Friday, May 5, 2017

Monica, UR - My Future is Solar

Throughout my IRP, I have learned so much just by researching. There is a ton of different researches on solar panels in general. Maybe not so much the angle of solar panels but how we can get the most efficient energy throughout the whole year. I've learned a little about sun trackers and how these can help identify at which angles you should put your solar panels depending on the season and location. I've even seen some sun trackers attached to panels so the whole system moves with it. It's really cool to me and I'd would really like to get knowledge out about solar energy and maybe go into a Bachelors degree with sustainable energy. This experience has helped me by showing how the research side on new ideas. My IRP may of not been high tech but just the basic understanding has lead me in so many directions. I still believe solar Is the future and I want to educate people about it.

QUESTIONS: Casie sec 201- Hello Monica! Did you notice a difference in power produced and chillier weather (Florida and cold weather haha :) ) ?

Hello Casie, yes I actually noticed a different in power produced and "colder" weather. For example, on a day that was 80 degrees my solar panels produced less power versus on days that were in the lower 70's. Heat plays a major role in how much energy is produced. Between heat and wires, your panels can actually have a 15% decrease in power. Which is normal in the bigger, commercial solar panels.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Dylan Radford UR, My IRP?

I didn't have lab this week because we were just supposed to turn in our note books but in response to Cassie from sec 201, I'm not to sure what exactly I would do for an IRP because it takes a long time to plan one out but I have an idea. If I were to do an IRP I think I would conduct experiments to see if the salinity in different recreational ponds changes over time due to the weather or other factors like fertilizers. I really did learn a lot in the lab this semester and it was a great way to see if this field is really for me!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Steve Cofone, UR - Calm Down! I'm (almost) an Environmental Science Technician!!

Patience and perseverance, A fisherman's creed, definitely played a role.
But fear not, we have catch!!
 4 Channel Catfish, 3 caught at spot 1 and 1 caught at spot 2
We also have 4 snappers to analyze if time permits

All specimens have been wrapped in aluminum foil and frozen
and labeled accordingly.

Analysis of the intestinal tract will take place 4/28/17
I will measure and weigh fish at that time.

Christian Vinciquerra, UR, Breaking Bones

Last week in lab we had another guest from NOAA, Ms. Dennis. She is an expert on fish otolith and how to extract them. So a fish otolith is a calcium carbonate structure located behind the fishes brain. They are commonly called "earstones" and are part of the fishes inner ear. Otoliths grow with the same structure as a tree trunk; as it gets older it forms a ring.
Class extracting Otoliths
Scientists can use the otoliths to find migration patterns of the fish by locating chemicals and tracing back to a site that matches the water chemical levels. After we watched her presentation, she showed us extremely quick on how to extract one and the process of doing so. Then we dove in. To start we have to measure our fish from nose to fork in the trial. Then we begin by lifting the gill plate and scraping away the the gills and tissue on the bone. Looking for a discoloration in the bone and start to chisel away the 'clearer' part. Use tweezers to remove the bone and then start gently feeling around for the otolith which should be just inside. This took everyone a few minutes to do and understand the process and what to look for. After you find the otolith move to the next fish. We extracted three otoliths each and massed each otolith. After, we logged our data into excel. 
Fish Otolith Graph
So my graph here shows the relationship between the otoliths weight and the fishes length. As you can see there in not a good relationship between these two due to the extremely low R squared value. 

Stephanie Guyotte, UR- Well at least the fish are well fed!

Well sadly today was my last trip out fishing and I caught nothing, and I mean nothing. I am going to say that I am not a good fisher person. I felt many nibbles and had a few things on my hook but they just seemed to jump right off. Really I'm not sad that I did not catch anything but I am very disappointed that I can not contribute any good scientific data about the clearnose skate. I did collect salinity and subsurface water temps so at least it was not a total loss.

Garth: Section 201 - Hello! So how exactly did you choose your locations? Mabey I missed this is a previous post. Were these locations chosen perhaps based on time of year, mating, feeding etc.? 

Thank you for the question Garth!

I picked my locations based on just the environment and nothing else (well for the onshore location my aunt lives right there so that was a determining factor too). For instance I was thinking about fishing off of one of the parks on riverside drive but that location is an estuary with mangroves and I wanted a environment that was predominantly one or the other. If you have ever been to Rose Bay in port orange it is clearly mangrove ( to be noted that mangrove is a type of estuary) dominant. The estuary location is in the intercostal but that was the best I could do with no boat.  Also I had to fish at night by myself most times so I also wanted to pick locations that I felt safe fishing at, I love science but I'm not sure if I'm ready to kidnapped for it!! What I was hoping to figure out with this data was the things you mention, and yes some of the things you mentioned are brought up in older posts. Thanks again for the question!         

Lyle UR Coming to the end...of the semester

Well were almost to the end of this semester. The time has flown by so fast that I wish the semester was longer, at least for this class. I've completed dissecting all four sites that I sampled from and with the results that I got the average micro fibers per gram is 3.25.The average size oyster that I sampled was 2.667 grams. A conclusion that I came to after looking at where the oysters came from is that the closer to Ponce Inlet that the oysters came from the higher the micro fiber count is. I don't know if that is a direct correlation but that's what the research shows.
Image result for oyster
Garth from section 201 asks "have you seen a correlation between oyster maturity and plastics eaten. Do you believe Micro-plastics are killing the oysters before they mature?" Garth that is a great question, I haven't seen that correlation but what I did find was the closer to the inlet I sampled the oyster, the higher the micro plastic count I got. I believe that there isn't enough micro plastic in the oysters to kill them but it may be causing them to not filter the water as efficient as they could if there were no micro plastics in them.
Casie from section 201 also had some questions, " When oysters ingest micro plastics, is it safe to say that when humans consume the oysters we are indeed consuming micro plastics? Out of all oysters you have gathered how many had micro plastics in them?" Casie, unfortunately, yes we as humans who eat oysters are ingesting the micro plastics. In all of the oysters that I sampled, I found micro plastics in every one of them. Although the amount of micro plastics varied between each oyster.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monica, UR - Results are in!

So far I have about 20 good days of data. I'm still trying to collect as much data till the presentation so my graph may be a little different than this one. I know it's a little difficult to see but on the power point it will be bigger. I will be making other graphs too. One for each angle with Volts. One for each angle with Amps and one graph to see if there is a correlation between outside temperature and the powering be produced. If anyone has any recommendations or want to know anything else let me know!

As you can see, my scientific question has been answered. My solar panel at 25 degrees produced the most energy everyday. The panel at 44 degrees was in second place and the one at 0 degrees was in third. You can also see the spike in energy produced between April 12-13th. This was the "enhancement" due to the reflection of the clouds and the suns rays. This is also one of the days I got an error on the 44 degree angle due to clouds partially blocking the sun.

QUESTIONSGarth: Section 201 - Do you know if any studies have been done to artificially create           this "phenomenon" to enhance solar production? If not is it even possible?

Hey Garth, there are some "control" solar experiments but light source from light bulbs are very different from the sun. I actually went to the Florida Solar Energy Center this Tuesday and asked a Ph.D student about your question. He said it's not really possible. They can use other light sources but It's just not the same as the sun. They can not recreate the reflection that the clouds do. 

Dylan Radford, UR- Fish Guts!

Fish Guts!
Fish Otolith Graph
This past week in class was pretty awesome if I had to say. The class and I got a chance to extract otoliths from fish that were already dead. an otolith is basically a bone near the fish gills that can be taken out to measure their age. At first when I was told that we would be doing this I was pretty nervous because I have never dissected a fish before or anything for that matter. As I started working on my first fish, I couldn't fin the otolith so our instructor came over to help me. She made it look so simple. There was a bone that I needed to crush to get to the otolith and I couldn't get it. After I was finally able to crack it, I cracked it too much and snapped the otolith into pieces so I had to get a new fish. After a few trial and error situations I finally got my fish otolith! It looked awesome, mostly because I extracted it myself, but I could see the rings in the otolith which are the indicators of the fish's age. After my first one the next two came super easy! Now that I had gotten all of my otoliths we had to go and weigh each one and put that number in the class spreadsheet. once that was complete the next step would be to put all of our information in a scatter plot. The scatter plot I made shows me that all of the fish we dissected, except for one very small fish, were around the same age when they were caught. I thought this was pretty interesting when looking at how many fish we dissected. I thought the points were going to be spread out everywhere. This was a great experience for me because I had never dissected anything before, I thought it was pretty fun also. In response to Garth, section 201, yes I believe there is a restoration project going on that is helping to fix areas in the Indian river lagoon like sea grass beds.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Carly, UR - It's mating season (for most) !

Good day everyone! 

Just another week of data collecting for me, I haven't really noticed anything new.  I've got about another week or so of collecting to do before we have our final presentations.  I'm excited to put it all together with a couple of images and possible graphs to show off what I've learned.  We're right at the beginning of mating season for sharks and the tags certainly show that for most of them.

Let's get to a question from Garth:

Garth: Section 201 - Why do you think these sharks would be specifically spending time in certain locations. Could this relate to breeding or feeding grounds?

Blue Shark North Atlantic Circuit
Sharks do generally mate in certain areas along with have their pups in others.  Let's take Blue sharks for example, they generally mate around the New England area, then the female will conserve energy by taking the North Atlantic Gyre to Europe to have her pups. 

Below here is a map of this past week of shark pings on the OCEARCH website.  I've color coated them to show each species and you can see how the blue sharks are pretty close to the image above showing their circuit.                                

I hope I answered your question Garth!  Thank you!

Fins and grins,

Friday, April 21, 2017

Kelly-Ann UR, Are We There Yet?

     This week I was finally able to travel the length of the St. Johns River and test surface samples at five locations for total nitrate.  The day I chose to preform the transect was beautiful for field work.  Each location was at least partly sunny with a mild breeze.  I had started at the North part of the river, in Jacksonville, and traveled against the flow to take a total of five surface samples.  These samples were immediately placed in a cooler with ice packs. 
Taking a Surface Sample at Lake George
      Working on my own out in the field taught me to be adaptable.  I had originally decided that I wanted to take a sample one meter in at each site, however in two locations, Jacksonville and Sanford, I was only able to access the river via floating docks.  My GPS also proved to be better as a general guideline to the sites and could not always be trusted.  Twice it told me the park I was trying to get to was half way over a bridge.  I had gotten frustrated enough twice to pull over next to the river and take a sample instead of going in circles trying to find the exact site I had planned on.  
Testing for Nitrates
     Back in the lab I used method 10021 with a Hach DR/890 colorimeter to analyze the total nitrates in each sample.  The data surprised me, with nitrate levels much lower than I expected:
-Site one: 0.3 mg/L
-Site two: 0.1 mg/L
-Site three: 0.1 mg/L
-Site four: 0.1 mg/L
-Site five: 0.0 mg/L
The nitrates become more concentrated closer to mouth of the river, which was expected, however with the many possible anthropocentric sources of nitrates that I observed near several locations, I did think these concentrations would be higher.
     The last step to this project will be looking up what the acceptable levels of nitrate are for the St. Johns River, and what steps the St. Johns River Water Management District is taking to keep the river clear of excess nitrates.


Stephanie Guyotte, UR- Where to go from here

Picture I took while fishing

I have made it out fishing twice and with no luck. I fished at an onshore location with frozen squid as bait. I will most definitely be trying new bait this weekend when I go out again. Live shrimp should hopefully be the change needed to get some skates on my hook! One thing did work well on my trip; my thermometer rig. Instead of tying the thermometer on the line I ended up just wrapping the hook through the hole in the back just so I don't have to undo my set up every time I take a temp reading.

Haley Section 201, are you going to use different locations for mangroves, inshore habitats, and estuary habitats or the same one the entire time?

Hello Haley thanks for the question!
I plan on sticking in the same locations but move around that area. If I still am catching nothing after I try new bait then I will have to try new locations or presume that there are no clearnose skates at that environment. Here are the map locations that I will be fishing.   
Estuary habitat
Onshore location
Mangrove location

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Alex UR- Grazin' some seagrass

Last weeks class was our Seagrass Survey out in Oak Hill. We had a great time and I'm glad we able to do something in the water this week, though it was quite chilly and windy out, hence the wetsuits. We took a short boat trip from Riverbreeze dock to the seagrass beds, we broke up into three groups of about 4 or 5 people and we covered an area of over 200(m). We took data every 10(m) and looked for both drift algae and seagrass. They have been keeping track of the beds here for a long time and it is not at all what it used to be but you can tell that it is starting to come back and the manatees are still grazing so thats a good thing. 
My group and I counting seagrass
Annie was working with us and taught us how to properly get our data and how you can tell where the manatees have been grazing. She goes out every few months I believe to collect this data. The visibility wasn't so good so it made it a little difficult at first, you had to wait a few minutes to let everything settle once you got down in the water.
Annie giving us our instructions
*Questions from previous post*
Jason, sec. 310-  Yes we did, we measured the total phosphate, pH, and we used a secchi disk which tells us how far down the light goes through the water.
Michelle, Sec. 201- Some ways to limit sources of error... thats a great question, I would say that some things you just can't help so just be prepared for that. Yes, we do account for the errors in our data as well.

Casie UR-The Final Count Down!

Michelle, Section 201: Will you be measuring the plant growth to determine if copper has any effect on their growth rates? Do you hypothesize that it will help or hinder them?

(left) Copper in the water hyacinths (right) Copper in the controls 
Thank you Michelle for the question. I am unfortunately not measuring the growth of the plant in regards to copper input. I did notice, however, that the plants did not decrease in size over the week I did my experiment.  From the research that I  have done so far there is no evidence that copper will hinder the growth of the plant. If you would like to know more about growth rates and climate change check out Garth's blog Putting the data to the test

Wow, this experiment  has taken many turns, the latest is that I made a HUGE error. The plant food that I was giving my plants contained.....COPPER! Yes. I know. How will I ever find out if these plants suck up copper when my controls have been compromised? Well, thanks to Dr. Woodall and her husband I will be taking the average and the standard deviation of my 3 controls and creating a bar graph to show my data. I will have the final data available next Friday.
When copper is present the vials (to the left) will turn purple If not it is colorless. Both vials turned purple to indicate that there is copper present, but my controls had a considerable amount more then the ones that held the Water Hyacinths. Prospects look good! I can't wait to share my final results. :) 
Filtering my samples 

Garth Parish - UR Putting the Data To The Test !

Putting the data to the test. So, once you hit the grinder chase all the links down and get that research in…well, what’s next? Experiment time! Oh boy, I feel like Bill Nye would be proud, haha. What’s been going on in my water hyacinth world you might ask?

                Well, we got together six small fish tanks and a heating thermometer to keep a stable temperature for each pair of tanks. An aerator for each, a bit of liquid fertilizer six water hyacinths and a measuring tape. The temperatures chosen for each set of tanks was pivotal to the purpose of this experiment which was to see if there was a link from the growth ratio of the water hyacinth and temperature. The idea was to simulate a winter growing water temperature of seventy degrees Fahrenheit. The other two pairs of tanks are  increasing into the plants optimal growth temperature with data, pulled from the Saint John’s Water Management District’s historical charts. The temperatures chosen for these tanks were chosen based on Florida summer water temperatures.

                I then measured the root length, a single leaf’s length and width with the stem being measured at the base of the plant to the tip of the same leaf. The idea here is to remeasure and at the end of the experiment see if indeed there was a variation between temperature and growth ratios. So, cross your fingers folks and we will see soon what happens.

                Here is a shout out to all those avid readers 😉 I would like to answer a few questions for you guys:

Dana sec. 101 what do you mean by growth ratio?

Good question Dana, the growth ratio of the water hyacinth is simple, exactly how much and how quickly this plant grows, weather it is a foot or an inch. From what I have read, this is directly reflected by water temperature as this is a native tropical plant of Brazil. So, everyone be sure to thank, Brazil.

Sam sec. 301 Where else do these plants grow? Are they exclusive to Florida?

Unfortunately not, Sam. This invasive, troublesome plant is a global sensation and can even be grown up north and out west. Other than its natural predators, which are primarily in Brazil, a good hard freeze for an extended period of time is about the only thing which can kill them. Even their seeds are tough as they can last up to thirty years in a dormant state, sometimes even braving a good freeze.

Michelle, Section 201: In your analysis of the data, will you include what areas could be affected by the Water Hyacinth if the warming trend continues?

You know Michelle that’s a very astute question. Until I read this I had not yet thought about it. I believe I will, because climate change is not exclusive to Florida, it is a global issue, which unfortunately means so is the Water Hyacinth.

Lyle, at first sight!

Taylor James 
Hey there everyone, there has been so much going on not only in finding micro plastics and research but also in my personal life. My better half and I just had a little baby boy named Taylor James on the 9th of April.
The last time I was in the lab I got to dissect a 2 oz oyster and found 5 micro plastics in it. I am still using the same extraction procedures to get the muscle out of the shell and still following the same precautions so I will minimize contamination. This past week we went out with Anne Roddenberry fro FWC and did sea grass sampling and other than the water being a little chilly we had a great time.
I have had a few comments on my other blogs that I would like to address. Deb and Paul asked me if I have seen the video on plankton eating the micro plastics? No I have not and if you know where to find the video I would love to see it. Carly Magnus shared with me an article from FACETS journal on micro plastics in the Ottawa River in Canada. After reading the article I have learned even more about some of the effects that plastics have on the environment, so thank you Carly for sharing that with me and the rest of the blogging community. Michelle from ection 201 asked, How many oysters do I take for a sample from each location and is there a specific reason I chose the oysters that I do and am I attempting to sample various sizes? Those are great questions Michelle, I will typically take 2 to 3 oysters from each site that way I don't effect the habitat to much. As for specific size, I have to go by the Florida state rules and regulations for size which is no smaller than 3 inches in length.

Monica, UR- The Sun is the Future

Sun rays through clouds
Since I've started collecting data, not much has changed. There is a clear winning panel that has the highest amount of power being produced everyday. I'm not going to give it away quite yet, but the numbers have been very consistent. I'm still very fascinated by the spikes of power from April 12th to the 13th. Both those days were cloudy so I am wondering if the sun reflecting on the clouds could have caused the spike in power. I decided to look it up and I am actually correct! They called it an unusual phenomenon. This spike in power production happens when cumulus clouds cover the sun. They sun rays still shine through and they are also reflected from the clouds thus causing a short boost in energy. COOL!

Questions: Michelle, Section 201: Compared to conventional energy (such as fossil fuels), is the startup cost and installation process more or less work, and does it produce more or less power? Would it be economically feasible for a state/country to switch completely to solar power?

Hey Michelle, It's difficult to compare cost unfortunately. In my opinion, I would say the installation process is less work because solar panels are easily mounted on houses. So there is no need for power plants (that burn fuel) and we wouldn't need oil/ gas lines throughout the entire county. You also have to think of how the solar panels are made on an environmental stand point. The materials needed are still mined and of course there is environmental damage (not as much as fossil fuel mining though). With fossil fuels there is not only physical environmental damage, there is air pollution and water pollution. As the power goes, there is instant power with solar and with it being on your house there is not much energy lost within the wires. With fossil fuels, once burned at the plant they travel through power lines and as much as 15% is lost. So I would say solar panels produce more power because they aren't losing power when they go through wires as much as the fossil fuels. There are many opinions on if it would be economic to switch completely to solar. According to an article I just read, it stated that we could all have solar panels comparable or even less than our dirty energy cost. This would also save us a lot of money because we don't need fossil fuels anymore.  Below are the website I obtained this information from. They go into very good detail of why and have statistical data of other countries. Hope I answered your question, thanks for the interest!


The Solar company. (2011) Do clouds affect solar panels?. Retrieved from

Richardson. L, (2016) Solar Energy vs Fossil Fuels. Retrieved  from

Solar Industry. (2016) Could the U.S. Switch to 100% renewable energy?. Retrieved from

Dylan Radford, UR Conting Blades of Grass

Boat Ride!
This week in lab was probably the most fun yet! The class and I had to go to Oak Hill to see how much Sea grass was in the area. I had never done and experiment like this before so I was pretty excited. The water was also pretty cold and it was kind of windy so everyone in the class has to wear full wet suits.
 Our instructor, Annie, told us that there was a whole bed of sea grass where we were standing just a little off the dock. When I looked down there was hardly any Sea Grass which was very surprising. The sea grass is important for the ecosystem because it creates an environment for fish and is food for manatee's. we actually saw some manatee's that day so it really put in perspective how much they need the Sea Grass. I thought that it was really fun to go out on the boat and get in the water to count the Sea Grass. Field work is always better than going to the class room!
     When we had collected all of our data from our location I need to find some information that I could make a graph out of. I came across the Total Sea Grass coverage(actual count). after I had made my scatter plot I saw something that was pretty interesting.
Total Sea Grass Coverage Graph
I could see that after about 170 meters, the amount of total coverage became less and less. Also, the total coverage for the whole area is very low compared to how I thought it would be when we got out there. It is really surprising to see results like this because it means that the deeper you are, the less Sea Grass there will be, which is not good for the manatees. They cant beach themselves to get to Sea Grass. this was a really fun experience and I cant wait to talk about it more when we go back to lab Friday!
In response to sec. 101 Janice's comment, I believe the reason that the temperature was dropping because we were getting closer to the open ocean and the water is colder out there than in the Tomoka River

Monday, April 17, 2017

Carly, UR - shiver of sharks

Good day every one!  Let's start out with a question I received this past week from Janice, section 101:
Hi Carly, what a cool project. Would you mind telling me more about the websites you are using to collect your data from? How did you find them and what kind of data can you get? Other stuff if it's important.
WindyTV and all of the options
 Thank you for the question Janice!  So, the websites I am using are WindyTV and OCEARCH. I was introduced to WindyTV from our professor, Dr. Woodall, OCEARCH was a site I found years ago while surfing the web.  WindyTV is a site that shows all different kinds of data: wind speeds, cloud coverage, rain, snow, swells, and a slew of things in between.  The most important data it shows me is sea surface temperature (sst), a current and monthly average of both.
OCEARCH with pings and profile of CubsWin

OCEARCH on the other hand is a website for an organization that goes out of expeditions to tag different species of sharks.  Their site shows the 'pings' of each individual shark with their own profiles.  There are search options for different times, species, locations, etc.  The 'pings' are where the tag the shark has on its dorsal fin has surfaced and it relays time, date, and location to a satellite.
So, what I do with this data is match the location of a shark ping with an approximate location on WindyTV to get the current and average sst of that area.

I hope that answered your question Janice!  If you have any other questions or specifications you would like to know please feel free to ask!

Now, on to the past week of data collecting.  I'm starting to get faster at recording the data and approximating locations, which is nice.  Something I'm starting to notice is an average range of sst from about 18 C to 21 C among all the species, but the different species (White, Mako, Blue, and Tiger) are all different.  For example, the White sharks are hanging out by the coasts right now while the Blue sharks are out in the middle of the Atlantic.  Those are the only trends I'm noticing so far, if anyone has any questions please feel free to ask!

Fins and grins,

Friday, April 14, 2017

Christian Vinciquerra, UR, Water Quality Tomoka State

Last week for class we met at Tomoka State Park in Ormond Beach for a boat trip. We were visiting four sites along the Tomoka River to measure water quality. I was quite excited for this because it was the first time we went boating for class. The conditions were good compared to the first groups overcast class the previous week, however, we had all the wind which made it chilly out. The water grew more rough as we moved from site 1 to the site 4. At site 1, the conditions were more relaxed. We anchored off in the corner of a bank in the river and Dr. Woodall announced the directions for the day and explained the instruments being used. We were using a YSI85 to measure O2, salinity(ppt), and temperature(Cº). The instrument can also measure conductivity of the the water but we weren't measuring that for this experiment. Next we used a Hach pH reader for the surface and used the Van Doran method to collect water for deep water samples. A Secchi disk to measure the visibility in the water column. And last but not least a Hach DR890 calorimeter to measure the turbidity and phosphate levels.  We broke off in groups of 2-3 and each group used one instrument per site. Since there were four sites and roughly 4 groups everyone had a chance to use each instrument. Though out the day we had a great process working. Our group managed a very efficient and fast pace going finishing in record time by 12:30(ish) accordion got Dr. Woodall.
Inverse Secchi Depth vs Turbidity.
Here is my graph from last Friday. I measured the Inverse Secchi depth and turbidity to see if there was a correlation because the visibility in the water column to the amount of particles in the water. As you can see the R^2 reading is .61143 which tells me that there wasn't that strong of a relationship between the two. While we were on the boat looking at the data I had written down, I thought that there was going to be a stronger relationship between the two.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Monica, UR- Power up

Interesting: Today as I was gathering data from my solar panels, I've noticed a big spike in the power being produced.  I began collecting data from my panels on March 27th everyday day (that I was able to) at 12pm. All solar panels were creating between 25-28 Watts. This was also the first week of spring. One of my theories is since the sun is moving higher in sky, my panels are getting a better angle of the sun.  April 1st was the first day one of my solar panels was over 30 Watts. April 1st-11th all panels have been producing 28-30 Watts. On April 12th I was very surprised with my readings. The panels were producing 30-35 Watts. Today my readings were between 40-45 Watts. I'm not 100% what has caused this spike but the angle of the sun could be part of it.
The angles of the sun during certain seasons

Panel 3 - different design

Possible Errors
: The last two days have been very cloudy. I have put this down as one of my possible errors. When I was taking the readings for my 3rd panel on April 12th, the sun was partially covered by clouds giving a low reading. Also I noticed my 3rd panel is slightly different then my other 2 panels. It still has the same stats as the others but the design is slightly different.

Questions: Alecia Section 101- How much energy would one of those solar panels create? Would it power a refrigerator or air-condtioner?

Hey Alecia, my panels are 25 Watts each. (Watts= power) They are producing over 25 Watts right now because I do not have a load on it. (meaning I'm not powering anything with it) Now if I wanted to power something with it, it could not be a refrigerator (these range from 500-750 Watts) and air-
conditioners range between 900-3500 Watts depending on how big the unit it. I could use smaller things with my panels like charging phones (2-6 Watts),  LED Christmas lights (5 Watts) and charging batteries for lawn equipment (15 Watts). I hope I answered your question, Thanks for the Interest!