Storm passed…


Two days of off-and-on snow with lots of wind. We actually got some drifting, which hardly ever happens and which let TB demonstrate his technique for getting through snow higher than his legs are tall. A smaller dog would hop from place to place but Torso Boy, who spent the bulk of his life in Wyoming and really isn’t as small a dog as I think of him as being, just snowplows through it. Can’t be comfortable on his nethers, but he doesn’t seem to notice. He’s not much interested in spending a lot of time outdoors, though.

Landlady’s panels never got cleared because she didn’t come up this weekend. Their placement is an object lesson in why you should check for shadows in choosing where to build your rack. If she lived here full-time I’d probably agitate for the removal of that tree, but it’s really only an issue around the solstice. Not much can be done about the chickenhouse/powershed, though.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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5 Responses to Storm passed…

  1. Norman says:

    What’s your estimate on how much she’s losing from that tree shadow? I’ve seen more shaded panels than I would have guessed before I started paying attention to solar, and most shadows are temporary (for some values of “temporary”) but given the cost of panels, and the need esp. off-grid, I’d think working to maximize efficiency near the solstice would be paramount since that’s also when panels would be least efficient and output greatest in demand. A 15% drop for a few hours on June 21 might not be a big issue, but 3-5% on December 21 probably would.

  2. Joel says:

    You’re right to assume that the solstice is the time to be concerned about. That’s why I angled my ground rack to be most efficient in winter: The summer takes care of itself. But another thing to consider is that it’s best to arrange for excess capacity. Used to be that panels were so expensive that you bought no more of them than the math said you needed and then went to elaborate lengths to maximize their efficiency. But now the price of panels is down to less than a dollar a watt, and it’s more efficient per dollar to oversize your array to compensate for extended cloudy days and such.

  3. RCPete says:

    I’ve got the well array set at neutral, since we use more water during the summer. We have pines that shade the array at times, especially this time of year, but it’s 4 columns of 3 panels each. Yeah, I oversized the array for the relatively small pump. Additional cost was negligible. There’s some time of day that part of the array is shaded, but there’s a column or more that’s getting some sun.

  4. Eric Wilner says:

    Ah, the storm! We blew through AZ on Boxing Day, in between storms. Saw a surprising amount of snow alongside the highway around Flagstaff.
    But we did get out of California before the calendar rolled around to 2020! Now we’re in East Tennessee at last, getting settled in and adjusting to the not-at-all-Silicon-Valley lifestyle.

To the stake with the heretic!