Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello Gamers. This is an update on my Solar Voltaic system that I had installed on my home, in California, in June of 2009. The system has been performing splendidly. In the summer months the panels produce a little more energy than I use everyday, about a peak of 33 KW/Hrs per day. In the winter months there is a marked reduction in the energy production. On the shortest day of the year the panels produce about 10 KW/Hrs per day. On a cloudy, rainy day, the system can still produce about 3-4 KW/Hrs per day.
My billing cycle has also changed to (NEM) Net Energy Metering. This means that I only pay my total usage, once a year. So far in 7 months of billing for my electricity usage, that is not replaced by my panels, my total accrued charges come to a grand total of $152.00 Last month my usage charges were $55. This month’s bill totaled only $36. A great reduction compared to my bills last year. Now the days here are getting longer and the total output from the panels is noticeably increasing, each week. In just a couple more months my bills will be in the $10-$20 range. So I am guessing my total bill for the year will be about $350. This is a big reduction from $1400/yr. That’s a little over $1000 savings per year, not adjusting for inflation.

Now, you may not have similar savings, as I cheated a little. I took advantage of the fact my usage here was high, for a few years, because I was caring for an elderly parent. And we all know they like it warmers in the winter and cooler in the summer. My utility bills were big. So they sized the system based on my passed usage charts. Then I started a campaign to reduce what I use. I replaced expensive appliances, and lighting with LED lamps. I replaced several computer CRT monitors for more energy efficient LCD type. A new high efficiency HVAC and new dual pane windows helped too. Soon to be replaced will be the 22+ year old refrigerator. That alone will reduce my usage by 30 KW/Hrs per month. I will also be seasonally shutting down my 2nd refrigerator. The second refrigerator uses a total of 49 KW/Hrs per month.

My ultimate goal here is to become electricity neutral. That is, I want to make everything I use. New law, here in California, requires that the electric company pay me if I should generate an excess, when adjusted yearly. I am not in this to make money but to get as close to zero as I can. Some near future projects will be additional wall insulation and some upgrading of the ceiling insulation, further reducing my monthly utilities, both gas and electric. I am researching the cost effectiveness of solar water heating.

Happy Fragging


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Once again, I find it necessary to remind players, that it is NOT OK to address other players, in such a manner as to be belligerent or to use foul language. Today, I had to block two players, that just don't seem to understand this. I will from time to time, block a player from the game. I will then remove the block, after a period of time, to see if they can behave themselves. These "rules of the game" are no different than those of the, big boy, professional run, games out there.

I also will not abide by the personal attacks on my character, because I enforce these Rules of Play. I will "Kick" a player as a warning of their actions. After a couple of kicks, I will insert a block into my system to allow other players to enjoy the game. Today after kicking a nasty player, that player came back immediately and started a barrage of insults that was just not acceptable. The anger displayed was personal, vulgar and abusive.

I will also remind you all that I provide this game, free of charge and in no way benefit financially for it. I build the computers on which the game runs and provide the high speed internet connection, at considerable personal cost. I do it because it is FUN for everyone who uses it correctly.