Powers Unfiltered

An entrepreneur’s journey into grid computing and partnering with Microsoft, by John Powers

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Off Topic — Solar Update

June 20th, 2008 · No Comments

As I wrote earlier this month, the Powers household is now generating some of its own electricity, via photovoltaic panels on the roof.  Soon after the installation, our local utility PG&E installed a spiffy new digital meter and certified the system for use.  I turned it on last Thursday afternoon.  Yesterday afternoon (one week later) I played around with the power inverter to see the cumulative energy production since the system was turned on.

In exactly one week of long, sunny days, the system of 18 panels produced 154 kWh — or 22 kWh per day.  In that same period (which included some nice days and some very hot days — it was over 100 degrees F at our house yesterday), the new meter tells me that our house used all that plus 151 kWh more from the grid.  So even with the pool filter running and above-normal air conditioner usage, the solar panels produced almost exactly half the electricity used by our large-ish suburban California home.  Not bad, given that we could only put solar panels on a relatively small fraction of the roof (too much shade on the rest of it).

More economic analysis to follow after I get a bill or two.

Tags: Uncategorized · Utility Industry

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