amazon notification that the clamp meter i ordered 2 days ago had arrived in belmont was reason enough for me to ride the motorcycle to my parents' place to go pick it up around 11:30am. originally i figured it'd be a quick trip, that i'd be able to get back home by noontime, but it became longer as i was in the backyard adjusting the 100W flexible solar panel to see if i could maximize the output. with the panel lying flat on the ground i could get a maximum of 50W; having it tilted at 15° angle got me an maximum of 70W. still i wasn't happy, hoping to get closer to 100W, the theoretical advertised maximum.
while reading the meter inside the house (previous i'd been doing it remotely through the webcam), i saw the wattage jump to nearly 82W, a much better reading. maybe on a really sunny day with zero clouds i can try maximizing the power output again. having the panel on the ground is not viable because it will kill the grass underneath eventually. we may just hang it vertically; even though it's not the optimal angle, at least it saves space.
the wisteria buds have opened up on that one large pot (red) and they're definitely leaf buds, not flower buds. looks like we won't be seeing any wisteria flowers this season. the only other wisteria plant with active buds is the one without any roots. the 3 other wisteria plants (1 large pot - white, 2 smaller medium pots) have buds but none of them have shown any signs of life yet, and they may in fact be dead. the buttercup seeds my father planted have also emerged from their containers. the kwanzan flowering cherry blossoms have finally started to fall. instead of individual petals, they fall mostly in clumps.
i stopped at the cafe to drop off the clamp meter. i pulled up some dandelions growing from the side of the building and went to my sister's backyard to help her prune some grapevines growing into neighbors' yards. back at the cafe my father fried up some scallion pancakes. casey stopped by, having some microwave korean lunch that she brought while waiting to pick up her grandson from school. i chatted with her about her backyard garden and she told me her latest obsession is succulents and showed me a bunch of photos on her phone. i returned home by 2:30pm.
i have 4 pots outside on my back deck with some columbine seeds i planted back on april 1st. they're covered up with plastic wrap to keep the dirt from drying out and to prevent squirrels from digging up the soil. i also used a velcro strap to keep the plastic wrap from getting blown off in the wind. i've sort of forgotten about them, but every once in a while will look through the plastic to see if there's any activity. i'm happy to report that after more than a month, the columbine seeds have germinated! that's a pleasant surprise, because the tiny seeds have been sitting in my refrigerator for at least 2 years, but apparently they're still viable, and all the seeds sprouted, all 6 of them. i'd forgotten what their seedlings look like, i'll be sure to check my parents' backyard for other seedlings. elsewhere, in a separate pot, 2 unknown seedlings have sprouted. they kind of remember me of cucumbers, but have skinny stems. i wonder if they're cucamelon seedlings, left over from some used soil.
i brought out my cargo bike and banged away at the stuck derailleur to collapse it a little bit hoping to prevent chain skipping. i then rode to market basket to get some groceries. the derailleur hack worked for the most part, better than what it was before, but still would occasionally chain skip, but not as bad as last time. this means i'll probably take the cargo bike into boston again tomorrow to visit haymarket.
back at home, looking for a healthy snack option, i boiled some frozen edamame beans. i practically ate the whole bag in one sitting after they were ready to eat. supposedly they're healthy, but i sprinkle some kosher salt on them for taste, and i wonder if that negates the health benefits.
kevin surprised me again by sending me e-mail around 3:20pm, though i didn't see it until 4pm because i was out at the time. he said they received a solaredge 10kW inverter instead of the 7.6kW, and was checking with belmont light department to make sure that was okay to install without any issues. having a larger inverter seems like a good option because if we were somehow able to hit our theoretical maximum output of 8.04kW, we would capture all that power with no cutoffs. with a 10kW inverter, we could add 6 more panels and still be below peak. the only thing i'm concerned with is if a 10kW uses more electricity to maintain, but at this point, that seems like a lesser problem than having a 6kW inverter on an 8kW system. i'm also not sure if any of this is true, maybe it's a stalling technique, but what would be the reason for lying? still, happy to see some progress at least.
dinner was easy, i ate the last remaining pieces of fried chicken from yesterday (breast, wing, drumstick). the portions came out just right, i could feel myself reaching that oil fried chicken threshold, before i start feeling nauseous. that and taiwanese black tea. i ate while watching hockey coverage. bruins looked to be in a bad spot, down 2-1 going into the 3rd period. i went to go take a shower, and when i came out, the score was 5-2, boston leading. bruins ended up winning game 1 against the hurricanes.