Sunday, March 12, 2006


Late winter update

It has been a very warm and sunny winter here in Michigan. Whether it's just a statistical outlier or the onset of global warming, I don't know. But aside from the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there hasn't been very much cold weather, and even less snow. February and early March have been spectacularly sunny, and my solar numbers reflect that.

Here's a chart showing the average daily kilowatt-hours generated by my roof, by month.

Several things to note:
Taking all of that into account, here is a chart comparing my average daily solar and grid usage since August:

And in the lemonade-out-of-lemons category: Last year, there were only three trees which could cast shadows on my solar shingles. This would only happen in the early morning or the dead of winter, but still they were cutting into my solar power. For better or worse (actually both), all three trees were emerald ashes, and had been infected by the emerald ash borer. As you can see from this picture from April 2005, the trees were already dead:

As a safety measure, the city came through the neighborhood in December and cut down all the ash trees. So now, it's all sun, all the time.

And yes, that second photo was taken today, March 12, 2006, technically still winter in Michigan. I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt when I took it. Sixty-three degrees! (It feels warmer than that.)

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