kadenza: (solar)
[livejournal.com profile] knittingtips lives! The LJ spotlight zapped my dead community and brought it back to life. It went from 54 members to 359 over the course of the week, with a few more trickling in since then. On the first day I moderated posts just as a precaution, but it wasn't necessary-- no one spammed and everyone played nice. Now when someone asks a question, like 10 people answer. I don't even have to do anything. Nice.

Solar-- we've had mostly sunny days and the system has logged 126 kWh as of a few minutes ago. Still not 100% sure we're going to get paid, but I guess our next hydro bill will tell us. At least we have a record of how much power we've generated for them.

In weaving news, last week there was a pretty promising-sounding listing on Kijijijijiji so I wrote to my weaving buddy and asked if she'd seen it and what she thought. She said yep, and she'd already written to the seller and had an appointment to see it on Saturday. 45" jack loom with tons of accessories (bobbin winder, bench, raddle, warping board, warping paddle, four reeds, shuttles, etc.) for $300. Bought new, all that stuff would cost thousands. Needless to say, she bought it. I'm happy for her, but sad that I'm still loomless. At least my main competitor is now off the market.

Launch!

Apr. 27th, 2010 03:59 pm
kadenza: (solar)
Quite unexpectedly, a dude came to the door today and said he was here to install a new meter. I told him to go right ahead. After about three minutes and a brief power outage, he jumped in his truck and drove away. Just like that, we're connected to the grid. We've been waiting for seven months! So wasting no time, I called Marshall, and while I had him on the phone (in case, I don't know, the whole thing burst into flames or I got electrocuted) I threw the giant power switch, flipped the breaker and turned on the inverter. For a few sad moments I was sure it was broken, and then there was a click and the little green light marked 'online' lit up. It was a thrilling moment and now I'm sorry I didn't make a video or something. So far today the system has logged 5 hrs and 23 minutes of sunlight, generating 8.28 kWh. I keep running down to the basement to check how it's coming along.



Clockwise from upper left: The panels | The new meter | The inverter's info screen | Sun worshipers.
See that little knuckle glyph next to the screen? It's so odd, you have to rap on the box to get it to cycle through the various info screens. I've never heard of such a thing, but it's kind of fun.
kadenza: (follicle)
Over the weekend I accepted the fact that going completely shampoo-free is just not going to happen. It still looked and felt great, but was starting to smell, well, unwashed. I picked up some super hippie herb wash type stuff at my local tree-hugatorium and used it yesterday. Afterwards it seemed a bit straw-like but is feeling better today now that I'm back to my usual baking soda and vinegar regime. I think I'll shampoo like maybe once every week or 10 days or something, possibly more frequently during the summer.

I only have three weaving classes left, and I'm trying to figure out a way to do the spring session. The problem is that it runs until May 19, and my parents (a.k.a. free daycare) will have left for NB by then. I hope I can work something out, because I don't feel proficient enough to just start weaving on my own.

Solar-- never did I imagine last September that it was going to take this long to get our system up and running. At the time I figured it might take a week or something. Dealing with three different government-run organizations, all of whom are supposed to be sharing information but aren't doing it very well, means the process has been excruciating. To add to the fun, a guy who lives on a street with the same name as ours but in Thornhill keeps calling Toronto Hydro and getting his account changed to our address, causing endless confusion. Marshall finally called him personally yesterday and asked him to kindly knock it off. In any case, a guy is coming this week to authorize our meter placement, the last step before connection to the grid. This is our final hurdle. Here's hoping we can turn on the system before the month is over. [note from the future-- ha ha! It took two more months]

Nat wrote her first word today, all by herself. She said she wrote "Hat" and called me over to look at it. I expected the usual scribble but sure enough, real letters! Check it.
Read more... )
kadenza: (solar)
Our application has finally been approved by the OPA (Ontario Power Authority)! We applied the day after the MicroFIT program was launched (Oct 2) and it only took... 75 days. Now I have to contact Toronto Hydro and apply for a meter and a grid connection. This is taking aaaaaages but it's a brand new program and I think demand is much higher than they anticipated. Our neighbours two houses over have been admiring our panels and it looks like they may get some too.

Getting there.
kadenza: (intermission)
The Ontario Power Authority wants me to fill out this contract downloaded from their website which is in PDF format, and email it back to them. There doesn't seem to be an easy way to accomplish this. The PDF does not have form fields (!), and I am unable to open it with Photoshop or Illustrator (or even Acrobat) to edit it directly because of document permissions. Taking screen captures and saving them as jpgs makes the text too small to read. The only way I can see right now is printing it out, filling it in and then scanning each page. It's 18 pages long. There's gotta be a better way.

In the mean time, our solar panels have been up there for a month now doing absolutely nothing. I had no idea it was going to take this long. I am vexed.
kadenza: (solar)
The solar panels were finally installed yesterday. I was super excited. So here they are, 10 panels of awesome which unfortunately won't be much good to anyone until a hydro guy comes to give us a second meter and turn everything on in a week or two. I'm also looking forward to September, when we find out how many other people in the 'hood also signed up for the RISE program (and thus what kind of a group discount we'll be getting).

a couple of pics, click for bigger )
kadenza: (weather)
A solar dude left about half an hour ago, after evaluating our roof, electrical panel and hydro meter. He took pics of everything and will get back to us in a few days with a quote. If only I had known he wanted to see the basement... it was a disaster area. Anyway he seemed pleased with our roof. He said yes, they do also offer a wireless thingy that allows you to monitor power output etc. from your computer. I asked him Marshall's one question, "what's the catch?" and there really doesn't seem to be one, other than the startup costs being quite high. The government of Ontario's Feed-In Tariff program (80.2 cents/kW) is now one of the best in the world, plus this year there is a retail sales tax rebate for solar systems ($700) and the home renovation tax credit ($1350) to take advantage of as well.

So yeah, I'm raring to go. We'll see what happens with the estimate.
kadenza: (test pattern)
There is a new solar power initiative going on in the 'hood, and it has finally moved to the installation phase. The company that won the contract has arranged three packages for the group: 1.2, 1.98 and 3.15 kW systems. I am super keen on getting a solar panel, and I think Marshie is coming around too. I mean, how many other home improvements actually pay for themselves? It's maintenance-free and guaranteed for 25 years, but will likely last closer to 40. The new provincial Feed-In Tariff Program will guarantee a rate of 80 cents per kW hour for the next 20 years, meaning the smallest system will generate about $30,000 in that time. How cool is that.

Anyway, I have arranged a site evaluation for the 23rd. It would be awesome if this could happen very soon so we could make the most of these long daylight hours. Our roof faces south, completely unobstructed, has a pretty steep slant, and isn't doing anything useful other than, you know, providing us shelter and whatnot.

Power

Jan. 29th, 2008 03:18 pm
kadenza: (ask dr stupid)
I was reading in the paper yesterday about a solar power initiative that a west-end community is getting involved in (Dundas-ish I think?) and over 130 homeowners have signed on. I was feeling jealous that we don't have something like that going on here, but then went on to read that the project was inspired by a Riverdale power initiative (RISE). I had noticed a fair amount of solar panels around. Cool! There are comments on the website from homeowners who found it so exciting when the system was turned on and their hydro meter started to run backwards. I can see that. Anyway I've contacted them to see what our options are. I think it might cost several arms and legs but we'll see. I've been wishing for solar panels since I was a kid doing my science project on solar energy, so it would be cool to actually do it.

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