a week in Los Alamos

solar harvest under the canopy

last week

  • the portable 200w array continues to average ~0.5kWh/day
  • harvest from the main array fluctuates from ~1.1 to 1.5kWh/day

I think the latter is dependent on clouds vs clear skies in the ~45min window where the main array has a clear view of the sun. The portables are in direct sun most of the time so their out is limited more by the 10A controller, EpEver weirdness, and the very long cable run. If I could find a used non-EpEver 20A mppt in the $40 range I’d entertain the idea.

Note: even though there are days where 13.8Vabs is not reached (ie, system stays in bulk) the system only failed to make it into the ≥90% SoC range on one day. It only hit 85% on the day with 1.14kWh of harvest. I was riding the system pretty hard with electric cooking under cloudy skies.

mythbusting: series panels make no power in partial shade

The array was partially blocked by tree canopy, I’d estimate 33% blockage. The normal series Vmp is 90.9v (rated). We can see here that the Victron had to work hard to find the actual 43.56Vmp under present conditions. The mechanism is explained here.

Hopefully we can all agree that 322w is more than 0w.

mythbusting: cleaning the panels

dirty panels before after

It rained a bit last night so there were dust splashes all over the portables. I cleaned them and took screenshots of the harvest before and after. The net difference was +2.22w (+2.0%).

wildfire smoke

The other night as I was preparing for bed around 0015 I smelled smoke. It seemed to be too late on a weeknight for someone to start a fire so I went outside to look for wildfire. There were no glows anywhere around.

The wind was coming from the NW so I assumed there was a wildfire in that direction. I checked the firemap and saw there was a fire 38mi NW of Los Alamos that presented little danger:

Whew. I went back to bed and haven’t smelled it since. Yesterday a waterbuck helicopter flew directly over my camp from that direction, so maybe he was going to get water from nearby. The Rio Grande is another 20mi SE of here; maybe it’s deep enough somewhere to scoop water out of?

backchannel: winging it with $$$ gear

As seen on Reddit:

Thought for sure I could get 800w on my rig… Any Suggestions?

A tape measure and a glance at the specs, perhaps?

Dude starts in on a $2,400 / 800w array (4x BougeRV 200w CIGS) without measuring first. People confound me.