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Feel Good Friday - Sharing positive Earth news...

  • 3 September 2021
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Feel Good Friday - Sharing positive Earth news...

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71 replies

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Bat hostel had little progress this wet week, @Jess_OVO

But I do have some good news of progress on another front:

Here’s a photo of the power supply module for the DIY Energy Monitor unit I’m building.

 

From this angle I’m feeling pretty positive about the battery…

but I guess that depends on your point of view.  :wink:

 

This 3D printed unit is effectively a mini- Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) which should enable data to be gathered during grid-faults.

All sorts of interesting things happen on the mains as it recovers from an outage, and I’d really like to record these. Here’s one I captured on my smartphone in March’21

It’s great to have the power back on, but we seem to be missing a few volts!

 

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Well, I do have some pretty good news actually. It’s a little late because I erm… Wanted to… Umm. “Test” the feature out first… But it’s now possible to login to the OVO Forum using either your email address or your username (and obviously, you’ll need your password too)!

It’s been in testing for a while within inSided and it’s just recently started to roll out across the platform. So, if you can’t remember your username, don’t panic! Simply use your email address in place of it when logging in and the forum will find your account that way instead. Just make sure not to use your email address as your username when you sign up! :rofl::joy::stuck_out_tongue:

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Some citrus blossom doesn’t emit any fragrance during the night. :thinking:

I have absolutely no idea how plant chemistry works to achieve this phenomenon… and nor does the internet apparently.

 

Extraordinary. Nature generally is. 

 

And some good news for the natural world was reposted by OVO Newswire this week:

 

Nine philanthropic organisations have collectively pledged to provide $5bn for projects that advance progress towards a goal of protecting 30 percent of land and ocean by 2030, in a donation that has been touted as the largest-ever private funding commitment for biodiversity 🌎

Together forming the ‘Protecting Our Planet Challenge', the Bezos Earth Fund, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Nia Tero, and Arcadia, Re:Wild, Wyss Foundation and Rainforest Trust have collectively pledged to provide billions of dollars of investment over the next 10 years towards the goal, by strengthening and expanding protected areas and supporting Indigenous stewardship of traditional territories.⁠
-⁠
Full story at ovonewswire.com⁠

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A carbon forecast app feature - sounds pretty familiar!

 

Had a chance to check out OVO Greenlight yet, @Jeffus?

Yep i think. I prefer the national grid one with the auto alerts.

Perhaps auto alerts is something that could be added to Greenlight rather manually looking at Greenlight?

Would be an easy prompt to turn the dishwasher or washing machine on for example before we start to see more automated functionality in the home to trigger these sort of appliances. 

 

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The National Smart Meter Network already has an inbuilt alert system. This allows:

  • messages/errors to be shown on the IHD
  • control by the Smart Meter of domestic appliances using Auxiliary Load Control Switch (ALCS).

The UK is sitting on an abundance of riches within the foundations of our smart metering grid.

When/if we actually see these implemented is another matter. But I remain forever hopeful :smiley:

PS, is it Friday yet? It’s still Thursday here in the Westcountry :wink:

It would be so great to see some simple nudge steps while we wait for the riches which i am sure will come. Perhaps something to nudge OVO on in your interactions with them? 

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One of the benefits of living in the countryside is the proliferation of wildlife on our doorstep. But as temperatures plunge with the onset of winter, they frequently cross the threshold and take up residence in the well-insulated cavity walls and the voids in my underfloor heating.

A couple of days ago, 4yo saw me arrest the first one and proclaimed how ‘cute’ it was

 

36 hours later the total had risen to 17 and that’s no longer the adjective which comes to mind!

And so it is that my first task of the day is to load up the traps with peanut butter, ready for the plague to emerge from wherever they’re hiding.

Am I being mean?

After all, they’re only seeking a better life for their family.

But that’s the dilemma isn’t it?

These residents weren’t being persecuted where they’d been living in the garden and fields beyond. They have no claim to asylum beneath my floorboards, and are surely just economic migrants.

So at the moment I’m busy deporting them back over the wall and into the hedgerows.

And that leaves me with tricky decision of whether to build the owl roosting box I’d intended. Would that introduce an oppressive regime from which asylum could justifiably be claimed?

 

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My lemon bush is feeling particularly positive about life in general:

 

It’s the first week of November, and just look at the blooming thing! :sunglasses:

 

So - just a reminder that the marmalade season is upon us once more

 

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That’s so great, @Transparent!

 

At the risk of admitting another gap in my energy knowledge - Where exactly is the energy in the lemons coming from? The fructose?

 

Great to see an organic battery taking shape here too:

 

 

 

 

This puts my cherry-less coffee plant to shame!

 

I’m going to top off what’s be a great week for me personally with a bit of youth climate action hope. My 5 year old nephew asked me why I didn’t eat meat this week which really got me thinking about the challenges we face explaining the climate crisis to the next generation and the importance of doing so in a way that inspires rather than scares. If you’re in need of any top-tips on getting the balance right, our content team has written this great guide and I also found this Women’s hour clip really helpful.

 

Safe to say there's already some incredible youth climate activists, understanding and communicating the issues in ways many adults struggle to - Yemi Yohannes’s spoken word at today's COP fringe event left me awe-inspired.

 

So if one thing positive can come out of COP26 I’m hopeful that the kids have got this! :earth_asia:

 

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Over here we've been discussing how much electricity gets wasted by leaving chargers plugged in and other domestic appliances on standby. It reminded me of the very first flat screen TV we bought.

 

There we were in Currys looking at four shelves of flat screen TVs when the archetypal young, over-eager salesman made us aware of his presence.

Having established that we wanted a screen of around 30-inch and that it was for wall-mounting, he strode between the most expensive models, giving each one a 5-star report on its impressive list of features.

At last I could take no more.

"How many watts to they take on stand-by?" I asked.

He was momentarily struck dumb as he tried to understand the question.

"You don't need to worry about that, Sir," he explained. "These are LCD screens. They don't take anything like the electricity of the old sort of TVs."

"That's great," I replied. "So what do they take on stand-by?"

He was clearly flumoxed and began looking at the feature-card beside each TV in the hope that the answer would magically appear. "It'll be in the manual," he eventually announced triumphantly.

"Wonderful," I responded. "So could you please go and look it up?"

"Which model are you interested in?" he asked.

I pointed out half a dozen of the better-known brands... his face growing more despondent as the list grew.

"I'll just be a moment," he said. "I'll need to find the boxes in the stock-room."

As he left us standing there, it became apparent that the stock-room was the space behind the display stand, through which we could hear every word.

A ladder was being dragged across the floor, followed by the sound of cardboard boxes being moved, opened and thrown to the floor.

"What are you doing, Chris?" another voice chimed in.

"I'm looking for the manuals," Chris replied.

"What do you want to know?"

"Sodding customer wants to know how much they take on stand-by..."

"You mean, when they're not switched on?" said the voice.

"I dunno. I s'pose so. Give us a hand will yer?"

"Who the hell wants to know how much it takes when it's not f*#&g working?

"Well that's what they've asked," said Chris in exasperation.

A face appeared around stock-room door about a dozen paces away to my left, stared at me for a moment and then ducked back inside again.

"Jeez, Chris," said the voice. "He's winding you up mate!"

"So what if 'e isn't?" replied Chris. "What if he's been sent down by Management to see how we're doing?"

The face appeared again momentarily.

"Nah; He's pulling your bells. Got you good'n'proper!"

Chris arrived back, his shirt pulled halfway out from his belt, and his tie sideways. He held out a couple of manuals.

"It's probably here somewhere," he said hopefully.

I took them, quickly flicked to the specification pages and learned that the Sony took over twice as much as the Samsung in standby mode.

"Here it is," I pointed out to him. "The Samsung takes 6 watts."

"Oh!" exclaimed Chris, reading the words standby current in one manual and standby power in the other. "So you want the Sony do you?"

"No," I explained. "I want the Samsung."

Chris was well and truly confused. "You want the one with the higher number then?" he asked.

"No. I want the one with the lower power consumption."

Chris was about to ask why, when he thought the better of it. "I'll get the box," he suggested, and dived back to the stock-room..


I know what you're thinking. I could've asked for the manager.

But then I wouldn't have had the entertainment value of listening to Chris trying to explain to his colleague what was the difference between watts and amps as we left carrying the Samsung.

No, of course it made no sense to either of them - a fact confirmed as the doors closed behind us with the 'voice' exclaiming "It's not switched on, Chris, you f*#&g idiot!"

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You’ve clearly never worked in customer service, @Transparent - poor Chris. 

 

However I must say that this had me laughing out loud. Especially the backroom, head round the corner chat.

 

So, Watts and Amps…..  watts the difference? 

 

:cowboy:

 

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Love this!

 

Let’s be on the look out this weekend and next week for those news stories that make us smile inside and lift us up!

 

On the look out for positive earth news

 

 

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Amazon on the Amazon: Tech giant to help Brazilian farmers restore 20,000 hectares of rainforest - article by BusinessGreen here

 

OVO Newswire’s Instagram wrote:

 

Brazilian farmers in the Amazon region to restore around 20,000 hectares of rainforest over the next three years, as part of a new nature-based #climate solutions initiative it estimates could remove up to 10 million metric tonnes of #CO2 from the atmosphere by 2050 🌳.⁠

Launched today in partnership with US non-profit The Nature Conservancy and the World Agroforestry Centre, the initiative aims to support around 3,000 smallholding farmers in the Brazilian Amazonian state of Pará to help restore degraded cattle pastures back into native forest.⁠

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It’s now Sunday afternoon and the tally of mice deported now stands at 31.

It’s a bit early to say anything conclusive, but I might’ve found a possible weak point in my home defences. It’s the poor quality of the knot which gives it away, don’t you think?

 

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Yes, but not yet, I suspect ... I think they're idling, because they haven't been connected to the grid yet. Feathering their blades?

I find it helps to just think of blade velocity (at different points along its length) rather than angular velocity as such.

Another factor (which I think eventually limits their maximum size) is the variation of wind speed with elevation. there's much more power to be tapped higher up, but that blade is sweeping alternately through faster air and slower air every turn. The stresses on the blade are really quite large, and stiffness is essential...

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I’ve been building myself a new oak porch, which has now reached the roofing stage.

 

The observant amongst you will notice that my original Makita combi-drill has now become a breeding colony.

On which note I must now decide how to complete the roof such that it provides a suitable wildlife habitat without threatening the lifetime of the structure. My shortlist currently looks like this:

 

 

bats
solitary (bumble) bees
swallows
moths

owls ?

rats
mice
wasps
wood-boring beetles
fungi

 

 

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Beautiful photos of a beautiful sun rise. The sun rising on the last day of COP26 - let’s hope when it sets for the day there’s some good news to share...

 

The photo on the bottom right, I can see what looks like the turbine’s mast… and that’s from 40-60km away. Wow they must be huge. 

 

I came across an interesting graphic which showed where in the world it was best to have off shore wind (I can’t find it now, or I’d share it). The north of the UK in what I assume is the northwest corner of the North Sea scored very well. The UK overall was well placed for off shore wind. Nothing new to you all I’m sure, but something to be grateful for as we all look at routes to net zero. That’s my Friday feel good thoughts for the day...

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Well I’m sure the blades will be feathered, and the entire head turned out of the wind-direction too.

Unlike generation with solar panels, you shouldn’t have a wind-turbine rotating without a load attached.

The bearings and windings over-heat, which melts the insulation and the resulting short-circuit is quite spectacular...

my Permanent Magnet Generator (PMG) after the fire!

 

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Always lush in West Devon, @Jess_OVO 

This is dairy country :slight_smile:

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Some lovely feel good sharing going on here! 

 

Great to see those mega-turbines testing their blades against the rising sun, @Simon1D! - Wonder how much power one of those things can generate on a windy day? (I’ll wait patiently for the diagram/calculation to work this out and try and get my head round it, @Transparent !)

 

A bit of good news in the paper this week (and I’m hopeful there’s more to come) - Derby has approved the largest UK rewilding project - with potential plans for species reintroductions such as red kites and harvest mice!  :mouse2:

 

On a personal good news front - I’ve got a bit of a mini-staycation planned this weekend with an extra day off on Monday! Have a great one everyone and see you back here for some more great energy chat on Tuesday! :blush:

 

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Thanks @Blastoise186 - well it started OK, and then just faded. :wink:

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bats
solitary (bumble) bees
swallows
moths

owls ?

rats
mice
wasps
wood-boring beetles
fungi

 

 

 

This is fantastic. I love this approach, I’d agree with your Ins and Outs, and I’m keen to see some more pictures soon!

 

Trevor the puppy looks like an absolute star. Best of luck to you and your housemate whilst he settles into to his new home. :)

 

Love the social snap, and agreed, I really enjoyed hearing from Rebecca, and I’m enjoying listening back as we get on with transcribing some of those Q&A!

 

Some good news for fans of live music in Glasgow:

 

 

The SSE Hydro, one of Scotland's top live entertainment venues, has officially been rebranded the OVO Hydro. It is expected to welcome over 1.2 million visitors next year thanks to a record-breaking schedule of shows. ⁠

OVO Energy said that it is committed to supporting the venue in further reducing the environmental impact of its world-class entertainment programme. OVO’s head of sponsorship & partnerships, Colin Banks said: "At OVO, we want to develop purposeful partnerships which reflect our commitment to make zero carbon living a reality - not just in the home, but in the things we love doing too, like going to see our favourite band or comedian." ⁠

 

Source: The Scotsman

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Energy sector in crisis - just the one tumbler of wine between the two of them!

 

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Those are some fancy jumpers there. I wouldn’t mind having one you know!

 

Hahaha - Great thinking there, @Blastoise186!

 

We may or may not have some community incentives up our (new jumper) sleeves - Watch this space! 

 

Energy sector in crisis - just the one tumbler of wine between the two of them!

 

Happy to say the energy crisis hasn’t hit our cider funds yet (my glass was hidden just out of shot!) :beers:

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If OVO are happy to splash out on some fancy work-wear, might I suggest that a couple of Arc-flash proof overalls and hard-hats would be really useful.

We can then get you two access to some of the more interesting parts of the Distribution Grid.

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It’s not Friday, but I wasn’t able to get online last Friday so let me off please. 

 

I was out on the Brecon Beacons, hiking and camping. I was carrying everything with me, so that meant food had to be carefully chosen for high calorific content vs weight. It was a heavy bag, no room for cooking equipment. 

 

Fortunately, it’s the season for all sorts of berries. I feasted on blackberries every morning and evening, giving me a boost of energy and vitamins to fuel my exertions. 

 

Look at these:

 

 

What a wonderful way for nature to reward the carriers of its seeds. These thorny plants might be mistaken for being a bit nasty and malicious. Well think again, these are delicious and nutritious. Thank you nature for being so wonderful! 

 

@Transparent is known for making huge batches of jam every Autumn. What have you got on the go at the moment? 

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