Powering up from the sun...steemCreated with Sketch.

in life •  6 months ago 

Going green means different things to each of us depending on circumstance, age and probably location. There’s benefit from doing so though, for the planet and for us as the custodians of it. I guess the major one is that we have the chance to create sustainability and longevity; Longevity in having a plant to live on I mean. Still, many do not give the least thought to sustainability and going green and I suppose that’s their prerogative.

I would not go as far as saying I am a planet-crusader or anything quite so spectacular however I try to do my bit. I deposit rubbish into the appropriate bin when out and about, limit pointless trips in my vehicles, recycle at home and make sure I get the most from an item I own prior to replacing it. We re-purpose what we can, collect rainwater, use rechargeable batteries for appliances and streamline-processes around the home to conserve resources where possible. Yes, I know that’s not a lot however it’s something at least. So, we’re not environmental-crusaders at all; Just normal people trying to leave a smaller footprint.

One thing I mention above is rechargeable batteries. As with most homes we have a lot of things that require batteries and they either come with rechargeable ones or we fit them in. But using the power socket to recharge batteries is a little wasteful and somewhat contradictory in my assessment. That’s why we had a solar array installed on our roof a couple of years ago.

We have had the array feeding solar energy into our house for a couple of years now and have noticed a dramatic reduction in our power bills because of it. Our bills have reduced by around 60-75% depending on the time of year and I think that’s a pretty decent saving! We also have the benefit of being able to recharge our batteries during the day from solar energy, turning on appliances during the day when the sun is producing energy for us and of course we get a financial rebate from the power company for feeding energy back into the grid when we produce more than we use. It’s a pretty good way to go in our estimation. Sure, the feed-in tariff isn’t huge but it all helps to reduce our energy bills. Image by me, taken on Garden Island, near the Torrens Island Power Plant. Adelaide, South Australia.)

Our solar array is connected to WIFI and so I have the ability to monitor the output, efficiency of the panels and view our figures as far as consumption, production and overall history right on my phone. It's pretty neat.

Below you can see a snap of one of the pages in the app. You can see the day (Sunday 2 December) that this graph relates to. Down the bottom of the snap you'll note the time as 1230-1245 and a light grey line extending upwards into the blue metrics above identifying that 15 minute block. At the upper left of the actual graph you can see the words net energy and 805Wh in blue. You with me?

That means in that 15 minute block we produced a net of 805Wh of energy which went back to the grid. So I get paid for that.

On the upper right you'll see 821Wh and 16Wh respectively. That means the array actually produced 821Wh in that 15 minute block and my house used 16Wh. 821 minus 16 = 805Wh net. Simple right?

We were not home at the time and the only power being used was clocks, small LED lights (off indicators on appliances, WIFI router and the like.)

The image below is from the same day only it refers to a different time being 1100-1115. In it you can see a -3Wh in orange. This means my house used more energy than the solar array produced. See to the right that my house used 503Wh but the array only produced 500Wh. Firstly the lower production value was because the day was partly cloudy and the system won't produce at its peak in cloud-filtered light. Secondly something in my house used 503Wh of power. (My air conditioner).

Below is another screen from the app. This one shows the kilowatt-hours of energy the system produced and that my house used in the 24 hour period of Sunday 2nd December.

You can see:

  • 20kWh produced and 17kWh (approx.) sent to the grid.
  • 6.36kWh consumed (by my house) which has come from the grid.
  • 13.4kWh (net) to the grid for which I will earn my rebate.

Lastly the image below shows production for the month of November 2018. I can run reports like this on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis.

You can see:

  • 607.21kWh of energy produced (Nov)
  • 550.44kWh previous month (Oct)
  • 5,182.01 YTD (Year to date 2018)
  • 12,836.70kWh lifetime production
  • 925lbs carbon offset (Nov)

These are not massive figures however it's something at least and we feel a little better knowing we have done a little extra for the the environment and to offset our footprint.

Our solar array and system cost us about $7,000 to purchase and install. It's a fair whack of cash I think, but we got a good system as far as quality goes. It is upgradable so we can add panels and even batteries to store the energy. It has preformed flawlessly so far and we are pleased with the savings we have made and the fact we have done our little bit towards sustainability.

We have had to adjust how we run our household due to the solar system. well, we haven't had to, we wanted to. It allows us to get the best from the system. It wasn't that difficult a thing either.

We simply use our electrical appliances during solar energy production hours. So, the dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer go on during the day. We also recharge all our batteries in the day time. We even run our air conditioning in the day time more and less in non-production times to make use of solar energy. Sure, there are times this is not possible but we try. Keeping the house cool from earlier on hot days makes cooling it later more efficient.

Having solar energy production on our roof hasn't changed our lives dramatically, nor will my solar array heal the planet; It's a start though and we feel happy to be contributing. We will have the system paid for (meaning it'll pay itself off in energy-bill-savings) in another couple of years and then we will start to see some solid financial gains.

Anyway, as I said...Going green means many different things. Some protest in the street about meat production, some put stickers on the back of their car in support of Greenpeace, some have food producing home gardens like @minismallholding and @biffybirdcam and others do nothing. For me, I just do what I can when I can, try not to be wasteful and to have some care when it comes to leaving a smaller footprint on the world.

Note
Sorry for the slightly poor image snapshots from my solar app. They looked really clear on my phone and then came out a little off. My apology.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

That is pretty cool. tHe more 'gamified' these things become I figure the more people will use them as there is an element of play in it, reduce usage, increase output sent to grid etc. Pretty cool.

·

Yeah, it's pretty good really. Any moment I can check out what the house is doing and in the pursuit of better value we have made a few adjustments to how we do things saving power and money in the process. I'd like some storage batteries for the system but can't afford them just yet. Coming back to EU to see you guys is taking priority.We are thinking about adding a few panels though, to increase production. You know what the world is like right? More more more! In this case though it's warranted.😋

·
·

I was just writing a little about it. It would be interesting if 'good actions' were rewarded instead of pure entertainment. I am still hopeful that I can buy your tickets here next time :D

·
·
·

Oh, well that would be awesome but we'd never expect you to. We were only talking last night at the beach about 2020. We miss @smallsteps so much and you guys as well as that feeling of living gained by being on holiday! If only the world rewarded those good actions you mention. Wouldn't it be an amazing thing?

·
·
·
·

yeah it would be pretty awesome if there was a bit more life in living. Who knows, 2020 might be the run on Steem predicted by the Oracle of Delphi....

·
·
·
·
·

Bring it on! 😁

Really interesting post that will help understand the benefits of renewable energies!
I always wanted to know more about the numbers.
Thanks for sharing it!

I will promote your post to the @berniesanders and hopefully somebody from the @c-squared will also upvote you:

https://steemit.com/steemit/@berniesanders/wanna-win-some-steemmonsters-alpha-packs-go-curate

You also have a new follower! :)

·

Hi @resiliencia I am humbled by your response and grateful for your follow and for promoting my post. Thank you very much.

I nearly didn't post this blog as I thought no one would find it interesting however I am glad I did so as it seems many people are interested. The numbers I show are really interesting to me. Obviously I see them all and can look back over the last two years, and understanding my household energy-use-pattern has reduced my wastage dramatically.

Thank you again for your support.

I like to see details of real systems working in the real world. Thanks for the post

Posted using Partiko Android

·

You're welcome, @ligayagardener I think it's interesting to monitor my house like that and to determine the best times to utilise power to minimise the impact on the planet and my wallet.

That is so cool!! I did not know you did that. Makes me like ya even more :P It's a very neat initiative, really, good on you for doing this.

I must admit I clicked on this expecting it to be another show-off of all that nice sun you get out there :P

·

Yeah it's cool and saves the planet and some money...Just a little of each. I'm glad you like me more now. :)

I must admit I clicked on this expecting it to be another show-off of all that nice sun you get out there

You should know me and my titles by now...Not always a straightforward representation about the content. Keeps it interesting.

·
·

I'm glad you like me more now. :)

Don't let that go to your head :P
Oh, I know not to trust the titles, but I guess I'm sometimes caught off guard. Happens to the best of us.

·
·
·

Haha, you crack me up!

Posted using Partiko Android

Way to go mate. I installed my own solar system with battery bank for around 8k about 11 years ago. This is my only electric power for my home. It has as of last year paid for it self. So now I am running on free power.

Posted using Partiko Android

·

I'd love to have an off-grid set up but don't have the skills to do it myself so would have to pay and that's costly. Maybe one day.

·
·

Yes it is costly and that is the only way I could afford to do it was myself.

Posted using Partiko Android

·
·
·

I wish I had the mad-skills...Alas, I do not. My talents lie elsewhere. :)

·
·
·
·

Yes everyone has different talents. Be a boring world if we were all the same.

Posted using Partiko Android

I'd love solar, but would go for UPS, because connected to the grid means you go out with the grid and it seems that at the moment you can't have have both. Unfortunately, UPS system is looking around $20,000.

I'm a real tight ass on electricity usage. Everything gets switched off at the mains when it's not in use, so even the LEDs don't light up! Even the Wi-Fi is off at night or if we're out. The only things on permanently are fridge, freezers and the cordless phone.

Posted using Partiko Android

·

I priced up a totally off-grid system but can't afford it. I hope to do it one day though. It's good to look at hidden power usage in the home as cutting it back can really save some power and money. We've been doing similar for a while now.

I read it twice because my english is still not good but in the end i understand it all and i think what you did is interesting, i must check your latest posts too!

Hi @galenkp!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 4.299 which ranks you at #2550 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has not changed in the last three days.

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 325 contributions, your post is ranked at #37.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Some people are already following you, keep going!
  • The readers appreciate your great work!
  • Good user engagement!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

$7k??!? That's awesome!

I got a quote from a solar company and they said it would be about $62k (over 30 years and without the federal and state subsidies). I wanted to investigate this further, but I've realised that during the winter months, the sun doesn't get above the neighbours trees and we pretty much get just dappled light for months. Shame, I'm super keen on solar.

·

An off-grid set up would cost about what you say. Mine is not autonomous meaning I still have the ability to take power from the grid. I guess it could be thought of as a hybrid system. It is simply panels that collect and feed in power. Battery storage is where the cost is though hence the cost of the system you're talking about I think.

You got a 19.64% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @galenkp!

@ocdb is a non-profit bidbot for whitelisted Steemians, current max bid is 20 SBD and the respective amount in Steem.
Check our website https://thegoodwhales.io/ for the whitelist, queue and delegation info. Join our Discord channel for more information.

If you like what @ocd does, consider voting for ocd-witness through SteemConnect or on the Steemit Witnesses page. :)


This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
@c-squared runs a community witness. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us here