It is now exactly ten years since our solar panels came on stream. In that time they have served us 14,474.704kWh of electricity and £7,594.93 of free money, more than paying for themselves. Hopefully they have also reduced more pollution than was engendered in their manufacture, having offset just over 10,000kg of CO2. Good stuff all round.
Admin2 is reading The Promise by Damon Galgut; change and decay in a South African farming family; best Booker-winner I’ve read in years.


A visitation by hideous ghouls which chilled us to the marrow as the door creaked slowly open…
Admin2 is reading Nighthawking by Russ Thomas; a mediocre whodunnit featuring metal detectorists and buried coins and corpses.
October was sunnier than in 2020, 2019 and 2017 but worse than all others. This is because we have given up climbing on the roof to move the panels around to optimise them for winter.


Today our solar panels paid for themselves and from now on they will be supplying us with electricity for free. The FITS (Feed-In Tariff) scheme reckoned on a ten-year amortisation, and we managed it in 3,446 days, less than 9½ years. We’re now getting paid just under 60p per kilowatt hour (well, when EON gets their finger out 🙁 ), and it keeps pace with inflation for another 10 years.

Tulip Time

The garden after an April of freezing nights and the sunniest ever days (237.145kWh) and some heroic tulip planting by Auds and Bobs.
Admin1 is reading Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton. And whatever the opposite of misanthropic is, this book was it — a real change from my last two. Set over three hours of a school shooting incident in Somerset, it’s terrifically well-written (almost Kate Atkinson quality), engrossing and emotionally charged. A wonderful, page-turning read.
Admin2 is reading Leonardo’s Mountain of Clams and the Diet of Worms by Stephen Jay Gould. Snappy title, eh?

Cloud of the Day: Altocumulus

In spite of the clouds, today was the sunniest January day ever: 1.461kWh. It was also the coldest (3.47780°C on average) and wettest (111.0mm) January we have ever recorded.
Admin1 is reading Slough House by Mick Herron and Admin2 is reading False Value by Ben Aaronovitch. More thanks, Admin2!
We scored 7 on the GWQ. Ho hum.


In a taxi on the way to her first covid jab today Admin2 observed the city buried in a cloud with the tops of tall buildings floating above. She walked back in the hope of spotting the same scene again but was just incapable of telling whether her specs were steamed up or not. See you later vaccinator!
Admin1 is reading Hour of the Wolf by Hakan Nesser. Admin2 is reading The Grand Wheel by Barrington Bayley.
Know what? Still no watts!

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

But why did it have to do it on the day when Admin2 was due for a covid vaccination?
And here are the visiting sharks and tigers:
Today was our first zero-watt day on the solar panels since a snowy spell in early March, 2018.
Admin1 is reading The Fourth Victim by Mari Jungstedt and Admin2 is rereading White Tears by Hari Kunzru.


Sunshine sparkling on the spray from the sprinkler on our sunniest April day ever: 11.82kWh, the fourth >10kWh day this week with more to come if the forecast is right. From further away the physics of light on water makes a rainbow, symbol of these days.
Admin1 is reading Redemption Ark by Alastair Reynolds.

Happy New Year

Another year over and a new one just begun. 2019 was a good year for us but a terrible one for the world. Today we found out that this year there will be no May Day holiday but VE Day instead. How fast things are moving in the wrong direction.
Admin1 is rereading Dead Lions by Mick Herron. We are watching Game of Thrones season 8 (thanks Admin2!).
The solar panel summary for 2019 is now available. TL;DR: third best!

Shadows and Light

We noticed that the output of our solar panels had suddenly dropped over the last couple of very sunny days, from a maximum of about 1.3kW to a maximum of 900 watts. We sent the drone up for a look and saw this at around midday: the outlined area is now in shadow as the sun gets lower, and just that tiny amount of shading cuts nearly half a kilowatt from the output.
Admin1 is reading A Shot in the Dark by Lynne Truss (daft, and not as amusing as it thinks it is). Admin2 is reading The Chestnut Man by Soren Sveistrup. We scored 9.5 on the GWQ.

Flower of the Day: Hibiscus

This super plant only cost £2 and has flowers in two different colours.
August, despite being frequently chilly and damp, has been our all-time warmest and sunniest August with an average daytime max temperature of 25.7 °C and 214.231 kWh of sunshine.
Admin1 is reading FALL, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson. Admin2 is reading The Wall by John Lanchester; soldiers on a massive wall designed to keep sea and boat people out, a bit like Game of Thrones.

Critter of the Day: Triceratops

Monstrous creature roaming around Merrion Centre, part of the Jurassic Trail apparently.
Today has been our darkest July day ever: 468 watts, a maximum temperature of 17.4°C and 12mm of rain. A week of extremes indeed: raging winds, exceptional sunshine, thunder and lightning, hottest day and warmest night ever and least sunny July day all in six days.

Admin2 is reading The Vinyl Detective: Flip Back by Andrew Cartmel. We scored 8.5 on the GWQ.