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UK: Llewellyn Plugs In: sub zero in the Nissan LEAF

The fantastic Robert Llewellyn returns to duty following a sojourn to film some TV show or other with tales of driving his pure-electric Nissan LEAF during the recent UK cold snap

By Robert Llewellyn on February 16, 2012 2:50 PM

The recent cold snap coincided with my return from deep space (Red Dwarf filming, that is). We had proper snow for a few days, and before I mention the range limitations in sub zero conditions, let me just make a quick observation about solar panels.

Even when they were covered in a three-inch blanket of snow, our 14 solar panels were still generating a tiny bit of power – about enough to run a dozen low voltage lights. I was impressed enough with that, but then one sunny morning (very low winter sun) I got out a kitchen chair, lifted a broom as high as I could and swept away a tiny corner of snow on the nearest panel. Probably no more than three square inches.

About 30 minutes later I heard the most unusual slidey thundery noise as one by one each row of panels shed their load of snow leaving a silky smooth row of panels basking in winter sunlight. Thankfully there is nothing beneath the panels except garden… if you had been standing there it might have been cold and unpleasant but not dangerous; we didn’t have that much snow.


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