high wind, using up Amazon credits, backchannel comment
Winds picked up yesterday afternoon and are still pretty bad. 35-45mph with gusts to 65-75mph, per the NWS warning. It was enough to blow Muffin’s wide-based bowls into a nearby arroyo.
solar harvest in high winds
A couple factors might be in play
- increased cooling of panels due to high winds could reduce cell temperature derating
- dust in the air could reduce insolation
We can eyeball it and tell there is excess dust kicked up a few hundred feet into the air – horizonal visibility is definitely compromised. Right now harvest is fluctuating due to partly cloudy conditions, but it seems to be making a -5% difference. I guess the saving grace is that the dust is in a thin horizontal layer and not stacked up any higher between the panels and sun.
There is enough sun that I committed to a crockpot lasagna (~650Wh).
During prep I dropped a piece of noodle and Muffin grabbed it. She turned away to chew so I wouldn’t see it but the crunching of the dry pasta was so loud it was completely obvious what she was doing it. She is not a subtle dog.
ordering for delivery to Coachella
I still have those Amazon credits1 and I’ve been looking for a way to use them.
My current Frigidaire evaporative cooler doesn’t work well but the Honeywell I prefer has skyrocketed in price to ~$250. (!!!) Nope! But I caught an open-box on Amazon Warehouse for $40 w/free shipping. Yes, please!
I am not super interested in Instant Pots, preferring to use lower-current devices like crockpots and a small stovetop pressure cooker. However…
- I’ve been experimenting with holding pressure in the pressure cooker on the mini-hotplate
- there is a smaller Instant Pot (the Duo Mini) that’s rated at 700w instead of the usual 1000w
- the IP is insulated and so might have better efficiency in slow-cooking modes than the uninsulated (and often unregulated) crockpots
- the Mini is ~$80 new but shows up open-box for ~$50
- I like to try things and write it up
These factors have tipped me in favor of trying it out.
There was enough credit left over to get a bigger 1000w MSW inverter to run it.2 Not fancy, but it’s same brand as my 700w cheapie and is known to have user-replaceable fans and fuses.
I also picked up a steam vent redirect for the Mini. So I can aim the steam in the direction of the roof vent.
backchannel - big loads off solar
While I was consulting some demos of running IPs off inverters I ran across this comment:
so I love my InstaPot. I don’t understand if my solar system is drawing from Solar Panels or the battery’s. I have 2 280 watt panels and a TriStar remote meter with a 3000 watt Sine wave Inverter. Also I have 2 huge 12 volt lead acid batteries. When I turn on my InstaPot the TriStarts beeping and red lights flash like I’m drawing too much. I just can’t believe that with all this I can’t use my solar to run my InstaPot. But then I just turn to the Generator. Weird.
2x 280w will make about 475w under excellent conditions (local solar noon in early summer). Now take a ~15% inverter loss and the system might run a 400w load “off the panels”.
FLA batteries can be excellent bang-for-buck but voltage will sag significantly under heavy loads. Hence the beeping and flashing. Folks wanting to run big loads off grid will need more panel, or a different battery chemistry (AGM or LiFePO4) that sags less when hit hard. Horses for courses.
This is your daily PSA that having a 3kW inverter doesn’t mean you can power 3kW loads.
Note: I don’t plan to run the Mini off the battery bank, but if I did it’d be ~63A, or ~0.42C. More likely would be when solar is pulling normally at ~30A, so a net of ~33A (0.22C).
mastodon comment thread for this post