Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

We had two completely unexpected visitors in our garden yesterday. I have no idea where they came from – or what species they are. But here they were: two members of the parrot family, both substantially larger than the caged parakeets we’re used to see in many homes here. Luckily they lingered about for a few minutes after I spotted them, allowing me to capture a portrait of each one. Long live the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Zoom Lens, for being practical and not too heavy for handheld use.

Alien number 1

Alien number 2

I hope they find a way to survive in the cold nights that are coming. The climate may be getting warmer, but parrots are not yet endemic birds in Belgium!

Read Full Post »

It seems I was complaining too early about the gloomy weather in Belgium, when I wrote about the solar electricity production of the panels on our roof at the beginning of October. Because October was even darker than ever before in the last decade – in fact, there wasn’t a single day of blue sky in the whole month. And that makes for a disappointing state of things: the darkest October in 10 years, producing only 79% of the average KWh’s of the previous years.

That number of 79% is confirmed by the national meteorological institute KMI (in Dutch): it has registered only 88 hours of sunshine in October, compared to a ‘normal’ (I suppose that means ‘average’) 112 hours. 88 / 112 * 100 = 79%. It may have been warmer and wetter than normally in October, but that’s just a small consolation.

Read Full Post »

Our solar panels reflect what we and many people in Belgium see: Autumn has set in early, with mostly grey skies and sometimes lots of rain in a short period. The clouds in the picture accompanying my previous post are fairly typical of the Belgian sky during the last two weeks.

No wonder then that the solar energy production of September is just 96% of the average September production, and less than 89% of last year’s September!

At least at this very moment there are a few solar rays penetrating the clouds.

Read Full Post »

I have updated the numbers of the electricity production of our solar panels. There’s nothing special to report, except that August hasn’t been so sunny since 2013. With a little luck, that will help make 2019 into another 2MWh year ;-)

Read Full Post »

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…

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.


Read Full Post »

Older Posts »