Solar Generation Month 1

When we bought our new house last year, it didn’t have a garage so we added one in the backyard. (a whole process, another blog post in itself) And we decided to do something we have wanted to do for a long time: go solar.

Here’s what it looks like under a whole bunch of snow:

We had the panels fully installed in a single day in October but ran into delays getting the net meter installed. (one of the delays: Xcel didn’t have any net meters. Then they finally did, and they came to install it, but couldn’t because we had locked the gate to our backyard. But did they leave a note, or call us, or email us, or send us a smoke signal? No, because why would they do anything convenient like that. We finally called them and found out 3 weeks later.)

Anyway. So we finally got them turned on in January. 🎉 Very fortunately for dry Colorado but not for our solar generation, this has been one of the snowiest few months we have ever experienced. Just last week, the panels were covered under several inches of snow, and it took 3 days for it to fully melt, so we missed 3 days of wonderful sunshine.

So I don’t think our production numbers are all that impressive yet but I am super excited about the production we have had the past few days. Here’s a chart from today:

A few weeks ago, between snow storms, our peak production was 15.0 kwh. Two days ago, we beat that with 15.3 kwh. Yesterday we did 16.2 kwh. And today we produced 18.2 khw. 🙌🏼

I’m sure we won’t increase production every day by 1-2 kwh, but we do have some cool factors working in our favor going forward:

  1. Until 6/21, every day is going to get just a little bit longer. So a little more sunshine every single day.
  2. See that peak in the morning and then the dip through noon, until another sustained peak around 2pm? That dip is because our neighbors have a HUGE tree just south of our garage which shades the array for several hours. There’s no leaves on it yet, so I think as the sun finds a way to shine between branches you see occasional short-lived peaks even throughout this time. As the year goes on, the sun will move a bit more over head, and the shade from the tree will be less and less an issue.
  3. Our array faces due east, so the more the sun moves higher in the sky as the year goes on, the array and sun will be aligned and our efficiency will go up.

I’ve got our production website loaded on my laptop and I check it everyday. Fun to see our small contribution to the planet.