Monday, March 1, 2010

February sets record output

February 2010 was the fifth month of operation for my solar PV array. The panels produced 100 kilowatt-hours, the best monthly total so far. Total production since installation has reached 375 kwh. Here’s a monthly breakdown:
Oct. 2009 = 87
Nov. 2009 = 85
Dec. 2009 = 51
Jan. 2010 = 52
Feb. 2010 = 100

Even on cloudy days some power is produced, and a combination of longer days and a higher sun angle result in more potential electricity. Snow accumulation was a significant factor in February; I had to clear the panels about 10 times. When possible, I try to clear snow in the morning. By noon, unobstructed panels usually produce enough heat to melt small amounts of snow that fall during the day. Once the panels stop producing electricity, they stop producing heat. Nighttime snow piles up for the next morning’s clearing.

While not an exact comparison because of electric company billing periods, I used 326 kwh during February 2009. So last month’s production was about 30% of my consumption. As we continue into months with more solar gain, this percentage should only improve.

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