Sunday, November 24, 2019

Battle of the Boards: Jetson Nano vs Raspberry Pi 4 (and overclocked)

Shortly after I got my Jetson Nano up and running, the Raspberry Pi 4 came out - and, on paper, it looks like it should actually thrash the Nano for just about everything except GPU tasks.  Does it?

Actual comparisons between those two boards are hard to come by.  The internet is long on spec sheet comparisons and awfully short on real world, head to head benchmark results.  When the Pi4 came out, it had some firmware limitations that hurt performance and thermals, which have mostly been resolved by now (supposedly).  The Jetson Nano comes stock with a massive heatsink that really helps out.  So... how do things stack up in the real world?

I've got my Raspberry Pi 3B+, my Raspberry Pi 4, my Jetson Nano (with the very nice stock heatsink), and, for comparison, Clank and a few other machines.  Let's get testing!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

What Replaces 1:1 Net Metering?

One recent area of interest to me is net metering of homeowner-installed energy generation systems - and what's likely to replace it in the long term.  I'm in the process of designing a solar and energy storage system for my property, and I like to design for the long term - a 20-30 year design life of the installed hardware, with a refresh around then (hopefully) to carry the system for the rest of my life.  I optimistically have another 60 years to live, and I don't plan to move at any point in those 60 years (or, at least, will have an operating home base here), so designing long term systems is an interesting challenge.

Before wading into the waters of designing grid-tied home solar, I sat down and did an awful lot of reading on net metering, the various replacements for it, power grid issues, and all that sort of great evening reading (which I do genuinely enjoy).  There are many problems with net metering, long term, and I expect it's going to disappear within the design life of my system.  It's actively in the process of disappearing in a lot of places, mine included.  So, how does one design a system for a somewhat unknown future?  Sample the likely options and see how one's design fares against all or most of them!

Interested?  You should be!  Net metering is an important part of the future of the power grid - and how it's done has a massive impact on how sustainable power systems will be!