Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Energy price increases: 10 tips to save you money

Things that can be done immediately:

1. Turn off electrical appliances when not using them.
Leaving your appliances on stand-by costs the average home £33 a year.

2. Switch off the lights when you leave the room.
If the rating is 60 watts, and the bulb is on for one hour, it will consume 0.06 kWh. If electricity prices are 12p per kWh. The value of the energy savings would then be 12p for every hour turned off.

3. Only boil as much water in the kettle as you need.
This could save around £6 a year on energy bills. If everyone in the UK did this every time they used the kettle, it could save enough electricity in a year to power the UK’s street lights for 2 months.

4. Switch energy supplier to a cheaper tariff, and switch to Direct Debit payment and an online account.
Claims of savings of £200 a year from utility switching websites, although some claim £450 saving.
Total savings of £249 if you do the above. You can save around £249 just by changing your habits today.
Things that can be done medium term:

5. Turn your thermostat(s) down.
By turning it down by just one degree it saves around £55 a year.

6. Replace all your old lightbulbs with energy efficient ones.
Energy-efficient bulbs last up to 10 times longer than a normal bulb and can save £3-6 a year each in energy bills (for a 100W bulb) – saving up to £60 over the lifetime of the bulb in reduced energy bills and replacement costs.

7. Buy more energy efficient appliances.
Replacing an old Fridge freezer with a new A+ or A++ EU energy rated appliances can save around £38 per year.
Total savings of £153.
Things that can be done longer term:

8. Properly insulate your home.
Cavity wall insulation can save £110, internal wall insulation £365, external wall insulation £385. 270mm loft insulation can save £140 a year, floor insulation can save £50.

9. Upgrade your boiler to a A rated condensing boiler.
Upgrading from an old G rated to a new efficient A rated model can save £225 a year.

10. Install double glazing.
Double glazing cuts heat loss through windows by 50% and could cut your heating bill by around £140 a year.

Total savings of £475, and if you do all of the above you could save £249 + £153 + £475 = £877.

Monday, 29 August 2011

It is very common and understandable to find....

that many organisations put most effort into the maintenance of electrical systems and equipment when it comes to preventing electrical accidents. The fact is that people are the cause of most accidents through inadequate working practices and procedures.

need help with your procedures? safety training? HR induction handbooks?

call us!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Thermal Imaging / Infrared Electrical Surveys and Thermal Mapping

Call D A Woolgar for Infrared inspections of switchgear and critical system (servers, routers, UPS) data centre cooling systems and server racks.

Thermographers / professional thermal imaging services to a wide variety of applications
Using Flir state-of-the-art infrared equipment and a proprietary process, we create photographic-quality 2D Thermal Map images.

Building electrical equipment, and offers safe infrared viewing of critical switchgear and other electrical components without the exposure and hazards associated with the removal of panel covers.
For a quote – call us now

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A Freaky Fluid inside Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft blasted off on a 5-year voyage to a freakish world: planet Jupiter. Jupiter has a long list of oddities. For one thing, it's enormous, containing 70% of our solar system's planetary material, yet it is not like the rocky world beneath our feet. Jupiter is so gassy, it seems more like a star.
Jupiter's atmosphere brews hurricanes twice as wide as Earth itself, monsters that generate 400 mph winds and lightning 100 times brighter than terrestrial bolts. The giant planet also emits a brand of radiation lethal to unprotected humans.

Jupiter's strangest feature, however, may be a 25,000 mile deep soup of exotic fluid sloshing around its interior. It's called liquid metallic hydrogen.

"Here on Earth, hydrogen is a colorless, transparent gas," says Juno principal investigator Scott Bolton. "But in the core of Jupiter, hydrogen transforms into something bizarre."

Jupiter is 90% hydrogen1, with 10% helium and a sprinkle of all the other elements. In the gas giant's outer layers, hydrogen is a gas just like on Earth.

As you go deeper, intense atmospheric pressure gradually turns the gas into a dense fluid.2 Eventually the pressure becomes so great that it squeezes the electrons out of the hydrogen atoms and the fluid starts to conduct like a metal.

What's this fluid like?
"Liquid metallic hydrogen has low viscosity, like water, and it's a good electrical and thermal conductor," says Caltech's David Stevenson, an expert in planet formation, evolution, and structure.
"Like a mirror, it reflects light, so if you were immersed in it [here's hoping you never are], you wouldn't be able to see anything."

Here on Earth, liquid metallic hydrogen has been made in shock wave experiments, but since it doesn't stay in that form it has only been made in tiny quantities for very short periods of time. If researchers are right, Jupiter's core may be filled with oceans of the stuff.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Just ask!

Would you like to receive electrical and money saving information, advice and guidance from D A Woolgar?

click this, e-mail us and find out how we can help.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Real-time energy monitor could cut UK household bills

UK households could significantly cut their energy bills by using a real-time energy monitor, a new study suggests.
A team from Edinburgh Napier University assessed the performance of 65 housing association homes, which were pre-fitted with a Ewgeco real-time energy monitor.
According to a statement, the results of the six-month trial showed that those that used the device consumed up to 20 per cent less gas than other households in the study.

The Ewgeco monitor’s traffic-light display of green, amber and red reportedly highlights real-time low, medium or high energy usage.
It is said to work with ordinary utility meters to provide households with instantaneous information on their gas, energy and water consumption.
Forty-three of the homes in the trial, which was funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board, had the Ewgeco monitor clearly on display, while it was hidden in the remainder of the properties.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Is Jeremy Clarkeson out to Kill the Electric Car?

BBC-owned Top Gear, a show for automotive diehards that's become something of a phenomenon.
Seen by over 350 million viewers across 170 countries, the hit series follows the adventures of its hosts—

Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May—and their various driving exploits, track testing everything from blue collar workhorses like the Volkswagen Golf to engineering pinnacles like the pavement incinerating Bugatti Veyron.

the show is an enjoyable cross of gamesmanship and schoolboy jockeying. The hosts' natural chemistry translates handily into something magnetic for its audience, and only gets reinforced as they get behind the wheels of roaring V12 engines.

During the show, hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May set course on a 60-mile journey in an electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF. Before they could conclude their journey, however, the vehicle apparently runs out of juice, prompting its drivers to declare that "electric cars are not the future."

But here's where the controversy comes in. The Guardian reports:

But it wasn't unexpected: Nissan has a monitoring device in the car which transmits information on the state of the battery. This shows that, while the company delivered the car to Top Gear fully charged, the programme-makers ran the battery down before Clarkson and May set off, until only 40% of the charge was left. Moreover, they must have known this, as the electronic display tells the driver how many miles' worth of electricity they have, and the sat-nav tells them if they don't have enough charge to reach their destination. In this case it told them – before they set out on their 60-mile journey – that they had 30 miles' worth of electricity. But, as Ben Webster of the Times reported earlier this week, "at no point were viewers told that the battery had been more than half empty at the start of the trip."

The report continues:
It gets worse. As Webster points out, in order to stage a breakdown in Lincoln, "it appeared that the Leaf was driven in loops for more than 10 miles in Lincoln until the battery was flat."

Top Gear has since responded to the allegations, claiming, "We never, at any point in the film, said that we were testing the range claims of the vehicles, nor did we say that the vehicles wouldn't achieve their claimed range." However, this wouldn't be the first time the show's been criticized for undermining the potency of electric vehicles, as a recent suit from Tesla (who claim their battery life was misrepresented) would seem to demonstrate.

come on Jezza, be fair....

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pregnant Women Should Minimize Usage of Electrical Devices

a bit of an over reaction I think.... but here goes

Pregnant women using daily household electrical items could be at increased risk of their children developing asthma.

A study led by Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California USA, claims that children of  pregnant women who have been exposed to magnetic energy emnating from electrical items such as hair dryers, microwaves and vacuum cleaners have a greater risk of developing asthma.

The study has been  published in the online Journal - Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.  It is the first to  link maternal exposure to magnetic energy and  asthma in children.
Previous Studies - There have been earlier studies that have linked exposure to magnetic energy (generated by common sources such as power lines and electrical appliances) to miscarriage, poor semen quality, immune disorders and cancer.

Various other studies pointed fingers at microwaves ovens, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners. However, these studies lacked consistency, as they required to be carried out over a long period of time.

its all doom an gloom eh!!! never mind, I am sure its all theoretical

Monday, 22 August 2011

UK's energy consumption increases as nation's CO2 emissions rise

The UK's consumption of energy increased by 3.2 per cent last year, reversing a downward trend over the last five years, according to official Government data released today.
Increased energy consumption between 2009 and 2010 impacted on carbon dioxide emissions, which are estimated to be around 4 per cent higher in 2010 than in 2009.
According to the Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2011, released today by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the UK is switching away from nuclear generated power as gas and coal increase their share as sources of energy.
In 2010 the proportion of UK electricity generated from renewables was 6.8 per cent. On the basis of the policy measurement of the contribution of renewables eligible under the Renewables Obligation to UK electricity sales, 2010 showed a 0.3 percentage point increase, with the percentage increasing from 6.7 per cent in 2009 to reach 7.0 per cent in 2010.
Installed electrical generating capacity of renewable sources rose by 15 per cent in 2010, mainly as a result of a 42 per cent increase in offshore wind capacity, a 16 per cent increase in onshore wind capacity and a 9 per cent increase in the capacity of sites fuelled by biomass and wastes.
Total renewables, as measured by the 2009 EU Renewables Directive, accounted for 3.3 per cent of energy consumption in 2010 up from 3.0 per cent in 2009.

Happy Birthday to me :)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

plans to reform UK's energy landscape

The government has announced its plans to reform the UK’s energy landscape in what has been billed as the ‘biggest shake-up of the market since privatisation’.
At the heart of yesterday’s white paper is a drive to encourage investment in new low-carbon energy production; a need to bolster the UK’s creaking energy infrastructure; and an attempt to stabilise prices for consumers with a more secure energy future.
To achieve this, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has set out four partially overlapping — and, some have argued, overly complex — measures, which take effect in 2013.

Friday, 19 August 2011

the true cost of electric motoring

In 2008, a fairly glowing report written for BERR (the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) predicted that the energy use of electric cars would be 0.26kWh (kilowatt hours) per kilometre by 2010. That implied very low running costs and significant CO2 savings compared with petrol or diesel.
More recently, a study published in April by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) claimed that in the light of soaring oil prices it is cheaper to run an electric car over four years than it was to rely on an internal combustion-engined one.

On the basis of these findings, the DECC sanctioned the construction of 11,000 charging points in supermarkets, street and car parks at a cost of £400million over the next 18 months.
The point of the exercise makes sense: to demonstrate that the high initial outlay for an electric car can be recouped over time. Unfortunately, the DECC doesn't appear to have made a proper analysis, instead using a very selective calculation designed to show electric cars in the best light.

First, it compared its electric car (the Nissan Leaf family hatchback) with a petrol-engined rival, rather than one of the new super-efficient diesels that combine good fuel economy with zero road tax.
Second, unlike most analysis of running costs, it ignored the extra capital costs of the electric car, which allows for interest on the capital assuming it had been invested in a good savings account and taxed at the basic rate.

Thirdly, DECC assumes that cheap overnight electricity at rock-bottom domestic prices is mostly used to charge the electric car in question, which is unlikely if commercial charging points are used during the day.
And finally, the calculations gloss over the fact almost 60 per cent of the current price of petrol and diesel is tax, which will inevitably clobber the presently untaxed electric motorist in some form or other as the take-up of electric vehicles increases and the revenue from fossil fuels diminishes.

For a fair comparison, it makes more sense to compare the £30,995 Leaf with a diesel rival such as the £18,665 Volkswagen Golf Bluemotion TDI. The revised calculation shows that the electric car works out £850 a year more expensive to run than the diesel – enough to buy more than 600 litres of fuel for 9,000 miles or so of motoring.

And, while CO2 emissions are undoubtedly lower for the Leaf compared with petrol cars, they are the same as those of the very latest diesels. For a true answer, however, a more in-depth analysis is required than this simple DECC approach.

Carbon dioxide
We'll start with CO2, for although electric cars are often given the "zero emissions" moniker, unless they are run on electricity produced entirely from renewables they merely shift pollution elsewhere – from city centres to power stations.

When testing the Leaf, the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) found that its average range over varied driving conditions was 73 miles after an eight-hour charge, with average energy consumption at 0.34 kW per kilometre. This is about 35 per cent greater than the BERR prediction but still about half the energy use of the 1.6-litre diesel-engined VW Bluemotion (0.65 kWh per mile).

You might think that because the Leaf is twice as energy efficient as even the most efficient diesel car, its CO2 emissions must be lower. However, when you take into account the fact that most of the UK's electricity is still generated by fossil fuels, that is not the case.

We need to look then at the amount of CO2 produced by power stations in the UK. This varies according to demand, which in turn varies with the time of day and season, but in 2009 averaged 544g of CO2 per kWh. Using the EPA's 73-mile range figure, this translates to CO2 emissions of 126g/km for the Leaf.
The VW Golf Bluemotion has a quoted CO2 output of 99g/km. If this is inflated by 10 per cent to account for a more realistic economy for those who do a lot of city driving, it becomes 110g/km. To be completely fair, the diesel figure should also be adjusted to account for CO2 produced getting the diesel to the pump, from extraction through to refining and distribution – losses of about 10 per cent.
This gives the so-called "well to wheels" (WTW) figure, which for the Golf is about 121g/km – more or less the same as the electric Leaf.

Another important factor is the considerable extra drain on the battery in an electric car when using the heater during cold weather, which can reduce the range considerably. In petrol and diesel cars, heating the cabin is free, using waste heat from the engine.

Running costs
Using the simplest calculations and based on electricity alone, the Leaf costs about 1.7p per mile to run if charged at off-peak rates (which currently bottom out at 5p per kWh). Using peak rate electricity at 12p per unit pushes the cost up to a still modest-sounding 4.1p per mile.

This compares with a cost of 9.6p per mile for the diesel Golf, assuming a price of £1.42 for a litre of fuel. However, to be completely fair you have to consider that the actual cost of diesel, when duty and VAT is removed, is less than 60p per litre, representing a "real fuel" cost of only 4.1p per mile.

Why does this matter? Well, if there is a significant take-up of electric cars the government is unlikely to forgo a chunk of the £40 billion raised every year from motoring taxes. Nor could it tax electricity in general, in the process clobbering households using it for heating and cooking, so the most likely way this tax could be recouped is by the introduction of road pricing, which would have to average about 10p-15p per mile for tax neutrality.

Not only this, but the current tax-free perks associated with electric cars could well disappear, and while oil prices are probably going to escalate, the last few years have shown that electricity prices are quick to follow suit, having doubled since 2007.

Strain on the grid
If everyone were to switch to electric cars immediately, there would be an average increased demand on the National Grid of about a third of the UK's peak electricity generation. This assumes that everyone would charge their cars at random times, equalising the load on the grid. In practice there could be huge surges if lots of people decided to charge their cars at the same time – just after getting home form work, for example.

If everyone were to charge their vehicle overnight during the "Economy 7" period for the cheaper tariffs, the demand would be around three times greater – or almost the entire current UK peak winter electricity use.
To put this in perspective, even a 50 per cent take-up of electric cars, spread over the next 10 years or so, is unlikely. The figures quoted illustrate the infrastructure and logistics needed to prepare for the change-over.

Even during the small hours, between 40 and 50 per cent of our power stations are currently working flat out during the winter, therefore the amount of spare capacity is limited. If more people are using off-peak power, the price is also likely to increase.

A so-called "smart grid" would have to be built to allow for extra power to flow within urban areas at peak times. Smart meters, which monitor households' power use minute by minute and feed information back to the power companies, will help to control charging times and prices. And, of course, all those electric car charging stations will have to be established.

The conclusion from all of this is unavoidable: the panacea of electric motoring for all isn't as clear cut as some would like you to believe, to the point where it's almost impossible to see how it could become a viable option, certainly in the shorter term and without massive investment.
Perhaps ultimately hydrogen will become a serious option, or scientists will work out how to harness nuclear fusion for our day-to-day mobility requirements.

In the meantime, you begin to realise how good petrol and diesel are. If they didn't exist already, we would probably have invented them.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

How computers will soon get under your skin

A stick-on circuit can monitor heart rate as well as conventional devices, but is weightless, wireless and inconspicuous

The patch of electronic skin consists of an array of electrical devices for monitoring the vital signs of the body

It may soon be possible to wear your computer or mobile phone under your sleeve, with the invention of an ultra-thin and flexible electronic circuit that can be stuck to the skin like a temporary tattoo.
The devices, which are almost invisible, can perform just as well as more conventional electronic machines but without the need for wires or bulky power supplies, scientists said.

The development could mark a new era in consumer electronics. The technology could be used for applications ranging from medical diagnosis to covert military operations.

The "epidermal electronic system" relies on a highly flexible electrical circuit composed of snake-like conducting channels that can bend and stretch without affecting performance. The circuit is about the size of a postage stamp, is thinner than a human hair and sticks to the skin by natural electrostatic forces rather than glue.

"We think this could be an important conceptual advance in wearable electronics, to achieve something that is almost unnoticeable to the wearer. The technology can connect you to the physical world and the cyberworld in a very natural way that feels comfortable," said Professor Todd Coleman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led the research team.

A simple stick-on circuit can monitor a person's heart rate and muscle movements as well as conventional medical monitors, but with the benefit of being weightless and almost completely undetectable. Scientists said it may also be possible to build a circuit for detecting throat movements around the larynx in order to transmit the information wirelessly as a way of recording a person's speech, even if they are not making any discernible sounds.

clever eh!!!! have a nice day

so far Electric car scheme has failed to engage motorists

The £400 million drive to persuade motorists to buy electric cars is proving a costly failure, according to the latest Whitehall figures.

Only 215 cars were bought under the scheme, which offers subsidies of up to £5,000 each, over the last three months.
Of these it is understood that around three quarters were bought by businesses, meaning that just over 50 were acquired by private motorists.
Since the launch of the scheme at the start of the year a total of 680 electric cars have been bought, bringing the total to 2,500.
The latest figures were released by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles, based at the Department for Transport.
Both the current and previous Governments saw electric cars as a vital tool in cutting the country’s carbon emissions
The Coalition has allocated £400 million for the project covering not only consumer car subsidies and a network of charging points.“The figures show the mountain we have to climb if the national car fleet of 28 million vehicles is to turn truly green, said Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation.
“Even with the grants, electric cars are still much more expensive than similar-sized petrol and diesel models.
““Despite the lower fuel costs associated with electric cars, the high purchase price means it will take owners several years to reap the financial benefits of not choosing fossil-fuel powered vehicles. “
In the short term motorists will have to think long and hard about whether electric cars give better value for money than the best conventional and hybrid models.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What utilities should know about electric cars

1. How many electric vehicles will be on the roads, in what time frame? The electric car market has barely started, and key technology, including next-gen batteries, that can deliver the wide adoption of electric vehicles have yet to be developed. EPRI came up with three forecasts for the cumulative number of electric cars that will show up between 2010 and 2030. The low estimates are 3.1 million by 2020 and 15 million by 2030, based on historical sales from 2000 to 2008. The medium estimates are 5.8 million by 2020 and 35 million by 2030, based on historical sales and carmakers’ announcements of new models and production volumes. The high side will be 12 million by 2020 and over 65 million by 2030. And, yes, that’s a large range for an estimate.

2. Electric vehicles’ share of the car market. The low estimates put electric cars at 1 percent of the total cars driven in the U.S. by 2010 and 4 percent by 2030. The medium estimates peg the market penetration at 1.9 percent in 2020 and 9.4 percent in 2030. In the most optimistic scenario, electric cars will make up 3.9 percent in 2020 and roughly 17.7 percent in 2030.

3. How cheap is the fuel for electric cars? Electric cars can be fueled up at one-third or a quarter of the cost of a gasoline car, given the current pricing of both fuel types. Utilities are worried that because electricity is cheaper to start with, drivers might juice up their cars even in peak hours, when electric rates are high (but not as high as comparable gasoline costs). But providing and educating drivers about the low rates they could get in off-peak hours will help to minimize the need to increase electricity supply during peak hours and alleviate any stress to the grid.

4. Charging at home is ideal. Although residential charging equipment will typically require 1.4 kW to 7.7 kW of power, peak electricity demand from electric cars will be far lower, at 700 watts. That’s because there is enough time from early evening to the next morning to accommodate charging. By providing incentives, such as low electric rates, utilities can nudge car owners to start charging after 9 p.m., when overall demand for electricity is much lower than earlier in the evening. The hours between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. are most ideal and cause the least impact to the grid. But the report cautions that if most people program their cars to start charging, say, right after 9 p.m., then the utilities will have to deal with a big spike in demand.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

UK generating capacity

Energy Market Reforms (EMR) White Paper yesterday, environment secretary Chris Huhne said that £110billion of investment will be needed to replace power stations that are scheduled for closure by 2020, with another £90billion for improving infrastructure. £200billion in the next eight-and-a-half years. That’s the sort of sum that needs some context. It’s forty Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, or about ten London Olympics.

short n sweet today - have a nice day :)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Eye-tracking technology could benefit disabled children

A computer program that could allow children with disabilities to explore their creative side is being developed by researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London.
The team has been working alongside the charity SpecialEffect to design a computer program that uses an eye-tracker to find out exactly how eye movements correspond with the participant’s preferences.

Once a pattern of eye-movements is identified for the user, algorithms manipulate designs on the screen so that they gradually evolve to match each person’s preferences.

The subjects were not told to look for their favourite design, but allowed the computer to ‘read their minds’ through their eye movements.
Dr Tim Holmes, a researcher from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway and developer of the technology, said: ‘The ability to draw or build is something many of us take for granted and it’s an important facilitator of cognitive development. However, even with the computer software to manipulate virtual equivalents of building bricks and crayons, many of these programs remain inaccessible to the physically and mentally disabled.’

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Top ten cars to suffer electrical faults

The top ten cars to suffer electrical faults were compiled by Warranty Direct using 50,000 live policies that contribute to its website. The Renault Megane is at the top of the list and is not necessarily known for its gadgetry but the hatchback’s electrical problems contribute to an overall failure of 50%. The Peugeot 607 follows in second place followed by the BMW Z4 in third place. The Renault Modus is in fourth place with a 29.61% chance of failure, the Audi A2 is fifth and the Landrover Range Rover is sixth followed by the Landrover Discovery. The Audi A3 is eighth and the Smart Roadster is ninth with the Audi A4 Convertible in tenth place with a 24.44% chance of failure.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

European efficiency labels for electric motors (tech, a bit heavy :( )

New European-wide regulations took effect in June, affecting manufacturers of low-voltage (LV) induction electric motors. The Regulation (EC) N° 640/2009 states that only efficiency Class IE2 or IE3 motors can be placed on the market in the European Economic Area after June 16, 2011.
As of this writing, a number of interpretation issues were subject of intense debate within the UK and Europe. REMA (Rotating Electrical Machines Association), the UK trade association for motor manufacturers, is updating developments through a related organization, BEAMA, the Federation of British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Associations.

The legislation is applicable for 2, 4, and 6-pole 50Hz and 60Hz motors in the power range between 0.75 and 375kW. The International Efficiency (IE) rating defines how efficiently the motor operates, replacing the previously used EFF 1 and EFF2 designations.

The measuring method for the IE rating is an important differentiating criterion from what has been used in the past, Siemens Drives Technologies Division told CEE. Previously, the stray load losses were taken into account with a fixed 0.5%; these are now precisely calculated. Siemens has used examples of its own motors to indicate what this will mean in practice: A 4-pole 5.5 kW motor for 50 Hz, which previously had an efficiency of 89.2%, now has an efficiency of 88.2% according to the new efficiency calculation method in compliance with IEC 60034-2-1:2007. For the 60Hz type, the efficiency is 89.5%. This change in the efficiency—with the motor technology remaining the same—will be applicable for all motor manufacturers as a result of the modified measuring method.

tap on the shoulder, you can wake up now

Friday, 12 August 2011

D A Woolgar sponsors Aragon Housing Association's annual garden competition

D A Woolgar are celebrating green fingers.

sponsors of Garden Aragon Housing Association's annual garden competition will be at the presentation day

the competition  has been held since Aragon was formed, and is becoming increasingly  popular. We are very proud to be asociated with this event

Everyone who enters wins a prize, regardless of the the nature of their garden and particular speciality.

The overall winner, wins the esteemed Tim Eastaff Cup, named after our first Chief Executive who was a very keen gardener himself.

The judging of the competition takes place in mid summer, and entrants are asked to place their gardens in categories such as:
  1. large or small gardens
  2. hanging baskets and pots
  3. vegetable plots
  4. patios and decking
  5. and for our younger residents, a youth garden category.
Who were the winners?
This year's competition was held on Wednesday 29 June, and as always the judges were impressed by the high standard of entries. There were 20 entries from all over Central Bedfordshire and the overall winner for 2011 is Hutton Court Residents Association in Woburn Sands. They also won first prize in the sheltered schemes category.

Other winners:
1st prize in the large gardens category went to Sarah Sullivan in Blunham
1st prize in the mmall gardens category went to Mrs Pattinson in Tempsford
1st prize for hanging baskets and pots went to Beryl Manning in Ampthill
1st prize for patios and decking went to Mrs Berrington in Clophill.
All entries are invited to a presentation at Langford Garden Centre in late September where they receive a certificate and garden vouchers.
How do  can you enter the competition?
Information on how to enter Aragon's gardening competition is published on this page closer to the time, and in the spring edition of our customer newsletter, Intouch.
If you have any questions about the garden competition, please contact Steve Nash, Community Development Officer on 01525 844511 or email steve@aragon-housing.co.uk.

Social housing blocks 'unsafe in fire'

Three-quarters of all social housing blocks are potentially unsafe in a fire, according to a survey questioning managers responsible for ensuring buildings are properly maintained.
A similar proportion of housing managers are not confident that their blocks have had a proper fire risk assessment, according to the study, carried out jointly by the Chief Fire Officers Association and Chartered Institute of Housing.
The findings will further raise concerns that fire safety in social housing, particularly in high-rise blocks, remains a significant problem even two years after the Lakanal House tragedy in Camberwell.
Six people, including three children, died on 3 July 2009 when a blaze swept though the 14-storey south London block. While an official report into the cause has been delayed pending a still-running police investigation, fire experts who examined Lakanal's sister block concluded that decades of botched modifications to the 1959-built structure massively compromised its ability to contain fires, allowing the flames to spread at speed vertically and laterally, trapping residents.
Following the fire the Chief Fire Officers Association and Chartered Institute of Housing organised a series of safety seminars for professionals in the social housing sector, during which they polled participants about the blocks they managed.
A total of 400 people were surveyed at the first three events, all in England, using an anonymous, push-button vote system. Asked before the seminar whether they believed their buildings were "fit for purpose" regarding fire safety, 45% agreed. After the expert briefing this fell to 27%.
Similarly, while 40% were initially confident they had carried out proper fire risk assessments on their housing stock, this dropped to 25% afterwards.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Landlord is liable for fire risk in flat

The common areas of leasehold properties and houses of multiple occupancy are covered under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

landlords – or whoever is the freehold owner of the building – is responsible for carrying out a fire-risk assessment and for addressing any issues that it raises. Visit www.communities.gov.uk and look for the guide entitled Fire Safety Risk Assessment – Sleeping Accommodation. Ask to see the landlord’s risk assessment. If he can’t produce one and refuses to carry out one, ask the fire and rescue authority to pay the property a visit.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Emergency Electricians That Care

  • Electricians & Electrical Contractors
  • 24/7 Emergency Call Outs
  • Electrical Re-Wires & Installations
  • New Sockets & Replacements
  • Fault Finding & Repairs
  • Domestic Electrical Work
  • Internal & External Lighting
  • Quality Reliable Service

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

New Method Defibrillates Heart With Less Electricity, Pain

Cornell scientists, in collaboration with physicists and physician-scientists in Germany, France and Rochester, N.Y., have developed a new—and much less painful and potentially damaging—method to end life-threatening heart fibrillations.
Click here to find out more!
The new technique, which is reported in the July 14 issue of the journal Nature, cuts the energy required for defibrillation by 84 percent, compared with conventional methods.
In healthy hearts, electrical pulses propagate across the heart muscle in an orderly fashion to control the heart's contraction and relaxation cycle at regular intervals. However, when the electrical pulses propagate throughout the heart chaotically, it disables the regular heartbeat and prevents the body from getting fresh supplies of blood.
One of these rhythm disturbances, called atrial fibrillation, is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia worldwide, affecting about 1 percent of the population, mostly people older than 50 years.
Patients who suffer repeatedly from atrial fibrillation are typically treated with a large electrical pulse (defibrillation), which forces the heart back into its regular beating but is painful and can damage the surrounding tissue. The new method, LEAP (Low-Energy Anti-fibrillation Pacing), developed by a team co-led by Flavio Fenton from the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, uses a heart catheter to create a sequence of five weak electrical signals in the heart.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Jailed pair put profit before fire safety at two Mansfield hotels

A PUBLICAN and a fire risk assessor have been jailed for putting lives in danger at two hotels in Mansfield after a landmark prosecution.

David Liu (58), the owner of The Dial Hotel and Market Inn, on Mansfield Market Place, and John O’Rourke (43), who carried out fire risk reports at both venues, were each locked up for eight months on Friday.
Judge Andrew Hamilton told Nottingham Crown Court that an example had to be set to those who were prepared to put profit before fire safety.
It was the first time in the country that an independent fire risk assessor had been convicted, and the judge branded O’Rourke an ‘absolute disgrace’ after hearing he had no qualifications for the role.
The court was told Liu paid O’Rourke, who drank in his pub, £150 for a fire risk assessment which he needed by law.
O’Rourke, of Booth Crescent, traded as Mansfield Fire Protection Services, which mainly sold fire extinguishers.
But the reports he completed for the Dial Hotel and Market Inn, which had 11 bedrooms between them, were described as ‘wholly inadequate’.
When asked about the 147-page Government guide to fire risk, O’Rourke had said: “I’ve read a bit but obviously it’s a big, thick book. I’m not fully clued up on it, I must admit.”
Inspections last July by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service revealed inadequate fire doors, exit doors blocked or locked, no alarms or self-closing fire doors in bedrooms and no alternative escape routes.
Fire extinguishers at the hotels had not been tested for three years.
The court was told there had been a serious fire at the Market Inn in January 2006 when a 13-year-old girl was rescued from an upper floor by ladder.
And other guests and staff at the venues had been put at risk of death or serious injury because of the lack of fire precautions.
Outside the court, Ian Taylor, fire protection group manager at Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, reminded occupiers of buildings of their legal responsibility to protect customers and staff against the risk of fire.
“It is a legal requirement for places of work to have a fire risk assessment,” he said.
“Guidance on fire risk assessment and fire safety measures appropriate for different types of premises are available on the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service website.”
Liu, who lives at the Dial Hotel, is licensee of both pubs, which have a combined turnover of more than £400,000.
He admitted 15 fire safety offences and was jailed for eight months and ordered to pay £15,000 court costs.
In mitigation, his barrister Errol Ballentyne said rooms were no longer being let out and Liu did not accept he knew the risk assessment was inadequate.
O’Rourke, who admitted two breaches of fire safety requirements, was also jailed for eight months and ordered to pay £5,862 in costs.
James Beck, for O’Rourke, said since the prosecution his client had made sure other fire risk assessments were carried out by people who were competent.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Toronto company makes a non-toxic battery for green cars

Electric vehicles for The Green Highway today and for the foreseeable future all require lithium ion batteries.
Manufacturing them is expected to be a $100-billion industry in less than 20 years. Today, Japanese companies like Sony, Panasonic and Toyota are leaders in a $9-billion business. South Korea isn’t far behind with Samsung and LG and China, of course, is investing massively in lith-ion R&D and production. Let’s not forget the United States, where President Barack Obama announced a goal of ending dependence on Middle East oil by 2018. His stimulus package handed the Department of Energy $167-billion for “innovations.”

It’s Electrovaya Inc., which has been working on lith-ion technology since 1996. The company was recently awarded two contracts to supply Chrysler with Lithium Ion SuperPolymer battery systems for 25 Plug-In Hybrid minivans and 140 Plug-In Hybrid pickup trucks.
“Lithium-ion batteries have their dirty little secret – except for Electrovaya they all use massive quantities of toxic chemicals for manufacturing. We are probably the only one who doesn’t use any toxic chemicals,” said Sankar DasGupta, Electrovaya’s CEO.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

PAT Testing

PAT Testing is crucial! Safety in the workplace is a top priority for every business to ensure staff security and a sound reputation. D A Woolgar is a leading expert in Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), a specialised process, checking that electrical appliances comply fully with UK Health and Safety at Work directives. EWR Regs demands that all portable electrical appliances in the workplace continue to meet strict safety standards

Give your business total peace of mind, knowing you have taken the right steps to ensure equipment is safe for use – on and off site.


Friday, 5 August 2011

when was the last time you reviewed your fire risk???

Range Extenders Add 620 Mile Range to Volvo Electric Cars

Volvo’s Flywheel KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) hybrid system was the first of many gas-electric experiments for the Scandinavian automaker. Now the focus is on range extenders for electric vehicles. Volvo is working on three different combinations of gas engines and electric motors which it claims can push the electric car’s at least 620 miles (1000 km) further than on battery power alone. All three versions use three-cylinder engines that can run on gasoline or E85 combined with electric generators and motors.
The first two systems are based on the Volvo C30 Electric and the third is based on the V60 wagon. Both systems for the C30 necessitate a smaller battery pack to fit the internal combustion engine installed under the rear load compartment floor and its 10.5 gallon (40 liter) fuel tank. All three systems feature brake energy regeneration.
The first C30 Electric-based concept uses a series-connected range extender which utilizes a naturally-aspirated 60-hp three-cylinder engine. The I-3 is connected to a 40 kW generator which drives the car’s 111-hp (82 kW) electric motor. The system offers a driver selectable option to let the generator charge the battery pack, increasing the car’s operating range on electric power alone. Volvo claims this range extender increases the electric car’s range by as much as 620 miles (1000 km) over the 69-mile (110 km) range of the battery pack.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Vauxhall expects electric Ampera to spark big UK sales

Vauxhall is hoping to sell around 5,000 of its Ampera model a year when the electric car launches in the UK next Spring.

Some inside the brand have told Car and Van News that they believe the UK allocation of the model will not be enough to satisfy demand.

The Ampera has already attracted 5,000 pre-orders across Europe. It is expected to appeal to buyers wary about switching to electric, due to the car’s range.
The car is based around a 148bhp electric motor that offers an emissions-free range of up to around 50 miles, which the Ampera’s creators say will be enough for most drivers using the car daily.

However if the electric motor’s battery capacity becomes depleted, a 1.4-litre petrol engine/generator, the ‘range extender’, cuts in, giving the car an overall range of around 310 miles.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Radical reforms for a “cleaner energy future”

Energy secretary Chris Huhne has ended "25 years of dithering" by outlining radical reforms of the electricity market, reports the Financial Times (paywall).
In the energy white paper, Mr Huhne said the aim was to "build a cleaner energy future" while also replacing "a quarter of our existing power stations" - and fixing a price for low carbon power. Mr Huhne warned of the scale of the "Herculean task ahead", but added there was the potential for "costly blackouts" if nothing is done.
Three central policies were outlined in the paper alter the UK's energy mix in favour of renewables and nuclear power, adds the Financial Times (paywall). First, a new tariff system will offer nuclear power stations and renewable energy sources a fixed price for their electricity -a "contract for difference" - giving investors more certainty. Second, a "capacity mechanism", designed to ensure that power stations are kept on standby to cope with demand surges and the unreliability of wind power. A decision on how to do this has been deferred. Finally, the white paper raises environmental standards for UK power stations.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

2011 Quarter 1 Figures Released by the EA

The quarter one battery collection figures for the UK have just been released and show how far battery collection and recycling has developed since the regulations were first implemented.
Figures published on the National Packaging Waste Database show that the UK collected 1,994 tonnes in the first three months of this year. This is double the amount collected in quarter 1 of 2010 when 821 tonnes were collected.

although there is still a lot of hard work to be done over the next few years as the targets increase.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Electrical Safety

The electrical wiring and appliances in your home carry a risk of electric shock or fire if they are not fitted and maintained well, or used correctly. In modern wiring, you will have a Distribution Board (DB) with Residual Current Devices (RCDs) and Miniature Circuit Breakers (MCBs) and sockets with switches. The RCDs protect you from the worst effects of electric shock by stopping power quickly if there is a leak to 'earth', which might be through you. Landlords should have an electrical safety certificate, which is usually renewed after five years. The certificate is a requirement for all except the smallest properties. Electrical appliances should be safety tested every year, should always have the correct fuses, and should be visually checked for damage, worn cables etc.
Key Advice:
  • Ask your landlord for the Electrical Safety Certificate when you move in and check that any work listed on the certificate has actually been carried out. Ask us for advice if you have any doubts.
  • Do not overload sockets by plugging multiple adaptors in, use UK adaptors and appliances and do not attempt to alter or repair any wiring yourselves.

Further information: Government advice about electrical appliance safety: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/InYourHome/FireSafety/DG_071712

 up to 700W = 3 Amp 700W - 1KW - 5 Amp Over 1KW - 13 Amp