Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting Our Power From The Sun

We added an array of 16 solar panels (above) to our roof in January of this year. Since the system went on-line in early February, we have produced more electricity than we've used at the house. However, with the air conditioners now running much of the time in both houses, we will will probably have an electricity bill to pay in July. Our orientation is less than optimal, with the panels pointed off somewhat east of south, as shown in the inset. However, since this year has been nearly cloudless, they've been operating in almost perfect solar generating weather.

A week ago Saturday we went to a breakfast organized by a number of electric car enthusiasts - all owners, or almost owners, of Nissan Leafs. Tucson is one of five test markets and over 100 of these have been delivered here. Katie has ordered one for her commuting to campus. Hopefully, it will be delivered before the Holidays this Fall. At one point during the breafast there were 10 Leafs in the line, with numerous curious folks coming by to gawk at them. When we have the Leaf it will be a zero emissions vehicle, since all the electricity needed to operate it will come from our solar panels. We hope that when all of this is done, that the panels will power the car, plus supply about 50% of the electricity we use in the houses (we have a small casita behind the main house from which I run Squid Ink Books).

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