The incidental humiliation of Obama's "clean energy" policies ; Marc Andreessen's Internet of Farts and other such comedic gold bricks.

Thursday, 06 April, Year 9 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

The root of this endeavour is to be found in The Most Serene Republic's log for today. The results of that root are as follows :

IP MAC # mIi LGenii TZ 00:1D:C0:04:6A:98 189 235 MWh US/Central 00:1D:C0:04:6B:14 126 169 MWh US/Central 00:1D:C0:01:74:E6 10 20.5 MWh US/Hawaii 00:1D:C0:04:6A:8C 92 79.8 MWh US/Central 00:1D:C0:00:EB:6D 28 44.2 MWh US/Pacific 00:1D:C0:04:12:9B 2 1.97 MWh US/Eastern 00:1D:C0:04:57:A9 60/30iii 49.9 MWh US/Pacific 00:1D:C0:02:EF:CD 20 26.8 MWh US/Eastern 00:1D:C0:03:6C:A3 18 35.8 MWh US/Hawaii 00:1D:C0:03:AB:02 24 55.9 MWh US/Mountain 00:1D:C0:04:5F:B0v 48 62.8 MWh US/Pacific 00:1D:C0:04:6A:01 44 92.4 MWh US/Pacific

    Most of the afflicted items (9) are running software version R3.7.28 (88072d) built on Fri Feb 05, 2016 03:46 PM PST ; a couple are running R3.7.27 (bed096) made Tue Aug 11, 2015 11:33 AM PDT and one R3.7.26 (7888b3) made Mon Aug 25, 2014 01:56 PM PDT.

    Here's the complete and detailed list of their activity (tsv) : solar-lulz.txt

    As you can see, the units are not particularily reliable, there's a long litany of possible errors (how the fuck do you get the frequency out of range on a solar panel is anyone's guess, but maybe they recycle old Sony tv sets or something) and they are encountered regularly.

    In terms of actual economic utility, the situation is grim : a total of 143 800-00065-r03vi units together with a further 45 800-00038-r08s, all installed on August 10 2012 managed to produce a whopping 235 MWh in the intervening 1`699 days. That's about 0.731kWh per unit per day. A microinverter is typically rated for about 200W, which means an efficiency of about 15%. I guess there's no sun where these people live ?

    Except they live everywhere, from Hawaii and the West Coast to Flyover America to East Coast. None of the examples fare any better ; of the 662 individual microinverters we sampledvii not one actually rose over 25% efficiency. In fact, people regularily pay to the tune of $11`760viii in cash for installing an item that will produce less than one cent of revenue per day on averageix during the next five years! At which rate the investment will amortize itself sometime after the supposed problem all this wastage resolves has long solved itself!

    To recap : "solar power" costs more in energy alone to merely produce the hardware (we're not counting the minerals, just the energy to assemble all the stuff together) than it will ever output over its lifetime. Then there's the cost to decomission the things, then there's the actual wasted raw materials that compose them, etcetera etcetera.

    This can not be underlined thickly enough : the best way to save energy is to... not buy nor install solar panels.

    For every Watt of energy an installed solar panel ever produces, it will have consumed about three Watts of energy. You are actually saving two Watts by not putting one in. Running your fridge with the door open in front of the electric stove with the oven door open for the rest of this year is more economical, financially, more efficient, energetically, and more environmentally friendly than installing one single microinverter.

    Please, for the sake of your children : stop doing stupid shit like installing solar panels. Do some reading instead. Try doing some math. Please ?

    1. Microinverter count []
    2. Lifetime generated electricity. []
    3. Installation appears half-broken for some reason. []
    4. This guy thinks its ip is []
    5. Notice something with all these MACs yet ? []
    6. Incidentally, this part is famously bad. To quote the internets :

      We have 44 microinverters part 800-00065-r03(M190) and have had 12 fail within 4 years. Waiting almost 2 months for a replacement during summer. Customer Service is bad, they won''t consider a bad lot of inverters until a home experiences a 50% failure rate !!! Why wasn''t THAT statement printered in their warrenty.

      Sounds like a business, except more in the insurance (state pays) than in the economic ("customer" pays) sense of the term. Make America less of this again please. []

    7. You can verify all this data through methodology discussed in the log, while supplies last, by the way. []
    8. According to the USG ministry of this chapter of the lulz, the average solar energy system installed in the US is capable of about 5 theoretical kW, and cost about 40`000 USD (of which the "owner" ie the chump with the house pays about a quarter). This system will then produce about 5 MWh each year it survives, which are worth about a hundred dollars. This means that if one inverter needs replacing in one year, you're not making any money. The MTBF is such that in a battery of 25 inverters having to replace less than 5% of the hardware each year is rather a pipe dream. []
    9. By the way, how often do you clean the bird shit off your roof ? []
    Category: SUA care este
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    12 Responses

    1. About half of the wattage seems to belong to the University of Chicago.

    2. Also most of these have install dates (displayed in menu) long before the firmware build date. Typically, 2011. So that penny -- is... a quarter penny ?

    3. The MAC addrs suggest that at least 262,144 ~controllers~ ( not inverters! not panels ) have been sold.

    4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
      Mircea Popescu 
      Thursday, 6 April 2017

      The linked tsv file actually lists each mI unit's deploy date. The first I used for example were 2010 as quoted. Some are 2017, various around there.

    5. tell labs`s avatar
      tell labs 
      Sunday, 24 May 2020

      Hard to find good writing like this on the web these days… there’s so much junk - so
      thank you for posting this :)

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