Earth Notes: Diarycast - June to November Roundup (2021-11-14)

Updated 2024-04-25.
Covid continues, COP26, field recordings, lots of storage, heating on, Twitter peer review. #podcast #lockdown
339s "20211114" (captions) Uploaded . Downloads:


Hi, I'm Damon Hart-Davis, and welcome to Earth Notes podcast on all things eco and green and efficient @Home!


A brief scoot through the last five months at EOU Towers, since census mid-June, from Covid to low wind to storage upgrades!
20210709 16WWMonthlyElectricityConsumption

Coronavirus persists in the background with my daughter isolating at home in June (during exam week, annoyingly), through Freedom Day in July lifting most of the social-distancing [legal] restrictions, both children getting a single Pfizer vaccination dose in October, to another free flu jab for me. The abnormally high electricity usage of lockdown is clearly visible in my graphs too.

More positively, COP26 concluded with some useful (though insufficient) progress.

2021-07-07: yes, demand pickups are still a thing on the GB grid...

Substantial demand pickups were reported by the (GB) National Grid ESO: #ENGDEN saw our control room register steep half and full-time pick-ups of 1400MW and 1300MW (the ad breaks meant fewer people staying put during half-time). We also saw a third pick-up at extra time.

DHD lockdown hair and beard 20210724 on train with mask

2021-07-16: the first 'summer' day this year IMHO; sunny all day, I sat out in a pub garden in the evening sun in a t-shirt without shivering, and slept under a sheet rather than a duvet! Also, my hair is now long enough to form a short ponytail, a mere ten-ish months in!

2021-07-24: We took a week's holiday in Herne Bay, and I recorded some ambience for an earlier podcast episode. [ ... ]

2021-08-15: I put the bat detector at my study window this evening for the first time in a long long time, and heard a couple of passes. I haven't spent enough time with bats this year!


2021-09-01: I recorded some ambient brewery noise today. I took a relatively uninterrupted stretch, excluding for example the parts when people were asking if they had to mind their language because of the recording! [ ... ]


A lot of storage upgrades happened in September and October, off-grid and grid-connected.

off grid storage gel LA and LiFePO4 since 2007

2021-09-03: I replaced the off-grid battery storage 12V battery bank as the old one had done about ten years and was flagging. The new 'bank' is a single 220Ah 12V unit, which I think will be a better match than the old one for the energy available and the load.


2021-09-15: the Enphase grid-coupled storage was doubled to what I thought would be a sensible maximum for 16WW, after lots of analysis and beard-stroking.

2021-10-28: the Enphase storage was doubled again today to about 5kWh (capacity) / 1kW (peak power) after an offer of some second-hand units. Though connected physically on the day, it came online fully on the afternoon of 2021-11-01.

Expect analysis and even sonification in due course!


The GB grid suffered in August/September from something like a 70-year low in wind, and the resulting drop in wind generation combined with very high natural gas prices, and a fire in the IFA1 French interconnector, caused a certain amount of excitement in the electricity system. Our electricity unit price rose from ~25p to ~35p.

2021-11-06: 16WW central heating went on today noon-ish, so better than our default 1st-November target, but not up to last year's 1st-December record!

20211114 GB intensity tweet from reutils

2021-11-07: some Twitter-based peer review resulted in significant improvements in the (reutils project) GB carbon-intensity tweets! The static image has been removed from the tweet, and the tweet text now starts with the computed intensity.

There are lots of links in the episode page at Earth Notes, and more diary entries and images in the Show Notes too.

There's more on my "Earth Notes" Web site at Earth.Org.UK.

Show Notes

Full diary notes: