Archive for April, 2016

Paul Rothenstein inspired sketches

We spent a few hours yesterday with local artist Paul Rothenstein at a LARAC Latham Gallery workshop in Glens Falls, NY, where he’s currently showing some of his work. His current work features a rich layering of repetitive grids inked by hand on paper. One of his techniques that I particularly enjoyed was the use of a white gel ink to re-write parts of the composition.

We talked about his process and did some sketching. At home I decided to try some computational sketching. I shifted to white grids on black. My grids are randomly generated. Size, number of columns, number of rows, obliqueness and rotation are all randomly generated and drawn. I’m also using the rewrite technique similar to Paul’s hand drawn technique. Below are some of my favorite outcomes. It’s also fun to watch it build.

paul.2016416193758I used Processing to create these images, and Processing.js for the animated example linked above.

First quarter 2016 performance

Q1 2016 summary: 26% warmer, 21% less usage and 33% more sun as compared to Q1 2015.

This is part of our quarterly home performance reporting. All data is posted at

Although it seemed a lot warmer this winter, 1,023 less heating degree days than Q1 2015, it was still 9% cooler than first quarter 2012 which is the warmest winter since we began recording temperature data.

Despite it being warmer this winter, we recorded a low of -17.3°F, 1.2 degrees colder than last year’s low. Our high was 78.5°F which was considerably warmer than last year’s high of 52.8, but lower than 2012 when we recorded a high of 82.4°F.

Overall, here’s how this quarter compared to 2015.

Chart showing usage, solar, net and hdd for Q1 2016

2015 Usage Solar PV Net usage
or (surplus)
daily usage
Total 3,214 1,488 1,726 35.7 3,975
Jan 1,163 400 763 37.5 1,419
Feb 1,096 300 796 35.4 1,449
Mar 955 788 167 30.8 1,107
2016 Usage Solar PV Net usage
or (surplus)
daily usage
Total 2,550 1,982 568 28.0 2,952
Jan 1,055 499 556 34.0 1,192
Feb 846 586 260 29.2 1,009
649 897 (248) 20.9 751
All values in kWh (except HDD which is base 65°F).

Our heat pump used 1,529 kWh last year and 955 kWh this year. We’re getting a fairly consistent correlation between energy use and heating degree days using a base temperature of 65°F. ASHP regression analysis correlating HDD to kWh

The lower energy use was directly correlated to warmer temperatures. Plus there was less snow to hide the solar panels and it was less cloudy, so we generated more energy too.

The grass was just starting to green up. We had a few plants budding out and a few trees looked like they were ready to pop. We even had two new baby goats born last week. Then we got about 4 inches of snow Monday. Thankfully it’s mostly gone after temps in the upper 30’s and lots of sun today. We’re ready for Spring!

You can see heat maps and detailed charts of temperature and electrical usage at View hourly, daily and monthly values for solar, usage, net usage, circuit-level usage, temperatures and HDD.

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