Since the winter solstice was ten days ago and Sue & I had adjusted the angle of the solar panels to recieve the lower angle of winter sunlight more directly earlier in December; I wanted some empiral evidence that the 'angles' were worth the effort.
Below is a photo I took showing the angle of insolation near "solar noon". I printed, then scanned the photo with the protractor to measure the angle of insolation - Results: 24 degree angle. Next I took a profile photo of the P.V. towers (below right); scanned the photo and protractor to measure the angular position of the solar collecting panels - results: 64 degrees. If you look closely in the lower right hand corner, you can just barely see the sting which parallels the angle of the sun's rays ... it is visibly & very close to 90 degrees with the flat solar panel surface. This is not an official geometry proof ...but you can see that there is an advantage to adjusting the collecting panel angle as the seasons (angle of insolation) change.
Below is a copy of our on line electrical energy production for the month of December, minus today - 12/31/10. Can you tell that the month was cloudy? You can see that the our P.V. system automatically shut down for a grid power outage on December 14th (See earlier blog post on 12/15).
The video clip is of the inverter display in our basement. The inverter converts the direct current (D.C) power from the P.V. system into alternating current (A.C), before going to the grid. As the display cycles through, you can see the amount of CO 2 kept out of the atmosphere; the number of Kilowatts of power currently being produced ('speed'); the total number of Kilowatts hours produced by our system('how far we've traveled'); the number of Kilowatt hours currently produced for this day ('how far we've traveled today'); and acknowedgement that the two towers ('system is working').
* (italics = analogy of energy display)
Below is our meter which indicates that electrical power is being produced for our use and the extra is being metered back into the grid.