The Effectiveness of Solar Estimation

We added a solar system to the ranch as a way to hedge against future costs as well as require less energy from the utility. I don’t plan to, or think, that everyone can get away from using utility power, but this is a way to control our finances for the future better, as well as reduce the load on the utility.

When we designed the system, the company (Namaste) provided us with production estimates for each month of the year. I wrote about this in a database design post, but I wanted to update how things are going.

The estimate for May and June were:

  • May – 1556.81kWh
  • June – 1779.63kWh

Pretty specific, but based on our house, the system, and weather patterns, this is what they came up with. I have a real time tracking system, which I back up in my database, so I can keep a running total.

For May, we had unusually dry, hot weather. Not good for the land or ranch, but good for power. We ended up producing 1830.28kWh. This was a surplus of 273kWh, or 5.4 extra days of power.

June is still going, but as of the 20th, we had produced 1263kWh compared with a running total estimate of 1186kWh. It was interesting because the first half of June was mostly negative with some cloudy (and a little rainy) weather. Since the 12th,however, we’ve been on a sunny streak and have been building a surplus.

I don’t know what this means for costs this year as we are supposed to have a surplus of power in the May-October time period and then draw more in the winter months. However, our power bills have been near the minimum charge for a connection to the utility. So far, I think we’ve made a good financial investment, but time will tell. I’ll continue tracking and hopefully continue to see positive results.

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