Sunday, 31 July 2011

The chicken and egg - electric cars

What came first, the electric car or the charging post? That's the chicken and egg question that people have been asking for years and - with most electric car batteries limited to roughly 100 mile ranges - have generally answered with the latter.
Fortunately, charging points are cropping up all over the place, from supermarkets and NCP car parks to roadsides. This Wednesday, electric car charging firm Chargemaster said that it would open a private network of 4,000 total points across 100 cities, dubbed 'POLAR', by the end of 2012. London's public network increased to 400 points last month, and will eventually be increased to 1,300 by 2013.
But despite this slow but steady progress, car-makers are increasingly back-pedalling on the importance of charging points. Most of the major electric car makers I've spoken to recently have been at pains to emphasise they don't think public charging points are important for electric car take-up. Early adopting electric car owners, they argue, will charge overnight and plan their journeys so that the spectre of 'range anxiety' - running out of charge - won't be a problem.
The motoring industry is even cannily repackaging electric cars as second cars, rather than replacements for combustion engine ones. "The majority of charges will be done overnight," said Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, for many, an electric vehicle will be a second car. "Much of the infrastructure isn't about fulfilling demand – it's about creating reassurance."
This new approach is an admission that even moderately comprehensive charging coverage is still a long way off - and companies like Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Renault have electric models they need to flog now and in the coming months.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

can you see anything wrong with this????

Beware - New Waste Regs Coming Soon

The new waste regulations coming into force on 29th September 2011 are going to make waste management a lot more complicated.

This change is enshrined in The Waste(England and Wales) Regulations 2011 which came into force on the 28th March 2011. As a producer of waste you will be required to “apply the new "Waste Hierarchy” before disposal.
Many people will be familiar with the principle of Reduce-Reuse-Recycle, but now the EU insist on the less memorable

Prevention – Preparing for reuse- Recycling- Other recovery - Disposal
So what do you have to do to apply the hierarchy?
1. Know your waste
You must know the type of wastes you produce, the quantities, the European Waste Catalogue (EWC) Codes and where it goes and what happens to it. You will also be required to implement a system to measure your waste output on an ongoing basis.
2. Segregate
Ensure waste is segregated so that it is easier to recover value through the disposal chain.
3. Use the hierarchy
You should make efforts to move the management of the waste up the waste hierarchy. If it is currently landfilled, can it be recovered? If it is recovered, can it be recycled? And so on. If it is “reasonably possible” to do this then the regulations say that you must.
4. Documentation
Keep records of all this activity for inspection by the Environment Agency. Failure to do this will likely result in a fine or prosecution. You will also have to sign a declaration on the Waste Transfer Note (or Consignment Note) that you have applied the waste hierarchy to each waste stream detailed on the note.
When do you have to do this by?
The regulations relating to application of the waste hierarchy apply to all waste transferred/consigned after 28th September 2011. You don’t have much time!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Electric cars - three questions

Question one: Are electric cars really better for the environment?Electric cars are often promoted as “zero emission” vehicles – which critics jump on as false advertising, because while they produce no harmful emissions at the exhaust pipe, the clean air benefits are limited based on how the electricity is sourced.

estimates from the MIT Electric Vehicle team, an electric vehicle charged from the existing US grid emits about 115g/km of carbon dioxide (CO2) on a well-to-wheel analysis, compared to a conventional US-market petrol car that averages 250g/km. However, over here in Europe, where we have less gas guzzlers (emissions below 115g/k)m, the advantages are much more limited.

Perhaps the crucial element that critics overlook is that the goal is to produce electricity from renewable sources – in France, which has a clean energy grid, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions from an electric car would be just 12g/km. Only in a worst case scenario would incremental electricity demand be met by coal – in reality, it is much more likely that the electricity we use will continue to get cleaner and so the environmental advantages of electric cars will only expand further.

Question two: Will electric cars save drivers money?As much as many of us might like to think we are environmentally motivated, in these tough economic times it’s hard not to think about our budgets and so it’s no surprise that many potential drivers are put off by the high price tags associated with electric cars.

true, electric cars are more expensive than petrol cars primarily because of the high cost of batteries. This is a major stumbling block with a survey undertaken by Nielsen for the Financial Times 76 per cent of Brits are not willing to pay more for an electric car than for a petrol car. However, there are signs that electric car prices could come down – the Renault Fluence ZE, for example, will be priced at less than $20,000.

However, perhaps the most important consideration is long term costs. Nissan estimates that the five-year operating cost of the LEAF electric vehicle, for example, would be $1,800 – this compares to around $6,000 for a comparable petrol car.

Question three: Will electric cars run out of charge before I reach my destination?Ah, range anxiety. Surely this is the biggest stumbling block towards the progression of electric cars – and who will ever forget that infamous, and controversial, image of the Tesla Roadster running out of power on the Top Gear test track?

Cars with internal combustion engines can of course be considered to have an indefinite range because they can be refuelled so easily and quickly. By contrast, many electric cars have been targeted on the statistic that the average American drives fewer than 40miles each day and so they have been developed for urban driving. However, there are a number of electric cars with a far more substantial range. The Tesla Roadster, for example, can travel 245miles per charge.

The key of course, is the development of electric car infrastructure. DC Fast Charging Stations are being implemented across the US and it is hoped that by 2013 they will cover the entire country. There are similar developments elsewhere too, with Australia recently placing itself at the forefront of the electric car race thanks to an agreement with battery swap stations

The rest is up to you... but when the petrol / gas runs out, what choice will you have???
The image of electric cars is slowly changing and with it, the doubts surrounding their future appear to be disappearing.

So perhaps it’s time to stop asking questions and start embracing the future – and for governments to take the steps that are necessary to make electric cars the norm and no longer just a niche alternative.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

The great laundry divide

ready for a bit of maN BASHING???

ok here goes..

Men are said to be more in touch with their fem side than ever before.

laundry remains woman's work as a survey has revealed that a fifth of British men don't know how to use their washing machine.

Commissioned by energy giant npower 3,000 men and women across the UK were quizzed over the household appliances they find most difficult use.

Many men admitted that could not put on a basic washing load while 11 per cent claim to be 'unable to operate' an iron. In addition one in ten believed that they wouldn't know how to use the cooker or oven.

the study revealed that women are less comfortable working electrical appliances and gadgets in the home.
 Baffled: Four in ten women say items such as the family games console and the DVD player leave them perplexed
Just over a fifth of said they are left baffled when attempting to use wireless routers, having no idea how to a manage internet connections or even switch it on.

so there you have it... we have smelly unironed clothes, but we can get on the internet... weird world eh!!!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Smoke alarm warning

make sure you fit and test smoke alarms
Simple maintenance can keep the alarm working for longer and ensure that if a fire does start you and your family are alerted at the earliest opportunity

For further information about fire safety visit the website at or  contact us via

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Service with a Smile

So far, July has been a good month. A number of customers contacted us to tell us how happy they are with our service.

They were impressed with the professionalism and communication of our engineers, whilst three other customers commented on the efficiency of the D A Woolgar service and the extra helpful support provided by our team when dealing with complicated jobs.

Monday, 25 July 2011

check your plugs - make sure the flex is in the cord grip

Ideal for lighting complex contours

Osrams funky new LED arrays rated for outdoor use

The benefits of these IP67 rated modules is that the LEDs are mounted on flexible linear circuit boards allowing maximum flexibility in lighting complex contours such as edge lighting in ultra thin displays.
Resistant to natures challenges
The LEDs are encapsulated in a high performance silicon which ensures that they are protected against contact, dust and moisture according to IP67. Sporting an extremely long life time of 50,000 hours, the OSRAM LINEARlight Flex® Protect is an extremely robust yet versatile lighting solution for multiple applications.

it is doubtful that the driver will last the life of the array

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Government's decision to substantially reduce Feed-In Tariff subsidies for photovoltaic installations larger than 50kW is a mistake that could dissuade community projects

Electrical Contractors' Association (ECA), Steve Bratt, warns that the Government's decision to substantially reduce Feed-In Tariff subsidies for photovoltaic installations larger than 50kW is a mistake that could dissuade community projects, including schools and local authorities, from large scale PV installation that would generate an income and contribute to UK carbon reductions.

Bratt comments the ECA submitted recommendations to Government saying the downward 'fast track' revision of FITs should only apply to very large-scale installations. “The ECA believes that the new limit for lower FITs should have been 150kW, not 50kW. This would have encouraged community scale projects, such as solar panels on school and local authority buildings,” he says. “Now in these cash-strapped times, communities and civic amenities have lost a potential revenue stream that could have reduced their ongoing operating costs. The ECA notes that the Government’s reasoning behind scaling down the tariffs was to prevent very large installations from diverting cash away from homeowners, but reducing FITs for installations under 150kW is a bridge too far.” He adds: “Any significant re-alignment of the tariff away from smaller-scale PV technology could fundamentally damage confidence in the renewable sector.”
Bratt warns that the move could undermine the UK’s binding commitment to generate 30 per cent of its electricity by renewable methods by 2020. “Currently around 6.7 per cent of UK electricity comes from renewables. Increasing that to 30 per cent is going to be that much more challenging if larger buildings, and others who take notice of renewable price signals, have less of an incentive to do their part.”
He concludes: “Without doubt, FITs have helped increase electricity generated from micro-renewable sources, with homeowners and businesses taking the opportunity to install photovoltaic panels because of clear, attractive price signals. While it seems that there’s not enough money in the pot for FITs to cover larger installations such as solar farms, Government should still find a way to stimulate a broad range of UK PV installation, rather than preside over some sort of ‘zero sum game’ between business and domestic PV investment.”

Saturday, 23 July 2011

85% of registered electricians believe that Part P of the Building Regulations for England and Wales should be retained

According to a new industry survey[1], 85% of registered electricians believe that Part P of the Building Regulations for England and Wales should be retained - but with improvements.

More than 3,500 electricians who are registered under Part P completed the survey, which was co-ordinated by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC).  And 90% of respondents also believe that all electricians undertaking notifiable work in domestic premises should have to register as competent persons.
The survey forms part of an evidence-gathering exercise on Part P, which will be submitted to the government’s review of the Building Regulations. The review will also cover Part P, which currently provides the only legal protection for householders having electrical work done in their home.
“Last December, the government announced plans for reviewing these regulations and identified areas where there might be potential for deregulation”, explains Phil Buckle, Director General of the ESC. “Since then, we have been working with a range of partners to identify changes that can be made to Part P while ensuring that it remains fit for purpose.
“Our objective is to provide an informed view and information which will allow the government to balance the needs of the public – who need to feel confident in the standards of work being carried out in their homes - with the industry’s desire to avoid unnecessary red tape”.
Since the announcement of the review the ESC has brought together industry, consumer protection bodies and other key stakeholders, to build a consensus on the best approach to responding to the review and to establish an evidence base in relation to Part P. To this end, the ESC convened a round table on Part P and then a working group – out of which came the idea for a major survey of electrical contractors on this issue

Friday, 22 July 2011

Electrical services for our domestic customers include:

  • Free safety checks
  • Inspection and testing (e.g if you have moved to an older house and are not sure about the state of the electrics)
  • Landlord’s certificates
  • Rewires
  • Alterations (e.g. if you are having a new kitchen)
  • Upgrades (e.g. if you are having an extension)
  • Fuse board changes
  • Fault finding & repair
  • Fitting of additional sockets
  • Changes to lighting (e.g. installation of downlights or low energy lighting)
  • Moving of sockets and light switches
  • Fitting of telephone and TV points
  • Installation of electric heating including the wiring for under floor heating
  • …and if you’re self-building, we can install the complete electrical wiring system.

If it looks like this under you desk, call us, you need more sockets

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mobile 'pinging' claim raises legal questions (NOW hacking)

A former News of the World journalist's allegation the newspaper paid police to track mobile phones raises serious questions about the UK's eavesdropping laws, according to experts.
Sean Hoare said it was possible to "ping" a handset's location for £300.
While there is no firm evidence to support the accusation, if true it would undermine safeguards within the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.
The law outlines a system of checks intended to prevent it being abused.
Police can ask mobile networks to determine the location of a phone, based on information from nearby radio masts.
Only a handful of officers in each force is authorised to make such enquiries, and their requests are supposed to be approved by a senior colleague.
Poor compliance
The system is regulated and audited by the Interception of Communications Commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy.
In his most recent report, Sir Paul found in 10% of cases where law enforcement bodies sought communications information, there was poor compliance with the rules.
Such audits are based on a sampling of police requests - something that leaves the system open to abuse, according to solicitor advocate Simon McKay, author of Covert Policing: Law and Practice.
"The resources of the commissioner empowered by statute to review it are fairly restrictive, so circumstances dictate that a tiny proportion of authorisations obtained will ever be reviewed meaningfully or critically by the commissioner," he told BBC News.
Mr McKay added he would not be surprised if leaks had been made in return for cash.


Mobile phone networks have the ability to locate their customers' handsets.
At a basic level, they can determine which cell the phone is using. In a city, that might narrow-down the location to a few hundred metres. In the countryside it could be several kilometres.
It is also possible to triangulate the position of a phone more precisely using its relative position to several masts.
Additionally, many modern phones contain GPS technology to help determine their exact longitude and latitude.
Mobile operators are reluctant to discuss exactly what level of detail they are able to provide to law enforcement, although there are examples of police tracking criminals, accident victims and missing persons by their mobile phones.
"You are generally dealing with people that are experienced in using and deploying covert policing techniques and therefore their tradecraft equips them particularly well to minimise the risk of detection," he said.
Freedom law
A new law, currently being considered by parliament - the Protection of Freedoms Bill - would require judicial approval for some Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) disclosures, but not those requested by police.
The BBC approached the government to see if it planned to ask Sir Paul to re-examine the safeguards around police use of RIPA.
A Home Office spokesman said it would not be taking such action before the prime minister had outlined the terms of reference for his two enquiries into the phone-hacking scandal.

Tumble Dryers – The fuller the better.

When putting a load into your dryer, ensure you do a full load, but don’t overload. Tumble dryers consume more energy than most washing machines. In fact, it’s much cheaper and better for the environment to use a washing line or a clothes horse if you can. If you do need to use a tumble dryer, make sure you use a fast spin on your washing, as this removes more of the water.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

For plugs that did not come fitted to the appliance, check that

Check that:
Remove the plug from the socket, and remove the cover.
the Brown wire goes to live (L);
the Blue wire goes to neutral (N); and
the Green-and-yellow wire goes to earth (E).
of the screws are tight.
Check that the cord clamp holds the cable securely and that both
Check that the screws holding the three wires are tight.
BS 1362 - see the manufacturer's instructions if you are not sure
what fuse to use. The fuse should clip securely into its holder. It
should not be loose and there should be no signs of overheating.
Check that the fuse is the correct size and meets Bristish StandardReplace the cover securely.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Washing Machines – Be cool.

90% of the energy a washing machine uses goes towards heating the water. A 30°C wash could save over a third of the energy you use when compared to washing at higher temperatures.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Checking a plug

All UK modern appliances in the UK use the familiar square-pin 13-amp
plug. These plugs are used for handheld appliances such as hairdryers
and vacuum cleaners, and appliances like microwave ovens. The plug
and cable can suffer damage, particularly if they connect to handheld
appliances. Checking a plug and its cable does not need a lot of
detailed electrical knowledge and these tips should help. With the
plug removed from the socket, check the cable from end to end and
ask the following questions.
1 Is the cable securely attached to the appliance and the plug?
2 Is the cable cut, nicked or damaged in any way?
There should preferably be no joints in the cable, and certainly no
repairs with insulating tape.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Popemobile to go green

Pope Benedict XVI is to enhance his green credentials by taking delivery of a hybrid Popemobile that will allow the pontiff to drive for miles without emitting any emissions.

Under development at Mercedes-Benz, the new vehicle, will come with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that should provide enough power to keep the car ticking over for 16 miles at cruising speeds low enough for the pontiff to seen by the faithful, while a petrol engine takes over at higher speeds.
The pope, according to the German business paper Wirtschaftswoche, had wanted an all-electric car but this idea was scrapped because a battery may have lacked the power and speed needed to shift the five-ton vehicle in an emergency situation. :(

Although Wirtschaftswoche cited a Mercedes' source that claimed the vehicle, based on a M-class SUV, was being developed "on behalf of customers in the Vatican" the German auto-giant has remained tight-lipped about the project.

Rob Halloway, public relations manager for Mercedes Benz cars, said that "due to confidentiality we cannot comment on any Papal vehicle like this".

It had been hoped the new Popemobile would be ready for Pope Benedict's visit to his homeland at the end of September but Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, said the car would not be ready until the end of the year at the earliest.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Recast of WEEE Directive in force by Jan 2014 at earliest

The implementation of the recast of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive will not come into force before January 2014, it was revealed at a stakeholder meeting about EU legislation presented by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Dozens died in fires in 2010 'despite fire alarms'

Nearly half of fire deaths in buildings in 2010 happened in a property with a working smoke alarm, figures obtained by BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast show.
The deaths accounted for 157 of the 340 people killed in UK property fires.

The figures were obtained through Freedom of Information requests from 54 out of 57 fire services.
The Fire Brigades Union said fire alarms had helped to reduce fatalities but the figures showed it was wrong to cut back on firefighters.

More than 80% of buildings now have smoke alarms fitted.
But people often disable them if they are faulty and go off too frequently or they forget to replace the batteries.

In many cases where deaths occurred last year, even though there was a working fire alarm, escape routes had not been planned or exits were blocked.
In about 40% of fatal fires alcohol was a contributory factor because people were either unable to hear or respond when the alarm went off.

Rob Davies, community safety officer for West Midlands fire and rescue service, said a smoke alarm could only give early warning in event of a fire.
"About 60% of house fires are caused by fires in the kitchen. But when you come onto fatalities and fire deaths, it's slightly different. In fact, with 40% of fire fatalities there has been some involvement with alcohol."

'7,000 rescued'  - Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, said it was crucial to remember that firefighters rescued 7,000 people a year from fires.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Stand-by – Switching off is being switched on.

You can reduce your electricity bill and avoid emitting CO2, simply by not leaving your appliances on stand-by. Switch them off at the plug.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Garden safety

What are the dangers of using electrical equipment in the

Although electricity makes gardening much easier, wet conditions and
contact with the ground means that the risk of injury or death from
electric shock is greatly increased compared to using electrical
equipment indoors.
Many garden accidents are the result of handling equipment
carelessly, lack of concentration and failure to follow the
manufacturer’s operating instructions. By following simple safety
guidelines every time you work in a garden, you can easily avoid a
serious accident.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Is electric car era finally dawning in U.S.?

(CBS News) 
Concern over gas prices hovering around $4 a gallon combined with concern over greenhouse gases have caused consumers to reconsider the electric vehicle. In fact, President Obama is hoping to get people charged up about electric cars by offering big rebates.

But would you ever buy one?

On "The Early Show," CBS News Correspondent Ben Tracy reported that Chris Paine, a proponent of electric cars and documentary filmmaker, has an all-electric Tesla roadster that goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in about four seconds.

Read more:

Friday, 8 July 2011

Japan takes top spot in supercomputer race

The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan currently owns the world's fastest supercomputer.
Dubbed "K Computer", which is a bit of a misprint of a Radiohead album cover, the beast is three times faster than a Chinese rival that previously held the top slot.
Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, who compiles the supercomputer league tables, told the New York Times that K was a "giant leap forward" in computer speed.
The beast was built by Fujitsu and runs from the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan.

He said that it was jolly impressive and a lot more powerful than the other computers on the block.
K could make make 8.2 quadrillion calculations per second, or 8.2 petaflops per second. You can get the same effect if you link a million desktop computers.

Read more:

Thursday, 7 July 2011


An arc flash is usually caused by inadvertent contact between an energised conductor such
as a bus bar or wire with another conductor or an earthed surface. When this occurs, the
resulting short circuit current can melt the conductors and produce strong magnetic fields
that blow the conducting objects apart. This fault current ionises the air and creates a
conducting plasma fireball with arc temperatures that can reach upwards of 20,000 degrees
Centigrade. Severe injury and even death can not only occur to persons working on the
electrical equipment but also to people located nearby.

Arc flash injury can include external burns to the skin, internal burns from inhaling hot
gasses and vaporised metal, hearing damage, eye damage such as blindness from the
ultraviolet light of the flash as well as many other devastating injuries. Depending on the
severity of the arc flash, an explosive force known as an arc blast may also occur which can
result in pressures of over 100 kiloPascal (kPa), launching debris as shrapnel at speeds up to
300 metres per second (m/s).

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Firms fined £130,000 after worker's electric shock

Two companies, a director and a sub-contractor have been fined a total of £130,000 for health and safety failings after a construction worker suffered serious burns following an electric shock from an overhead power cable.
Self-employed steel erecter Mark Rushbrook, was constructing two new poultry units at Sunny Farm in Swineshead, Bedfordshire. He was using a scissor lift to clad the gable end of a steel frame when it came into contact with a power cable and he suffered an 11kv electrical shock.
Mr Rushbrook, 24, from West Winch, King's Lynn, Norfolk, sustained burns to his stomach and hands, and internal muscle damage in the 25 June 2009 incident.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) charged a number of parties after its subsequent investigation found the gable end of the structure was within just 4.3m of an overhead power line.
HSE told Luton Crown Court on Friday 27 May the defendants failed to indentify the potential risks of working near overhead voltage lines and had not put necessary precautions in place, including notifying the relevant authorities.
Farm owner C and P Bird Brothers Ltd, admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 for which it was fined £20,000 and Regulation 21(1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for which it was fined £20,000. It was ordered to pay £5,500 costs.
Peter Bird, a director of C & P Bird Brothers Ltd admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £5,000 with £2,500 costs.
The company which designed and manufactured the steel frame, Morspan Construction Limited of 21 Gold Tops, Newport, Gwent, was also the main contractor and admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc for which it was fined £30,000; and Regulation 19(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 for which it was fined £30,000. In addition the company was ordered to pay £5,250 costs.
Self employed steel erector and sub-contractor on the project Michael Skayman of Edenside Drive, Attleborough, Norfolk, also admitted breaching Section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc and was fined £25,000 plus £4,750 costs.
HSE Inspector John Berezansky said:
"As construction work is a high risk activity with significant numbers of major and fatal injuries, good planning, communication and cooperation are needed constantly. Unfortunately, all the defendants in this case failed to achieve this.
"That Mr Rushbrook's injuries were not fatal is only a matter of luck. A lax attitude to health and safety is not acceptable, especially when so many incidents are completely avoidable by taking common sense actions and precautions. The safety standards for working near overhead power lines are well-known and readily available.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


We are continually looking to find ways of improving our service to our customers; whether it is helping you ensure legal and safe compliance or reducing your costs, we are hear to help.

we would be grateful if you would spend a few minutes telling us just how we can help

drop us a line -

Supplementary bonding

Supplementary bonding involves connecting together the metal parts
of electrical equipment (such as a heated towel rail) and the metal
parts of a non-electrical item (such as a pipe) to prevent a dangerous
voltage between them, if a fault happens.
• Supplementary bonding is often needed in the bathroom to reduce
the risk of electric shock. It can happen as a result of touching the
metal casing of electrical equipment (such as a light fitting or
heater) and at the same time touching a metal non-electrical item
(such as a pipe or radiator) when there is an electrical fault
anywhere in the premises.
• An electrician can carry out supplementary bonding by connecting
together the electrical and non-electrical items referred to above
with a suitable cable (having green and yellow insulation). You
may not normally be able to see existing supplementary bonding.
Supplementary bonding should only be installed by a registeredelectrician.

Monday, 4 July 2011

a solar-powered future

With the constant rise in energy bills, there has never been a better time to revolutionise the way you use energy and reduce bills by up to 50 per cent (you need a big roof, & its a theoretical value - depending on what sort of year we have, its more likely to be in the region of 15 - 20%, but that's still not bad).

Solar panels soak up the sun’s rays, creating 100 per cent free and fresh electricity for the home, while any excess electricity produced can be fed back into the National Grid, potentially earning you money.
The solar panels not only add value to your home but also produce one of the cleanest sources of power known to man.

The average family home with 12 solar panels on its roof could achieve a 50 per cent reduction in energy bills, and the new Government Feed In tariff scheme rewards people for producing clean electricity and pays 43.3p per kilowatt/hour produced as well as a further 3p for any excess which can be fed back into the grid. In real terms this means a return of around £1,200 per year or eight-10 per cent annual return on your investment.

scheme is guaranteed for 25 years

So if you go away on holiday, you could return to a tidy payout thanks to your new solar panels.

How it works
By converting light into electricity. We use a system called Photovoltaic (or PV for short), which generates electricity by using daylight on silicon solar cells normally located on your roof.
You can directly use the energy you generate and in turn reduce your electricity bill.
When the electricity generated by the silicon solar cells is not being used, it can be sold back to your energy supplier giving you a further financial benefit.
The best bit is that on top of these savings you also get paid for all the electricity you generate whether you use it or not, from the feed-in tariff scheme.

What is the ‘Feed In’ tariff?
The Feed In tariff is a new scheme which was announced by the Government on February 1 2010. It was introduced to reward home owners for generating clean renewable electricity, and home owners who have a PV solar panel (electric PV solar panels) installed from July 2009 onwards will benefit from the scheme.
The Feed In tariff works on the basis that you, the consumer, will be paid for each kilowatt hour of electricity your system generates. This also applies even when that electricity is used in your own home.
But that’s not all! There is also an additional payment for the electricity you don’t use, which is fed back into the National Grid.

need a survey???

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Electrical Jargon Buster

Jargon Buster / Electrical Definitions, Guides and Advice

17TH Edition - The 17th edition wiring regulations (BS7671 2008) were published can came into effect in January 2008 and the previous 16th edition regulations (BS7671 2004) cease to be valid from July 2008. New installations may be installed to either edition between these dates. Any installation completed and compliant with the March 2004 amendment of 16th edition regulations up to and including 30 June 2008 will likely be non-compliant from 1st July 2008 to some degree. This does not necessarily imply that the installation is unsafe and requires improving, although consideration to upgrading should be given.
BS 7671 - The UK national safety standard for electrical installation work.
Certificate / Certification - Any electrician installing a new electrical installation (including a single circuit), altering, extending or adapting an existing circuit should issue the homeowner with electrical installation certificate, or minor electrical installation works certificate, to confirm the work complies with the requirements of BS 7671.
Consumer Unit (Fuseboard) - A consumer unit is the same as a Fuseboard and is used to control and distribute electricity around your home. It usually contains a main switch, fuses or circuit breakers and one or more residual current devices (see RCD).
Electrical Safety Regulations - A new electrical safety law, often referred to as Part P of the Building Regulations, has further enhanced the protection of homeowners and reduced the risk of electric shock when using electricity. The law, which applies to England and Wales aims to improve electrical safety in the home and prevent the number of accidents, which are caused by faulty electrical work. The law requires an electrician registered with a government-approved scheme, such as NICEIC, to carry out most electrical work in the home. After completion of any work your NICEIC registered electrician will issue you with a Building Regulations Compliance Certificate to prove it meets the required standards of Part P. You can only carry out electrical work yourself if you can inspect and test that it is safe for use. To comply with the law you must notify your local building control office before you begin any work and pay the appropriate fee for them to inspect the work.
IEE Regulations - All new electrical work within a domestic setting must comply with Part P of the Building Regulations in England and Wales introduced on 1 January 2005, which are legally enforceable. One way of achieving this is to apply British Standard BS7671 (the "Wiring Regulations"), including carrying out adequate inspection and testing to this standard of the completed works. Although it must be stated that the British Standard BS 7671 (the "Wiring Regulations") are not statutory thus someone doing electrical work is allowed to deviate from the wiring regulations to some degree but it is generally accepted that it is best to follow the wiring regulations to the highest standard possible.
Some of the restrictions introduced with Part P were controversial, especially the rules surrounding work carried out by unregistered people such as DIY-ers. Under the new regulations, commencement of any work other than simple changes becomes notifiable to the local building control authority; "other than simple" in this context means any work in a kitchen or bathroom other than like-for-like replacement, work in other areas more than just adding extra lights or sockets to an existing circuit or meeting certain other criteria, such as outdoor wiring.
Landlord Certificate - As it stands, unlike gas regulations, there is no law that says you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. However, landlords are obligated to ensure that all electrical appliances and fittings within the property are safe and in good working order. Failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence, may invalidate some insurance policies and also puts your tenants life at risk which may also result in manslaughter charges in the event of deaths.
NICEIC - NICEIC has been assessing the technical competence of electricians for over 50 years. Their aim is to protect everyone who uses electricity from unsafe electrical installations anywhere. To achieve this, they maintain a register of qualified, competent electricians.
Part P - The specific section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, which relates to electrical installations in domestic properties.
Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) - A report on the condition of your electrical wiring, containing an overall assessment of the safety of the wiring, observations on its condition, and a number of recommendations (in order of priority) for action (if any is required) to restore the wiring to a satisfactory condition for continued safe use.
RCD - Residual Current Device. This is a sensitive switching device that trips a circuit when an earth fault is detected. RCD protection is particularly important for socket circuits that may be used to supply portable equipment for use outdoors.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Carbon sponge - like a supercapacitor

For a while now, people have been worried about how companies can store the energy that they make. This is a big problem with renewable energy. There are going to be times when the wind is blowing a lot more than what can be used. This extra energy should be stored to be used at a time when the wind is not blowing as much.
Well researchers at the University of Texas have now invented a new kind of carbon that actually acts like a sponge that can absorb energy. The truth of the matter is that this so-called “energy sponge” contains tiny nanometer-sized pores. They also feature curved atom-thick walls.
Overall, this means that it can hold a charge very similar to that of a battery. It can absorb and release energy in real-time. The lifespan of these charge sponges would be about 10,000 charges. This makes them ideal for use in a common storage device like a “supercapacitor.”
For those that do not know, a supercapacitor is an electric double layer capacitor that stores more charges. This is all thanks to the double layer created at an electrolyte electrode interface when a voltage is applied.
Alright, some of this information may be lost in translation to common folk, but what people should note about this is the simple fact that this carbon sponge opens the door to better energy storage. Leading researchers said that they are looking to further improve this new carbon. In order to do this, however, they will have to receive further funding so that they can continue their research on the material.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Bright young sparks

Bright young sparks

Peter (Kipling) Hall has just been taken on as our next budding apprentice.
Peter will benefit from the best training possible.

D A Woolgar provides young electricians with the confidence and assurance to go into the industry with the best knowledge around.


British scientists say they've found how cells transfer electrical charge, bringing bacterial fuel cells or "bio-batteries" a step closer.

Researchers at the University of East Anglia have demonstrated for the first time the exact molecular structure of the proteins that enable bacterial cells to transfer electrical charge, a university release said Monday.

The discovery could lead to techniques to "tether" bacteria directly to electrodes, creating efficient microbial fuel cells or "bio-batteries."

"This is an exciting advance in our understanding of how some bacterial species move electrons from the inside to the outside of a cell," UEA researcher Tom Clarke said. "Identifying the precise molecular structure of the key proteins involved in this process is a crucial step towards tapping into microbes as a viable future source of electricity."