The past month was the sunniest January since the installation of our solar panels, at least according to the counter connected to our solar panels. That is somewhat surprising news, since we also had lots of rain and wind these last weeks!
The astute reader may notice that some of the numbers on the overview page have changed slightly. That’s because I have worked hard to integrate our installation into the PVOutput website. Why that site? Well, Windows doesn’t come as standard in this house (to say the least), and since the USB-connected Sunny Beam that registers our production only comes with Windows software I had no other choice that to write down the daily numbers… Since 2011 I’m using a Python script to extract those numbers, but in the end all I had until now was a notebook (or a CSV file) with numbers. Averages, periodic totals, or a nice graphic representation? I could have that, if I did them by hand!
In December I decided to pick an application to handle everything, and without much deliberation I chose PVOutput. It’s not the prettiest of websites, but it does what I wanted (and there are several mobile apps that connect to it). Adding all my data took more than a few evenings. My notes were incomplete: that meant that I had to improvise numbers for the first two months of 2010. Some of my manual calculations were wrong, and that became painfully clear when PVOutput did the numbers. And there were rounding errors in my monthly totals, because the Sunny Beam only has six digits (one after the decimal point) to display the total production in kWh. I had based my monthly totals on the difference between the total at the start and the end of the month, which turned out to be less than precise once the total production passed the 10,000 kWh!
But I’m proud to say that the numbers are correct now. Starting today, I’ll keep my notebook, my spreadsheet and the website up to date. And somewhere in March, we’ll complete a new MWh – that’s a good reason for another tiny celebration.