Solar panel performance – 2014 and 2015

Forgive me reader, it’s been over two years since I last blogged the annual performance of my solar panel.

Solar panel performance 1/1/16

A photo this time rather than a screen shot as since I upgraded my computer I have been unable to re-download the software that would allow me to connect my new computer to the controller. This is rather annoying because I paid extra for the computer control facility.

Rather suspiciously, the controller reports almost identical kWh outputs for the last three years.

I will estimate it as 3,800 kWh per year. Nottingham Energy Partnership have an Energy Costs Comparison table. I neglected to look at it last year, so will have to use the data from last month now to estimate the financial value of the heat we got from the sun. I use the gas rate of 5.19p/kWh, since if the water were not heated by the solar panel, it would be heated by gas.

That means the solar panel gathered around £197 of energy in each of 2014 and 2015.

The running total to the end of 2014 is therefore £1,187 and at the end of 2015, £1,384.

September will see the ninth year of operation. When it was installed, we needed to put in a new hot water tank which was bigger than the old one, so the installers had to demolish my airing cupboard to fit it in. In the nine years since, I have yet to sort it out.

There are all sorts of flawed assumptions being made to come to that figure, so take it with a fairly large pinch of salt.

If you are considering a solar panel of your own, whether for hot water or to generate electricity, and you live vaguely near Nottingham, do please get in touch with Sungain at Nottingham Energy Partnership, who would be delighted to let you know what to do next. You can also follow them on Twitter, and they also have a very helpful service on their website that lets you compare your electricity and gas tariffs and see if you can save money.

Buckets more information about my own solar panel under this link.

And a declaration of interest: I’m on the board at Nottingham Energy Partnership, where they very kindly describe me as an “energy expert.”

French and German weather haiku

I wrote these last year in July as we were approaching a weather topic.

My aim was for Y7 students to make sure they understood them, then translate them into English, then fiddle with them until their English versions also met the syllable pattern to be a haiku.  This proved incredibly hard to explain!

Looking again at what I wrote after 9 months have elapsed, I still quite like them.

The ultimate aim is for students to write haiku of their own in the target language. This is a stretch for many.

Working with haiku in French and German is something I first did on teaching practice and is not really something I have managed to embed.

Please let me know what you think of these haiku – especially language errors, should you spot any.

En avril, il pleut
La pluie mouille la terre afin
que toutes les plantes poussent

 

Soudainement, la
pluie s’arrête. Puis le soleil.
Un bel  arc en ciel

 

Coup de foudre et
Le ciel de nuit s’éclaire
Des gouttes de pluie tombent

 

Quelques mois sans pluie
Des grandes fissures dans la terre
Temps de secheresse

 

L’hiver s’approche vite
L’automne est déjà parti.
Les arbres sont nus.

 

La planète congèle
Le lac et la rivière
Sont durs comme le plomb.

 

Die Klassenzimmer
ist so heiß wie ‘ne Wüste.
Ich brauche ein Eis!

 

Bald ist es Winter.
Die Bäume sind total nackt.
Herbst is schon vorbei.

 

Winter gibt es Schnee.
Frühling und Sommer, Regen.
Nur Herbst ist trocken.

 

Während des Tages
hat es heute geregnet.
Ich will draußen geh’n.

 

Heute morgen – Schnee.
Der Schneefall mag ich gucken.
Weihnachten kommt bald.

 

Schwitzen und streiten,
Beim sonnigen Wetter kann
Nichts gut herauskomm’n

 

Regelmäßig kalt.
Ohne Mantel nicht ausgeh‘n!
Handschuh‘ braucht man auch.

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Good grief, Amazon, srsly?!

Amazon’s most recent recommendations for me.

Right next to each other.

An unlikely combination, and two books manifestly unsuitable for me.

Crafting with Cat Hair

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crafting-Cat-Hair-Cute-Handicrafts-ebook/dp/B00CCONZYU/

And

How to Avoid Being Killed in a War Zone.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/How-Avoid-Being-Killed-Zone-ebook/dp/B0055GJFUA/

I went on to look for children’s books, got distracted by Images You Should Not Masturbate To

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Images-You-Should-Not-Masturbate-ebook/dp/B004H0M8KO/

I give up!

French and German films to use in the classroom

Steve Smith discussed a year ago “Should MFL teachers show films at the end of term?

Clearly some of my colleagues do, because there was a recent Facebook conversation which discussed which French films to use in class.

Our media scheme of work includes Les Choristes (Barratier, 2004) which has gone down well with many classes. It’s sentimental, cute and has some catchy choonz.

Dom’s MFL recommends Les aventures extraordinaire de Madame Adèle Blanc-Sec (Besson, 2010), which is a fantastic adventure romp in the style of Indiana Jones, based on a French comic book.

Dom’s blog also links to a super resource pack to go with the film.

The other week, P was watching Priceless (Hors de Prix – Salvadori, 2006) on Netflix – I think, recommended for him because he likes Amelie (which I still have never seen.) I came in late to the film but watched the final bits with him and it did seem to be something that classes might go for.

Finally in conversation a colleague suggested Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis (Boon, 2008) which I have not seen, but whose trailer looks good fun. In the second half of the trailer there is some extraordinary work done with subtitling – what is in the subtitles is not at all what is said in the dialogue, but it has been altered so that the dialect / speech impediment jokes still work.

On the German side of the curriculum, our scheme of work includes Lola Rennt (Tykwer, 1998) which is a film I like a lot, but is getting old now and has baffled more than one class. It’s too short to use for two complete lessons. It’s also a 15 which means it can’t be used for many classes without parental consent.

Also in the cert 15 is Good Bye Lenin (Becker, 2003) – a good long film that can lead into lots of interesting discussions about German history. Not seen for aages.

A colleague has been showing her classes Sophie Scholl (Rothemund, 2005). Personally I think the curriculum gives rather too much time to Germany and world wars and I would rather not add even more to that. I suppose this film is at least dedicated to the German resistance and many students may not have considered this even existed.

Let me know in the comments if there are films you use and if you have any resources for them!

Next time you’re at the Gare du Nord

Delia has an awesome suggestion of how to kill some time near the Gare du Nord in Paris if you need to: the Marché St Quentin

Last time I had some time to kill was when heading to Munich by sleeper train a million years ago. That time, I walked from the Gare du Nord to the Gare de l’Est – it’s really not at all far – and spent the time on the terrasse of a street café having a steak-frites and a carafe de vin rouge.

My first parkrun!

A year ago, more or less, I wrote about parkrun, registered, got a barcode, and then prevaricated and didn’t get around to trying to run around the park for 5k.

Last Friday, I went and checked I could indeed run 5k around a park in under 50 mins and wouldn’t be the absolute slowest person there.

(If you’re interested, you can get the GPX for any parkrun on the “course” page of the parkrun website and convert it into a Runkeeper course using these intstructions.)

And this Saturday I got up early to be at the start line long before 9am and ran with the people there.

The email with the results just arrived and they’re here. I came 77th out of 92! Clicking through on my age group result, I see that of all 83 men aged 35-39 who have ever run Forest rec in the last year, only one has ever run it slower.

I’m actually pretty chuffed with the time, I didn’t think I could do anything like that. I also know that to improve, the next step is the easy to say, hard to do, “spend less time walking.”

Now, having got up early on a Saturday, must try extra hard not to waste the rest of the day.