for the first time since christmas (more than 2 weeks ago) the temperature today was above freezing for a change. despite the hazy overcast, it was the perfect day to try clearing more snow from the solar panels on my parents' roof. though there was still a bit of ice, i managed to climb up the ladder and up onto the roof, clinging to the edge of the sunroom for support so i wouldn't slip. my father wanted to climb up as well but realized it was too dangerous and was better to spot from my down below. i used a plastic shovel to dig out a path above the sunroom then used the foam roof rake to clear 3 more panels (1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.1.10) before working a combination of shovel and rake to clear more snow from the panels on the sunroom and snow near the ridge of the house where there was still 7 buried panels.
we finally called it quits, i was feeling exhausted, hungry, and still sick with a cold and the occasional hacking cough. i climbed down the roof, my father holding onto me so i wouldn't slip backwards from the icy shingles. i reset the solar edge inverter in the basement; despite the additional cleared panels, the inverter remained in night mode.
i finally had some lunch, a bowl of rice porridge my mother prepared for me. around 1:30pm i went with my father back to the cafe to pick up hailey, who was home alone because my sister was out today cooking for a client. the moment i let hailey out into my parents' backyard, she chased after a squirrel which was hiding underneath a pile of logs. no amount of coaxing could get her to leave the logs alone and she kept digging around trying to get at the squirrel, which i didn't even think was there anymore. but that turned out to be a mistake because suddenly this arboreal rat shot out from a hole and scampered up a tree. hailey didn't see it and when i took her to look, she was still thought the squirrel was in the logs.
around 2pm we decided to have another go at cleaning the snow from the roof. originally we were going to wait until most of the ice had melted from the shingles, but in the meantime we could still do some cleaning from ladders. my father used the step ladder to clear the edge of the sunroom while i had the foam roof rake and cleared an 18" wide section of the ridge down to the solar panel. there was a pile up of snow on the topmost section of the roof that was easily 2 feet thick. my father took a turn trying to brush snow off of the ridge. that's when it happened: solar panel snow avalanche, as big chunks of snow began sliding off of the panels and falling onto the ground with a thump. as we're still learning how to use the foam roof rake to clear snow from the panels, this was all new to us, but we're beginning to get a good idea as to the proper techniques. the snow avalanche opened up 3 more panels, and more importantly, these were panels 1.1.1, 1.1.2, and 1.1.3, the first panels in the string series.
opening up those initial panels and clearing 2 feet worth of snow cover finally seemed to pull the inverter out of night mode. however, it still wasn't generating any electricity, even though the Vdc was increasing. i reset the inverter to have it initialize the pair sequence again. that did the trick, as it managed to find 8 panels (despite 9 being uncovered). for the first time since last wednesday the solar panels were generating electricity again. it was already late and there wasn't much sun available in addition to the overcast, so we managed to make just 31Wh of electricity.
another surprise: the inverter software update lucas said he would make last friday must've worked because now we could see production in the individual panels, or at least the ones that were clear. most strangely however was panel 1.1.13, which we cleared since friday, but it wasn't producing any electricity. i suspect that's the missing 24th panel.
lucas did sent me a text in the late afternoon which i didn't see, asking if my parents had scheduled a time to visit the bank to sign the final loan paperwork. i was hoping to use the final payment as leverage to get them to come back to the house and fix the missing panel. i'm afraid if we pay them completely now, it's going to be harder to get them to come back. after tomorrow morning's solar production i'll have a better sense of if the panels are operational and i'll get in touch with lucas.
we ordered pizza for dinner. it took a while to pay because when i went to the store i told them they owned me $11 from when they overcharged me on an order last month. the manager was supposed to make a note of it somewhere. they found the note (in the computer) and one of the workers called the manager (who wasn't there today) to confirm. afterwards i left with half a box of pizza and got a ride home.