january 26, 2010 05:21pm

Winter 2009-2010 so far...

In two words: an education.

November was pretty tough for the UK in general, but the challenge for Y Foel was dense cloud cover.

The property is very well drained, being substantially covered in 1-5m of "badger sand". But the cloud cover was often so dense that we had minimal solar gains. The solar panels (hot water) produced negligable energy. The direct solar heat gains were very slight despite masses of S and SE glazing.

After record rainfall in November December brought the big freeze. Once again the local climate was milder than in some parts of the UK with a maximum depth of snow up here of about 65mm. The snow-thaw-snow sequences meant we could not drive down the hill for a couple of weeks. Days spent clearing and gritting turned to frustration as the next melt-freeze cycle hit.

The other major task was keeping our spring water system running. Spread over 5 x 1,750-litre tanks and a 45m height difference there are still exposed plastic pipes at 3 levels. At -11°C the ice in the top tank and pipes was so widespread that we had to collect water from the spring below the house for several days.

Then came the thaw and the badger sand cutouts for the saokaway and track started to collapse...

Posted By: MarkTiramani

8 comments | Comment