Batten down the hatches - Dirk or Erich is heading this way

Dirk or Erich, I'm not quite sure which is expected to hit France on Monday evening and stick around for 24 hours of high S/SW winds and general calamity. The forecasters seem to be playing it down though, so hopefully nothing to worry too much about!

More information for the experts at Hebdo Meteo and La Chaine Meteo

Wow! We had torrential rain that eased off AFTER I walked the dogs. Our hillside is waterlogged although it is not an inconsiderable slope. But what you have!

We had so much rain last night it is spouting from holes in the ground!

Here in 81 The Tarn, not too bad...................... a few gusts....

Whe shutters are rattling here in 71.

We are keeping our fingers crossed for no fallen trees etc. I hope Santa has his waterproofs on.!

The difference in weather throughout France, here in the southern Tarn we have had a reasonable day no wind, it tried to rain but gave up after a few spots this afternoon, tonight while locking up the chickens noticed there was a reasonably warm southern wind and the goats refused to be locked up prefering to stay out, this is our 4th Christmas every year bar this one we have been snowed in with temperatures anything from minus 5 to minus 15, we have Jan and Feb to come yet so making the most of this

Stop Following – Don't email me when people comment


Comment by Leslie Bryan 3 minutes ago

Delete Comment

Hi Kent,

Here's our not for profit site, It has contact details, and you are always welcome to come and view/chat.

Thanks for the contact always very useful.

Just published a book, will be on our site when Mrs gets around to adding more stuff etc this Christmas break.

"How to make a Low cost, simple and robust 1.5kW or a 2kW Double Axis PV Solar Tracker" catchy title. ha ha

Just After my printing costs and postage really, and No I am not making them as a business venture as I am just to old for all the stress, 20 years ago then maybe.

But at least others can make something useful, with out the corporation organisations strangling inventive progress ![](upload://zWMV9ZcgNnNAsUFoOQ6NXJMESWY.jpg)

Take care, Bon Noel.

Hi Leslie.

Wow! Well impressive! Whereabouts are you in Normandie? I used to live near Vire in the early 90s but am now in 22, near Dinan; not too far away. Just curious.

I haven't seen Gerry, my electronics friend, for yonks so I just googled him; seems he's still about so, if it may be of use to add to your list of useful contacts:

G.P. Electronics was founded 25 years ago. Developing ELC's was started in 1973 and many units are continuously running in 35 countries. In case of inquiries the person to be contacted is:

Mr. Gerry Pope

G.P. Electronics. Bovey Tracey. Devon TQ13 9DS, U.K. Phone No.: U.K. 0626 83 26 70

He used to make some stompin' guitar amps way back when.

Have a great Christmas.

Hi Kent,

Yes dumping to immersion heaters is good.

With our turbines they are charging a 48v battery, 63Kwh, system so the dumping is done by them at 60v DC at about 40amps each. So normal immersion heaters just will not take that kind of amperage.

Normal dumping here is done with free standing air heaters, ie, 4mm diameter nichrome wire wound into coils and each heater can dissipate 2kw of energy. We have 8 of these heaters but they are noisy as they are used when the batteries are full and excessive generation is by passed with a PWM system controller for each Turbine.

PWM, (pulse width modulation) is a buzzing and the MRS hates the buzzing. So I tend to dump on the 230vac side of our 3.7kW inverter. So our large house, (going Passive huase) has 3kW electric underfloor heating and this can be run direct. Trouble is I do not leave the underfloor heating on at night much as the wind could calm and then my precious batteries get hit very hard.

Here'![](upload://7g6lNnJ2JqxV7GNK7AQmd1hXMlD.jpg)s a pic of the heaters that can dump 11kw's at 60v DC.

Considering we had a orange warning alert yesterday here in the Haute Pyrenees we had nothing.

Sunday was lovely here in 82. Monday morning a bit wet with winds 15 - 20 km/h environs. Thank you Pyrenees.

Just a suggestion >Leslie Bryan. An electronics engineer friend "gated" surplus power from a water turbine generator into a tank with some immersion heaters in it. He explained that it was like using sluices to "gate" water flow - but with electricity, so that what you weren't using went to the tank.

Lotsa hot water...

Normandy, 11.24hrs Christmas eve, wind now down to 60.3Kmh.

EDF has been out for 8 hours now, but no issue for us as we have are own power supply. Bit like rubbing salt in to all the other folk in the Valley of the Touques though, as I had to leave the house lights on all night to keep the system loaded and excessive electricity being generated by the Wind turbines is not dumped/wasted.

No 1 PV 1.5kw Tracker, failed bottom actuator mount, an old superseded design, (6mm thick steel plate ripped like paper), so just strapped it into East facing position, flapped about a bit, scary.

Normally if I here that a storm is coming all 5kw's trackers go into storm position, ie flat. (these are a flat surface 4m by 5m approx.) But I made a deliberate decision to leave them in East facing position to see how they faired.

No2 PV Tracker has a fault in the actuator ram so is not active at present, and its Christmas so it can wait.

No 2, 3.7m diameter wind turbine, (Hugh Piggott design but with my new design of fiberglass blades as Hugh normally Hugh carves his from American Cedar) finally lost a blade, found it 200m away in a hedge, the tail had jumped off so the turbine was no longer facing the wind. This early design of blade has been troublesome since installed, so something was expected. I have a new set ready/manufactured and will fit them when the weather permits, but this set has an internal I beam/stringer that should be bullet proof. ( I now will examine the broken one and amend/consolidate the new design.)

No 3, Turbine is down at present as it has a new PMG, (Permanent Magnet Generation) unit going on, (I made this in the summer but like most things its finding time)

The chicken run has been blown down, with the chicken house being blown over the wall garden wall, so now has good old concrete blocks on. Slightly funny watching a chicken getting blown along, Even my plastic sheep electric fence poles are all at 45 degrees.

Merry Christmas.

Now where is my chainsaw to cut a frozen turkey in half, so it fits in the microwave, LOL.

Hubby's car broke down, am house sitting in Availle -en- Chatellerault 86, interested in hearing from anyone local who might give me a lift to AUCHAN late this afternoon to get some food in, if his car is still not fixed. Storm is too bad to cycle I tried this morning. :(

These winds are sent every year after the leaves have fallen, especially to blast them all into a corner to save lazy folk like me the effort of raking 'em up from all over the place. It's a Crimbo present from Zeus.

Have a wonderful Christmas, everyone.

A tad windy here in 24...raining too...but "better than nothing" as my OH likes to say.

Very windy here in 23. A few things have blown around as the wind came across our field but nothing major. Fire is lit and in out of the rain. Happy days lol!

and it would appear there is no TV...

My metal (stacked) garden chairs are currently wandering around the patio all by themselves....and Joey STILL wants to go for a walk....crazy dog!!

wild and windy on the 16/87 border - plans for a xmas stroll in Limoges hastily abandonned in favour of more convivial activities chez nous...bottoms up !