Belgium is a country of lowlands and low plateaus. Three topographic regions, based on elevation, can be distinguished. Low Belgium includes all the lands along the North Sea coast and the northern border with the Netherlands. Middle Belgium occupies the central part of the nation between the sandy hills of Flanders and the Campine and the industrial towns of Mons, Namur, Charleroi, and Liege, which are located in the Sambre-Meuse Valley. High Belgium occupies the region south of the Sambre-Meuse Valley. It includes the rolling hills of the Condroz Plateau, which forms a belt of farmlands south of the industrial valley, and the heavily forested Ardennes, an old mountain range now reduced to low, rounded summits and deep, winding valleys . Many of the summits of the Ardennes have elevations of more than 500 m and include the country´s highest peak.
Low and Middle Belgium have a temperate marine type of climate, which is characterized by a narrow range of temperatures between summer and winter. High Belgium, located farther from the sea, has a more extreme, continental type of climate. The climate of the entire country is dominated by cyclonic storms associated with the westerly wind belt and is extremely variable. The mean temperature in January varies from 3°C on the coast to -2°C in the Ardennes. In July the mean temperature is 16°C along the coast and 15°C in the Ardennes, but can reach 18°C in the center of the country, the cooler Ardennes temperature being the result of elevation. The number of days in the year of frost is 40 on the coast and 120 in the Ardennes. Average annual precipitation is 780 mm in Brussel, 650 mm in coastal areas and 1,450 mm in the more elevated Ardennes. The number of days when snow is recorded increases from 6 along the coast to 32 in the Ardennes.
Belgium is one of the world´s most densely populated nations, with an average population density of 326.3 persons per sq km. Population density, however, is uneven and ranges from less than 50 persons per sq km in the Ardennes to more than 600 persons per sq km in the densely populated triangular section of the country located between the cities of Antwerpen, Brussel, and Gent. Like all industrialized countries, Belgium is also heavily urbanized, with 95% of the population living in urban areas in 1991. The five major population centers are Brussel, Antwerpen, Liege, Charleroi, and Gent. Other important centers are Brugge, Louvain, Namur, and Mons. Total population is 10,170,241 (World Factbook, July 1996 est.).
Stations from the IDMP Network measure both daylight and solar radiation.

Clock Time: GMT+1. Summer time shift (GMT+2), from last Sunday in March,
to Saturday before last Sunday in October.

  1. "Eclairage intérieur des bâtiments-Principes généraux", 1972. ("Lighting of buildings-Main principles"), NBN L13-001.

  2. NBN L13-001-1, 1979 (Addendum to NBN L13-001).

  3. "Eclairage naturel des bâtiments -Prédétermination de l'éclairement naturelpour des conditions de ciel couvert (méthode graphiqueapprochée)", NBN L13-002, 1972. ("Daylighting ofbuildings-Determination of natural illuminance under overcast skyconditions (simplified graphical method)").

  4. "Eclairage des lieux de travail", NBN L13-006, 1992.("Lighting of work places").
  1. "Disponibilité de la lumière du jour", R.Dogniaux IRM Misc. Série B n°61, 1985. ("Availabilityof daylight").

  2. "Analyse de fréquences cumulées des éclairements lumineux et énergétiques solaires en Belgique", R. Dogniaux et M. Lemoine, IRM. Public. Série A n°105,1980. ("Cumulated Frequency Analysis of Illuminances and Irradiances in Belgium").
Comité National Belge de l'Eclairage
29 Avenue de la Brabançonne
1040 Bruxelles
Tel : +32 2 734 92 05 ext. 212
Fax: +32 2 733 42 64
CIE on the Internet.


More information is available at Amadeus or the Electric Library

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