i wasn't that helpful as my father by himself with the snowblower pretty much cleared the sidewalk and parts of the parking lot where the hired snowplow truck couldn't clean. i shoveled a few places that the snowblower couldn't easily reach, ferried around the gasoline container, opened gates, and moved cones.
driving to belmont, i checked out all the other solar panels we passed along the way. some were clear (roofs with steep angles) but most were still covered in snow, and nearly all of them too high up and inaccessible for homeowners to clean on their own (unlike us). it didn't matter since the combination of the sun and warmth will melt all that snow soon. we just wanted to get a headstart on our solar production game. we also did some shoveling around the house, clearing the driveway and the sidewalk. it wasn't a lot of work but i haven't shoveled in a while and i'll probably still be a little sore tomorrow.
while i was eating rice porridge for an early lunch (i ate one of my homemade blueberry muffins back at my house before i left), i noticed large patches of low altitude clouds suddenly moving across the sky, eclipsing the sun. the effect was pretty dramatic as we noticed intermittent darkening of the sky followed by brightness again. our hope of another record setting day was dashed; would we even be able to reach 30kWh+?
we went to the waltham costco around noontime. it was busy, but wasn't as busy as we'd imagined. my parents bought two suitcases for their trip next month (a large and a small). i left with half a dozen warm-white LED light bulbs for $5 (normally $15 but there's a $10 instant energy rebate). i also saw boxes of sunkist navel oranges on sale for $13.99 (24 count); that comes out to 58¢ per orange, still more than double the price i get from haymarket, but i think these are better quality.
back at the house, i went around searching for any lights that still used compact fluorescent bulbs. we even found a light (hallway) that still had a 60W incandescent bulb (if we lit all 6 LED light bulbs it still wouldn't equal 60W). by the time i switched out all the old light bulbs, i was left with just one LED bulb for myself. while doing the inspection, we also came across some old LED bulbs, back then when they were still trying to figure out the technology, and a single LED bulb would cost $10+, not less than $1 like it is now.
after convincing my father that the toilet was indeed still leaking, we installed the new flapper & replacement flush valve seat combo we got yesterday. normally the flapper attaches to the overflow pipe, but the part we got has the flapper attached to the replacement flush valve seat. the hardest part was just turning off the water main (the shutoff valve under the toilet wouldn't close completely) and drying the tank before attaching the new valve seat. the bottom of the seat has a sticky putty that we simply pressed onto the old valve seat. we then turned on the water. it still looked like it was leaking, but minutes later after we came back, the tiny trickle of water had stopped. leaking toilet fixed!
despite the intermittent clouds blocking the sun, we still managed to produce 30.58 kWh of electricity, just the 4th 30kWh+ day of february. it won't be as sunny tomorrow, and the day looks to be cloudy, with possibility of some showers in the evening. hard to say what sort of day production wise, my prediction is somewhere between 10-15kWh if it's just partly cloudy.