Friday, October 31, 2008

October 2008 Solar Results

We crossed the finish line today.  When our solar photovoltaic system was installed last November, the prediction from the installer was that it would generate 3800 kWh per year.  Today, on Halloween, we crossed that milestone and finished the day at 3805 kWh and we still have 22 days more before our system is officially 1 year old.  

The weather prediction here for Halloween was rain all day. This turned out to be incorrect, after some morning drizzle it turned into a nice sunny day. It was great for trick-or-treating and not bad for solar power production. 

October totaled 250 kWh. This is less than half of July's 636 kWh.

This month, I attended a wedding in Sausalito. It was a nice ceremony overlooking the Richardson Bay. During the reception, I was chatting with the groom's brother-in-law. He has a 4.4kW PV system in Los Gatos. We were comparing notes. It is no surprise that a larger PV system in sunny California generates more power annually than a system in Oregon. You can see the production capacity of the lower 48 in this chart. However, this chart does not give you any indication of seasonal shift in power production. I was surprised during our discussion to hear that during the summer, our system in Oregon, despite being 10% smaller, was generating just as much power as his system in CA. Up here at 47°N, we have nice long summer days.

Not surprisingly, the seasonal change in production in California is not as exaggerated as it is in Oregon. So just as PV produces power during the peak demand time of day, up here in Oregon, PV also produces the majorityof its output during the summer months when all those air conditioners are running, when it is needed most.

Next Month we'll hit the 1 year anniversary mark, see you there. 

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