Free electrons and wireless batteries

I used yesterday’s story as the basis of my speech at the Silver Tongued Cats this morning; it went over pretty well, but I think I’m finished telling it.

This afternoon, the installer came out to provision and commission the solar system. It took a while and several firmware updates, but after a couple of hours, we were running the house on solar power instead of drawing from the grid. The system also had enough oomph to completely charge the batteries and send excess power off to PG&E (as a donation to their stockholders).

The town Building Inspector came out, and I was not surprised that he didn’t approve of the battery installation – it was, perhaps, 18 inches from the nearest window, and the code requires 3 feet for safety. So the installer spent the afternoon moving the batteries to the other side of the garage; he ran out of time and energy before he was able to reconnect them to the system, but that will happen in a day or two, and then the inspector will approve the installation and then, in the fullness of time, PG&E will give us “permission to operate” and we’ll start receiving credits for our excess production.

So much paperwork….