it seemed like another record setting solar production day, with the sun out and barely any clouds. that's often the case the day after any major snow/rain event. but by 11am there was a big dip in production, as low-medium blocking clouds began to unexpectedly roll into town. later on there was another dip, but instead of assuming it was cloud-related, i started to worry that maybe squirrels had chewed through the cables. that however was just an overactive imagination, as production crept back up again, but by the afternoon energy dips anyway.
i didn't have lunch until 2:30pm, wasn't feeling hungry and too lazy to make anything. reluctantly heading into the kitchen and opening the fridge, i realized i still had a leftover bowl of rice and beans and chicken. i microwaved it for 3 minutes then added a bunch of spices and sauces to make it taste better: cholula hot sauce, worcestershire sauce, chopped scallions, and japanese kurikake seasoning. even then, it was only barely passing. the rice was all mushy and the chicken lacked flavor.
i revised the google sheet formula that autofills the date:
i combined at least two different ways of autopopulating a date column. i'm using ROW and INDIRECT, which i'm still not exactly sure how they work but i played with them individually outside of ARRAYFORMULA until i had something functional. i also use the ADD operator instead of +, they do the same thing, i can't find anything that says if one is faster than the other. writing it this way prevents me from having to repeat the reference cell (in this case A2). i noticed i could remove the ROW functions from the previous formula and it'd still work, not sure why. i also added the *1 for future functionality, which allows me to autofill with different sequences of days (e.g. weekly).
i also added some conditional formating, like alternating colors and highlighting weekend days (since those days we use the most electricity). one thing i don't like about google sheet is limited charting options. i'd like to make a column graph with overlap stacking but it doesn't have this common option. axis labels are automatically generated so i don't have control over whether i want more or less labels.
on the solaredge monitoring webpage under admin is a revenue tab. i added an entry for 11¢/kWh which is how much belmont light pays for solar production (while charging 14¢/kWh for usage). i wasn't expecting anything to happen but i saw there was a new "lifetime revenue" data box back on the monitoring page. so far we have accrued almost $60. this amount doesn't simply subtract from the utility bill, since it's also calculating the amount of electricity we produce and use but don't send back to the grid.
by the end of the day the production was 28.55 kWh, 2nd highest for february. clouds created several drops, but one thing i noticed about suddenly downward spikes (e.g. 2:15pm) is that they're often followed by upward spikes (e.g. 2:45pm), occasionally surpassing the typical maximum value for that particular time. i believe this is because clouds can obscure but they can also reflect back the light, making it even brighter compared to a clear day for a while at least. i also included yesterday's graph line (yellow). we had a little bit of production in the early morning, but by late morning it dropped, and once it began to snow there was hardly any production. after we finished cleaning the panels around 3pm, there was a slight production uptick that barely generated anything before the sun went down.
my parents came by around 5:30pm. my aunt invited us to a birthday day dinner at the brazilian muqueca restaurant outside of inman square at 6pm. there was plenty of free (after 6pm) street parking and a hidden municipal lot behind the restaurant. my aunt was already there when we arrived to a mostly empty restaurant. matthew (red line delay) and my sister (usual lateness) arrived a bit afterwards.
i've never had brazilian moqueca before, which is a seafood stew cooked in a stone pot. my aunt suggested we get 3 bowls of moquecas to share, because she heard the servings were large, along with some appetizers. we ended up ordering: pitcher of sangria, caipirinha (brazilian national cocktail), brazilian cod cake ($7.95), fried calamari with passion fruit sauce ($9.95), fried plantains ($5.95), daily special mussels, mariscada ($24.95, a type of moqueca that doesn't include fish but rather shrimp, crabmeat, mussels an squid), fish moqueca ($18.95), and the tripe stew ($13.95).
when the moquecas finally arrived, we were surprised by how small they were (they looked larger in the menu photos). the flavors were interesting but nothing particularly noteworthy. my favorite was the tripe stew, i could've eaten the whole bowl on my own.
most of the discussion revolved around their shared vacation to northeastern china next month. lili and matthew had never been, my parents were there more than a decade ago (liaoning, heilongjiang) on an errand for my grand uncle. i was in the liaoning area back in 2013, including shenyang, benxi, and dandong.
for dessert i tried their flan. my father got the flan as well, my sister and my aunt got some other desserts (mousse). most of the desserts ended up free because it was my father's (70th) and aunt's (56th) birthday and mine in just a few more days. the waitresses came out singing and the cakes were decorated with candles. the flan was made with condensed milk with made it very sweet and dense. my aunt kept saying how my annual thanksgiving flan was so much better (i make mine with just eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla).
we finished by 8pm. by then the restaurant had filled up with several more tables of customers. my parents and i visited the nearby dollar general store, which used to be a family dollar. these particular "dollar" stores are confusing because many items cost more than a dollar. in fact, the prices at dollar general seemed more in line with CVS/rite aid prices than a discount store. we left without buying anything. before dropping me off, we stopped at the star market so i could stock up on polar seltzers, last day on sale $10/5. i was close enough to my house that i decided to walk home instead.