Back in 2014, I set up a rather silly Twitter account - @OxfordSolarLive.
The premise was simple. A camera took a photo of the sky above my house. It took a reading from my solar panels to see how much electricity they were generating. It superimposed the reading on the photo. Then posted it on Twitter.
1206 watts. pic.twitter.com/ip2Cp5rRao
— Solar Realtime Edent (@OxfordSolarLive) August 24, 2018
When I had a solar battery fitted, it also added that into the mix.
68% Battery = 1.36kWh pic.twitter.com/GpQh5tURuY
— Solar Realtime Edent (@OxfordSolarLive) July 2, 2017
It tweeted once per minute from local sunrise to sunset. With the occasional spot of downtime due to my server rebooting, or local weather conditions.
Solar panels? More like SNOWLAR PANELS!
☀🚫🌨 🏡 pic.twitter.com/BIy8nQcfDn
— Terence Eden (@edent) February 1, 2019
— Terence Eden (@edent) March 20, 2015
Why? Part of it was convenience - rather than log in to my systems, it was easier to check it on Twitter. Part of it was public engagement - I could quickly share how well my solar installation was doing. It also got some media attention.
— Terence Eden (@edent) October 18, 2016
— Terence Eden (@edent) November 9, 2017
But, mostly, because I didn't want to store all those images myself! I figured that Twitter would quickly ban the account for breaking the rate limits. But that never happened.
The rate limit is posting 300 times per 3 hours. So once per minute during daylight hours is fine.
But it is time to shut it down. We're moving house and can't take our panels with us.
If you would like to do anything with the images or data, I'm happy to licence them as CC BY-SA.
As an aside - I'd love to know if any other account has sent more tweets, or uploaded more photos than OxfordSolarLive has.