Sunday, April 5, 2020

Perfect Day?

We haven't even had our solar array active on the farm for a full year yet and we're still learning a great deal about it.

For example, we've learned that even on cloudy days, solar panels are usually able to pull at least a little bit of power out of the highly filtered sun.  It takes a truly heavy cloud cover, with no breaks to shut them all the way down.  On the other hand, we have seen no evidence that a full moon provides anything that registers as power production - despite the fact that a couple of sources make claims that this is possible.

 On the other hand, we have also learned that it is incredibly rare to have what we are now calling a "perfect day" for solar production.  A perfect day can't have any sort of obstruction at any point in time that blocks the sun's rays from the panels.  A small patch of light, wispy clouds can be enough to actually put a dent in the 'curve' that shows a perfect day.

 Above is a graph showing the production for the past week, including today so far.  Yesterday, April 4, was very nearly a perfect day.  However, you might notice (click to see the bigger view of this picture) a couple of notches in the curve.  These are points where a high cloud floated by and briefly obstructed the sun - even if only partially.  April 3, on the other hand, was pretty cloudy all day long. 

But, March 30?  That was a perfect day.  And, it looks like today is on the way to trying to reach that same goal.

I guess we'll have to get the camera out today as well.  Let's see if we can capture another perfect day.

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