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Solar Generation
this week in kWh
May 22

19.4

May 23

19.5

May 24

18.9

May 25

14.5

May 26

10.3

May 27

15.8

May 28

17.4

*=off grid
#=  
 
May Total

426.7

Mean

15.2

Median

16.4

Month High

19.7

Month Low

 2.5

Array Size

2.8 kW

   

30 Day Statistics kWh

Total:  457.0

Ave Cap Factor: 22.7%

Mean: 15.2

Median: 16.4

Max: 19.9

Min: 2.5

Standard Dev: 4.4

1st Q: 12.2

3rd Q:  18.9

Skew:  -1.1

 

365 day kWh/kW:1317.3

365 da kWh/sq meter:231

 

Total kWh Sent to Grid in May:  252

Total kWh Sent to Grid this Year: 618

Total kWh Sent to Grid in:

2015: 1593

2014: 1486

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

How do you build a better power supply for a city?

Over the next 100 years the consequences of unchecked Global Warming will devastate large parts of our planet. The burning of fossil based carbon fuels is a major contributor to this effect with electrical power generation facilities and household heating being major players. As the dangers from CO2 pollution become even more apparent, we are on the cusp of a grand human project to decarbonize our civilizations. Our cities will require new massive green power supplies built using technologies which have ultra low or no fossil carbon emissions. In areas where household winter time heating consumes fossil fuels, the electric grid will have to expand supply to provide household electric heating. These new and larger power supplies can be both centralized and dispersed. Solar panels on urban rooftops and small wind turbines are two forms of dispersed power generation. In a plan to decarbonize our city, what are the reasonable estimations that engineers can make for extra electrical energy usage and efficiency increases for an older house in the Greater Toronto Area? The Ravina Project provides some of these basic data.

What is The Ravina Project?

The Ravina Project is a privately funded green energy research project in Toronto Canada located at 43.68 N and 79.34 W. We have used our own resources to turn our home into a science experiment. We want to provide energy use and generation data for the public and do green energy research. See our Project Goals page for more information. We fervently hope that access to our data will be a factor in  giving people the confidence to press forward with their own green energy projects

What have we done?

We have worked to upgrade our 1920s era house so that it is much more energy efficient. We use a natural gas boiler to heat the house and to provide domestic hot water. We have insulated the house, replaced windows and doors, swapped out all the light bulbs with more efficient ones during the non heating months and use power bars on all 'instant on' devices. We installed 1.5 kW (now 2.8 kW) of solar panels on a tiltable structure, batteries to run the house in times of blackout, and a bidirectional interface to the power grid. We have built this WEB site to publish our papers and data. In short we have modified our house to be a well insulated, Grid resilient, Amory Lovins inspired house.

Our Research and Data Collection

Our Solar Project began on November 1st 2006 and upgraded on September 18th, 2013. The database containing the household carbon energy use begins in 2003. We are tracking our energy use and solar energy generation on daily, weekly, monthly and yearly bases. We have written and continue to write formal papers on a variety of topics including but not limited to: solar power generation techniques and insights, household thermodynamics (focused both on winter and summer time demands), the War on CO2, modeling the future effects of decarbonization upon the household and the policy implications of what we discover in our data. Periodically we will go off-grid for special events, to test our solar energy generation and battery capacity assumptions. We publish our work/data here on the WEB for others to use. See the Project Papers page for the currently available papers. Much of our data are published on the Solar Data and House Data pages.  We have been on Twitter since 2009. Get our daily generation and energy use tweets at: @ravinaproject.

What's New:  We have just finished reading the paper, "Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for photovoltaic solar systems in regions of moderate insolation" - Ferroni&Hopkirk, Energy Policy 94 (2016) 336-344. In that paper they calculate of the amount of energy it takes to manufacture, deploy and retire one square meter of solar PV panel over its lifetime of 25 years. They come up with 2,664 kWh per square meter of panel. In Northern Europe with poor insolation they calculate ERoEI over the 25 year lifetime of the panels is less than unity ... 0.83. This means that society has more energy to expend if the panels are NOT made and deployed, that is, the panels are a negative energy investment over their lifetime. We plugged in our yearly data of 230 kWh per square meter of panel. We assumed the Energy Input was similar for each square meter of panel surface. Our Energy Returned calculation is 25 years (lifetime of panels) times 230 kWh energy output per year per square meter of panel which gives us a total of 5,750 kWh/sq meter of panel. The ratio is therefore 5750/2664 = 2.16 One unit is used to make the panels leaving 1.16 units of energy to drive our high energy use civilization over 25 years. This is energy poverty in the extreme. Even if the Energy Input calculations are 50% lower at 1,334, the resulting ERoEI of 4.32 would be still brutally low and make deployment of solar PV a waste of time and energy, even here at 43 degrees Latitude and even with our dynamic array which produces at least 10% above RETscreen projection for kWh/year/kW of array here in Toronto.

It could be a time to re-think the use of solar PV in areas of the world with low solar insolation in any role other than a boutique / niche application.

Note that other forms of clean generation have ERoEI much higher. Geothermal is in the 30s, hydro is about 100, wind about 18 and nuclear over 50.  

Humanity's Post Global Warming Epitaphs: "We could not afford to save ourselves. It would have cost too much."

It is our opinion that humanity's relationship with Global Warming can best be summed up by: Prometheus in the Anthropocene, where his cognitive limitations come face to face with a strange new planet he once called 'Home'.

Upon refection and integration of much into our thinking, we have come to the conclusion that a global future that is safe for women, that is, a future that allows women to thrive is the best future. In a real sense, women are the 'canaries in the coal mine' such that, a global future where women cannot thrive is a future where humanity is doomed. This works on so many levels; we are baffled as to why this metric is not more widely understood and used.