Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The last fresh vegetables

I'm sorry to say that we are the last of our fresh vegetables from the garden this week -- brussel sprouts. I tried to fix some more tonight but they were just too damaged by the recent freeze to be edible. There are still plants in the garden. Perhaps they will revive when it gets a little warmer. Our goal is to have something fresh to eat year round. Fortunately, we still have lots in the freezer, and lots of canned tomato juice, pickled cucumbers and beans and lots of canned apple sauce. The apples we bought in October are just about gone and the asian pears are going fast. I eagerly anticipate spring. Got our first seed catalog this week.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Solar Roof

We've had our solar panels in full operation for about 6 weeks now and I am very pleased with their performance. Our best day was in November when we captured 22 Kilowatt-hours that day. On our worst days when it rained hard al day we still captured nearly 2 Kilowatt-hours. Each of our 24 panels has its own inverter and the inverters all report their performance every 5 minutes to a monitor inside the house. That monitor is connected to the manufacturer's web site which presents us with a minute-by-minute performance analysis of the system. We get a lot of detail from this report. You can also see most of this detail by clicking here. You can also see the performance of similar systems all over North America by clicking here.

The bottom line on our experience with PV solar in Everett, Washington is tat IT WORKS. We are producing about 60 percent of the power that we are using -- somedays a lot more, somedays less. I expect that the initial investment will be recouped in about 10 years at present energy prices.