Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Ten days ago, I spotted a new visitor in our garden: a couple of long-tailed tits stopped by and sampled the peanuts. Wikipedia says that they are not exactly scarce, so I hope to see them more often.

A long-tailed tit feeding in our garden

A long-tailed tit feeding in our garden
(click for a larger version of the picture)

PS. In Dutch the long-tailed tit is called a “staartmees“.


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I have updated our solar electricity production numbers with the lowest yield for any September for our installation. 2017 will probably turn out to be a “bad” year for our panels.

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The numbers are a bit later, since we were on holiday in warmer (and sunnier!) places a thousand kilometers south of Belgium. But I have updated our solar electricity production numbers, and they show that the summer here was almost average in terms of sunshine: 97% for the whole summer is at least better than last year. I was somewhat surprised to see that, given that August achieved only 92% of what was expected.

Enough of those numbers: let’s just remember that we had very few days with a nice blue sky this summer (I haven’t counted them, but that’s how it feels). The strange thing is that those more or less cloudy days were much warmer than average.

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Our solar panels complained strongly about the weather yesterday evening: Tuesday was so gloomy, that it was worse than on many winter days! Let me illustrate that with a quick statistic. In January of this year, more than half of the time the panels produced significantly more electricity than they did yesterday: 17 days saw numbers well above the 1.25 KWh of August 8. Of all the August days in the life of our installation, only the 26th of 2014 was a tiny bit worse.

What a contrast with what we hear about Southern Europe, where a heat wave is causing droughts…

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I have updated the numbers on our electricity production. There’s nothing exceptional to report. If anything, a number just below average isn’t surprising, considering the many half-cloudy days of July. It seems contrary to to expectations, but the heat of many of those July days did not come from the sun, but from hot air blown coming from the South.

We had at most two days without clouds; if there are numbers on that somewhere, then surely July 2017 will be very much below average on that count!

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The weather was very dry last month in Belgium, and our farmers don’t like that. In terms of sunshine, the month was rather average. Our solar panels registered 102% of the average solar energy production for June over the previous 7 years: better than expected after the low numbers so far this year, but far from exceptional.

On to July and the summer holidays!

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The weather of last few weeks of May Was relatively sunny, here in Belgium. Nevertheless, the solar energy production of the past month ended up (slightly) below average, and below the target of 290 KWh that I hoped to achieve.

(Click the image to see a full-size version)

What our cells need, is lots of sun and temperatures that don’t go into the high twenties or more (Celcius!) – but that combination is rather rare here in summer.

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