Between December 21 and March 20 is the hottest season of the year, summer. Marked by rising temperatures and rapid, intense rains, summer is the favorite season for many Brazilians.
In many countries, summer is the period of school holidays and the time when the beaches are crowded.
The dates that mark the beginning of the seasons also determine the way and intensity with which the sun's rays reach our planet. In summertime, the days are longer as the sun approaches the Equator and the tropics. This phenomenon is called the summer solstice.
Summer Solstice is the instant when a certain hemisphere of the Earth is tilted about 23.5 degrees towards the Sun, so that this part of the planet receives more solar rays. As a result, temperatures rise.
While one of the hemispheres meets the summer solstice, the opposite hemisphere goes through the winter solstice. For example, while it is summer in the southern hemisphere, at the same time it is winter in the northern hemisphere.
DST is characterized by moving the clock hours forward according to the local time zone. It is used by around 30 countries today. Brazil adopted the practice from 1985 to 2019.
Daylight saving time was proposed in 1784 by diplomat Benjamin Franklin (1706 -1790). This practice is closely related to saving energy. As the days are longer in summer, this advance is made aiming to make better use of sunlight.
This avoids overloading energy consumption, especially between 6 pm and 9 pm, when people get home and turn on appliances such as air conditioning.
According to the Diccionário Etimológico de la Lengua Castellana, the system of four seasons, adopted from the 17th century onwards, has its names in Portuguese derived from Latin:
Experts claim that exposure to sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, dopamine and melatonin. Therefore, people tend to feel happier and more excited on sunny summer days.
With the rush of everyday life, we sometimes fail to adapt our eating habits to the seasons. However, the season has a great influence on the quality of the food we eat. Some fruits and vegetables grow best in the cold weather of fall and winter; others get bigger and more nutritious in the warm days of spring and summer.
These are called the seasonal fruits. Consuming seasonal fruits and vegetables has numerous benefits, starting with the price, which drops significantly. The use of pesticides also decreases, as it is easier to have a good harvest. In addition, these foods are much tastier and nutritious, as they have the ideal conditions for their development.
In autumn, we have avocado, banana, persimmon, coconut, fig, guava, soursop, kiwi, orange, lemon, apple, papaya, mango, pear and grape.
In winter, we have bananas, star fruit, cashews, persimmons, coconuts, kiwis, oranges, apples, tangerines, strawberries and grapes.
In spring, we have pineapple, acerola, blackberry, banana, cashew, coconut, cupuaçu, jabuticaba, jackfruit, orange, papaya, mango, passion fruit, watermelon, melon, tangerine, peach and pitanga.
In summer, we have avocado, pineapple, acerola, plum, banana, star fruit, cashew, coconut, cupuaçu, fig, guava, soursop, jackfruit, orange, lychee, lemon, apple, papaya, mango, passion fruit, watermelon, melon, pear, peach, cherry and grape.
As summer approaches and temperatures rise, there is an increase in the use of appliances such as air conditioning, fans and fridges. Aiming at encouraging conscious consumption in this period, Neoenergia has listed some habits that foster the best use of energy. The results can be seen both in the reduction of the bill and in the preservation of the environment.
One of the recommendations is when buying home appliances or electronics, as advised by Neoenergia's Energy Efficiency Manager, Ana Mascarenhas. "The existence of Procel seal, which indicates the products with the best levels of energy efficiency and lowest energy consumption per category, should always be observed. People with old equipment should also be attentive, as it may require maintenance or to be replaced, due to the higher energy consumption", she says.
Fridge accounts for around 30% of the monthly consumption in the energy bill. To prevent the consumption of the equipment from weighing on the energy bill, just avoid opening it several times. Also, do not put hot food in the fridge - wait until it is at room temperature to cool.
In the hot season, people keep their air-conditioning appliances on for longer and at lower temperatures. This leads to higher energy consumption and a consequent increase in the bill. In this case, it is recommended to keep the equipment temperature between 23º and 25º and to set the automatic shutdown 30 minutes before leaving the environment. The other option is to purchase equipment with reverse technology, in which the compressor is better used, reducing the equipment consumption by up to 40%.
The simple act of changing the shower from "winter" to "summer" already provides a differential that can generate a reduction of about 40% in the monthly consumption of the unit. With the higher temperatures between December and March, this option provides a much more pleasant water temperature.
The use of LED lamps represents an investment that will be reverted into benefits later on. This is due to the fact that they provide the same light package with less power, so they consume less energy, with a reduction of up to 80% in monthly spending.
As it leads to a reduction of up to 95% in the electricity bill, the savings provided by Solar Energy are enough not only to pay for its acquisition and installation, but also to generate profitability for a long time, since its useful life is over 20 years old. With the savings on the bill, the amount paid by the system is offset between three and five years after installation and profitability is generated for more than 15 years.
As it does not suffer direct interference from unknown variables and depends solely on weather conditions, which can be predicted based on historical averages, it becomes a low-risk investment.
When the panels are installed and start to generate energy, consumption can happen in two ways. One of them is the so-called self-consumption, which is the immediate use of energy. If production is greater than the household's demand, this surplus can generate credits, which can be used in the electricity bill in up to five years. By consuming the energy produced in the panels, the consumer also has the advantage of not being subject to variations in tariff flags.
It is for these advantages that solar energy is booming in the country. In its Ten Year Plan, the Energy Research Company (EPE), the body responsible for studying energy sources in Brazil, estimates that in 2030 the installed capacity of distributed generation – which includes homes and companies with solar systems – could be four to six times the current size - 4.2 GW. Of this total, 93% are from photovoltaic sources. The number of consumers should be between 2 and 3 million.
Solar energy is an inexhaustible source of energy, and is also considered a renewable source of generation, as it does not emit greenhouse gases. According to a study by the Brazilian Association of Energy Conservation Service Companies (Abesco), a house that has a typical consumption of approximately R$ 144 per month, when using solar energy, avoids the emission of approximately 1,300 kilos of CO2 into the atmosphere.