Author Topic: Southwest NH says Hi!  (Read 2116 times)

Beekpr

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Southwest NH says Hi!
« on: October 18, 2015, 01:00:19 pm »
Hi! I guess this is an appropriate day to join a weather forum as we had our 1st frost last night with the temps down to 26?F. I am an "almost retired" husband, father and backyard beekeeper looking forward to starting my 2nd career as caretaker of the organic orchard and berry bushes I planted last year. These go perfectly with the large organic garden my wife has maintained for 30+ years. Add our 2 long coat German Shepherds and the chickens and I guess we now have a hobby farm. Our entire "homestead" is powered by a 12kW solar array on the roof of the barn. So much for not being able to do solar in New Hampshire!

January of 2014 I placed a Davis Vantage Pro2+ in what is now the orchard even tho' it meant I had to buy a Windows computer to get it set up and running with WeatherLink IP (or so I then thought). My word, how I hate windows! I barely looked at the weather software for record keeping and only looked at our site on WU. Finding WC has given me hope that I can finally use the weather station as I had planned and monitor conditions for IPM. I think I will need some assistance in making the transition but will look at the archives before I bother you fine folks. It looks like a great forum! Thanks for allowing me to join. I hope to someday be an asset!

Cheers,

John

wurzelmac

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2015, 02:48:46 pm »
Welcome on board, John!

Cheers,
Reinhard
Reinhard


xairbusdriver

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2015, 02:54:16 pm »
First, Welcome AboaRd, John!

I'm sure there will be many more "Welcomes" soon! Sounds like you have a bit more than a "hobby" farm!!! Makes me tired just thinking about the work that must be involved. OTOH, I might perk up if I could taste some jam from some of those berries! What kind? Black? Blue? Rasp? ;) Maybe some apple cider? By the way, we love pictures of weather station locations, including backyards and "farms"! :D

Do you happen to have a web site? WC is a huge help in that endeavor! [tup]

We had scattered frost warnings down my way, but we live near a city and that gives up some protection.

Beekpr

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2015, 03:16:34 pm »
Thanks gents!

Last year I planted 40 blueberry and 100 raspberry bushes (4 varieties of ea) and 100 strawberry plants (2 varieties). As 1 yo plants, the blueberries put out a small crop and shouldn't really kick in for another 2 years. We've been eating raspberries continually since July. The LOML picked a huge bowl yesterday since we knew the frost was coming last night. Late June and July were the strawberries. I'll do another raised bed to include later strawberries next spring. We also planted 15 trees (8 apple (4 varieties), 3 peach, 2 plum, a pie cherry and a pear. One of the apple died and I'll replace that next spring with another pear. Nothing like fresh fruit from the backyard! I'll get some pictures posted as soon as I get WC up and running on my Mac and the fall chores done. It does take some time but having seasonal hobbies will keep me busy as a retired guy!
John

elagache

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Welcome! (Re: Southwest NH says Hi!)
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2015, 10:38:56 pm »
Dear John and WeatherCat haters of Microsoft Windows, . . .

First things first, welcome to the WeatherCat forum! 

January of 2014 I placed a Davis Vantage Pro2+ in what is now the orchard even tho' it meant I had to buy a Windows computer to get it set up and running with WeatherLink IP (or so I then thought). My word, how I hate windows! I barely looked at the weather software for record keeping and only looked at our site on WU. Finding WC has given me hope that I can finally use the weather station as I had planned and monitor conditions for IPM.

Congratulations on finally returning to the Mac side instead of the dark side . . . .

Our entire "homestead" is powered by a 12kW solar array on the roof of the barn. So much for not being able to do solar in New Hampshire!

Okay, you've picked my curiosity.  What sort of power storage system are you using, or do you return to the grid at night?

Cheers, Edouard  [cheers1] 

Blicj11

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2015, 04:17:10 pm »
Welcome to WeatherCat John and to the forum.
Blick


Beekpr

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 08:57:39 pm »
Thank you all very kindly! I am enjoying the forum and WC!

Hi, Edouard. We do return to the grid at night. We are able to use "zero net metering" which allows our array to feed into the grid during the day which makes our meter spin backward. At night, the meter goes forward. During the 2 years and a few days the array has been active, we have produced 3 megawatts more power than we have used. I'm currently looking into the Tesla wall mount batteries but think I may wait abit until the prices come down a bit.

Interestingly, having our system set up this way means if we have a power outage the panels are worthless to us as they feed the grid, not us. Luckily, before we did the solar we had a propane-fired whole house generator set up. I can run my table saw at the same time my wife is baking and not stress the generator!

Cheers,

John

elagache

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Worried about an unstable power grid. (Re: Southwest NH says Hi!)
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 10:54:46 pm »
Dear John and WeatherCat conscientious homeowners,

Hi, Edouard. We do return to the grid at night. We are able to use "zero net metering" which allows our array to feed into the grid during the day which makes our meter spin backward.
. . . .
Interestingly, having our system set up this way means if we have a power outage the panels are worthless to us as they feed the grid, not us.

This appears to be the typical way solar units are installed.  That would appear to be a reasonable approach since the power grid has been very stable for essentially the entire United States.  Alas, the very enthusiasm with which alternative energy is being advanced could seriously undermine that stability.  The long-time rule of thumb was that a power grid could not have more than about 20% of its generating capacity come from sources like wind, wave, and solar.  Otherwise there wasn't enough reserves to cope with the situations when those sources aren't available.  The usual situation is a major storm when wind and waves are too strong for those power systems to remain on and there is essentially no solar radiation.  Such situations are hardly the time for rotating blackouts.

California has recently mandated that 50% of electrical power for the state come from renewable power by 2030 - only 15 years from now.  There have been advances, but the key problem: storing power remains basically unsolved.  In 2000 California went through a period of rotating blackouts caused by the state having not built sufficient power plants to meet demand.  I am very fearful that this latest move to reduce CO2 emissions will backfire leaving the state with a serious electrical shortfall.  Given the demand to reduce CO2 emissions, the solution of 2000 won't work.  Back then quite a few natural gas power plants were built since they are fast to build and inexpensive.  Clearly that isn't an option any more.

I am very concerned that California may find itself with years of an unreliable electrical grid.   Under those circumstances getting off the grid might be an imperative if you want to remain comfortable in your own home.

Oh well, . . . . Edouard

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2015, 08:28:16 am »
Welcome John! Looks to me like you've become an asset here already, what with your knowledge and experience with photovoltaics. Looking forward to hearing all about it. Too late to chat here in central time now. [N. Arkansas] Got to go nosedive into the sheet set! I'm already going to have to sleep twice as fast as I did last night, to get done by morning.

Welcome again,
 [cheers1]
Herb

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Re: Southwest NH says Hi!
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 11:14:23 am »
Great to have you join the group, John. You've found the best Mac weather software available and the regulars here are always willing to answer questions and provide help. As Herb already alluded to, we sometimes see questions about the Davis solar arrays and capacitor (SuperCap) so it's nice to have a forum member with extensive solar experience. Hopefully you'll be a frequent forum contributor.