Really cold

The weather station in my garden recorded a low temperature of -6.6deg last night – that is really cold! The Calverton weather page says that’s the lowest in seven years – although last year ran it close.

So cold that in the middle of the night there were strange noises that woke us up. We think they were the conservatory shrinking in the cold. The frost on the roof didn’t melt at all during the day (which is possibly an indication of how much our new conservatory is not actually a suntrap at all). Bedroom thermometer said the bedroom got down to 15 degrees, which given that it’s been remarkably constant at 19deg is quite a drop.

But not as cold as in my parents’ town in Herefordshire – their garden thermometer recorded a night-time low of -8.5.

The last week has shown cold, but sunny days, and the solar panel performance has been impressive. Until very recently I have worried a bit that solar won’t do enough over the summer. But these last few days, even though outside hasn’t got much over 10 degrees, the panel has consistently got above 30 degrees, which makes a good difference to the base temperature of our cylinder before the gas boiler kicks in in the evenings.

Observation shows that it takes the gas boiler a good two hours to heat the hot water cylinder enough over 60 degrees for me to have my planet-killing luxurious long hot shower in the morning. So I know that for the panel to completely replace the gas heating, the panel needs to get up to 80 degrees for at least two hours. That’s looking distinctly more possible over the summer if we can get over 30 degrees on sunny, cold wintry days.

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