Tuesday, April 23, 2024

My Solar Array Had Its Best Day Yet ... On Earth Day

We're back to sunny days with relatively low temperatures in the Hudson Valley, and that meant good things for my rooftop solar array. 

In watching the SolarEdge mobile app yesterday, I saw something I hadn't seen before: A day with total production above 90 kilowatt hours. I looked back, and while there were a lot of days with production above 80 kWh, this was the first I could find above 90, so unless I missed one, it now holds the record for the highest single-day production since the system went live in 2022. 

It was also Earth Day, which made it a cool coincidence. I ended the day having completely offset all consumption from the utility grid. My house consumed a little more than 20 kWh direct from the panels during the day and exported about 70 kWh to the grid. And as of this afternoon, the system is on track to book another day just like it by sunset. 

That hints at some additional good news, though it's still a little early to get too excited. Recall that last year, after the repair of a bad string and crimp and the replacement of my inverter, I was worried that the system might not build up enough of a billing surplus by summer in order to offset my AC and swimming pool.

If my math using the data from the app is right, as of today, I'm ahead of consumption by 2.16 mWh with about six weeks to go before my anniversary date. If the days remain this sunny, and the temps don't get crazy high in May, I should have a nice generation bank going into the summer. 

However, I'm pretty sure my math is off, and I'm likely underestimating the surplus. My net meter, which started at zero in June 2022, showed a high of about 2,755 in late September of 2023. Sometime in April, it went below zero and showed a number in the upper 99,000 range. That tells me that since September, I've offset more than 2.7 mWh within the utility's billing year, so my above math may very well be under-counting the size of the generation bank. We'll find out soon. 

Update: Not that you asked, but the Earth Day record held until Thursday when it reached 91.5 kWh.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

If You're Someone Who Likes RSS Feeds, Today Is Your Lucky Day


Someone told me the other day — he knows who he is — that this site appeared not to have an RSS feed. I was a little surprised at that and assumed such a feed was a default feature in Blogger. Not so much it turned out. 

I dug around in the features and settings, and finally found it, turned it on, and now the RSS Feed is working. So you can add this site to Feedly, or whatever other reader you happen to like. 

Personally, I like the thought of a reader app, and have at time experimented with putting news feeds directly in a mail app, like say Thunderbird, which I once swore by but have since given up. 

And every time I have gone to the trouble of enabling a reader app with a bunch of feeds I think I want to follow, I end up spending the time configuring that app, only to find I never use it. Feedly and NetNewsWire both come to mind. 

What I do miss is the RSS feeds that used to be auto-generated by Twitter. Now that was amazing. You could follow a particular Twitter feed using an RSS reader, and even generate your own automated rules and actions based on that. 

One trick that helped me stay on top of certain kinds of stories when I was reporter involved RSS feeds. When a company I followed was close to taking its shares public, I would follow the RSS feed associated with its SEC filings. Using IFTTT, I created automated scripts to alert me either by email or text or both when a new SEC filing would drop for that company. I also used the same trick to watch for important filings from already-public companies I followed. I got a lot of good stories that way. 

Anyway, here's the link