Sunday, August 06, 2006

Solar Update

As of today, two months after the solar system was turned on, we have collected about 1030 kilowatt hours of electricity from the sun (that is energy measured by the A/C meter from the solar system to the house). This is just about the amount of power that the average home in Austin consumes. It represents about 1/3 of what we've used these last two months, which were also above average hot. The city's meter shows we've only sold back about 67 kWh so that means we've used most of what we collected to run the house, which mostly means to run the A/C, which is really the main goal: to offest the heaviest draw during peak usage hours. So the far the house itself has performed very well. We keep the A/C set at between 78 and 80 upstairs and down but the house always feels cool and comfortable, even on these 100+ degree days. Our bills are comparable to what we paid at our old house even though we have more than twice as much space to cool. Our only real issue is humidity (because the A/C doesn't run enough to pull the humidity down very much), so we run a dehumidifier in the hall. I'm really curious to see how we do during the fall and spring when we will need very little cooling but the solar panels will be running at close to peak efficiency (they are most efficient when they are at about 75 degrees F, so they should collect more power than they do during the summer).


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