Saturday, October 15, 2005

Solar Powered Saturday


It's amazing what a little sunshine will do! Blazing sunshine in mid-October is just what the doctor ordered.

This week started well with exceptional good weather on Monday and Tuesday, but rapidly deteriorated into rainy murk and gloom by Friday.

However, I woke to bright sunshine on Saturday and armed with a cup of tea I went to survey my garden and take notes for my Autumn Almanac.

Dragon flies basking on the sun-soaked wooden fence at 9am in mid-October - what is the climate coming to?

My solar water heater panel is also propped up against that sunny fence, and as I watched the dragon flies, I heard the solar powered pump start up signifying that the water in the panel had already reached 50 centigrade.

The small solar pV panel that I use to recharge the pump battery is proving to be a success, with a maximum of 3/4 of an amp being returned into the battey on a sunny October day. It keeps the battery topped up, with no need to use a mains connected battery charger.

I am also having a major tidy up of some of my garden sheds, now that I have a new workshop, the two smaller sheds are being re-assigned, with the oldest one being ceremoniously cremated on Bonfire Night! Rather than landfill the combustible materials left over from the building work, I have stockpiled them and will treat my friends and family to a blaze on November 5th.

So far this morning I have hauled out and skipped 2 old central heating boilers, a lawnmower that was a non-runner 5 years ago and piles of other junk that was just taking up space. The boilers and lawnmower will be taken down to the metal recycling skip down at the refuse site. This way they will soon be in a shipping container and on their way to sunny China. Better that than buried in a UK landfill site.

We have endured six months of building work here, and with another skip on the drive it is time to clean up the back garden of all the builder's waste.

Building work is very much in evidence down our street with 5 or 6 skips present down a road of just 100 houses. It is criminal to see what is junked around here, and the amount of timber waste being landfilled from just this street could keep several woodburning stoves fired-up.

Most folks around here are adding on to existing houses, with extensionsand loft conversions. This is a sure sign that the housing market is slipping into recession again, with people preferring to stay put rather than face the costs and potential financial insecurity of moving.

I also started to get some feedback for this blog. Thanks to THM for her words of encouragement, and her excellent blogsite.

http://treehuggermum.blogspot.com/

I was particularly interested in some of the blogs linked to hers, including "manchester is my planet" (Link to appear later on the right)

http://www.manchesterismyplanet.com/

Here the site encourages citizens of Greater Manchester to pledge to a 20% overall reduction in greenhouse gases by 2010. Already nearly ten of thousand people in the Manchester area have taken this pledge.

Perhaps this site might encourage some of the other major towns and cities of the UK to take a similar approach. How about a Government incentive - like reduced council tax for those who sign to the scheme?

Reducing consumption and GHGs by 20% may seem a tall order, but if you concentrate on saving (not using) electricity, then the knock on effect to natural gas and coal is almost four-fold in true energy terms.

My electricity diet is continuing into its third week with my average consumption being a little under 7 kWh per day. However just by accidently leaving the desktop PC on overnight can seriously upset the average!

Enough of sitting indoors blogging - the sun is out, the sky is blue........., and time and shed wait for no man.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Does anyone know of a good specialty metals company that can produce custom made metal parts at a reasonable price?