Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The numbers are in, now that September is started. All in all, the summer of 2018 was above average in terms of solar electricity production, even though August did not entirely live up to what I had hoped for. I don’t know whether the lower temperatures of the last few weeks have helped: I should install a thermometer on the roof in order to have serious temperature records – but that’s not a priority now ;-)


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August 17th is #Deactiday on Twitter:

Also interesting (not just for today, by the way) is the information in this Twitter thread by Shannon Coulter. I do hope someone collected all that info and turned into a document or page on a platform other than Twitter and Facebook – a blog, for example, would be nice ;-)

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Our solar panels don’t measure the temperature, but they tell me that July certainly was a sunny month. They produced a bit more than 344 KWh of electricity, and that is the second best number in the history of our installation. Only in 2010 did we produce more than that, but 2010 was a very sunny year overall at this location.

Concerning the temperatures here in Belgium: the Royal Meteorological Institute calls the temperatures (and the number of hours of sunshine) for July “very exceptional” (sorry, the page with those data is not available in English). We’re beginning to get used to those 30+ degrees (Celcius) – that’s going to be a problem when things return to normal!

If you care about the impact of the ambient temperature on the efficiency of photovoltaic systems, have a look at this short article: “How Does Heat Affect Solar Panel Efficiencies?” It’s probably not a coincidence that that our panels did indeed better today (August 5) than two days ago: there was more wind today (good for ventilating and cooling our panels) and it was a few degrees less warm. I do not know the exact specs of our panels (the official documentation at Solyndra’s website is of course no longer available), but the SolarDesignTool website suggests a temperature coefficient of about 0.38%. That means that three degrees less increase the efficiency of the panels by about 1%, and that seems to correspond with our numbers for August 3 and 5 – at least if you take into account that I did not measure the exact temperature on our roof, but used guesstimation as my tool ;-)

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In 2015 my wife and I happened to be in Sydney (Australia) at the start of the Vivid light festival, early in the evening. The weather was bad then – it rained heavily by moments – and since we were on a ferry coming from Parramatta we only got a glimpse of what the festival has to offer. But even so it was a great event, something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives – we have a few photos of that evening to keep the memory alive.

And now there is an extensive video on the 2018 version of Vivid on Youtube – it’s enough to make us want to go back there again! The projections onto the Sydney Opera House seem to have gotten even better…

(Click on the picture to see the whole video on YouTube)

Thanks Cory, for pointing us to this video.

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June 2018 Was A Dry Month

Our national meteorological institute claims that June 2018 was a month with above-average sunshine (in number of hours of sunshine), but the electricity production numbers of our solar panels do not reflect that. We got only about 92% of our average production – but at least that’s not the worst score in the June history of our installation ;-)

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Macro Photography Is Hard

I got lucky last weekend: one of the macro photographs I made turned out very well, if I may say so. For a larger version, go to Flickr by clicking on the image…

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This blog is almost as old as ‘inessential‘, written by Brent Simmons. We both started in 1999, and I must admit that I did not know what I was doing at that moment! I certainly did not expect me to be sitting here, more than 18 years later, still writing in a language that is not native to me.

I do hope that you may agree with his view:

[…] to read a good blog is to watch a writer get a little bit better, day after day, at writing the truth.

Om Malik mentions how blogs help you understand a person:

And that’s precisely what blogs do. That’s what Dave does. That’s Gruber’s log. The words made you understand the writer, and the person.

That is exactly what Dave Winer means when he defines a blog as ‘The unedited voice of a person‘. A business blog usually is just a chronological announcement list, not a blog, making it a platform for the communication or marketing division. Useful, perhaps, but not a blog.

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