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June Solar Report PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Monday, 07 July 2014 14:20

pvjune14Solar Report

June was a fantastic month for sun. It now rockets our PV output to a sweet 2,247 kWhrs for the first six months of the year. That's a result of a 456 kWhr month (plus two days). No measureable loss of output from the panels since installation in 1995. Now that's dependability!

Plugin Prius

priusjuly14The good news is that my car has now reached the 13 mile range on the batteries. That gives me considerable flexibility is traveling to and from local towns. You might notice that my current tank of gas is registering 356 mpg!  Hope the range will top out around 14 by late July. Looks like I won't need any more fuel at least until September.

Gardening

gardenjuly14I added another raised bed this spring to my 'farm' and should soon see some squash and cucumbers blossoms. Already the tomatoes are beginning to set small fruit as are the peppers. We've been enjoying our lettuce, though soon they'll be going to see. Small is better is so many ways!

Aerial View via GoPro & Phantom 2

Here is a view of the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refugee in front of our house and the meandering, tidal Baston River. It's a wonderful location for harvesting the sun and enjoying the joys of living in Maine.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 20:50
 
May Solar Report PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 01 June 2014 05:07

spinach14Finally, a dark and dreary May is over - the weather acted like it was April. We received lots of rain and clouds dominated the sky for the majority of the month. Here on June 1, the sky is clear and the temperature will be in the 70s. The great beneficiary of the cool/wet weather has been the spinach. I can finally take the plastic caps off the tomatoes. This picture shows a second cutting from last year's plants - there's anyways a silver lining if you look close enough.

pvmay14Having said that, our May PV production was 366 kWhrs which is around 100 kW below normal for May - that's still 1,791 kWhrs for the first five months of the year - lower than the average, but even a poor June will put us on course for our 4,000 kWhr annual goal - another silver lining.

fuelly514Finally, my Plugin Prius continues to gain battery-only range - now at 11.4 miles on its way to 14. Overall mpg is at 141.7 and growing.

This is the second spring for the vehicle and I remain pleased beyond expectation. My last fillup was in early May and as the graph indicates, I have reached the low plateau for fuel economy and the trend line is beginning (ever-so-slightly) to rise - another silver lining!

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 05:46
 
February, 2014 Report PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 03 March 2014 10:53

snow14We've just been through a cold/wintry February here in Maine, and I'm pleased to report that our home kept us warm and cozy - as the sign says when you enter our state from New Hampshire: "The Way Life Should Be!"

pvfeb14Our 4.2 kW array generated 326 kWhrs in February, which is an improvement over the 273 kWhrs produced in January - incremental growth as the sun rises higher and is visible an additional minute each day.

Our front room temperature has ranged from a low of 68 at night to a high in the upper 70s (one day it hit 80.2!). Letting the natural solar gain fill the house with summertime warmth helps the internal temperature coast until the next morning when, for the majority of this past month, the sun restarts the 'refueling' process all over again.

Our solar tanks were heated up to 145 degrees on one day, generally reaching the high 130s during the sunny days of the month.

So passive solar gain added to an active solar thermal/radiant floor heating system means we bask in summer-like weather throughout the Maine winter. Is it any wonder that we want the word to get out: "Go Solar and Live Better! - The Way Life Should Be!"



Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 05:48
 
March/April Solar Report PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 02 May 2014 13:50

daffodilYes, I skipped a month, but what a difference 60 days makes - no snow and now spring flowers. It has been a very cold sping here in Maine, the coldest I can remember in the last 19 years. Fortunately, that is now past and the April showers have just begun as we head into May.

During the winter our home kept us in Florida-like temperatures - the high 70s...and that's essentially the passive solar gain.

I've planted a new crop of spinach a week and a half ago and we'll see how it does. Definitely feeliing the warmth of the season.

pvapril14The PV output for March and April totaled 826 kWhrs. This brings our year-to-date total to 1,425 kWhrs which is slightly lower than the same period last year. I'll keep you informed as we trundle along through spring.

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 June 2014 05:47
 
January, 2014 Report PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 05 February 2014 11:41

snowjan14Another year here at the Maine Solar House. January was a storm-filled month, but we remained comfortable thanks to the extraordinary solar passive gain and our active solar thermal panels which supply hot water, through two 500-gallons tanks in the basement, to our radiant floor.

Just walking throughout the house this morning, as another snow storm is doing its will on our land - up to 14 inches today - I realized what a gift this structure is to us and the environment. Our thanks to our architect, Steven Strong and our builder, Tim Spang. Today, the snow will slide off our roof thanks to its  45 degree angle and the glass covered panels. We've already had a 5.5 Richter scale event as it roared to the ground! Tomorrow will be a sunny day and the cycle of harvesting the sun's energy will begin again.

pvjan14In the month of January, we generated 273 kWhrs of electricity - pretty much the low point of our annual production. Each month, the sun contributes of our electrical needs without the use fossil fuels.

My Plugin Prius continues to provide transportation with very little gasoline used. It's still averaging 144 mpg annually, with a 10.2 miles electric range before switching over to  its hybrid engine. As spring approaches, the range to grow toward 14 in the summer.

Are we enjoying the winter in Maine? You bet.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 March 2014 11:24
 
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