Saturday, 22 September 2012

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Half year results

What an amazing Summer!!  I refuse to listen to all you Southern moaners - we have had, and continue to have - the most stunning summer.  It started about April, briefly interrupted by some snow, and then day after day of clear bright dry days kept tingling fresh by light easterly breezes.  At the end of July the pattern changed  - the incessant sun was broken by the odd day of heavy downpour.  Very welcome rain.  The wind direction, or I should say breeze direction has shifted to being more in the west and south and this has made August a hot hot month, sultry, smouldering, sticky and midgey!   Thunderstorms are becoming a regular late afternoon feature.

But once the storm is over the midges re-apear - invigorated and hungrier than ever!  Despite the midges - which aren't that bad compared with other places I've been - the summer has been utterly magnificent.

Unless you happen to own a wind turbine of course.  Bloody rubbish.  Where's the soddin wind?

As a result of the gorgeous summer, overall cumulative yield has dropped from 104% at the end of March (roughly when 'summer' started), to 65% now.  35% down is an awful lot to make up in the coming half year.  The projected date for the party has disappeared into a quagmire of fog* cos the calculations become hugely complicated if production fails to average more than household consumption, which is unfortunately where we are at.

But I have faith.  One day it will be windy again.  And then I'll be complaining about having to die down wheelie bins and sheds and hapless goats and daughters and ........

* Sorry - that is an appalling metaphor - a quagmire of fog!?  Get a grip!
PS - once upon a time I found a spreadsheet where turbine owners could record their yield on a monthly basis for all to see - I can't find it again - if you know where it is please paste the link into comments or email me.  Thanks.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Smooth operators

I don't blog no more and I dont read the blogs I used to read religiously anymore but it's good to see that two old favourites Town Mouse and Stonehead are still at it, almost daily, and still finding new ways of not always saying things they've said already.

But I'm inspired to blog by Stoney and his Smoothies.  A wild variety of recipes here:

Summer is our smoothie season too.  Jussi makes the key ingredients - stewed rhubarb, goats yoghurt - and I add anything else I can find but nearly always a banana, at least one apple and orange juice, and abandoned jam if there is any.  But hey!  It's summer so chuck in peaches, nectarines and any other fruit you can find on offer and whizz in a blender for a not entirely smooth but utterly delicious drink that makes you feel healthy just by looking at it.


And The Girl has taken to contributing by making Cinnamon Swirls which, when taken with a smoothie, makes for a complete meal (and a much needed change from goat burgers). 

Almost the driest June on record..

Most of the UK has had staggeringly awful weather this summer - we've never had it so good.  Most of the UK has had double the average rainfall for the month with many areas having the highest recorded June rainfall ever.

We've had the driest June anyone can remember.  It would have been the driest June on record except for ONE day last week, when it rained very heavily.  May was also a stunningly good month and April was quite dry too.

It's been quite cool, with light easterly winds.  But cool is fine - it's the wet that's depressing when you spend a lot of time outside - and this year has been dry.


Here's proof: (you have to read all the way to the bottom to get to our truth...

Saturday, 9 June 2012

100 days

I know that the wind up here is rarely in the east.  I'm in my fifth year of living here and easterlies are quite noticeable when they come.  Which is rarely.  

Except this year.  

Since roughly April 1st we've had either no wind or easterly winds and that means that the wind turbine is struggling - as this graph of performance vs expected performance shows.  Easterly winds make me sick - sometimes, even in quite strong winds, the turbine flounders around, lazily yawing in all directions and not making a milli-watt to write home about.  I hate it.  Bring on the westerlies!

I refuse to worry about it though. ... ... ...

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Long distance running

I've never been a long distance runner.  I mean it's just something that's not right, although apparently the development of the ability to run a long way was a key event in our evolution.

I imagine that if you are running a long race, one of the important things is not to worry too much about how you are doing.  So I'm not too worried that for the last 20 days or so have been dominated by incredibly light or easterly winds.  The turbine is sited in a place which means it suffers from wind shadows when the wind is roughly easterly.  Not to worry.  When the wind drops as it has this week rush out and have a BBQ in glorious sunniness, and when it picks up again, as it has done now - wrap up against the blizzard and watch the turbine spin baby spin.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Caution: Hero at work

Last time Mike visited, in August, we built a goat shed.

This time he was here for - ooh almost 6 days - and we hung a gate, raised a fence about 4 ft to stop the goats attacking the willow and breaking through to the fruit trees, built a greenhouse out of old doors and converted the old oil tank into a tool shed.

Way to Go!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

40 days.....

There is a long standing significance to 40 days - as this superb piece of complete nonsense utterly fails to explain. Wikipedia is more comprehensible and asserts that:
"The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression (some scholars believe that this ancient information was the basis for the number 40 becoming sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims)"

Quite a lot can happen in forty days. For example in the last forty days we had three power cuts, two of them deliberately instigated by Scottish and Southern Electricity (The "Hydro" of ancient Scottish mythology), and the casing was blown off the wind turbine putting it out of action for two days. And a whole lot more besides.

Here are the two graphs you've been waiting for showing the performance of the evance r9000 over the first 40 days...

The First 40 days shows clearly that the turbine, despite the power cuts and being taken off line, is performing almost bang on target. I think on the whole I would have preferred it to be more above target - this monitoring period being in winter and with summer's dead calm balmy days to come I would expect the blue area to dip below the purple. I would then expect the shortfall to be made up in the winter.

The line graph is more interesting. One day I'll explain it - but just now I've got to walk the dog.