Heat Wave!! – Winter to Mid Summer Solar Array Contributions

Chart Solar Array Impacts On Electricity Consumption Wisconsin

Most of the benefits of our 8KW solar array are shared with others on the grid. The rise in our electricity use stems from hot water heating in the Spring then beginning to use or geothermal AC unit in late June. The household compromise is about 4 degrees lower than some would prefer, but harmony is another powerful argument for energy self-sufficiency.

Our array can produce enough juice to fully carry the AC from about 10 am to 5 pm so we’ve been cooling the house to 72F during the day and shutting it off at night. Basically, any other electricity use with the air-conditioner running pulls power from the grid. Watering has been a big one, laundry, hot showers, dish washing, ironing, etc. The night temps during the record heat wave have been in the low to mid 70’s, but on nights when the temp drops to 55-60F, ventilating the house, even without fans, has drastically reduced AC use on the next day. The night temp accounts for much of the fluctuation in July.

Carbon Offsets – Is there a better Goal?

Carbon Offset Calculation Wisconsin

We are at the 6th month marker with our 8 kW solar array. We’re still using more electricity from the grid than we hoped for– about 2/3 less. Our carbon emissions are about 1/2 of the Wisconsin average– still too much real impact. We’d like to see that 4400 kWh go under 1000/year. Replacing our standard electric hot water heater is a must. Driving less. Figuring out the storage solution for night electric uses.