i woke up this morning and did a bit of shoveling around the house. some parts of my body hurt from the shoveling i did yesterday but nothing that wouldn't allow me to continue working. i was surprised that my upstairs neighbors shoveled the sidewalk when i got home late last night. but there was still a few snow piles that needed to be reduced, and most important a path had to be cleared out onto the street. like anytime we get a lot of snow, there's simply isn't anywhere to put it. i put some in a large pile across the street and some in my own backyard. my neighbor jess was out again, digging out an additional parking spot. i know it seems like she does it out of altruism, but i think her actions come from a place of hate, as she's simply just too annoyed with irresponsible neighbors who don't dig out properly. before it began snowing on thursday, everyone in the neighborhood get a mysterious flyer that passive aggressively listed a bunch of rules everyone should follow regarding shoveling. i've lived here for over 15 years and have never seen anything like that before. my suspicion is jess had something to do with it.
i saw my neighbor from across the street, the one with all the solar panels on top of his house. i finally got a chance to ask him about his solar install. he told me he has 59 panels, but from satellite photos i only counted 45, until he revealed that he removed a solar water system so he could add an additional 14 panels. he did it to take advantage of the SREC program. i asked about the pitch on his roof as it looks to be 45° from the ground; he said it's actually 34°, which is just one degree shy of the optimal tilt. surprisingly, for 59 panels it's only a 15kW system. that means he's using less efficient panels, 250W polycrystalline; but with the amount of panels he has, he can afford to go cheaper but still produce a lot of electricity. he bragged that his house has a perfect azimuth, but it looks like it's just 135° facing southeast (optimal would be 180° facing due south).
after i was finished i grabbed my camera and went around the neighborhood looking for photo opps. my parents called me around 11:30am, said they were closing the cafe early after their last customer leaves and said they could come pick me up.
back in belmont my father and i immediately went about testing the new solar panel foam roof rake head we finally received yesterday. there was so much snow in the backyard, i had to first dig trenches around the house so we could easily move and relocate the platform ladder. we started by clearing out the snow from the solar panels on top of the sunroom first. it wasn't easy, as there was still a layer of rough ice on the surface (i could hear the ice scraping the bottom of the foam rake). my father was trying to find the proper technique. we only managed to clear half the panels on the bottom (1.1.21, 1.1.22, 1.1.23, 1.1.24), and even those were mostly covered in opaque snow-ice. we then moved to the west side of the house, were some of the lower panels had cleared up on wednesday. since there was no ice layer, the snow easily slid off. earlier my father had been clearing the snow from the bottom up, but we figured out the better way was to clean from top bottom, tapping the snow with the foam rake, hopefully creating enough of a break to see sheets of snow sliding off the panels. we managed to get one panel cleared (1.1.11), and another one free of snow (1.1.12) but it had some ice on it, which would melt away eventually. my father also used the regular roof rake earlier to clear some snow from the bottom of the roof. we then moved to the east side of the house and managed to clear one panel (1.1.13) and partially expose the bottom corner of another one (1.1.8).
there was no risk of the soft foam roof rake scratching the panels. the thing we realized was our extension pole was too short to reach all but the lower solar panels. hopefully the exposed areas will create enough heat to melt the rest of the snow. our other roof rake has a much longer pole but it doesn't have a threaded attachment head. the foam roof rake also has a habit of unthreading itself; every so option we needed to rethread so the foam head wouldn't fall off.
after an hour of work we decided to call it quits. we cleared as much as we could from ground level, the only way to get to the rest of the snow would be to climb the roof, and we were afraid that there might be an ice layer beneath all that snow. despite the exposed panels, the basement inverter wouldn't exit night mode, even after a few resets. it was able to see the exposed panels when it went through its pairing routine, but only the ones on the main roof, none of the partially exposed sun roof panels. nothing we can do but to let the continue its melting despite the frigid temperature.
for dinner i made spaghetti. i was going to make it for myself at home, but brought all my ingredients to belmont. there was just enough for 3 large servings. my mother added some spinach leaves for nutritional value.