had all been functional for those last 4 days of the month)
Average daily production:  22.42 kWh/day (9.25 kWh/day lower than June)
Generator hours:  70 (2 fewer than June)

July 2014 wind statistics:
Total generated: 56.81 (21.12 kWh lower than June, 8.17% of solar production)
Windspeed: 6.0 average, 96.6 max
Power: 84 average, 3004 max


Previous July statistics for comparison:


July 2013 Solar:

Peak daily production: 44.44 kWh! (9.3 kWh higher than June)
Lowest daily production: 9.28 kWh (0.91 kWh higher than June)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 25, which is 21 more than May and, obviously, comprises the majority of the month.  I think I'm going to have to shift this parameter to days of 35+ kWh production to make it meaningful at this point, if it's going to remain a measure of extremely good production!  Days of 35+ kWh: 7.
Total monthly production: 882 kWh, 449 higher than June -- ie, a bit more than double June's production.
Average daily production: 28.45 kWh/day (1.89 kWh/day higher than the post-new-panel-installation days in June).
Generator hours: 52 (42 lower than June)

July 2013 wind statistics:
Total generated: 29.28 kWh; 3.32% of solar production
Windspeed: 4.6 average, 80.0 max
Power: 42 average, 2799 max


July 2012 solar statistics:

Peak daily production: 18.30 kWh (0.68 lower than June)
Peak instantaneous production: 3263 watts (152 lower than June)
Lowest daily production: 5.82 kWh (0.74 higher than June)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0 (same as June)
Total monthly production: 436 kWh (42 lower than June)
Average daily production: 14.06 kWh (1.87 lower than June)
Generator hours: 79, but after enduring June and the first half of July without AC, every single minute felt worthwhile.

July 2012 wind statistics:
Total generated: 53.98 (3.25 kWh more than June, only 12% of solar production)
Windspeed, in mph: 5.5 avg, 59.7 max
Power generated: 75 watts avg, 2975 max

2011, for comparison:

This month's windpower stats are somewhat of a matter of interpolation, since we left on vacation on July 22nd and didn't get back until August 6th, so I wasn't able to get the precise end-of-month figures.  To compensate, I took readings on the 22nd and again on the 6th, and divided the energy generated by 5, and then allotted 3/5 of the resulting figure to July (to account for 9 days) and 2/5 to August (to account for 6 days).  Obviously the power generated wouldn't have been perfectly even from day to day, but it should be a fairly good approximation, and since the total is so low, it's of relatively low importance anyway.

Windpower generated during the gap: 11.44 kWh  (yes, incredibly low!)
Portion attributed to July: 6.86
Portion attributed to August: 4.58

Generator hours were easy, since we had none between the 22nd and 6th.  Solar power required no interpolation, since the solar controller records the output from day to day, enabling me to accurately determine just how much power went with each month.

Solar:
Peak daily production: 18.05 kWh (0.53 kWh lower than June)
Peak instantaneous production: 3267 watts (399 watts lower than June)
Lowest daily production: 8.35 kWh (3.42 kWh higher than June)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0
Total monthly production: 418 kWh (6 higher than June)
Average daily production: 13.48 kWh (.25 lower than June)
Generator hours: 65.  It was insanely hot and muggy, we ran the air conditioning a great deal, and the wind turbine contributed almost nothing this month.
Wind:
Approximated at 30.43 kWh generated.  (63.18 kWh less than June, and only about 1/3 of our previous low).  A record low of only 7.2% of solar output.  I had been hoping that July wind production would be similar to what we had last September, but it definitely wasn't this time around!
Average production: 0.98 kWh/day (2.14 kWh/day less than June)
Average windspeed: 3.9 mph (unchanged between the 22nd and 6th)
Maximum windspeed: 90.6 mph (unchanged between the 22nd and 6th)
Average power production:  45 watts (92 lower than June)
Maximum power production: 3207 watts (164 higher than June)

July 2010, for comparison:

I notice that I labeled last July "insanely hot and humid" as well, and noted that we ran the AC the entire month.  For future projections, I'm going to simply assume that that will be our norm, and that July probably will be our least energy-efficient month of the year.


Peak daily production: 18.94 kWh (precisely 1 kWh higher than June)
Peak instantaneous production: 3287 watts (181 watts lower than June)
Lowest daily production: 5.97 kWh (3.11 kWh lower than June, but still our 2nd best on record)
Days of single-digit production: 5 (tied for 2nd best on record with August 2009)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0.  The lack of any super-high days is reinforcing my impression that summertime is good for length of days, but not for maximum production overall -- which is consistent with Don's design, of course, which was intended to maximize year-round production rather than taking full advantage of the potential summer maximums.
Total monthly production: 416 kWh (19 less than June)
Average daily production: 13.42 kWh (1.08 lower than June)
Total generator hours: 93.  Yes, 93.  Worst since the solar panels went in -- the direct result of running the air conditioning the entire month.  Still, if I had it to do over again, I'm fairly sure that I would; July was just insanely hot and humid, and having the house remain cool has been well worth the estimated $8 per day of propane.
Estimated renewable shortfall: 558 kWh, an average of a whopping 18 kWh/day
Average daily usage: 31.42 kWh (just about on par with typical KY usage, but our previous worst was around 20 kWh -- this is off the charts for us.)

Dina

Daily weather log: July 2014

July2014daily
Dina

Monthly weather log: July 2014

july2014monthly
Dina

June 2014 renewable statistics

June 2014 marks both the first June with the new summer-optimized solar panels in place, leading to record solar production, and the first month since we built the house that I've simply kept the air conditioning running 24/7, leading to a very high energy demand for the month (which was, of course, the rationale behind the additional summer-optimized panels in the first place.)  Between pregnancy and my allergies, it was worth it for the improved comfort, despite the energy cost.  Like May, this was prior to Howard optimizing the battery charging parameters, however, so I'm hopeful that we'll see generator time drop even when running 24/7 ac.  It's also probably worth noting that the 72 hours is still 22 fewer than we had in 2013 when I ran the ac 'most of the month,' though I don't recall now whether that was 24 hours per day or if it was while I was still trying to turn it off at night.

Note that the wind is characteristically summer-low, and therefore providing very little power in comparison to the solar.

June 2014 Solar Statistics:
Peak daily production: 40.96 kWh (1.37 lower than May)

Lowest daily production: 7.27 ( 0.65 lower than May)
Days of 35+ kWh production: 8 (1 fewer than May)
Total monthly production:  950 kWh (104 higher than April, and definitely our new record production)
Average daily production:  31.67 kWh/day (4.38 kWh/day higher than April, and again, a new record)
Generator hours:  72 (54 more than May)

June 2014 wind statistics:
Total generated: 77.93 kWh (69.81 kWh lower than May,  and a miniscule 8.2% of solar production)
Windspeed: 7.1 average, 49.7 max
Power: 112 average, 3049 max

Previous June statistics for comparison:

June 2013 Solar:
Peak daily production: 35.14 kWh!  (Obviously a new record, by a mile -- but this is, of course, with the newly added panels, and it's a record that only lasted a few days, since it's already been surpassed in July before I've posted this.) (14.59 kWh higher than May)
Peak instantaneous production: I stopped recording this category this month with the installation of the new panels, since it doesn't seem very useful compared to the other stats and I need the journal space for recording the triplicate controllers now.  Peak before I stopped recording it, however, was 3259 watts, 395 watts lower than May.
Lowest daily production: (excluding days the panels were not operational) 8.37 kWh (4.84 kWh higher than May)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 4, specifically the 4 days after the new panels became operational!
Total monthly production: 433 kWh (6 kWh lower than May -- but keep in mind that that includes 3 days of no power generation at all)
Average daily production: overall 16.04 kWh/day (1.44 kWh higher than May, after adjusting for 27 days of generating instead of 30).   Post-new-panel installation: 26.56 kWh/day.
Generator hours: 94, largely attributable to running the AC without the new panels installed for most of the month.  (76 more than May)

June 2013 wind statistics:
Total generated: 56.22 kWh; 13% of solar production
Windspeed: 5.8 average, 21.5 max
Power: 64 average, 2974 max


June 2012 solar statistics:

Peak daily production: 18.98 kWh (1.23 kWh lower than May)
Peak instantaneous production: 3415 watts (8 watts lower than May)
Lowest daily production: 5.08 (2.15 kWh higher than May)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0 (May had 1)
Total monthly production: 478 kWh (16 higher than May)
Average daily production: 15.93 kWh (1.03 higher than May)
Generator hours: 0, go figure!

June 2012 wind statistics:
Total generated: 50.73 kWh (9.54 kWh less than May; only 11% of solar production)
Windspeed, in mph: 5.8 avg, 48.8 max
Power generated: 74 watts avg, 2591 max

June 2011, for comparison:

Solar:
Peak daily production: 18.58 kWh (21.28 kWh (2.7 kWh lower than May)
Peak instantaneous production: 3606 watts (191 watts higher than May)
Lowest daily production: 4.93 kWh (2.65 kWh higher than May)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0 (1 less than May, and I'm thinking this is going to be typical for June, due to summer haze)
Total monthly production: 412  (21 more than May)
Average daily production: 13.73 kWh (1.12 higher than May)

Generator hours: 30, but I estimate that approximately 2/3 of those were due to the generator testing we did during the first half of June, much of it without the generator actually charging the batteries.  I'd estimate about 10 kWh of actual necessary battery charging -- which is still disappointing, since I had hoped for renewable parity this month, and we might have made it had we had as much solar production as we did last year.  We would have made it had I not turned on the AC for a few days, but it was *so* hot and muggy at that point that it was worth it.  (AC is off again, now; today, like most of the last month was, is quite temperate, with a mid-afternoon high of only about 80.)

Wind:
93.61 kWh generated (16.9 kWh less than May).  22.7% of solar output.  This is our lowest month yet except for last September, when it was
installed, which I estimate would have had approximately 90 kWh of production had the turbine been up for the entire month.  I'm thinking June-September are going to be typical low-wind months, with production under 100 kWh.  By way of comparison, May was 110, October 143, November through January around 200, February and March around 300, and April nearly 400.
Average production: 3.12 kWh/day (.44 kWh less than May)
Average windspeed: not recorded; anemometer still broken (though Howard has it in hand to fix now)
Maximum windspeed: ditto
Average power production: 137 watts (23 watts lower than May)
Maximum power production: 3043 watts (234 watts lower than May)

June 2010, for comparison:
Peak daily production: only 17.94 kWh (3.35 kWh lower than May)
Peak instantaneous production: 3468 (up 62 watts from April's max)
Lowest daily production: 9.08 kWh. (8.56 kWh higher than April's lowest dp, and our best-ever lowest by far: 7.84 kWh more than April! We've never had a month before with a complete lack of any truly low-low days.)
Days of single digit production: 1. (Yep, the 9.08 previously mentioned. That beats our previous best, August 2009, by 4 days!)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 0. (Ah, well, can't win them all. Typical for November through January, but I hadn't expected it for June. I'm thinking it's maybe due to summer haze, since upon review August and September 2009 were similar.)
Total monthly production: 435 kWh, very similar to May
Average daily production: 14.5 kWh (.31 higher than May; even though June kWh were slightly less than May's, it had one less day to divvy up the total between)
Total generator hours: estimated 14
Estimated renewable shortfall: 84 kWh, 2.8 kWh/day
Average daily usage: 17.3 kWh/day (.4 kWh higher than May, but still not bad!)

Aug. 3rd, 2014

Dina

Daily weather log: June 2014

June2014daily
Dina

Monthly weather log: June 2014

June2014monthly
Dina

May 2014 renewable statistics

WOW. I was blown away by this month's solar statistics. This is our first May with the new panels, and a truly impressive one it was.  We still ended up with generator hours, nevertheless -- I turned the a/c on 24/7 as soon as the weather called for it, because pregnancy makes me very intolerant of excess heat.  Howard has since adjusted the charging parameters on the batteries, however, so we may have had higher generator hours than we would have had the batteries already been optimized.

We more or less skipped spring this year.  We had winter-cold weather clear up toward the end of April, and all of the spring flowers bloomed a few weeks later than normal.  Then May brought a week or two of what I'd call legitimate 'spring' weather and then leapfrogged right into summer.

May 2014 Solar Statistics:
Peak daily production: 42.33 kWh (13.92 higher than April)

Lowest daily production: 7.92 (5.23 higher than April)
Days of 35+ kWh production: 9 (9 more than April)
Total monthly production:  846 kWh (430 kWh higher than April)
Average daily production:  27.29 kWh/day (13.43 higher than April)
Generator hours: 18 (18 more than April)

May 2014 wind statistics:
Total generated: 147.74 (74.26 lower than April, 17.46% of solar production
Windspeed: 8.7 average, 68.8 max
Power: 211 average, 3221 max

Previous May statistics for comparison:

May 2013 Solar:
Peak daily production: 20.55 kWh (1.52 kWh lower than April)
Peak instantaneous production: 3654 watts (113 watts lower than April)
Lowest daily production: 3.53 kWh (3.15 kWh higher than April)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 2
Total monthly production: 439 kWh (100 kWh higher than April)
Average daily production: 14.16 kWh (2.86 higher than April)
Generator hours: 18, a whopping 75 hours lower than April despite running the AC! The new batteries are doing a great job!


May 2013 wind statistics:
Total generated: 112.47 kWh (66.49 lower than April; only 15.14% of solar production). This is a record low wind production, ever since the turbine was installed, but I'm fairly sure at this point that it's due just to an amazingly still spring rather than a glitch with the turbine.
Windspeed: 7.7 mph average, reported 0 max (which is obviously wrong, but resetting the wind statistics seems to have fixed that glitch)
Power: 158 watts average, 2989 peak

May 2012 solar statistics:
Peak daily production: 20.21 kWh (1.46 kWh lower than April)
Peak instantaneous production: 3423 watts (50 watts lower than April)
Lowest daily production: 2.93 kWh (0.63 kWh lower than April)
Days of 20+ kWh production: only 1 -- 6 fewer than April!
Total monthly production: 462 kWh (17 fewer than April)
Average daily production: 14.90 kWh (1.07 less than April)
Generator hours: a whoppingly painful 89.  I don't have time to check right now but I think that's probably our worst ever since getting the solar installed.  Though some of that was supporting AC usage during part of the month, I suspect the vast majority of it was due to the generator issues we were experiencing, plus the debugging time, almost none of which was productive (ie, it wasn't charging the batteries while running).

May 2012 wind statistics:
Total generated: 60.27 kWh (only 13% of solar production)
Windspeed, in mph: 6.4 avg, 29.5 max
Power generated: 84 watts avg, 2922 max

May 2011:

Solar:

Peak daily production: 21.28 kWh (.5 lower kWh than April)
Peak instantaneous production: 3415 watts (343 watts lower than April)
Lowest daily production: 2.28 kWh (1.37 higher than April)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 1 (1 less than April)
Total monthly production: 391 kWh (65 more than April)
Average daily production: 12.61 kWh (2.09 higher than April)

Generator hours: 17

Wind:
110.51 kWh generated (284 kWh less than April).   28.3% of solar output.
Average production: 3.56 kWh/day (9.18 kWh/day less than April)
Average windspeed: not recorded; anemometer still broken
Maximum windspeed: ditto
Average power production: 160 watts (442 watts lower than April)
Maximum power production: 3277 watts (226 lower than April)

May 2010:
Peak daily production: 21.29 kWh (a slight decrease from April's 21.63)
Peak instantaneous production: 3406 (148 watts lower than April's 3554)
Lowest daily production: 0.52 (April: 1.96)
Days of single digit production: 9 (April: 6)
Days of 20+ kWh production: 2 (April: 11. This is the #1 reason May was much less stellar than April for solar stats!)
Total monthly production: 440 kWh (still only 44 less than April, due to an abundance of above-15-but-below-20 kWh days)
Average daily production: 14.19 kWh (2.14 kWh less than April)
Total generator hours: This we're not quite sure on, since Don forgot to record generator hours at the end of the month. May's weather and June's were pretty similar, though, and we had 28 generator hours total between the 2 months, so for calculation purposes I'm going to estimate that half should be allocated to each month. So: estimated 14 hours.
Estimated renewable shortfall: 84 kWh, average of 2.71 kWh/day. That's another 1.5 kWh better than the actual for April -- which means another record low! -- though 2.67 higher than what I estimate April's would have been without the solar hot water system testing.
Average daily usage: 16.90 kWh/day (a smidgen higher than April's estimated value of 16.73 if one excludes the solar hot water testing, but our lowest actual value yet!)

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Dina

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