The power of...Power

in #environment5 months ago

We all like power, there's no surprises there I think; It allows us to do things more easily, efficiently and quickly and most of us who use it every day would be completely lost without it. That's why we're happy, no willing, to pay so much for it although, there are alternative sources, one such source I had installed to my home around October 2016, namely, solar collectors.

It's been a few years since that installation now and over that time I've kept track of the impact of my solar system which has been made easier by the interface that speaks directly to my system in live time and reports to my phone. Having said that, I don't look at it month to month as the power bill that comes in tells the real story.

We've saved over 75% of our pre-system power bill since installing the system and whilst it was an initial lump-sum outlay we had it paid off within two years, meaning we had recouped the cost of it in savings received.

Anyway, I thought it would be interesting to see what April 2020 looked like in comparison to the last two years considering I have been working at home due to the flu situation. You can see below, three snapshots showing April in 2018, 2019 and 2020. I'm pretty happy with what I see.

This is reasonably constant although we have had a 45kWh dip in energy production in April 2020. This is directly related to the number of sunny energy-producing hours in the month and indicates less sun in April 2020 than the last two years.

This is a more pleasing figure as the lower the better. This is power we have imported for use directly from the grid (and paid for.) You can see it is much less in 2020 which means we have paid for less power.

This figure is also important as we get paid for exporting power back to the grid. On those days when the household is using less power than we produce the power we collect feeds directly back to the grid paying us a dividend per kWh, funds which offset our power bill each quarter.

We had an upward trend going, including 2017 although this April with less sunlight we have dipped again.

Here is where Faith and I can have a little impact upon the figures. With good power-usage behaviours we can reduce the amount of power we use day to day. You can see here that we have a strong downward trend which indicates our power-usage habits are improving. This relates directly to another metric below. It's clear to see a strong downward trend of consumed energy for the household with under 400kWh consumed in April 2020.

Net exported/imported
You will note 2018 shows a net import figure of 31.01kWh. But look at 2019 with 22.52kWh of net exported power! Of course, 2020, with less sunny days in April shows a decline but we know why. Still, we're exporting not importing as a net figure, so that's a benefit.

It's been very interesting to track our last four years of power usage and production and pleasing to see trends forming.

We are a little limited to what the weather does although in Australia we get plenty of sunshine. Different months have different production and usage figures of course. In summer we produce more, but use more to power the air conditioner for example. Overall though we are pretty happy with the figures.

Over the lifetime of the system, year by year, the figures are quite similar and where we have gained or lost performance can be tracked by drilling down into the reports which give us a better understanding of where we could improve.

Having the power to delve into one's power-usage habits allows room for change which relates to money saved and, in my opinion, that is a good thing. It helps the environment too I suppose right?

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default - Tomorrow isn't promised.

Be well
Discord: galenkp#9209


Best thing ever is free power, did you get the 55c feedin from the gov until 2028?

Nope, we didn't get that unfortunately, we had our unit installed much later after that was halted. We get $0.18 or some such figure. Not good, but better than 0.17.

We've had similar results over a similar timeframe. The in-laws dropped $5K on us, to buy a 5KW setup, and we've been very happy with its impact.

It's the way to go for sure. Nice that they threw you some cash for it too? Happy days!

Confused me again with that title....I thought you were gonna teach us how to be a boss!

I basically just have my laptop and fridge plugged in the whole time. Besides that air much I spend depends on how hot I want to be 💃💃💃

Ah yes, I get a lot of enjoyment out of my titles at times and it pays to read the post I have written prior to commenting as one may find themselves commenting with irrelevance.

I don't like the heat and so we have the AC on a lot...Life's too short to sweat like a navvy in one's own house I think. Thanks for your comment, and stay cool. Lol.

Power is very important @galenk. Here most people run on fuel Generator due to erratic supply of electricity which is not helping the environment and it's preached to people to going Solar which is environmental friendly though expensive.

Hi John, thank you for your comment, the first time I think you have commented on my blog.

Yes, power can be used for many things and because it is so desirable it is also often abused by those who have it hence the exorbitant prices. I'm not so concerned about the environmental aspect as the production of alternative power sources are often, themselves, not that eco-friendly but it works for some I suppose.

Anyway, thanks for your comment, I hope you do so again.

I enjoy reading your blog because of its quality content. Thanks for the response. Regards

Thank you for saying so although I think many may disagree. Still, I write for myself, the enjoyment of it, and it's always nice to have someone acknowledge it. Much appreciated.

Interesting insight into solar power usage and benefits . You are very forward thinking. Yup, you got me with the title but that’s what good bloggers do.

Haha, it's a little scary how much enjoyment I get by doing titles like that...They say small things amuse small minds...Ok, I'll own it! Lol.

I wish we got the solar array sooner...The government were offering 0.60c/kWh buy-back! I only have 0.18c but it's still good I guess.

We have a 75-80% reduced bill each quarter and the comfort of knowing that when we run the AC in summer it's costing us less so is a little guilt-free. We also use LED lighting throughout the house and run appliances like the dishwasher, washing machine and chargers during the day, not at night so...It's all working out.

Thanks for your comment. It's greatly appreciated.

I am taking a page out of your book with the titles. It’s smart especially in an ocean of content.

Oh man the summer and the AC guilt free, I felt good just hearing that. No need to set the timer and have the fan blow around the cool air after ( well that’s what I do sometimes 😂)

I write here for myself, my enjoyment and it pleases me to come up with a title that is clever, interesting or (sometimes) misleading for those who don't read the body of text beneath it. I sometimes also write the opening paragraph in a way that indicates one thing but the posts moves in a different direction.

I worry less about capturing attention now than I used to although I still think about it. I am more concerned about liking what I do, enjoying it. I find the rest takes care of itself.

Sometimes I challenge myself too, which I find enjoyable. I wrote a short story about miscarriage a few days ago, just to challenge myself. I know nothing about it, or the emotions around it, am not even a parent...But I wanted the challenge. This is what keeps me going...Challenge and the enjoyment. (That post below.)

Anyway, get on it mate! The titles...It's fun. Makes me smile every time I do it.

I need AC. It gets to 47°C in summer here where I live in Australia...I would literally die without AC...Ok, probably not die, but close to it. Lol.

Paying the system off in 2 year's with the savings is excellent going I think 👍

We got a really great deal on it and saved a bundle as we made a massive adjustment to the way we ran the household. If only we did it sooner.

Hindsight huh.

Solar Collectors is a strange term methinks. I had to look it up ...

Definition of solar collector
: any of various devices for the absorption of solar radiation for the heating of water or buildings or the production of electricity

Here we use the term 'Solar Energy Solutions' which actually when you think about not correct and does not explain what it is. Hmmmm...our term is really the 'strange term' ... never too old to learn.

Well, my solar system collects solar energy, turns it into electricity, which heats my house...I don't what the official term for it is here, but solar collector seemed appropriate when I wrote the post. I'm not an educated man, so have to get by with what limited IQ I've been given.

Do you have a solar energy solution yourself?

My comment actually agreed with your term ... solar collector appears to be the correct term.
No we don't, and we have no plans to install one. The price is prohibitive and the unit is taxed so the return of capital is around 13 years ... and we intend relocating to Europe in (hopefully) two years time. An argument could be made that it will increase the value of our property but that is a moot point as our property is probably over capitalized already for the area in which we live.

Do you know where in Europe or is it wherever the work is? (Assuming you're still working.) I'd like to go to Austria, somewhere small, but close to a sizeable city...Not too far from Salzburg maybe.

Yeah, probably not much point adding solar to an over-capitalised property, especially if you are selling.

My wife is Italian descent so Italy probably. I love Croatia and its people and it is more affordable, as is Portugal ...

We visited all three countries over the past three years and my wife still wants to go to Italy. A silver lining from these bad days is that we could possibly pick up a cheaper home due to a sad sale.

I have retired already, now just waiting for my wife (or BTC to hit $150k ...yeah right!)

Austria on the bucket list .... as is the Czech Republic

I've heard Croatia is pretty nice but would say Italy is awesome too! We've been a couple times and simply loved it! The Tuscan region would my my choice, the outskirts of Firenze. Such nice scenery, food, culture and history.

Yeah $150K would be nice. Let's cross our fingers!

Mentioned this to @pooky-jax

Bucket list.

Yeah, it's a cool thing; We are so glad we made the investment and wish we had done it a couple years earlier.