Monday, December 13, 2010

Watch my meter spin backwards for the first time

The next morning I didn't have to go to work because it was my Friday off. I love working 4-10’s! I got up before sunrise and high-tailed it out to the garage to watch the SunnyBoy inverter turn on for the 2nd time ever.

Standing barefoot on the cold cement floor of my garage, staring at the display on my inverter, I watched in anticipation as the voltage of the solar array climbed slowly until it reached the threshold of the inverter's power-on circuit.  CLICK....  The inverter switched on and started to blink.  A few minutes later, CLICK....  HUM..... and the inverter started feeding power to the grid. 

Here is my account as recorded on Facebook as it happened: 

November 12 8:01am:
Cloudy sunrise: watching my inverter start to convert power to run my house. 34watts.... 57watts..... 64watts... 87watts... 94watts..... 106watts. I'm just geeking out here!!!!! 117 watts and rising.

November 12 at 8:12am
‎195 watts... The clouds are starting to break. 218 watts... 225 watts.... 251 watts. Now running at 1/20th of capacity. I can see the round shape of the sun in the clouds. 566 watts.... 620 watts.

November 12 at 8:19am
1768 watts.... 2087watts and rising fast. Sun has cleared the clouds. 2802 watts..... 2845 watts... Not bad for such a low sun angle... 2859 watts. Anyone need to borrow a cup of electricity?

November 12 at 8:27am
The power meter is going backwards.

November 12 at 8:45am
Just made it's first kilowatt-hr.
I'm 10cents richer. 3283 watts... 3307 watts....

November 12 at 8:47am
4121 watts. Awesome!!! But I see some ugly clouds rolling in.
Uh Oh 1821 watts.... 1773 watts... 1476 watts....

November 12 at 8:56am
With the sun behind ugly clouds, it's averaging about 800-1000 watts. The  house power meter is still rolling backwards even with washer/drier running. Turning on the microwave oven causes it to roll forward briefly.

November 12 at ‎10:24am
clouds break. 5062 watts.

November 12 at 10:25am
Noticing that even though the meter is moving backwards, the numbers are not decrementing. I figured as much. I need to wait for the city to swap out the meter head with one that can. In the mean time, I am cleaning the oven using sun-power. Anyone want some free energy? For the next 4-hrs I'm just giving it back to the city for free.

November 12 at 5:37pm
Panels and inverter generated 20 kilowatt-hours of energy today. Not bad for a partly cloudy day in mid-November.

To celebrate the first day our solar array back-fed power to the electric grid, Cheryl made a solar array cake.
It was baked with 100% solar electricity. Mmmm taste that solar goodness..