Saturday, April 9

Cloudy day happiness

Did you know that a partly cloudy day can provide more power to a photovoltaic solar system than a clear day? It’s called cloud edge effect, where the sun makes the nearby clouds shine brightly. It’s almost like having several suns-worth of power coming down. I have watched the watt meter on our system go from 2,200 watts to 2,800 watts when the right clouds are near the sun. We have only 2,520 watts-worth of panels.

A mix of cold weather (to keep the solar panels cool) and white puffy clouds around the sun means the batteries will be sizzling merrily as they boil away their water. Actually, our power control circuits keep that from happening, but it’s fun to imagine.

It makes me want to turn on the well pump, the table saw, the drill press, the surface planer, the vacuum cleaners, the swamp cooler, all the lights inside and outside, the electric teapot, the blender, the waffle iron, the air conditioner, both computers, both TVs, all the satellite receivers and then build a fire on the living room floor and dance around it chanting. But Karla would probably have me taken away in a straightjacket.

It’s just that partly cloudy days make me so happy.


Pat said...

I love white, fluffy, whipcream clouds in a blue sky,too. Just like it was down here today--(We must be related.)

Tom Hurley said...

EVerybody loves white, fluffy, whipcream clouds. Even if you're not related.