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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

By now, everyone knows that the past month has broken a few temperature records here in Belgium (and elsewhere in Europe). Rising temperatures make solar voltaic panels less efficient, and that shows in our solar energy production numbers for July 2019. Even on those very hot and sunny days our panels never produced the top numbers we might have expected. So all in all, July was just an almost-average month: 96% isn’t too bad. The same goes for the meteorological Spring of 2019: average…

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The last week has been very sunny and very warm in Belgium. Meteorologists tell us we had a real heat wave – not as severe as in France and Spain, to be sure, but enough to our photovoltaic panels produce the expected (but average) solar electricity of just below 300 KWh in June.

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Strange Weather

We spent 6 days in Crete, a week ago, because my wife wanted to experience more sun and better weather than we have had in Belgium the last few months. So where better to go than Greece in May, right?

Well, we actually had two days of grey skies and even a bit of rain. The White Mountains still had lots of snow on their tops. Several locals told us – independently – that we had the bad luck to live through what they called “strange weather“: for them, the steady patterns that bring so many tourists to Crete seem to be disappearing. Climate change was not yet invoked as the cause, but the term certainly came up.

This is not what Cretans want to see on a beach in May…

Crete and Belgium do not have weather in common, but according to our solar panels May 2019 was a sub-par month in terms of solar energy production. In fact, it was the second lowest production number in the history of our setup, and far low the number of last year.

 

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Actually, no – I may not have published many posts lately, but laziness isn’t the explanation. I have more than 450 items in my list of “potential topics to blog about”, and I’m finding it harder and harder to decide which of those are still worthwhile writing material. I really need to review that list and start deleting the least interesting subjects. But that may take some time…

Today I can report that the solar electricity production number for April is (finally) incorporated into the overview on this site. April 2019 delivered 96% of what I expected, but that was significantly more than the three previous April’s. Still, the month was colder than last year, just like the first days of May – a year ago, we were burnt by the sun on a hot day while attending a wedding reception; today, the temperature hardly rises above 10° C (and it feels colder because of a strong north-western wind!).

 

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I know it’s already April, but I did not want to publish the low solar energy production numbers of March on April 1st. Many readers might have thought I was joking, and that is not the case. Here’s why: March only produced 133.760 Wh of electricity, and that is just a fraction above last years March numbers and 25% below what I expected. Let’s just hope that this is not setting a trend for the future.

Another update is worth mentioning, at least for users and fans of the Samsung Galaxy S7: I was able to install the March 1, 2019 Security patch and the assorted updates on March 26th. This is what your S7 should tell you about its software, at least here in Belgium:

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December 2018 and January 2019 were disappointing months, when we speak of their number of hours of sunshine and the corresponding solar electricity production. But February 2019 made up for that, thanks to a (very) sunny week at the end of the month!

If all goes well, we will reach the 20th megawatt-hour somewhere this summer. No, our panels do not cover our total electricity consumption, just a part (somewhere between a third and half). Getting them was a serious investment almost 10 years ago, and we couldn’t get our hands on more productive Solyndra panels at that time…

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PS. Just for a change, today was a very gloomy day. Even darker than yesterday!

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Usually, December is the gloomiest month of any winter. But during the first half of this year’s January I was convinced the situation would be reversed! But – as usual – a few sunny days later on made January a sunnier month than the previous one, although the electricity production from our panels was below what we expected. Onwards then, with less gloom and more sun.

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