Yearly review of SolarYpsi’s Energy Production

As you saw a couple of postings ago, we lost real time monitoring at the Ypsi Food Coop and River Street Bakery when the power company swapped out our meters with the newer smart meters. I thought this would be a good time to review the energy production at our four real time monitoring sites. Here are some pictures from the last 12 months.

Ypsi Food Coop Monthly Energy Chart
Ypsi Food Coop Monthly Energy Chart
City Hall Monthly Energy Chart
City Hall Monthly Energy Chart
Bakery Monthly Energy Chart
Bakery Monthly Energy Chart
Adams School Monthly Energy Chart
Adams School Monthly Energy Chart

Recall that if you hover your mouse over the monthly energy charts on the different webpages, it will show you the value for each portion of the bar chart. Doing this for the four locations and adding up the values, the Ypsi Food Coop produced 2739.1 KWH for the past 12 months, City Hall made 3015.8 KWH, the Bakery made 6616.6 KWH, and Adams School made 1886.6 for the past 9 months. If we divide these values by the rated values of these systems we see that the Ypsi Food Coop is running (2739.1/3328.8) 82.3% efficient, City Hall is (3015.8/3591.6) 84.0% efficient, the Bakery is (6616.6/8760) 75.5% efficient, and Adams School is (1886.6/2630) 71.7% efficient. It is not surprising that City Hall is the best, because it is located four stories up and has no issues with shading. Both the Ypsi Food Coop and Bakery have afternoon shading with the Bakery getting the most. The Adams School numbers are for only a partial year, and I suspect once we get a full years worth of data it’s percentage will go up.

If we divide that generated power by the total power consumed, we see the portion of the Ypsi Food Coop that is solar power was 38% solar powered, City Hall is 2.7% solar powered, the Bakery was 30% solar powered, and Adams School was about 1% solar powered. You may be wondering why the Bakery was not 100% solar power as we designed the system. You’ll notice that the first two months the bakery was doing great, but then drops off. In August last year, the Ypsi Food Coop installed some new coolers that used 3-phase electricity, but the store did not have 3-phase power, so they wired them into the Bakery. This created a much larger demand for power and dropped it’s percent solar powered. In May of this year, the store finally got their own 3-phase power, and the coolers were moved back to this circuit. In May you can see that the bakery is back to being mostly solar powered. Hopefully the next 12 months will show the Bakery 100% powered.

I didn’t post the graphs for the apartments on Huron street. We are collating real time data for those three apartments, but using a different method, we’re pulling data for only the generation directly from the EnPhase inverter’s website. We have data for the monthly charts, but the numbers don’t look correct and I’ll have to work with Nik to understand what’s going on. Hopefully we can just correct the numbers that are there and calculate an efficiency later.

SolarYpsi on iTunesU

Last March Eastern Michigan University (EMU) invited me to talk about solar power to their Honors College. The presentation was video taped and posted on iTunesU. It’s lecture #6 on this iTunesU webpage. We have also posted the video on the SolarYpsi.org website. You can find it under the Presentation tab on the bottom of the list of videos. The presentation is 45 minutes long and is a great overview of how photovoltaic solar panels work, how it is connected to your house, and a bit about the economics of solar power.

New Utility Meters Puts a Hold on Monitoring

Today I noticed that there was no data for the Ypsi Food Coop and the River Street Bakery on SolarYpsi for the past few days. I was surprised because Nik Estep added code to the website to send me email when a laptop stops sending data. I walked down to the Ypsi Food Coop to see what was up and was surprised again to see the laptops happily sending data, but all zeros. A quick walk outside answered all my questions, I saw this.

New Utility Meters at the Ypsi Food Coop

The Ypsi Food Coop and River Street Bakery got new digital utility meters. I opened up the customer access box to find our laptop wires connected to ……nothing.

We’ll have to do some research and figure out how to read these new meters. Sure wish I would have known a head of time. I also need to ask Nik to add more code to alert me when a laptop is sending all zeros to the website.