The Problem With Solar Power In One Graph

My electric company replaced my electric meter last month with a smart meter and said I could view the meter data online. So when I was paying the bill last month I took a look to at the data. The hourly data looked interesting since at first glance it looked like it peaked during dinner time. To get an idea of electrical usage on a typical day I download July’s data and averaged it per hour. Sure enough it peaks around dinner time. My first thought was how is solar power going to help me if it peaks around lunch and I need it at dinner time. The only remaining question was how much solar power was being generated around dinner time. So I went over to PVWatts® Calculator to estimate my solar power capability. As you can see below the solar power drop off is significant after 3 pm. By the time my air conditioner and stove are creating my peak electrical demand, solar power has become an insignificant contributor. It looks like I need a significant investment in batteries for this project to provide most of my electrical power in July and an even larger investment in solar panels and batteries to provide the power in my peak electrical usage months of December, January, and February.