A better day

I’m on the mend, and some nice drugs quickly made my unmanageable headache manageable this morning, so I’ve been up and about and trying to catch up with all the jobs I’ve missed out on doing this week. The sun has kicked in as well, meaning that I feel (somewhat) more confident in prepping the garden and our outside spaces for Spring and some nicer weather.

The only dissention at this change in season seems to be coming – vocally – from the local Cape Rain Frog population. They’re much happier when it’s wet and cool. These blue skies and warm sunshine aren’t for them. They’re letting us know.

I’m still a little short of oomph, so things aren’t going as quickly as they could be, but on the plus side, at least the sun has charged up the house batteries and meant that I can do some energy-heavy tasks like washing the washing machine. Our Bosch machine has a special programme for this, which is 90 minutes of splashing around clean water at 90oC. Super effective, but not something that you want to be paying for via your meter. Hence today being a good day to do it: we’re dragging 3000W in at the moment, more than 80% of it going straight there.

I know. Sounds like an odd one until you see the colour of the water that’s supposedly “cleaning” your clothes. I’m well aware that even with your own Spring cleaning programme in full swing, you’re not looking for a sign to wash your washing machine, but if by any chance you were, then this is it.

Anyway. Lawn done, washing machine done, energy (mine) depleted. Time to sit down (and probably fall asleep) in front of the football.

Meanwhile, in South Africa…

Here’s today’s news:

> Stage 5 loadshedding: meaning an average of 10 hours without electricity each day.

Here’s our local supermarket’s tongue-in-cheek repsonse:

Yes, those are candles. A huge array of many different types of candle.
And yes, that light top right was being powered by a generator.

> There’s a massive fuel price increase this week because the government has f*****d the Rand:

“Motorists are in for a shocking fuel price increase from Wednesday. The price of petrol will go up by R1.71 per litre, diesel by R2.84 and paraffin by R2.78.”

> The President is attending the inauguration of Zimbabwe’s President, even though the entire world knows that the election was more rigged than a particularly complex 19th Century tea clipper:

…the elections were marred by controversy – including issues with the voters’ roll, the banning of opposition rallies, reports of biased state media coverage and voter intimidation.

> Cyril will then be heading home to “address the nation”, and tell us that the enquiry by the SA government into whether the SA government supplied arms to Russia has found out that the SA government didn’t supply arms to Russia, but the SA government can’t show us the SA government report exonerating the SA government, because that would “jeopardise the work of the SA armed forces”.

> And all this is being rubbed like salt into an open wound as the ANC shitterati dance with each other while the country falls apart:

“The mood [fire emoji] [fire emoji]”?
Is it,? That’s weird, because the mood is very different across everyone else in the country. But then I guess that it’s easy to be happy and dancey when your continual mismanagement, gross incompetence and widespread corruption only negatively affect other people.

Ugh. Trash.

Do Solar Panels work in hot weather?

It pains me to have to post stuff like this.
It’s just simple common sense. Of course they do.

And yet…

This is quite clearly BS, and if you need to be told that it’s BS, you probably also need to seek professional help.

Yes, the UK switched on a coal-fired power station a few weeks ago.
No, it wasn’t because solar panels stopped working.

…liberal-minded news outlets like The Guardian blamed maintenance at nuclear plants in Scotland and inter-tie maintenance on an undersea cable from Norway.

And much as I’m no fan of the Guardian, oddly on this occasion, it turns out that they were far more likely to be correct than those making the assertion that it got too warm for PV panels to work properly.

They’re built to function from -40C to +85C. Performance does fall when temperatures go above 25C, but only by 0.34 per cent for every additional degree. That’s pretty marginal stuff, according to Solar Energy UK. Even at close to boiling point, power output would only be around 20 per cent lower it says, other factors being equal.

“It’s not actually a big deal. High temperatures only marginally affect the overall output of solar power – it’s a secondary effect” says the UK’s leading technical expert on the technology, Alastair Buckley, Professor of Organic Electronics at the University of Sheffield.

Yet another example of someone who read something on Facebook believing that they now hold the same expertise as someone who has been studying the subject for their whole academic career.

It got up to a whole 30C, which is hot for the UK in June, but isn’t really hot when you compare it to the rest of the world. If this temperature had really wiped out the UK’s solar energy production, then basically, no country within a band 50 degrees north to 50 degrees south would be able to utilise solar panels.

Add in the countries north and south of there that can’t use solar because there isn’t enough sun (a genuine concern in placed like Svalbard) and suddenly that’s basically the whole world.

So why would any columnist try to paint this clearly incorrect picture, seemingly in a bid to discredit renewable energy?

Well, I guess it depends on the columnist:

Shaun Polczer is the Business Reporter for the Western Standard, based in Calgary. Formerly, a business reporter for the Calgary Herald, he has also held senior positions at the Daily Oil Bulletin, and the London Petroleum Economist.


Sadly, the comments beneath his piece (I’m not giving him any extra traffic by linking to it), tend to suggest that the ability to think rationally and critically might also have been knocked out by the heatwave.

Next week: Why do ice skates not work in the cold?

please contact AhhixhiUi IgngxngHg

I bought some electricity the other day. A slightly unusual transaction, as it included extra codes to upgrade our meter. But I’ve done that in Agulhas already, so all was well.

And that was a good thing, because all it hadn’t been well, then I would have had to get in touch with someone…

In a country with 11 different official languages, there are often problems with pronunciation, but I’m usually one of those people that wants to learn, and wants to get it right.

This time, though? Nope.

Sorry, AhhixhiUi.