A couple of months ago, my wife and I decide to get a solar power system for our home.
This was shortly after Ether became tradable, and I watched the price bounce between 60 cents and a dollar several times. I decided to sell the next time it hit $1. Of course, that was on its way to $10. Such is my luck.
We decided to invest those funds in going solar. I did quite a bit of research and called several companies. Eventually, I got a quote from The Solar Company and after a bit of haggling, agreed on system specifications and a price. They did a wonderful job.
As most of you probably know, there’s a bit of a war on solar going on and electric companies are doing everything they can to discourage people from installing solar systems. As a result, there are a lot of hoops you have to jump through, and some of those hoops took longer than expected. As a result, we just barely made the SNEM cutoff and the E6 cutoff. Newcomers will not get rates as favorable as we did.
This Monday was our first “negative day”, a day in which we made more power than we used. The picture above is an actual picture of my roof.
I hope to give a lot more details about the system in more blog posts in this series, such as:
- My efforts to get useful data from my “smart” electric meter.
- The uselessness of most solar monitoring systems and my efforts to build a “real” monitoring system.
- The tale of Union Bank closing my account while it held the money to pay for the solar system in it because that much money from Coinbase is, apparently, suspicious.
- System specifications, pictures, predictions, and updates on how the system is actually doing compared to the predictions.
- My efforts to mathematically data mine complex system behaviors such as shading effects (notice the parapet in the picture?) from the odd combinations of data points available to me.
- What assumptions I made when I decided installing the system was worth its costs and how I valued intangibles against tangibles.
- How I think solar fits into the evolution of our power grid and some of the challenges and opportunities it presents.
- (From Christopher’s suggestion below) Why our solar system can only function when the grid is working and what it would take to change that.