August weather and solar production summary

by Mars

August was largely a washout with consistent and regular rain, and it ultimately affected a lot of our planned outdoor projects and also had an adverse effect on some of our vegetables, most notably our tomatoes.

Our tomato plants are covered in fruit, but ripening has been slow as a result of overcast days that dominated our weather patterns over the past 30 days.

Frustratingly, our Netatmo rain gauge stopped working and had to be replaced. It took about 10 days for the new one to arrive and we missed out on collecting rain data, which was significant because we had a number of the large storms.

Due to the amount of cloud cover we had, August was an odd month in terms of temperatures. According to historical data for our area, we’re supposed to average 15.7C in August. We averaged 17.4C, but that doesn’t tell the full story because the data we collect doesn’t factor in wind chill.

In addition to this, the lack of direct sunlight, coupled with cold, strong winds, also made it feel cooler than it actually was, and this probably also contributed to slowing down the ripening of our tomatoes.

You can also tell it was a washout by our solar production numbers. Last year, during a sunny August, we generated 743.95kWh of electricity, and just 610.32kWh in the corresponding month this year. This is very low, and will affect our FiT (feed-in-tariff) payments.

Based on the overcast, wet summer we’ve had it’ll be interesting to see what this winter will be like. We’ve stocked up on firewood to be on the safe side, and it’ll be interesting to see how the weather in autumn treats us.

1 comment

Eddy Winko 5 September 2020 - 07:14

A couple of tips for your tomatoes, if you don’t do them already. Pinch out the leading shoot after for or 5 trusses have set fruit. Remove lower leaves. Pick the fruit as soon as they have a hint of red to the skin, they will ripen off the vine if kept in a covered tray in warm place (it is not sunshine that ripens the fruit, but warmth)
As a comparison our solar PV generated 460kwh in August, which I think is pretty good for a 3Kw system. Sadly we don’t get a feed in tariff, indeed we have to pay the electricity company for storing the electricity we generate! They will never buy it off you if you produce more than you use.

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