Sunday, March 28, 2021

Some Winter, Some Spring, Some Solar

 The days, the weeks are racing by and as I've joked, even though I'm anxious for Spring, I expected (should know better by now) to be a lot more ready for it.  Our winter, at least here in Minnesota, milder and not just anecdotally shorter seems to quickly be saying goodbye.  The swans and geese are racing north up the Mississippi Flyway, their toots and honks above us night and day.  Just today I summerized the snowblower but wasn't brave enough to put it in FRONT of the lawnmower.....there will be ample time for them to trade places.

Three weeks ago already, the rig was out for its 2nd trip of 2021, this time not on an icy lake, conditions much much wetter and messier than a cold and solid lake.

An early March ride

Two weeks ago, the first real outing for the Himalayan, a real outing ride.  A lunch meeting with Paul and Eric, the rendezvous planned in Nelson for some barbecue.  A loop around Lake Pepin sounded really good so I went north and crossed at Red Wing.  When I found myself close to County A, I knew that I had to make a stop at the Ice Sculptures.  Most people stop in the winter using their automobiles.  I like to visit in early spring on my motorcycles....have never been there in the cold when I was supposed to be.

Not much left by the time I finally made it.....

I monkeyed around on some back roads away from the river and almost too late realized that at that pace, I was going to be late to meet the guys.

I'm never late.  So to borrow a phrase I hear often among the Sport folks, I had to step up my game.  The Himalayan was wound a little tighter than usual, that final part of the route more direct...a text was sent warning about a probable late arrival.  In the end if I was late, it was only by a minute.

We've had some beautiful sunrises......(Eric's shared capture was much better than mine)

A water heater that was making cold water needed emergency attention.....

Jerky was made with Eric's kind gift of Wyoming Elk and Wisconsin Venison.  Hanna provided the Jerky Squeezer a few months back under the Christmas Tree.

All of the (running) bikes have been started and ridden down to the corner, all except the 400Auto.  I'm sure that it will cooperate and be as willing to run as the others have been.  I was a bit over confident with Ol' Blue however...the 40 degree oil early the other morning just wouldn't turn over quite fast enough with my svelte frame.  I never use the button for the first start of the season, not quite enough oomph in the battery which seemed to be even a bit weaker this year.  A few minutes on the charger, next kick it popped right off.

Last weekend, I spent the night in my Continually Improving Minivan.  It's being enhanced to make better use of space, becoming organized (not my natural gift) and will be much more self-contained and comfortable for my upcoming travels.  Just maybe, next weekend will find me out in the woods rather than in the driveway.

That mostly covers my goings on.  Peg's excited about the enhancements that she's making....a new, larger fenced garden with new more formal raised beds.  Worms are doing their part.....

Plants are reaching for the sun, anxious to be out where they belong....

The chickens are on their way, flying up from somewhere down south.  It's really windy today, hopefully not setting them back too far.  If only they could get into the slipstream of our geese or swans....but as I understand it, chickens seldom spend much time up that high.

Finally, Solar

Our system was initially turned loose on August 23rd, 2020.  Too Much Information follows but something easily seen is the drastic difference between a very sunny day and a very cloudy day, no matter the month.


Lots of busy numbers in the graphs above though I haven't done Mean/Median and those other important Statistical metrics.  Here's the info boiled down. Note that March is slightly ahead of September and we aren't even to the end of the month yet.

March 19, 2021, our highest production day so far in 7 months, 74.87 kWh, a very uniform bell curve, sunny, no clouds all day long.

See how different today, March 28, 2021 has been with hazy clouds on and off all afternoon.  That 10.78 kWp is the most that our system has put out at any one time.  There have been multiple days that have reached 10.0 or slightly over but the 10.78 Peak has been in place since that first day back in August.

This screen shot taken at 7:31 (not 7:21), our official sunset.  The panels currently making no power, 67.31 kWh total for the day.

Here's what each individual panel produced today.


  1. Pretty cool stats! Does that zero you out (approximately) with the power company?

    1. We finally had a bill DUE in January. Now we're getting ahead again. Daily use varies a lot but generally, a sort of average winter day was 40 kwh, these days mid 20's. So 70kwh/day gets us ahead pretty fast. Next winter we hope to go in with a big surplus.