Monday, 31 October 2011


In sheer frustration today I wrote F***ing in an e-mail.

Why do all of you have such dirty minds???


The word you may have been thinking about is not even there, there are some rude ones, but rude is a personal perception. So get your mind out of the Flaming gutter.

The Olympics - do you REALLY want to go???

this is a lil off topic.

I was telling someone that I really wanted to go to the olympics, but couldnt get tickets. his reply was "I wouldn't bother"


we D A Woolgar are on the First Capital Connect line, to Brighton. on an average day that line has 300k ppl on it.

Dont know if you have ever been on that line in rush hour but generally its standing room only and your nose is stuck in someoned un-lynxed armpit... through the period of the Olympics, they expect 800k ppl per day.

I can imagine ppl stranded in London as it is presumed they will be running a standard service.

comments please

Sunday, 30 October 2011

"Change clock, check smoke alarm",

make testing you smoke alarms a regular occurrence – starting when the clocks go back this weekend.

many of these blazes could have be prevented if householders had a working smoke alarm.

Putting the clocks forward or back has become almost second nature to all of us, but so should checking that your smoke alarm is in good working order.

We want everyone to make a point of regularly testing the alarms.

It doesn’t take long and a working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out of a fire situation safely and dial 999

As you put your clocks back on October 29 or 30, take an extra moment to push the button – it could save your life

stay safe

Saturday, 29 October 2011

How do PV cells work (PV cell is a electric solar panel)

PV cells are panels you can attach to your roof or walls. Each cell is made from one or two layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. when photons hit the cell (sunlight) the cell generates electrcitiy

Friday, 28 October 2011

the electric car.....

The electrification of the car will be a long process and the development seems fragmented and confusing. Yet with governments keen to support the advancement of zero emissions transport, it’s already a hotly contested battleground.

would you buy an electric car? do you trust the new technology? will you wait till a car has gone down from £30k to around £15k or the price of petrol (gasoline) hits £2.50 a litre?

saving the planet has to be sensible.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Electrical Hazards and a few stats

Electrical hazards are invisible but deadly, causing fires and electrical shocks. These hazards are easily preventable if you use an NICEIC-registered contractor to install, inspect and maintain your electrics.

Government figures estimate that each year there are around:
  • 10 fatal and 2,000 non-fatal electric shock accidents in the home
  • 19 fatal and 880 non-fatal shock accidents in the workplace
There are also about 12,500 electrical fires in homes across the UK each year. Although many incidents are caused by faulty appliances rather than the electrical installation itself, a properly installed and well-maintained electrical system could save lives.

Cables, switches, socket-outlets and other equipment deteriorate with prolonged use, so they all need to be checked and necessary replacements or repairs made in good time.
Whilst it is relatively easy to make an electrical circuit work – it is far more tricky to make the circuit work safely.  To avoid the dangers that electricity can create it is essential that electrical work is carried out only by those with the correct knowledge, skill and experience in the type of electrical work to be undertaken.

The Electrical Safety Council published the results of their National Consumer Survey and found that:
•42% of those surveyed stated they had never had their electrics checked
•32% of DIYers stated they had experienced one or more electric shocks while carrying out DIY 
•59% of people do not use qualified electricians when carrying out electrical work 
•48% of those surveyed did not know that their electrics should be checked at least every 10 years

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Do you speak sparky? a Jargon buster...

Whether your whole house is being rewired or you’re just having some new sockets fitted, it helps to know the difference between a consumer unit and a circuit breaker. To help you understand what your electrician is talking about, we’ve put together a jargonbuster to explain below some of the more common terms used.

BS - British Standard
British Standard BS 7671 – also known as the IEE (Institute of Electrical Engineering) wiring regulations. Details the requirements for electrical installations and is the standard against which all NICEIC contractors are assessed. To enrol with NICEIC all electricians, and anyone they employ, must meet this national safety standard.

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.

An assembly of electrical equipment (socket outlets, lighting points and switches) supplied from the same origin and protected against over current by the same protective device(s).

Circuit-breaker or RCD
A device capable of making, carrying and breaking normal load currents and also making and automatically breaking, under pre-determined conditions, abnormal currents such as short-circuit currents. It is usually required to operate infrequently although some types are suitable for frequent operation.

Class I equipment
Equipment in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but which includes means for the connection of exposed-conductive-parts to a protective conductor in the fixed wiring of the installation. Class I equipment has exposed metallic parts, e.g. the metallic enclosure of washing machine.

Class II equipment
Class II equipment, such as music systems, television and video players, in which protection against electric shock does not rely on basic insulation only, but in which additional safety precautions such as supplementary insulation are provided, there being no provision for the connection of exposed metalwork of the equipment to a protective conductor, and no reliance upon precautions to be taken in the fixed wiring of the installation.

Class III equipment
Equipment, for example for medical use, in which protection against electric shock relies on supply at SELV (Safety extra low voltage) and in which voltages higher than those of SELV are not generated. Class III equipment must be supplied from a safety isolating transformer.

Consumer unit
Also known as a fusebox, consumer control unit or electricity control unit. A particular type of distribution board comprising a co-ordinated assembly for the control and distribution of electrical energy, principally in domestic premises, incorporating manual means of double-pole isolation on the incoming circuit(s) and an assembly of one or more fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices or signalling and other devices purposely manufactured for such use. sorry we cant call it a fuse box anymore :(

Distribution board
An assembly containing switching or protective devices (e.g. fuses, circuit-breakers, residual current operated devices) associated with one or more outgoing circuits fed from one or more incoming circuits, together with terminals for the neutral and protective circuit conductors. It may also include signalling and other control devices. Means of isolation may be included in the board or may be provided separately.

Electrical installation
Any assembly of electrical equipment supplied by a common source to fulfil a specific purpose.
Electrical Safety Regulations
NICEIC registered electricians have already helped to improve the standard of electrical work in the UK. 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.

Extension leads
An extension cable, also known as a power extender, extension cord or an extension lead, is a length of flexible electrical power cable or flex with a plug on one end and one or more sockets on the other end - usually of the same type as the plug. However use of extension leads should be avoided where possible, as there is a chance of overloading the circuit.

Low Voltage
Milliamp or 1/1000 part of an amp

Electrical current (in amps) that exceeds the maximum limit of a circuit. May result in risk of fire or shock from insulation damaged from heat generated by overcurrent condition.

Part P
The specific section of the Building Regulations for England and Wales that relates to electrical installations in domestic properties. Part P provides safety regulations to protect householders, and requires most domestic electrical work to be carried out by government-registered electricians, or to be inspected by Building Control officers.

PAT - Portable Appliance Testing
Inspection and testing of electrical equipment including portable appliances, moveable equipment, hand held appliances, stationary equipment, fixed equipment/appliances, IT equipment and extension leads.

PIR - Periodic Inspection Report
An electrical survey, known as a Periodic Inspection Report (PIR) will reveal if electrical circuits are overloaded, find potential hazards in the installation, identify defective DIY work, highlight any lack of earthing or bonding and carry out tests on the fixed wiring of the installation. The cost of a typical PIR should start around £100, depending on the size of your property. The report will establish the overall condition of all the electrics and state whether it is satisfactory for continued use, and should detail any work that might need to be done.

PLI - Public Liability Insurance
Broad term for insurance which covers liability exposures for individuals and business owners. Homeowners should check that their electrician has public liability insurance, which covers them if someone is accidentally injured by them or their business operation. It will also cover them if they damage your property while on business. The cover should include any legal fees and expenses which result from any claim by you. Homeowners looking to employ trades people to undertake work on their homes should ensure the companies selected have suitable cover – minimum recommendation is £2 million.

Portable equipment
Electrical equipment which is less than 18 kg in mass and is intended to be moved while in operation or which can easily be moved from one place to another, such as a toaster, food mixer, vacuum cleaner, fan heater.

Prospective fault current
The value of overcurrent at a given point in a circuit resulting from a fault between live conductors.

RCD - Residual current device
Residual current device is a safety device that switches off the electricity automatically when it detects an earth fault, providing protection against electric shock.

RCD - residual current device
This is not just a manually operated isolating switch, but a very sensitive safety device which cuts off in fractions of a second if it senses an earth fault. RCDs can be bought in different current ratings and various sensitivities to current leakage.
Ring final circuit/ring main/ ring
A final circuit connected in the form of a ring and connected to a single point of supply.

Separated Extra-Low Voltage. An extra-low voltage system, which is electrically separated from Earth and from other systems in such a way that a single fault cannot give rise to the risk of electric shock.
Voltage, extra-low
Normally not exceeding 50 V a.c. or 120 V ripple-free d.c., whether between conductors or to earth.

any questions

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

ASK Campaign

Have you had work carried out on your home by someone not qualified to do so? Have you had to pay out to have the work rectified? Have you been the victim of a rogue trader?

More than a third of UK homeowners do not check for ID when letting tradesmen into their home. Over the past five years more than 6 million people in the UK have employed a cowboy trader, creating shoddy work that has cost thousands to put right.

In a bid to clamp down on rogue traders and the misuse of professional trade logos, NICEIC has teamed up with TV personality Rav Wilding to launch a new campaign, urging homeowners to A.S.K
  1. Ask for ID
  2. See if it’s legit
  3. Keep your home safename and shame the rogues.
If you think you have been the victim of shoddy electrical work by someone claiming to be NICEIC registered, you should check the  register to find out if they are certified.


Monday, 24 October 2011

The Future is electric, or is it...

a student-built electric car from Brigham Young University (BYU) set a land speed record of 155.8 mph, the fastest ever for an electric car. This is the second such record from electric or hybrid cars in the past month, the other being Infiniti’s M35h entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for fastest hybrid car with a 13.9 second quarter mile. These are far from the speeds seen in professional racing, but do these electric and hybrid racers have anything to contribute?
For context, the professional racing speed record is 251.2 mph, seen at Le Mans in 1997. The F1 record of 224.9mph was set by David Coulthard in 1999. Even this can’t reach the OMG speeds of 763 mph, the current land speed record set in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert in 1997, and teams are at work to break the 1,000mph barrier next year.

The “Electric Blue” car from students at BYU weighs less than 1,100 pounds and barely has an inch of ground clearance. The record was the result of seven years of work by unpaid student who overcame a high-speed crash last year as well as challenges unique to EVs such as heavy batteries. The record was an average of two runs, one of which reached speeds of 175 mph.

the Infiniti’s hybrid is food for thought. Red Bull Racing means they have a vested interest in experimenting with speed. The Infiniti M35h’s 67hp electric motor combined with the 302hp V6 engine to achieve this acceleration record, which could eventually lead to technologies to help racers looking for a boost coming out of the pit.

Infiniti’s focus is on luxury and efficiency rather than record-breaking speed, and the recent record only puts it on par with the 1998 BMW M3. However, with more EVs and hybrid cars breaking speed records ever year, it seems like manufacturers are trying to position electric as the new normal – just a fast car, rather than “fast for a hybrid”.  Hopefully, developments in the next decade will lead to electric technology that brings both more power and more green awareness...

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Europe to become first electric car mass market

exec's expect that Europe will become the first mass market for electric cars, new research from Ernst & Young reveals.

According to new study conducted by market analysts at the firm, the market for electric cars will reach critical mass by 2022 too. Ernst and Young surveyed the opinion of 300 European automotive leaders to reveal that the industry is confident of grow over the next twelve months with Europe expected to lead the way in the uptake of electric cars, followed by China and Japan in third position.

However the firm also found wide differences in opinion, with 9 per cent of respondents believing that electric cars will enter the mass market by 2015, while 19 per cent believing it will happen after 2025.

Some of the most significant  challenges highlighted by the executives to explain the delay in adopting electric vehicles are “lack of range” (65 per cent), “lack of charging stations” (57 per cent) and the “excessive price” (55 per cent), as well as “unsuitability for day-to-day use” (30 per cent). The vast majority of respondents (91 per cent) also believed that government grants around the world are needed to help electric vehicles make a breakthrough.

Peter Fuss, Ernst & Young European automotive partner said: “There is a growing diversity of opinion in the debate on how quickly the mass market for electric vehicles will take off in Europe and Asia in particular. Although the current outlook for the sector is benign the current economic instability will only add to that uncertainty. That said many of the major players are taking the potential move very seriously indeed.”

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Free solar subsidy could be slashed

We've heard strong industry rumours the rules may soon change, so if you want solar (free or bought), go quick.

The Government may be due to cut feed-in payments by 50%+ for those installing after 31 March '12, though changes are unlikely to affect those already signed up. If you want to take advantage, hurry, as it takes time to sort and could spell curtains for free solar.

act now

Coloured solar cells could make display screens more efficient

A new kind of screen pixel doubles as a solar cell and could boost the energy efficiency of cell phones and e-readers. The technology could also potentially be used in larger displays to make energy-harvesting billboards or decorative solar panels.
University of Michigan's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has developed the reflective photovoltaic color filter device that can convert absorbed light to electricity. The research is newly published in the current print edition of ACS Nano.

In traditional LCDs, less than 8 percent of the backlight actually reaches a viewer's eyes. The rest is absorbed by color filters and polarizers, Guo says.

"This absorbed light is totally wasted," he said. "It becomes heat. You can feel it if you put your hand close to a monitor. Why not try to harvest some of this energy?"

That's just what he has done. Guo's new filter can convert to power about 2 percent of the light that would otherwise be wasted. This could add up to a significant amount in small electronics, he says.

The researchers created the new filter by adding organic semiconductor solar cells to an elegant and ultra-thin color filter, similar to what Guo's lab had created over a year ago. That filter is composed of nano-thin sheets of metal with precisely spaced gratings that act as resonators, trapping and reflecting light of a particular color. The color depends only on the amount of space between the slits.

is this the future? watch this space...

Friday, 21 October 2011

Saving heart attack victims with computer science

Another story from the boffins @ MIT

Newly discovered subtle markers of heart damage hidden in plain sight among hours of EKG recordings could help doctors identify which heart attack patients are at high risk of dying soon.

That's according to a new study involving researchers from the University of Michigan, MIT, Harvard Medical School, and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. It is published in the Sept. 28 edition of Science Translational Medicine.

The findings could help match tens of thousands of cardiac patients with life-saving treatment in time. Approximately 1 million Americans have a heart attack each year. In certain age groups, more than a quarter of those who survive the initial attack end up dying of complications within a year, according to the American Heart Association.

"Today's methods for determining which heart attack victims need the most aggressive treatments can identify some groups of patients at a high risk of complications. But they miss most of the deaths---up to 70 percent of them," said Zeeshan Syed, an assistant professor in the U-M Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and first author of the study.

Using data mining and machine learning techniques, the researchers sifted through 24-hour continuous electrocardiograms (EKGs or ECGs) from 4,557 heart attack patients enrolled in a large clinical trial led by the Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School TIMI Study Group, one of the world's leading cardiovascular research organizations. The electrocardiogram measures and displays the electrical activity of the heart.

Laser pioneer Anthony Siegman dies

you may not think the laser is important in your life, but think about it, no laser, No CD's, DVD's, Blue Ray

all of this was possible partly to Laser pioneer Anthony Siegman.

Siegman played a seminal role in the development of lasers and wrote some of the definitive texts on them. He is the author of Microwave Solid-State Masers (1964), An Introduction to Lasers and Masers (1972) and Lasers (1986). The last book, at nearly 1,300 pages, became the standard reference in the field.

Siegman invented the unstable resonator, which allows high laser power together with high beam quality. He is also internationally recognized for his contributions to the theory and practice of laser mode-locking, a technique that is widely used both for generating intense and short laser pulses and for metrology.

Stephen Harris, professor emeritus in electrical engineering and one of Siegman's first students, described him as "a blend of human warmth, scientific creativity and rigor."

"He is a model scientist," said Harris. "You would look far and wide to find a laser engineer or scientist who doesn't have Tony's book Lasers on his desk. He had a unique ability to blend mathematics and physical insight.

Next time you put on a DVD, think of Anthony

Thursday, 20 October 2011

KSR Lighting

We are realy impresed with the KSR LED GU10 lamps

Model: KSRLP855
KSR Lighting - 4.9W GU10 Dimmable LED 5000k Cool White Lamp 
Click to see an enlarged image of 4.9W GU10 Dimmable LED 5000k Cool White Lamp
Product Description:
4.9W GU10 LED Dimmable 5000k Cool White Lamp

Wattage - 4.9W
Beam Angle - 40°
Colour Temperature - 5000k (Cool White)
Lumen Output - 316lm
Part L Compliant - Yes
Dimmable - Yes
Tested Compatible Dimmers -
KSR Dimmers 1-25 lamps
Richmond MP600TE 1-10 lamps,
Danlers DQDGD 1-10 lamps
Hours - 50,000


Electrical Safety

  • Do not overload electrical sockets.
  • Always unplug appliances when you have finished with them. Have you ever noticed how hot the plug can get?
  • Make sure your electrical goods do not pre date the EU safety standards. If you are unsure, get them checked by a qualified electrician.
  • Do not cover cables or leave them coiled. They need to be ventilated and checked for any broken covering.
basic stuff really and common sense, so please heed

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

how safe is your electric blanket?????????

Do you even think about it? well you should.

On a day of testing electric blankets in the Bath area found nearly a third were unsafe. as a guide, the people od Bath are not particularly reckless, so you can prersume it is the national norm

A session at Keynsham organised by firefighters and council officials failed 30 per cent – 22 out of 73.

The faults identified wre in wiring or the blankets' thermostats.

the best way of preventing potential fires from breaking out is to get yours checked.

These checks ensure that when blankets are taken out of storage that the wiring is safe and all the controls work properly.

We would advise people with electric blankets to get them tested before they put them on their bed as even a small fault could lead to a fire or result in burns.

D A Woolgar say - never to buy second-hand electric blankets, to check new ones have the UK safety standard mark, to check regularly for signs of wear or damage, ensure blankets are not folded or creased, and do not use it at the same time as a hot water bottle.

Also - common sense, never ger into bed strainght from the shower and never use the blanket if it becomes wet. even if your sockets do have an RCD

If you dont have an RCD (earth trip) fit an RCD plug and check the batteries in your smoke detector too

stay safe

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Fragment Retention Lamps - where sould you use them?

coated fragment retention lamps, providing a solution for all businesses and organisations wishing to eliminate glass contamination and personal injury from accidental lamp breakage.

coated lamps to IEC 61549 (BS EN 61549) Fragment Retention Lamp Standard

shatterproof coated lamps also meet the requirements of all other hygiene and safety audits within the Agricultural, Food, Packaging and Pharmaceutical industries. they would also be recomeded in health, education and care in the community environments

Monday, 17 October 2011

a billion cars

Globally, there are just under a billion motor vehicles on the road today – and 98 per cent of them run on petrol or diesel.

But, like it or not, we are going to have to find a new way to power our cars as fossil fuel reserves run out.

The sales of ‘electric cars’ may be disapointng by not really much of a surprise.

With a £30,000 price tag for a family-sized electric car, of even the most ardent environmentalist must surely be dampened by showroom prices..

And given that, thanks to new technology, most car makers are now able to offer smaller engines but with higher performance, cars are becoming cleaner and far more economical.

It’s not unusual now to find both petrol and diesel powered cars that will average more than 60 miles per gallon. And, with some of the smaller five-seaters priced at less than £12,000, it’s easy to see why the average car buyer is swayed by the bottom line.

Add to that the worrying factor is how easy it would be to find a charge point to re-charge an electric car. The truth is, however, the average motorist in the UK leaving home with a fully charged car would have no such problem. In fact, the average daily mileage for 80 per cent of the population is under 30 miles.

Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf have a range of 110 miles, and a quick charge system takes just 30 minutes to restore up to 80 per cent of battery power with a public quick charger.

At-home charging using a 240V-16A outlet takes around seven to eight hours for a full charge and will usually be carried out overnight to take advantage of cheaper off-peak electricity.

You may need a second car if you are heading to the coast at the weekend but, for most people’s daily commute, exhausting the car’s battery is not a serious consideration.

To fully charge the Leaf costs just £2, but the downside is the car costs just over £30,000 so it’s a case of doing the maths to see if you can make going green financially viable for you.

A halfway house is Vauxhall’s Ampera, which will run for up to 50 miles or so on electric power before reverting to petrol.

The Ampera is probably about half as cheap to run as a small diesel as long as you don’t exceed the 50 miles per day range.

Vauxhall says 9,320 miles will cost around £438 of electricity but to cover the same distance using a petrol engined car would set you back three times as much.

Unlike pure electric cars, however, if you do exceed that range there is no problem, The car switches to its 1.4-litre petrol engine with a further range of 310 miles. And even when using the engine the wheels are powered by electricity as the petrol engine powers the electricity generator.

Once home a full charge is achieved in four hours and costs around £1.

The Vauxhall Ampera will hit UK streets next year, but even with a government subsidy of £5,000 it will still cost £28,995.

Electric cars may be silent, clean and efficient, but, for most buyers, the real shock they get is when they see the price tag, and until that changes sales will continue to be slow.

Are electric cars the future? I have been debating this for months, and I still don’t think we have an answer. You need money to save the planet, and the planet is in financial standstill or recession.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

cowboy traders - ASK

More than 6.2 million people have employed a cowboy trader in the past five years, resulting in £3.7 billion being paid out to rectify botched jobs. If consumers think they have been the victim of shoddy electrical work by someone claiming to be NICEIC registered, they should visit to find out if they are certified. NICEIC will investigate any companies found to be falsely using the logo and they will be added to the NICEIC Wall of Shame.

Electric Blanket Safety

  • Always follow manufacturers’ instructions for using your blanket. This will help you use and store it safely and prolong the life of your blanket. Store it flat or rolled and do not store other objects on top of it.
  • Electric Blankets should be replaced every 10 years and tested every 2 years. Check with your local Age Concern office to see if anyone is testing in your area.
  • Always check your blanket for scorch marks, water damage, mould or exposed wires. If you see any of these on your blanket do not use it, replace it.
  • Never use a hot water bottle or drink fluids in bed when you have your electric blanket fitted to it. If you spill you drink or the water bottle leaks you will be mixing water and electricity.
common sense really

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Ask the NICEIC

In a bid to clamp down on rogue electricians NICEIC is proud to announce the launch of our new consumer campaign A.S.K - Ask for NICEIC, See if it’s legit,

Keep your home safe.

Bakelite II, the revenge

More on The wonder stuff that could change the world: Graphene

So strong a sheet of it as thin as Clingfilm could support an elephant

Graphene (as we call it Bakelite II) is formed of honeycomb pattern of carbon atoms, could be the most important new material for a century

It is tougher than diamond, but stretches like rubber. It is virtually invisible, conducts electricity and heat better than any copper wire, and weighs next to nothing.

Meet graphene — an astonishing new material which could revolutionise almost every part of our lives.
Some researchers claim it’s the most important substance to be created since the first synthetic plastic more than 100 years ago.

If it lives up to its promise, it could lead to mobile phones that you roll up and put behind your ear, high definition televisions as thin as wallpaper, and bendy electronic newspapers that readers could fold away into a tiny square.

It could transform medicine, and replace silicon as the raw material used to make computer chips.

The ‘miracle material’ was discovered in Britain just seven years ago, and the buzz around it is extraordinary.

Last year, it won two Manchester University scientists the Nobel Prize for physics, and this week Chancellor George Osborne pledged £50million towards developing technologies based on the super-strong substance.

In terms of its economics, one of the most exciting parts of the graphene story is its cost. Normally when scientists develop a new wonder material, the price is eye-wateringly high.

However, graphene is made by chemically processing graphite — the cheap material in the ‘lead’ of pencils. Every few month’s researchers come up with new, cheaper ways of mass-producing graphene, so that some experts believe it could eventually cost less than £4 per pound.

You would need to stack three million graphene sheets on top of each other to get a pile one millimetre high. It is also the strongest substance known to humanity — 200 times stronger than steel and several times tougher than diamond.

A sheet of graphene as thin as Clingfilm could hold the weight of an elephant. In fact, according to one calculation, an elephant would need to balance precariously on the end of a pencil to break through that same sheet.

Despite its strength, it is extremely flexible and can be stretched by 20 per cent without any damage.

It is also a superb conductor of electricity — far better than copper, traditionally used for wiring — and is the best conductor of heat on the planet.

However, perhaps the most remarkable feature of graphene is where it comes from. Graphene is made from graphite, a plentiful grey mineral mostly mined in Chile, India, and Canada.

A pencil lead is made up of many millions of layers of graphene. These layers are held together only weakly — which is why they slide off each other when a pencil is moved across the page.

Graphene was first isolated by Professors Konstantin Novoselov and Andrew Geim at Manchester University in 2004. The pair used sticky tape to strip away thin flakes of graphite, and then attached it to a silicon plate, which allowed the researchers to identify the tiny layers through a microscope.

Its discovery has triggered a boom for material science. Last year, there were 3,000 research papers on its properties, and 400 patent applications.

The electronics industry is convinced graphene will lead to gadgets that make the iPhone and Kindle seem like toys from the age of steam trains.

Modern touch-sensitive screens use indium tin oxide — a substance that is transparent but which carries electrical currents. However, indium tin oxide is expensive, and gadgets made from it shatter or crack easily when dropped. Replacing indium tin oxide with graphene-based compounds could allow for flexible, paper-thin computer and television screens. South Korean researchers have created a 25in flexible touch-screen using graphene.

Ancient history: If the development of graphene is successful it will make the iPad and Kindle seem like toys from the age of the steam train

It is also being touted as an alternative to the carbon-fibre bodywork of boats and bikes. Graphene in tyres could make them stronger.

Some even claim it will replace the silicon in computer chips. In the future, a graphene credit card could store, as much information as today’s computers.

Dr Sue Mossman, curator of materials at the Science Museum in London, says graphene has parallels with Bakelite — the first manufactured plastic, invented in 1907.
Resistant to heat and chemicals, and an excellent electrical insulator, Bakelite easily made electric plugs, radios, cameras, and telephones.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Smoke alarms

  • Check your smoke alarm every week. Push the button, not your luck!
  • Give your smoke alarm a birthday
  • Change your battery every year on a date that you can remember easily, like your birthday.
  • Change your smoke alarm every 10 years. Like most electrical goods they can stop working at some point, it is better to change them before they stop working
  • Have at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home. These need to be in the hallways as they are your escape routes.
  • If you wear a hearing aid, can you hear the alarms when you are not wearing the hearing aid, e.g At night.
    Ring us about advice on specialist smoke alarms.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Is P A Testing important

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.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

smoke alarms

2 in 3 people who died in domestic fires had a smoke alarm....... that didn't work!
Check your smoke alarm every week - Push the button, not your luck!

keep your family and friends safe:

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Can Wireless Electricity Hurt you????????

Probably not. Even when it’s nipping at our toes, wireless electricity is pretty safe.

be honest, did you even know you could get wireless electricity, though its not good enough yet to mean you dont need your house rewired

a long long time ago In 1899, Serbian engineer Nikola Tesla (despite being calledNikola, he was a bloke)  built a 142-foot-tall, 12-million-volt (wow!) electric coil in Colorado Springs and transmitted electricity wirelessly across 25 miles, illuminating 200 lamps with the charge. After he flipped the switch, flashes of lightning leaped from the coil, but no one was harmed.

Tesla’s experiment proved that the Earth itself could be used to conduct electricity, no wires necessary. He also experimented with electromagnetic induction, a phenomenon discovered 70 years before Tesla’s experiments by the English scientist Michael Faraday. In electromagnetic induction, an oscillating magnetic field around an electromagnet produces a current in a nearby conductor—in effect, the current jumps the gap. While it is airborne, electric energy exists as a magnetic field. Magnetic induction is used today in the contact plates on electric toothbrushes, transmitting a charge from the plastic-wrapped charging station to the battery inside the brush.

In 2006, Marin Soljacic, a physics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, sent wireless electricity across a room to light a 60-watt bulb. Soljacic used electromagnetic induction, but with a twist. By tuning the sending and receiving coils in his electromagnetic field to resonate at the same frequency and engage only at that frequency (the way glass will shatter when struck by sound waves of just the right pitch), the current is focused and bypasses everything else, humans included. Resonant coupling, as Soljacic’s process is known, is far more efficient than Tesla’s attempts, and safer too.

Soljacic has a company called WiTricity, and he can now send 3,000 watts across a room—or a garage, since 3,000 watts can charge an electric car.

clever eh!!!!

Monday, 10 October 2011

The Electric Car Debate 7 for and against - comment plz

The Pros of Electric Cars(1) Efficiency of Energy: Electric cars only lose 10-20% of the energy produced by their engines. Compare that to the staggering 80% energy loss of standard combustion engines and the energy efficiency of electric cars is obvious.
(2) Zero CO2 Emissions: Electric cars can help reduce the planet’s carbon footprint. They produce no CO2 or nitrous oxide omissions, unlike standard cars which are a major cause of global warming.
(3) Renewable Energy: To truly be zero emission electric cars must be recharged from a power point that derives its electricity from a renewable source. However, even when recharged from non-renewable sources, electric cars still slice CO2 amounts in half when compared to standard cars.
(4)Far Healthier: Anyone who has walked through Tokyo or LA can testify to the malevolence of smog from standard car engines. Diesel and petrol exhaust fumes contain dangerous chemicals which are extremely unhealthy for people and the planet. Electric cars emit no harmful chemicals.
(5) Reduced Noise: Electric cars are extremely quiet, meaning they could play an important role in reducing the levels of noise pollution in busy city centres.
(6) Cost of Fuel: Alongside the environmental benefits, electric cars drastically reduce fuel costs. Petrol prices keep on rising, whereas fully recharging an electric car’s battery costs about the same as a pint of milk.
(7) Other Financial Savings: There are many incentive schemes such as free charging bays and reduced parking costs operating in some cities. Also, electric car drivers avoid having to pay road tax or the London congestion charge.

The Cons of Electric Cars(1) The Batteries: At the moment the batteries for electric cars are quite expensive. They also need replacing after a certain number of recharges. This means owning an electric car is currently quite costly.
(2) Recharging Time: Electric car batteries can take a total of 8 hours to fully charge. This means longer trips and weekly recharging will have to be carefully planned and scheduled.
(3) Upfront Costs: At the moment the upfront cost of buying a new electric car is quite expensive when compared to standard car costs.
(4) Car Performance: Electric cars are not for flash drivers who cherish speed and showy performance levels. Average electric cars have a maximum speed of around 50-55 miles, which is perfectly adequate for city drivers. However, there are issues with hills too, which can be a drain on the battery which affects overall performance levels.
(5) Travelling Distance: This is a major issue. At the moment, electric cars can only manage between 50 to 100 miles before needing a recharge. This means long drives are a real problem, particularly as the current infrastructure means you can’t be sure there will be a recharge point near you when required.
(6) Style: Many would say this shouldn’t be an issue. This is about being green and doing what we can to save the environment. That’s true, but less ethical drivers might be put off with the different aesthetic of an electric car.
(7) Current Infrastructure: In short, the current infrastructure in the UK needs to be improved a great deal. If you live in London you are fine, but for longer journeys far more charging points need to be set up nationally. But when will this become a reality?

comments please

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Solar Discovery Shakes Century-Old Science

Physicists at the University of Michigan have made a breakthrough discovery that could change the way solar panels are constructed, making them cheaper to manufacture.

The team, led by Dr. Stephen Rand, a professor in the departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Physics and Applied Physics, discovered that at the right intensity, light traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity can generate magnetic effects 100 million times stronger than previously estimated. That magnetic power, could be used to create an "optical battery," Rand said.

"This could lead to a new kind of solar cell without semiconductors and without absorption to produce charge separation," Rand said. "In solar cells, the light goes into a material, gets absorbed and creates heat. Here, we expect to have a very low heat load. Instead of the light being absorbed, energy is stored in the magnetic moment. Intense magnetization can be induced by intense light and then it is ultimately capable of providing a capacitive power source."

By cutting out the need for solar cells and semiconductors, the new technology could dramatically reduce the costs of manufacturing solar panels. And with solar companies scampering to find ways to reduce costs and stay competitive in a rapidly consolidating market, the technology--if proven on a mass-scale--could revolutionize the industry and make solar a more viable electric generation option.

William Fisher, a doctoral student in applied physics who worked on the research project, explains that the process uses "optical rectification," a process by which light's electric field causes a charge separation, or a pulling apart of the positive and negative charges in a material. That separation creates power, as the negative and positive charges flow to one another.

watch this space

Saturday, 8 October 2011

UK's gadget obsession hitting 2020 energy saving target

Go on admit it!!! we are all mad bonkers about gadgets, Iphones, Ipads, Mobiles, Laptops, Netbooks, Big TV's

New research from the Energy Saving Trust claims the UK will miss targets to cut domestic electricity use by 34% by 2020.
In a report out today (October 3) the trust says the country's 'love affair' with domestic electrical gadgets will see us miss carbon emissions cuts of up to 7m tonnes.

The report The Elephant in the Living Room: how our appliances and gadgets are trampling the green dream says almost a third (29%) of the UK's CO2 emissions come from the home.

The report also claims UK households now own three and half times more gadgets than they did 20 years ago, increasing the energy use of most homes.

According to the report the worst offenders are large plasma TVs, large fridge freezer with ice-maker and the energy sucking tumble dryer.

The report reveals if every household in the UK replaced just their old fridge freezer, washing machine and dishwasher with the most efficient models, they could collectively save £585m on their fuel bills, and prevent two million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere - enough to fill Wembley Stadium 257 times.
In the report the Energy Savings Trust urges people to think about their gadget use and to realise that 'it is behaviour on the home front' that could make a difference in the UK hitting its overall national carbon emissions reduction targets.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Getting electric cars off the grid

Electric vehicles (EV) are often portrayed as the saviour of the planet, battling against the evil carbon emissions with clean energy and no nasty exhaust fumes. But there’s a problem: if you’re charging them up with regular electricity from the grid, you’re still contributing to the CO2 count somewhere along the line.

So what do you do? Simple: charge them through solar power, and pump the excess energy back into the grid.

A renewable breakthroughTwo of the first EV charging stations powered entirely by renewable energy are demonstrated to the media at Audubon Machinery Corps HQ, with the aid of a couple of Chevy Volts from the local dealership.
Using turbines on site and solar panels on top of the headquarters, the charging stations charge a Volt’s 197kg lithium-ion battery using just the power of wind and sun alone, saving money and the earth in the process.

Any of the company’s fifty employees are entitled to charge their vehicles up for free at the points, and the excess energy produced by the system is used to power the building, and light up the flagpoles in the forecourt.

Audubon says the systems cost around $10k (£6,500), and has high hopes for them if not in the home, then at office buildings across the land.

If we can produce systems efficient enough to charge cars all years round from the sun and the wind, the benefits are obvious. Currently, charging up electric vehicles from the national grid merely shifts the problem, particularly in regions which rely on coal power stations rather than slightly more eco-friendly natural gas – ultimately, the nasty stuff still burns somewhere to make the wheels spin.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The history of electric lighting

you remember my previous rant about ‘Who invented the light bulb?'  The answer, according to google is usually Edison.

During the 19th century 2 types of electric lamps were developed; the incandescent lamp (light created by passing the current through a filament) and the arc lamp (where the light is created by electricity leaping the gap between electrodes). 

Humphry Davy first demonstrated an arc lamp in 1806 but the blinding light was impractical and could not be powered for more than a few minutes.  He was a dazzling speaker and he hosted lectures which became major social events in London.  However, it took quite some time for electricity to become a practical form of lighting.

It was Joseph Swan, an inventor from Sunderland, who developed the first practical lamp and led the way in early electrical lighting.  Swan supplied arc lamps to light the Picture Gallery at Cragside in Northumberland in 1878, the first house to be lit by electricity, and for Mosely Street in Newcastle, the first electrically lit street in 1879. (1879 was, incidentally the year Edison first demonstrated his own lamp in the USA). In 1881 Swan opened Benwell Lamps, the world's first light bulb factory.

So if Edison didn't invent the light bulb, why he is famous for doing so?  Well, true to his American roots, he took it to market!  He successfully registered patents and tried, but failed, to sue Swan, so then took him as a business partner instead.  In 1883 Edison and Swan was formed and created bulbs which were cheaper and lasted longer than anyone else's.  Edison was a highly successful spin doctor and his vision of centralised electricity supply stations was paramount to his success.

Throughout the Victorian era electricity remained extremely expensive leaving gas as the popular choice for most middle-class households.  Wider availability of electricity coincided with the arrival of the Arts and Crafts influence and, from the Edwardian period we begin to see a proliferation of new ‘electroliers' replacing gas fittings (gasoliers).

It is not until after the First World War that electricity found its way into homes on a large scale.  The metal filament lamps had been perfected in 1911 and the Electricity (Supply) Act passed in 1926, led to the establishment of the national grid. We finally had clean, safe lighting at the flick of a switch; no more fumes or bad smells.

So Edison may not have invented the light bulb; Davy can lay rights to that claim.  He didn't even design the first practical light bulb or register the first light bulb patent; that was down to Swan.  What Edison does deserve credit for is making electric lighting available. When he saw he was trailing Swan he cleverly joined forces with him (if you can't beat them, join them!) and developed the supply chain.  He owned a power company, later known as General Electric, and, let's face it, without a source of electricity to light it, a light bulb is just a bulb.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Brain stimulator could be used to boost the performance of pianists

Delivering low-power electrical current through the skull has been shown to speed up the learning of motor skills and scientists believe the technology could help people wanting to become better athletes or musicians, enhance academic learning or aid the recovery of stroke patients
Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg, from Oxford University, led research which involved volunteers pressing buttons in specific sequences, similar to playing a piano.
As they carried out the task, a weak current of around 1-2 milliamps was passed through two rubber electrode pads placed on opposite sides of the head.
The current flowed through the motor cortex of the brain, exciting neurons and speeding up the creation of new nerve connections. Undergoing the stimulation enabled the volunteers to learn the button-press sequences more quickly.
The effect on neurons mirrored that seen in previous brain-training research, said Prof Johansen-Berg. Brain scan studies showed that squeezing a control stick to play a computer game aided the repair of damaged nerve pathways in stroke patients.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Part P of the building regs under review

The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) recently hosted a round- table event to discuss the government’s review of Part P of the Building Regulations for England and Wales, which concerns electrical safety in dwellings.

some like it, many dont, especially the DIYer.

we do think it could be made better.

on the whole, we think we need to retain Part P – although we would as we make lots of money out of all the work DIYers cant do because they cant prove it is safe.

Part P is relevanct to both consumer safety and industry standards. 

current evidence base relating to electrical injuries, deaths and fires in UK homes ays that it is working.

but we admit, it needs a few changes, the govt need to tighten the enforcement and compliance elements of Part P, while reducing the regulatory burden in terms of time and money. Too much paper work

The need to clarify and simplify documentation and increase the awareness of both consumers and electrical contractors to the benefits of Part P needs soerting out

“Taxation is a subscription to a fair society. Regulation is a subscription to a safe society”. 

Part P provides the only regulatory framework that addresses the safety of electrical installation work in homes in England and Wales. We need to reduce the complexities of Part P without compromising safety.

what do you think?????????

Monday, 3 October 2011

Electric shocks to the brain can help stroke patients' recovery

Stroke patients with brain damage can recover more quickly with the help of small electric currents applied to the head from electrodes on the skull, a study has found.

The tiny electric currents are believed to stimulate the re-growth of nerve connections in the brain that have been lost as a result of oxygen starvation caused by stroke, scientists said. Tests on a small group of healthy volunteers have shown significant improvements in the sort of brain activity that could also benefit stroke patients, the scientists said.

The research supports the idea that the brain can to some extent repair itself by rewiring and reconnecting itself to bypass damaged areas, according to Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg of Oxford University.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

a Croatian super car - Rimac Concept One Electric

There’s no shortage of unknown companies announcing plans for ridiculously powered electric supercars, but few, if any, actually turn up at international auto shows to show off their wares.

Croatian firm Rimac Automobili is one of these companies working on a new electric supercar project, but unlike many that have come before it, Rimac’s new concept certainly looks promising.

Unveiled this week at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, the new Rimac Concept One electric supercar is the creation of Rimac founder Mate Rimac and designed by Adriano Mudri and Goran Popovic, a pair of Croatians who allegedly have worked for the likes of Lamborghini, McLaren and Maserati.

The idea behind the project came about when Rimac decided to convert an old BMW into an electric race car.

Today, Rimac develops high performance electric car technology including drivetrains and battery systems. And the old BMW has since been officially homologated as a “Rimac Automobili e-M3“and is used as a test-mule for battery technologies, battery management, propulsion systems and latest in-house development.

As for the Concept One, its unique powertain design consists of four sub-systems, each consisting of one DC electric motor, inverter and reduction gearbox. Each of those systems drive a single wheel, independently from the others.

Sophisticated software controls each of those systems using the input of many precise sensors placed all over the car.
Combined peak output is claimed to be 1,088 horsepower and 2,800 pound-feet of torque, which Rimac says will rocket the Concept One from 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and see it reach an electronically limited top speed of 190 mph.

A battery array is said to have a capacity of 92 kWh and the entire thing should weigh no more than 3,700 pounds.
Rimac says that production of 88 Concept One supercars will commence in 2013, although we wouldn't hold our breath waiting for this particular electric car to go on sale anytime soon--at least in the state of tune Rimac promises.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Sound of silence II

As we have been discussing, the new flock of electric cars run virtually silent. It has been said that new cars will have an electronic soundtrack to warn the less abled and the stupid of a vehicle approaching.

I have seen reports of cars that will sound to alert pedestrians a similar sound to when "you hear the doors close, or use the transporter" on the USS Enterprise. Much as I love star trek, I think they are missing an opportunity here. Pedestrians alerts could be the next big thing like mobile ring tones were in the nineties.

Forget the geeky trekkie soundtrack, how about something that resonates to the tune of the internal combustion engine you had to sacrifice to save the planet.

How about car with personal preference soundtrack. In the morning you could go to work to the sound of something a little more pleasing Ferrari and Lamborghini, or a throaty high-powered V8, go to lunch in a Carrera GT then for a Sunday blast in the country, how about ruptured eardrums with a Corvette C6-R or the mentalness of the Zonda F

Go home to the sound of a V8s Zender, and just as you pull into your street, switch it to a Mercedes' AMG.

What would be your soundtrack??? Dauer Bugatti EB110, Nissan Skyline R31 or McLaren F1, Bugatti Type 35B or Ferrari 275, Lambo Miura, Bristol 401, TVR Tuscan

the Sound of Silence

in a few years, the government will require electric cars and gasoline-electric hybrids to emit some type of noise at low speeds, when their battery-driven motors usually run silent. The promised rules—aimed at making the vehicles safer for vision-impaired pedestrians and others who rely on aural cues—have launched auto makers on a quest for the perfect sound.
The new electric cars are nearly silent, and that's a potential hazard for pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired. The Nissan Leaf has added sounds for when the car starts up and accelerates, or backs up. WSJ's Mike Ramsey reports.
Among those considered: noises reminiscent of jet engines, bells, birds, flying saucers and revved-up sports cars.

In developing their electric car, the Leaf, Nissan Motor Co. marketers initially saw the false-sound feature as a branding opportunity, a chance to create a distinctive sound, like a Jetsons jet pack, that would identify an approaching vehicle as a Leaf.

The near-silence of a battery-powered car is a point of pride for many hybrid drivers, an illustration of its ability to run at speeds of 40 mph or more without burning fossil fuel. The quiet ride has been a marketing point for auto makers, who spend millions on insulation and sound-damping technology to make cars quieter.