Sunday, May 2, 2010

April 2010 PV and EV Report

April 22nd 2010 Earth Day 
In April, our little solar photovoltaic system quietly generated 402kWh. This is significantly better than April of last year when our system was down for 20 days and we only generated 129kWh. But we also edged out April 2008, when the system was only a few months old, which yielded 392kWh.

As for electric car driving, I logged 417 miles using 292kWh. The solar panels generated more than the EV used. I drove for free.

This month I put down a $99 deposit on a Nissan Leaf. If I do get one in December, it will use about one third of the electricity as the Chevy S10 Electric that I currently drive. There are two primary reasons that the Leaf is more efficient: one, it is lighter and two, it is more aerodynamic. Neither of these should be surprising. The Leaf is using newer lighter Lithium batteries compared to the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries in the S10. The Leaf is estimated to weight 2800 lbs. My S10 weights 4200 lbs. As for aerodynamics, the Leaf is a purpose built electric car. Whereas, for the S10, GM took the existing gasoline truck and retrofited the EV1 drivetrain into it.

Here is to the sunny summer months ahead and watching the meter spin backwards!

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn OR, April 2010

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