Saturday, 31 March 2012

Guidance for landlords on electrical safety

As the number of people becoming landlords soars, research from the Electrical Safety Council has found that misunderstandings between landlords and tenants over responsibilities for safety are exposing many people to life-threatening electrical dangers.

The ESC is concerned that the rise in inexperienced landlords - many of whom are finding it easier to rent out their property than sell it - will further compromise safety.

The consequences for not understanding obligations can be serious. If a landlord is found to be negligent over electrical safety it can lead to fines or even imprisonment.

need a test carried out??

Friday, 30 March 2012

Part P

NICEIC’s CEO Emma Clancy attended the House of Commons this month to put forward the case for retaining Part P of the building regulations.
The Government is currently reviewing Part P with a view to changing or amending the legislation which covers electrical work carried out around the home.

NICEIC believe Part P is crucial in ensuring the highest standards of electrical safety in dwellings in England and the regulation should be retained and reformed.  

Emma was part of a panel of representatives from the construction industry who attended a select committee, chaired by various MPs. Together, the group urged the Government to think carefully about making any amendments which could compromise safety in the home.
A recent survey of NICEIC contractors revealed that 85% would prefer to see Part P amended rather than ended.

watch this space for further developments

Thursday, 29 March 2012

What you need to do NOW!!!

April 1st isnt just April fools day, its the day when everything gets more expensive...

an increase in postal rates and the UK Government's decision to end Low Value Consignment Relief for the Channel Islands, both of which are due to come into effect from 1 April.

so we say
  1. buy a bulk load of stamps now (before the end of April)
  2. get anything you need such as cheap Cd's, batteries and printer ink cheap from the channel islands
How much are stamps rising in price?
A first-class stamp will go up by 30% from its current 46p to 60p from 30 April. Second-class stamps will rise by 39%, from 36p to 50p.

oh and check out our blog on Sunday, there are some wicked articles coming your way to bring a smile to all this doom n gloom

chin up, its not all bad!!!

BS7671 Section 729 - Operating and Maintenance Gangways

Q. Amendment 1 of BS7671 includes a new Section 729 - Operating and Maintenance Gangways, where it gives clear guidance on distances of  gangways in front of switchgear. Does this apply to a domestic situation?

A. No, this section only applies to switchgear and controlgear, where access is restricted to skilled or instructed persons.

Note: If you are designing switch rooms that fall into this category, please read this section carefully.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Photovoltaic cells wiggle when lit

A surprising atomic-scale wiggle underlies the way a special class of materials reacts to light, according to research that may lead to new devices for harvesting solar energy.

For decades, scientists have known that some ferroelectric materials—materials that possess a stable electrical polarization switchable by an external electric field—are also photovoltaic: They produce an electric voltage when exposed to light, just as solar cells do. But it was not clear how the light induced voltages in these materials.

Such insight is very useful to researchers hoping to design ferroelectrics with improved photovoltaic properties for use in solar cells and other applications, such as sensors and ultrafast optical switches for data and telecommunications networks. Several possible mechanisms have been proposed, with many open questions still remaining.

The entire in-and-out atomic-scale wiggle took just 10 trillionths of a second, yet it indicated the mechanisms responsible for the materials’ photovoltaic effect. - caused by light-induced electrical currents in the ferroelectric material...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Electrical energy doesn’t simply vanish you know...

A fundamental law of science is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  While it is true that some electrical energy is lost in transmission through the resistance of the transmission lines, the suggestion that two thirds of all electrical energy generated at our power stations never gets used is ridiculous. To maintain the stability of the grid, BC Hydro and all other electricity companies feeding electrical energy into the grid must, and do, balance the amount of electricity generated with the average instantaneous demand

see, simples (squeak)

have a nice day

Monday, 26 March 2012

Regs n smoke alarms

Does the 17th Edition permit connection of smoke alarms to an adjacent lighting circuit taking into account Regulation 560.7.1, which states that circuits of safety services shall be independent of other circuits?

Yes. The particular requirements of BS 5839-6 take precedence over the general requirements of BS 7671.

Regulation number(s)

Control car charging with a mobile app :P

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the start of the month, Ericsson announced an application that lets electric car owners control their vehicle's charging schedule via a smartphone or tablet.

Through a research project across several industries, Ericsson will bring mobile connectivity to electric cars and put choice and control over the charging schedule into the hands of drivers.

The new architecture allows drivers to control charging of cars while they are plugged into any ordinary power outlet. Additionally, the system directs energy costs to the car owners’ bill.  The driver sets the time and amount to charge on a console in the car or remotely via a smartphone or tablet.

Using the mobile network, the car then communicates with the grid so that charging is scheduled based on energy prices on the grid, reducing user costs. For the energy utilities, coordinating the charging of cars across the grid is more efficient and sustainable.

clever eh!!!!

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Of hay and humanity

listen to this!! on the iplayer - link @ the bottom

New technologies are disruptive. It is impossible to know what change and innovation they will bring in their wake.

The theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson, for example, once claimed hay was the most important invention in history.

Apparently, the Romans and Greeks did not have hay. Dyson argued it was only when some peasant from the dark ages had the idea of drying cut grass that effective storage of food for cattle and horses was possible and that that - in turn -generated an explosion in urban development.
He concludes, perhaps rather grandly, that hay gave birth to Vienna and Paris, to London and Berlin, and to Moscow and New York.

On that basis what incredible developments would flow from the invention of something as profound as mobile computing technology?

We've got Angry Birds for a start, because one of the most dramatic new phenomena our high powered phones have led to is the booming market for apps.

So are apps going to be as important for humanity as hay? That's the question Justin Rowlatt puts to the BBC's technology expert, Rory Cellan-Jones.

There really are now apps for everything. Clinical psycologists are working on a whole new generation of applications designed to help tackle mental health issues.

There is certainly a vast potential market. Millions of people suffer from conditions like anxiety and depression. Yet only the relatively wealthy can afford a professional therapist.

It's a problem for society as well as individuals - mental illness is reckoned to cost the US economy alone three hundred billion dollars a year in medical bills and lost output.

So, wonders the BBC technology correspondent, Mark Gregory, how can apps help out?

When the apps market first started most were created by individuals or small companies. But the success of apps like Angry Birds showed there is serious money to be made. No surprise then, that the big guys want in on the apps act.

And entertainment companies don't get bigger than Disney, which recently set up a dedicated apps division which got some unexpected publicity when Chunli Fu from China download the company's "Where's My Water?" iPhone app.

It was - apparently - the 25 billionth download on Apple's iTunes App Store. So what on earth is Where's My Water and how important are apps to Mickey Mouse's enormous empire? Justin Rowlatt speaks to Bart Decrem, a senior vice president at Disney and the general manager of its Mobile division.

Clearly Apps can be powerful things. But "with great power comes great responsibility" - according to the famous Spiderman quote. And, just as in the Marvel universe the world of Apps can divided into forces for good and forces for evil. Well, at least that's according to our regular technology commentator Jeremy Wagstaff of Reuters.

China Shuts Down 583 Lead-acid Battery Plants

Expect the cost of batteries to go up. there is a predicted price rise of around 45%

China shuts battery factories due to lead poisoning

Battery factories across China have been closed amid fears about poisoning from metals used by the industry.

About 74 people have been detained after reports that more than 100 people were affected by lead and cadmium poisoning.

Reports from China suggests hundreds of factories have been closed as a result of efforts to tackle poisoning.

The rechargeable lead batteries are used in scooters, cars and some mobile phones.

The detentions and closures are part of moves by regional governments in China to decrease environmental damage and improve working conditions.

Increased demand for electric scooters alongside higher car production has driven up the demand for lead batteries.

In Zhejiang's Deqing county 53 people were hospitalised following tests earlier in the year which found high levels of lead in the blood of 332 residents.

Several major battery manufacturers with shares traded in China have issued notices saying production is suspended.

A statement on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection warned that companies must meet environmental standards.

we belive there are approximatly only 20 facilities that have met the required standards and have not been shut down

Saturday, 24 March 2012

When You Change Your Clocks, Test Your Smoke Alarms - It Could Save Your Life

when you change you clocks this weekend  (Sunday 25 March) - by taking a moment to test your smoke alarms too. 

A working smoke alarm can buy you valuable time to get out, stay out and call 999.  But only half of all householders who own a smoke alarm say that they test it on a regular basis.

While losing that hour's sleep on Sunday may not be appealing, turning the clocks forward will already be on the majority of UK households' ‘to-do' lists.  But while we all keep our clocks working and we ensure that they stay on track, it's shocking that many people forget to do the simplest of tests to ensure the safety of themselves and their loved ones. 

TEST that alarm NOW!!!!

Maybe we dont need an iCar, we need a lil Beiber fever

Justin Bieber has been given an electric car for his 18th birthday as a present from his manager Scooter. (what a name, or is is a bike???) I digress

Justin Bieber has been given an electric car for his 18th birthday.

The 'BabyBabyBaby,' hitmaker - was presented with a luxury Fisker Karma vehicle with a solar-panelled roof by his manager Scooter while appearing on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'.

Presenting the teen star with the car, Scooter said: ''You work really, really hard. I always yell at you don't get anything flashy. You know, we're not about that. Be humble, be humble and I kind of broke my own rule.

''So we wanted to make sure you were environmentally friendly and we wanted to make sure since you love cars that when you're on the road you are always environmentally friendly and we decided to get you a car that would make you stand out.

however, how much do you think he will drive it... figure this, he goes out to the garage, does he take the EV or his £100,000 customised Range Rover, which had a sound system worth £50,000, leather interior, modified paintwork and a Cosworth engine. - Justin owns a Batman-themed customised Cadillac and a Ferrari.

lets see...

Friday, 23 March 2012

Staff at wholesalers

One of our wholsalers has 3 memebers of staff named Dean and another one in luton has two Ryans

What your paper says about you....

The New York Times looks likes its doing a run up to the Olympics (pardon the pun) and they did an artical on what your news paper says about you... dont shoot the messenger

The Daily Telegraph
Older conservatives who mourn the loss of the empire by placing cricket before family. Last truly happy on D-Day.

The Guardian (or The Observer on Sundays)
Bikram-practicing middle-class liberals preoccupied with ending all wars and rolling their own cigarettes.

The Times of London
Definitely a member of the political and corporate elite; fancies him-or herself as tolerant; has zero middle-class friends.

The Independent
Slightly depressed and overeducated underachievers who are really worried about the environment.

The Daily Mail
Middle-class housewives who live in fear of rising house prices, Elton John and Gypsies. Loves: Lady Thatcher, talented-pet stories and George Clooney.

The Daily Express
Intolerant, easily outraged and yet to recover from Lady Diana’s death. Constant fear of terrorist attack is blunted by gin and reality TV.

The Daily Mirror
A really great night out starts with binge drinking at the greyhound track, but decries anyone who does the same.

The Sun
Beloved by working-class conservatives eager to read a tabloid that goes for the jugular whether the topic is politics, soccer or topless women.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Phone hacking!!!

O'Neill also told the inquiry in Wednesday an official report criticising relations between Scotland Yard and the media reads like an "East German ministry of information manual".
He said Elizabeth Filkin's recent review of the Metropolitan police's interactions with journalists has created a "climate of fear".

"I found this document patronising and ultimately dangerous for future accountability of the police," O'Neill added.

"It has already created a climate of fear in which police officers – who may want to pass on information that is in the public but not the corporate interest – are afraid to talk to the press.
"Despite its repeated talk of openness and transparency, the key passages in the Filkin report refer to a clampdown on 'unauthorised contact' between police and the press."

Filkin's recommendations, published in January, advised officers to avoid "flirting" and accepting alcohol from journalists.

from my personal point of view, no suggestion of impropriety would exists if public servants in 21st century Britain passed on this information in their office for no personal gain other than public interest, not even a drink!!! stay away from the pub, you are paid to work, not drink!!!! it really is that simple

Today in 1963

today in 1963 was the breaking of the Profumo Affair

22nd March, 1963: The British Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, has denied any impropriety with the model, Christine Keeler.

Later in June John Profumo did admit to having an affair with Christine Keeler and resigned from his post as British Secretary of State for War

The Profumo affair as it was known in Britain was a major news story because Christine Keeler was linked to Soviet Intelligence due to her affair with Captain Eugene Ivanov, a naval attaché at the Russian Embassy.
also 1963 England The Beatles Please Please Me Album Released

 following the success of the singles "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do" earlier in Great Britain.
what a day

Using Body Heat to Recharge your phone

Scientists in North Carolina have recently  developed a felt-like fabric that generates power by scavenging for so-called  waste heat, such as body heat.

Right now, many of the electronic devices we use every day, such as cellphones or laptop computers, get their power from batteries.

But, as we  also know, even the best batteries eventually run low on power and need to be recharged.
What the Wake Forest  University scientists have done is develop technology that takes your body heat, along with other waste heat, and convert it to electrical energy.

Developed at the university’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials, the material is made up of carbon nanotubes, tiny tube-shaped materials  made of carbon, which are held in flexible plastic fibers and made to feel like fabric.

The researchers say the thermoelectric technology behind Power Felt uses differences in temperature, such as room temperature versus body temperature, to create an electrical charge.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


The internet culture is very relaxed, but I have to say, it’s a tad disconcerting to get job requests and CV’s with a contact address of blonde66 or werewolfgirl, maybe (because its free) you should consider getting two e-mails, social and work.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

socket under a bath.. can you do it????

Is a socket-outlet allowed under a bath behind screwed panels?

No. Socket-outlets in a bathroom (other than SELV socket-outlets and shaver supply units) are not permitted within 3 m of zone 1

Regulation number(s)

Rolls-Royce rules out building electric car

Rolls-Royce's CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has said that the automaker won't be building a production version of its 102EX electric Phantom concept any time soon.

The car was unveiled with a great fanfare in February 2011, fulfilling a two-year-old promise that the company would experiment with battery power. At the time Müller-Ötvös said that the experiment was crucial for informing future decisions on alternative technologies. It even set up a dedicated website to debate whether you could have a super luxury electric vehicle.

After letting members of the media and potential customers test drive the vehicle, it appears to have decided that Rolls-Royce's future isn't going to be electric. At least not for now.

The company says that demand for such a car - that could end up costing as much £600,000, double the price of a petrol-fuelled vehicle -- isn't sufficient to warrant its production.

13 amp USB charger

We have jusr had a USB charger go with a big bang... are there quality issues with these devices? heat management or were we just unlucky?

Fire safety tips for caravans

During recent months, there have been a number devastating caravan fires in the UK. Two caravans have been destroyed in Manchester, shortly after a first two were burnt out in Glasgow. Both incidents are believed to have been caused by arson attacks.

On Wednesday January 11th, a group of vandals set fire to a communal car park in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow. Although a neighbour spotted the flames and alerted the fire brigade, the damage was too extensive for the caravans to be saved. Ten firefighters were involved in fighting the Alloway Drive blaze.
On 29th January, more vandals were involved in an arson attack on an MOT centre in Greater Manchester. Two caravans, a camper van and a van were destroyed in this particular fire, with approximately £80,000 worth of damage being done. The MOT centre’s owner, Simon Eskins, confirmed the extent of the destruction in an interview with a local newspaper, “Two expensive caravans, a motor home and a van, which I was storing for people have all gone up. There was also damage to a fence, a sign and the toilet and other vehicles nearby were affected by smoke damage.”

In view of these attacks, a reminder of caravan fire safety tips

  1. ring the fire brigade and ensure that the situation is brought under control.
  2. keep an extinguiser to hand
  3. have a fire blanket in the kitchen
  4. check your smoke alarm is working
if in doubt - get out

Monday, 19 March 2012

5,000mph electrical gun

The Office of Naval Research has tested the first prototype of the weapon, which can fire shells at 5,000mph with a potential range of 100 miles

The basic technology of military and naval artillery has changed little since the introduction of gunpowder in the Middle Ages. Today’s large guns still use explosive chemicals such as gunpowder to fire a projectile down a metal barrel.

But the US Navy is developing a different type of weapon, based on pulses of electrical rather than chemical energy. The “electromagnetic railgun” can blast shells at 5,000mph – seven times the speed of sound – with a potential range of 100 miles.

Last month, the railgun took a big step from research toward production, as the navy started testing the first prototype weapon produced by an industrial contractor. The Office of Naval Research has released a spectacular video of the gun – made by the US subsidiary of Britain’s BAE Systems – firing at its Dahlgren testing centre in Virginia. Evaluation of a second prototype, built by General Atomics of the US, will begin next month.

seven times the speed of sound

Electrical stimulation speeds bone graft healing and can increase success of grafting for dental implants

Electrical stimulation expedites bone graft healing and can increase the predictability and contribute to the overall success of this option for patients who lack the bone density required for dental implants, a University of Maryland research team reported at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Osseointegration (AO).

In a pilot study of the effect of electrical stimulation on healing bone grafts, an animal study with adult male rats, Dr. Garima K. Talwar, Baltimore, Md., a postgraduate student at the University of Maryland Baltimore Dental School, concluded that electrical stimulation produced significantly more bone formation and less remaining graft than a control group that received no electrical stimulation.

The finding may attract patients to dental implants who might otherwise bypass implant treatment because grafts can be unpredictable and have been associated with lower success rates, extended healing times, and morbidity.

In the study, bipolar platinum stimulated electrodes were overlaid on the center of a graft in adult male rats. They received electrical stimulation three times a day for 10 days. After six weeks, the grafted areas and surrounding bone were harvested. Animals that received electrical stimulation had approximately eight-fold more new bone (3.81 (3.6)%; p=0.034) compared to the control group (0.47 (0.52)%). The amount of remaining graft material in the control group was significantly higher, and no significant difference was found in the amount of connective tissue.

Dr. Talwar said the idea for the study came from her postgraduate mentor at the Dental School, Dr. Radi Masri, Department of Endodontics, Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Super Space Bugs Generate Electricity

Scientists have discovered that space bugs can generate electricity.
Scientists from Newcastle University have discovered that space bugs - Bacillus stratosphericus and Bacillus altitudinis  - bacteria normally found 30km above the earth have been identified as highly efficient generators of electricity.

Bacillus stratosphericus and Bacillus altitudinis are microbes commonly found in high concentrations in the stratosphere orbiting the earth but these microbes were spotted near the river Wear, which is located at Wear Estuary, Country Durham in the UK. Scientists believe that they were brought down to earth because of atmospheric cycling processes, according to a press release from the university.

During the experiment, they had collected 75 different species of bacteria near river Wear. They tested these bacteria by using a Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC), a bio-electrochemical system that converts organic compounds directly into electricity by a process known as bio-catalytic oxidation. They discovered that the best species of bacteria like Bacillus stratosphericus and the Bacillus altitudinis were able to create an artificial biofilm that doubles the electrical output of the MFC from 105 milliwatts per cubic metre to 200 milliwatts per cubic metre.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mixed mesages on street lighting

Just as we are told that the Highways Agency proposes dimming of lights on major A-roads we are then told Northamptonshire County Council will switch a set of streetlights back on after a child was injured in a road traffic collision late last year..

make your mind up, there is also debate about personal safety in Milton Keynes.

can we have national policy / 1 message please

Revision of the WEEE directive

The recent revision of the WEEE Directive is set to impose more stringent targets for the recycling of electronic waste and will impose an extra burden on those responsible for its disposal. But who exactly is responsible for making the required changes?

we know the amount of waste we produce is also increasing, placing a significant burden on those responsible for its disposal. That burden will increase further in the coming years following a recent recast of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive, which is set to increase WEEE recycling targets drastically.

The most noteworthy change for the lighting industry is an increase in the targets for WEEE recycling carried out on an annual basis. Currently the targets require countries to collect, on average, 4kg of WEEE per head of population.

The new targets are set to present more of a challenge, according to Recolight’s Nigel Harvey. “The new targets are certainly going to be harder to hit,” he says. “The UK comfortably exceeds the current targets and collects closer to 8kg per head.”

The change, which will take effect in 2016, looks at the average weight of electrical equipment that has been sold in a given country over the previous three years and the new target is to recycle 45 per cent of that figure. This will then increase further in 2019 to 65 per cent.


Underground or submarine cables lengths of 80km or more are only possible with HVDC transmission technology because when A.C. lines reach this length the cable’s insulation serves as a capacitor and becomes charged, thereby absorbing most of the electricity.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Giving waste water the power to clean itself

From nature magazine

Sewage could become a useful source of energy, by combining two existing technologies.

thats true folks, power from Poo

A technique that combines two novel forms of renewable energy — one relying on bacteria and the other on salt water — generates more electricity than either one alone and cleans waste water at the same time. The work is published today in Science1.

Waste water contains a great deal of energy in the form of organic matter, says lead author Bruce Logan, director of the Hydrogen Energy Center and the Engineering Energy and Environment Institute at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Domestic waste water contains nine times more chemical energy than the energy required to treat it — that amount, added to the energy in waste water from livestock and food production, would be nearly enough energy to maintain the entire US water infrastructure, he says.
One method for converting this energy to a useable form is to use microbial fuel cells (MFC). These generate electricity by using cultures of microorganisms to break down and oxidize organic matter, a process that releases electrons that migrate towards a positive electrode. At the same time, hydrogen ions from the water pass through a proton-exchange membrane and into a separate cathode chamber. The electrons are drawn to the cathode from the anode via a circuit, generating an electrical current, where they combine with the hydrogen ions and ambient oxygen to form clean water

Global warming, the Aussies say electric cars are not the answer...

Wits researchers have reported that electric cars will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

"We found that, as the bulk of South Africa's electricity is generated from relatively low-quality coal and the advanced exhaust clean up technologies are not implemented in the current coal-fired power plants, the use of electric vehicles in South Africa would not help to cut greenhouse gas emissions now (2010) or in the future, " the researchers reported.

Electric vehicles have been suggested as a way to reduce the carbon emissions in urban centres, but researchers Diane Hildebrandt, David Glasser and Xinying Liu said that the generation of electricity should be taken into account.

"If you do a whole analysis of the entire system, the electric vehicle doesn't look necessarily, on the systems approach, to be the cleaner option,"

She said that if one based the impact of electric vehicles on the entire system of power generation, they were worse than petrol and diesel vehicles.

so, what is the answer???

"When you look at the system globally, you get various emissions at various points, now electric vehicles at their point - in other words - the vehicle itself is incredibly clean, but when you step further back and take the power station into account, then suddenly the answer is not as clear cut.

"With current technology, the emissions are at least as bad, if not much worse than say for example, other processes like using oil, or even coal to liquid."

Policymakers have suggested that electric cars are an answer to urban pollution and in 2011, the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle won the car of the year title.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Renault claims that its electric car range will cost about a third less to run than petrol and diesel models.

I can see you rubbing your chin, with a quizzical look

"With pump prices at an all-time high, isn't it time you switched?" the French firm states...

It cites its just-launched Kangoo Van ZE (Zero Emission) which is, according to the company, "35 per cent more affordable than a diesel".

more chin rubbing ensues

The company is aware of a recent survey from that says 74 per cent of drivers who took part in its latest survey feel "prevented" from buying EVs due to the high retail prices Japanese, European and American manufacturers have slapped on their products.

Renault explains how it arrives at its "35 per cent more affordable" claim in some smallprint on its website, but it's chiefly down to the new Plug-in Van Grant.

The French car-maker is now proudly pro-electric while adopting a brave diesel-sceptic stance. Renault also believes it can succeed where others (including sister company, Nissan) have failed in convincing consumers that EVs are a wise financial bet.

Whether Renault will be claiming those 35 per cent cost benefits for consumers thinking of investing in its imminent range of all-electric passenger cars and quadricycles remains to be seen.

EV cars, batteries are the main problem!!!

Batteries, They’re heavy, take ages to recharge, have a limited lifetime and create extra safety challenges.

But.... what if a car’s body itself could store energy, reducing or possibly even eliminating the need for a big block of chemicals sat in the middle of the chassis?

Structural energy storage has been an idea of both automotive and defence manufacturers for more than a decade, and now several groups of British engineers and scientists are helping to make it a reality. If the technology can be refined, it could help to create not just better electric cars but also lighter equipment for soldiers and consumer electronics - and perhaps even aircraft.

While cars that hold hours’ worth of electricity in their roofs and wall panels might be some years off, 2012 has seen the unveiling of one of the first prototype vehicles to put the technology to use: the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV electric racing car demonstrator, which comes complete with a panel of structural energy storage carbon-fibre composite developed by BAE Systems.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Economic slowdown means UK can phase out more fossil energy

The economic slowdown means the UK could retire old coal, oil and nuclear power plants without risking black-outs between 2015 and 2020, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
A combination of increased renewable energy capacity, along with already-planned, additional gas-fired capacity, could provide most of the additional electricity that the UK needs through to 2030.

In addition, the UK’s second 'dash for gas', which could see the addition of 15 GW of new capacity between 2010 and 2016 at a cost of £7.5 billion, is likely to be the last, the analyst predicts. Renewable energy, nuclear power, energy efficiency and retrofits to existing plants should be able to meet all additional needs from 2020 onwards.

Government and other market participants have expressed concern that Great Britain will experience a shortage of power supply as 12 GW of coal and oil-fired plants close by 2016 due to environmental requirements. An additional 7 GW of nuclear is scheduled to close by the end of the decade.

Private landlords should be aware of their fire safety obligations

As The Department of Communities and Local Government teams up with Aico to deliver a Fire Kills campaign to private landlords, Belvoir Sheffield, the leading letting agent in Sheffield, is warning that many landlords may be unaware of what is expected of them legally.

Under The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and the Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, as a landlord you have a Duty of Care to your tenant in respect of any furniture you leave in the property. Smoke alarms should also be fitted at the property.

It is frightening that as the number of DIY and reluctant landlords

According to Government fire statistics, 36 percent of battery powered alarms fail to operate in a fire – almost half because the battery was missing or dead. Installing mains powered alarms, interconnected together so they can be heard throughout the property, negates this problem and allows landlords to meet their Duty of Care.

The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and the Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993, are UK law and are designed to ensure that upholstery components and composites used for furniture supplied in the UK meet specified ignition resistance levels and are suitably labeled. There are six main elements contained within the Regulations, which landlords must adhere to.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Tenants at risk as landlords ignore electrical safety obligations

Tenants are having their lives put at risk by inexperienced or complacent landlords disregarding their electrical safety obligations.

The Electrical Safety Council says that one-fifth of tenants report concerns with electrical safety.

It says that misunderstandings between landlords and tenants over responsibilities for safety are exposing millions of people to life-threatening electrical dangers.

It claims that independent research – carried out by Populus among 2,000 adults – shows that three in ten landlords and two-fifths of renters do not know who is responsible for electrical safety in their rented properties.

By law, landlords must ensure electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. And tenants should feel obliged to flag electrical problems as soon as they appear, as well as maintain any electrical items they bring into the house.

The consequences for not understanding obligations can be serious. If a landlord is found to be negligent over electrical safety it can lead to prosecution, with a fine of up to £5,000 on each count or imprisonment. This may come as a shock to the 38% of landlords who, according to the research, don’t believe there are any penalties for failing to maintain safety.

In response to the statistics, the ESC has produced a simple guide for landlords outlining how to ensure the electrical safety of a property.

Anneke Rousseau, ESC’s head of communications, said: “It is important that all landlords understand their obligations and ensure the safety of their tenants. Part of the confusion may arise from the fact that landlords are legally responsible for an annual gas safety check but it is not a legal requirement for electrical safety.

How green is an electric car????

California passed a ruling last month requiring that 15 percent of new cars sold in the state meet a strict emissions standard of zero to near-zero emissions by 2015. Many environmental groups are praising the decision, which will require Californians to buy more electric, hybrid, and hydrogen vehicles.

What counts as an alternative-energy vehicle and what doesn't is hardly a straightforward reckoning.

depending on how you charge your car - is an electric car a true alternative if its drivetrain is ultimately powered by coal, nuclear power, and lithium strip mines rather than petrol?

Electric vehicles don't eliminate the negative side effects of car travel. They move the problems elsewhere.

because of this we are prime targets for PR firms, news pundits, environmentalists, and others to warp the argument quite considerably

For instance, electric vehicle manufacturers claim customers can fill up for 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, which they say works out to pennies on the mile. But if buyers intend to drive their electric car beyond the length of the extension cord from their garage, they won't be able to take advantage of that cheap electricity.

They'll have to rely on a battery they can only recharge a finite number of times before it must be replaced at considerable expense.

The battery-construction step, not the "fuel" step, is the expensive part of driving an electric vehicle. Advanced batteries cost so much to fabricate that the 10-cent-per-kilowatt-hour "fuel" cost to charge them becomes negligible.

Even though electric vehicles are moving to cheaper batteries, the costs of exhuming their required minerals extends far beyond simple dollars and cents. It takes a lot of fossil fuel to craft a battery. An analysis by the National Academies concludes that the environmental damage will be greater than that of traditional petrol-driven cars until at least 2030.

Even if mining companies clean up their operations and engineers increase battery storage capacity (which they will, very slowly) there is still a bigger problem looming on the horizon: Alternative-fuel vehicles stand to define and spread patterns of "sustainable living" that cannot be easily sustained without cars.

Shifting from gasoline to electric vehicles starts to appear synonymous with switching a smoking habit from cigarettes to a pipe...

Hybrid and electric vehicles may offer partial solutions within certain contexts, but only for thos who charge by PV

maybe we just need to forget the car and push durable options such as walkable neighborhoods, bicycling infrastructure and comfortable / reliable public transit.

will we sacrifice our cars? never, well not this generation, so we will have to be priced out of them...

Monday, 12 March 2012

Snow boarder in a LED suit

In this short video by fashion photographer and filmmaker Jacob Sutton, a snowboarder fitted with a full LED suit carves through the darkness of the French Alps.

The video, shot in Tignes in the Rhône-Alpes region of Southeastern France, shows pro-snowboarder Will Hughes adorned in an LED suit designed by John Spatcher.

D A Woolgar 1990's van fleet

check our our early 90's van fleet

D A Woolgar

Sunday, 11 March 2012

maybe an Electric car suits city dwellers better

You remember I said how few EV cars had be bought in London... well Mayor Boris is trying to work out why, or at least doing a good attempt at PR to justify his statement...

Most Londoners interested’ in buying electric cars

Boris Johnson’s vision of an electric car revolution may be a long way short of fulfilled so far but the results of a survey at least give the Mayor of London some hope.

A poll of more than 1,000 people by electric vehicle charging unit supplier Chargemaster has found more than four-fifths of Londoners (81 per cent) are at least interested in going electric in the near future.
This is much higher than the national figure of 58 per cent of consumers saying they would consider switching to an eco-friendly electric vehicle when buying a new car.

Air quality in London was given as one of the reasons for people in the capital thinking about switching.

What do you think? Would you consider changing from petrol or diesel power to electric? If not, what would put you off doing it? Add your comments pleeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaasssssssssse

The Telegraph says the electric car has an uncertain future

Where next for the all-electric family car? The honest answer is that nobody – not even the companies which make them – knows for sure.

Our ruling politicians don’t have a clue either. This despite the fact that they’re endorsing the idea of battery-powered vehicles for the general public by giving £5,000 taxpayer-funded handouts to buyers. But it appears a classic case of do as we say, not do as we do. I say this because I’m not aware of any of our “leaders” using all-electrics as their personal or ministerial cars. I’ll admit I’m wrong if there is a leading politician who has done so, but I’m not expecting to hear from anyone.

Are the young Cameron and Miliband families, for example, running electric vehicles (EVs) as family wheels, or even buying them as second cars for shopping trips and school runs? What happened to leading by example?

What’s beyond doubt is that for the private motorist who has to meet his own running costs, the EV, with a rechargeable battery pack as its sole source of power, has severe limitations. First, price: the all-electric family-sized car has typically a list price two or three times higher than that of a petrol model of similar size. Second, range: most electric cars can travel about 100 miles (without “refuelling”), while petrol-engined models do several hundred, with some diesels achieving closer to 1,000.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that about 99 per cent of all cars sold/registered in Britain in 2011 were conventional petrol or diesel models and just over one per cent could be classed as an alternate fuel vehicle (AFV). This year, the story’s much the same – only about one car in every 100 is an AFV. I wonder if any real-world private motorists have bought one last year or this. It may well be that manufacturers and their dealers have registered or “sold” most of the EVs on Britain’s roads to themselves, to serve as company cars, press vehicles or demonstrators. Look out for them as very low-mileage used (and therefore considerably less expensive) cars.

we say - The subsidy is contentious, but when electric cars are priced at their true selling price they wont be viable, or  alot less viable

The US has now come into an ocean of natural gas. It's converting so many public vehicles to that -- and private cars will surely follow. Their NG is one sixth the price of Russian gas. but thats still burning and adding to the carbon footprint

one thing that has cropped up since the cold snap - battery's performance is cut in half by the cold, but you cant insualte them because if they get too hot they can explode

EVs at this stage are feel good toys for people with money to spare and other cars to offset the disadvantages of battery dependency.

watch this space

Saturday, 10 March 2012

which electric car????

Electric cars usually have a shorter range than NGVs, but this is quite adequate for commuters and short trips. Electric cars with an additional combustion engine are an option for longer distances.

A lively public debate on petrol and diesel prices is again underway. As these prices have reached new highs, people are increasingly calling for petroleum tax cuts and tax relief for commuters, but they are also looking for cheaper types of fuel.

Particularly at times of high petrol and diesel prices, both natural gas and electricity are suitable alternatives.

Taking consumption figures alone, vehicles running on natural gas or electricity enable users to reach their destination over 50 per cent more cheaply than with premium-grade petrol. A journey of 100 km currently costs about EUR 4.50 using a natural gas vehicle (NGV) or around EUR 4 with an electric car, depending on the particular type of vehicle and its consumption.

Electric cars usually have a shorter range than NGVs, but this is quite adequate for commuters and short trips. Electric cars with an additional combustion engine are an option for longer distances.

Fire kills! Make sure your smoke alarm is working

IN ENGLAND last year, 246 people died in fires in the home and another 7,400 were injured.
Just two to three breaths of toxic smoke from a house fire can leave you unconscious and unable to escape.

​DEVASTATING: Fire spreads quickly. You could have less than two minutes to escape.

​safety first: In the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999. Never attempt to tackle the fire yourself.

That's why you need to do everything possible to stack the odds in favour of you and your loved ones surviving a fire.

A working smoke alarm can buy you the valuable time you need to escape a house fire. In many cases, it can alert you before the fire catches hold.

While the majority of homes in England now have at least one smoke alarm installed, one in four of these is likely to fail in a house fire because it is clogged, broken, or most commonly because the battery is flat or has been removed.

Everyone soon notices when a clock stops ticking, but it's not so easy to be sure that your smoke alarm is still working. That's why it is vital you test it regularly.

A few simple steps can help keep your home and everyone in it safe from fire, from making sure cooking and candles are never left unattended, to putting cigarettes out properly and planning your escape route – it's common sense but life saving.

Fire spreads quickly. You could have less than two minutes to escape, so it is important that in the event of a fire, you know the best way out to safety.

So plan your escape route and make sure everybody in your home knows about it.
The most important thing to remember is that in the event of a fire, get out, stay out and call 999 – never attempt to tackle a fire yourself.

To find out more about fire safety in your home, visit

Friday, 9 March 2012

Funky Plumen light bulb in the V&A

Note, its not really a bulb, its a lamp, a bulb is a shape....

The Plumen 001 lamp has been added to the permanent collection at the Victoria & Albert museum.
Described as the world’s first designer energy efficient light bulb, the Plumen 001 was awarded the Brit Insurance Design of the Year in 2011, and has received widespead recognition.

With accolades from the Finnish Design Museum and the Cooper Hewitt Collection in New York, London’s V&A is the latest museum to add the lamp to its permanent collection. It will take pride of place alongside artifacts taken from the cultures of Europe, North America, Asia and Northern Africa.
The Plumen 001 was designed in partnership by Hulger and Samuel Wilkinson.

Nicolas Roope, Hulger co-founder, said: “Hulger are delighted that the Plumen 001 has been included in the V&A permanent collection.

Build power plants, not futile turbines - a one man war, who doesnt strictly

know all the pertinant facts, but we will give him a voice. bear in mind recent Gov statements over partnering with France on domestic nuclear and weapons...

Using wind turbines to generate electricity on a large scale in the UK is an extremely expensive and futile exercise.

In the UK, we are highly dependent upon a continuous supply of electricity.

​UP IN SMOKE: Nuclear or fossil fuel-burning powers stations are needed if we are to avoid power shortages.
Therefore, if we wish to maintain our way of life, we must have sufficient generating capacity to satisfy our peak demands.

As ageing power stations go out of service, we must build new ones now.
This means they will have to be nuclear or of the conventional fossil fuel-burning type.
They must be built in the immediate future to ensure we don't suffer power cuts.
Just remember that supermarket tills, banks, computers, the internet, railways, hospitals, etc depend on electricity.

Green alternatives of sufficient reliability and capacity just do not exist, this is the reality.
The idea that humankind's production of carbon dioxide is significantly changing the climate of our Earth has never been proved.

Over the last 15 years, the average global temperature has remained static even though the concentration of carbon dioxide has increased.

There have been major recorded warm periods in the Earth's recent history.
When the Romans were here and in medieval times when there were no power stations or aircraft etc.

The greatest influence on the Earth's climate is the sun, over which we have absolutely no control.
The imposition of enormous amounts of "green" taxation hurts the individual at a time of a serious recession when we need every penny we can get.

It makes our manufacturing industries non-competitive as the taxes increase the cost of everything.
It means hospitals have to buy "carbon credits" to operate whereas the money should be spent on curing the sick, not subsidising foreign manufacturers to make and erect wind turbines. The very large subsides are what attract these companies to the UK.

We have seen how useless and dangerous these enormous turbines are by the ones that have caught fire or had their blades blown-off or have been paid to shut down because the grid cannot handle the excess of electricity generated at the wrong times.

If individuals using their own money wish to make their own electricity by "green" methods, that is up to them but governments have an obligation to have a properly thought out continuous electrical energy to supply policy.

This cannot rely on "green" initiatives.

Ian Jones, Westland Road, Kirk Ella.

We say, try and use you energy to create an alternative, because with your plans, when the fossil fuels run out or become too expensive to be viable, just what are you going to use to fire up your PC or lap top.

be the solution, not the problem.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

manufacturers lose £1.4bn per year from old lighting

A new report has claimed that UK manufacturers lose £1.4 billion per year as a result of old lighting systems.  

The report, The Light Bulb Moment, produced by Vita Energia, suggests that the losses result from a reluctance to upgrade from 1950s lighting systems.

The report claims that the replacement or refurbishment of current T12 fluorescent systems could save as much as 10 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year in the UK.

To produce the report, 500 on-site surveys were carried out showing that industrial lighting energy use could be cut by an average of 58.6 per cent through upgrading fittings with specially designed reflectors and the installation of lower wattage, high efficiency lamps and ballasts.

The report goes on to suggest that metal halide or sodium fittings can be upgraded to emit better quality lighting using less energy, alongside retrofitting to downsize light fittings without reducing light levels.

Michael Harper, not the sharpest knife in the drawer...

MAN was sentenced to a year in prison for attempting to rob a UK power substation that exploded when he urinated against a transformer.

Michael Harper, 36, was permanently disfigured after suffering serious burns in the blast at the electricity substation under a railway arch in Leicester, central England, The Leicester Mercury said today.
The father of two was left burning on the floor by his accomplice, 50-year-old Richard Boyce, who tried to drive off but later was found by police with blistered hands.

The incident last March also left 2000 homes and businesses without power and caused £26,500 ($42,000) damage as the two men tried to take metal from the station last March.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Random story about Uganda and aviation fuel...

Bright future

The LED looms large for anyone looking to the future of lighting technology. “Everyone in the lighting industry is aware that LEDs will one day replace most of our luminaires and lamps, maybe in the next 20 years, maybe sooner or later. We’ll not see them any more,” says Jukanovic. “The LED will add a new chapter and what I find most interesting is how the LED will be used by people other than us in the West.

“A project has been launched in Uganda to replace kerosene lamps with LEDs. More than 4 million Ugandans still use kerosene to light their homes at night, which is hugely expensive, and very unhealthy, the same as smoking two packets of cigarettes each night. The influence of the price is key: now LEDs are cheaper, so that for £7.50 (about $10) Ugandans can buy an LED light and a solar panel to put on top of their house. They have been using a technology from the 1850s and suddenly they will be able to throw it away and make a great leap forward with LEDs. In this way, LEDs will be much more influential for them than us.”

Electrical Safety

CFOA have been working jointly with the Electrical Safety Council for some time. After an investigation by East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service into the frequency of fires originating at the electrical intake position in (mostly) residential properties a proposal was put forward by the ESC.

They proposed to create warning labels and leaflets that warn householders not to store combustible materials close to the electrical intake equipment in their homes. The labels and leaflets are intended to be offered to householders during FRS home safety visits. The label should be fitted near to the householder’s electrical intake position and the householder given the accompanying leaflet.

The warning is particularly appropriate where the electrical intake equipment (service head, meter and/or consumer unit) is in a cupboard which is used to store items such as coats, cleaning materials and other items that may ignite easily. Fires in under-stair cupboards are particularly dangerous, as the means of escape from upstairs can be cut off.

The Electrical Safety Council is making the labels and leaflets available to FRS across the UK. If you would like to receive copies of the label and leaflet, they can be ordered, free of charge, from ESC in units of 1,000 per box by emailing:

Furthermore, through an agreement with The Association of Meter Operators, these labels will also be available for use by meter operators, on a voluntary basis, when visiting homes to replace electricity meters. Meter operators may start to use the labels before the smart meter programme gets underway – from 2012 onwards - as the warning is not specifically related to smart metering.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

MR16 phase out - will you be able to get down light bulbs???

The European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) has released a statement trying to reassure the market that low voltage halogen lamps will not be phased out in 2016.

The statement, which refers to ‘recent media reporting regarding the phase out of MR16 low voltage halogen lamps’, was released in response to stories which have recently appeared in the lighting press, including a story that was posted on the Lighting website on 16 February. The story has subsequently been corrected.

“The European Lamp Companies Federation (ELC) understands that quality halogen reflector lamps will remain on the market so there will be no visible change in the design and compatibility of these lamps. The ELC understands that it is the intention of the European Commission to phase out in a period between 2013 and 2016 only the least performing and least efficient low voltage halogen lamp types.”

Lighting posted the story after speaking to industry sources and seeing an explanatory note to the draft legislation which stated that: ‘poor conventional low voltage halogens’ would be phased out in 2013 and that ‘quality conventional low voltage halogens’ would be phased out in two stages between 2013 and 2014.

‘better performing versions’ of low voltage halogens, including those with infra-red coatings, would be included under the latter definition. The statement from the ELC now contends that this will not be the case, although figures close to the consultation process are calling for more clarity:

How to use RCD's (video)

Monday, 5 March 2012

Child benefit changes

off topic, not really electrcial...

The government is to remove child benefit in January 2013 from households with someone earning more than £42,475.

Fair enough, but it should be on family income, not one earner…

Is it an anomaly that a family with a single earner taking home more than £42,475 would lose child benefit but a couple each earning slightly less than the top rate could together take home £80,000 and keep the benefit.

The Daily Telegraph reports the cut-off point might be raised to £50,000, but that would make it works as it would then mean two earners could earn just under £100k and still keep the benefit – another ill thought out concept.

A Treasury source described the latest claims of a government re-think over child benefit as "speculation.”

we say Child benefit for children who are still in their home countries may ne wrong. Just because it doesn't affect 85% of people doesn't make it fair or right.

All its going to do is punish those on Paye in the 40-50 bracket. It will cost more to administer than any real saving and the rich will get their accountants to cook the books so they still get it. All that gets penalised is a few poor schmuks in the middle.

So much for the pledge to support family values, but wants to punish a mum (or dad) who would stay at home to give lil-un a bit of TLC

Well we may well need to speculate, cos you got it wrong.

Unfair? I dunno

lets see what happend in the budget??? maybe it would be better to scrap it all together and counterat it with a base rate change. less admin!!!

Ford to introduce full interior LED lighting

The 2013 Ford Fusion is set to be the first mass-market vehicle to solely use LEDs for its interior lighting.
Interior LED lighting has been an option available in high-end cars for a number of years after Ford debuted the technology in its Lincoln Navigator in 2003.

The LED lighting scheme comes in eight colour options and will eventually be introduced across the entire Ford range. The different colour options range from orange to ice blue and green, determined by Ford to result in different feelings and moods for the driver.

According to Ford engineers, an average incandescent lamp will last “two, maybe three years” before having to be replaced, while the life span of the new LEDs will exceed that of the car they are in.
The company also anticipates that savings will arise from LED packaging being a fourth of the size of an incandescent lamp package

An alterative to EV range anxiety

It’s true. Study after study shows that most people don’t drive more than about 30 miles a day. The range issue could be at least partially solved at any time and without new technologies.

but what about some new thinking!!!! there is that occasional longer trip, planned or unplanned, that drivers fear will happen. If they happen to own an additional and conventional car, that vehicle can always be used, provided there’s some planning ahead. But a second vehicle wouldn’t always work for those emergency or unplanned trips. Recharging along the way? Even it weren’t for the time involved, a charging network to meet all the needs of electric motorists is a long, long way away. There aren’t charging stations on energy street corner in other words, and may never be.

At least for planned longer trips here’s one idea. Electric car dealers could offer free Long Distance Loaner Vehicles for electric car owners.

Dealers could have conventional petrol vehicles available for electric vehicle drivers who know they need to make a trip longer than their EV’s range. Drivers would just reserve a regular car as little as a few hours in advance. When they needed the car they’d just drop by the dealer, leave their electric car (for a wash and recharge to sweeten the experience), grab the loaner and make the long trip. On return they’d drop the car off. Hop in their fully charged, clean EV and go home.

A few points to mention:
  • Rental car companies could offer this service under contract with the electric vehicle manufacturers.
  • Reservations could be made through smart phone apps, or even through a communications link in the EV itself.
  • this scheme would make an electric car more of attractive option

A mathematician, an engineer and a chemist ...

are at a conference. They are staying in adjoining rooms.
One evening they are downstairs in the bar. The mathematician goes to bed first. The chemist goes next,
followed a minute or two later by the engineer. The chemist notices that in the corridor outside their
rooms is a rubbish bin that is ablaze. There is a bucket of water nearby. The chemist starts concocting
a means of generating carbon dioxide in order to create a makeshift extinguisher but before he can do so
the engineer arrives, dumps the water on the fire and puts it out. The next morning the chemist and
engineer tell the mathematician about the fire. She admits she saw it. They ask her why she didn't put
it out. She replies contemptuously

"there was a fire and a bucket of water: a solution obviously existed."

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Can we beat Moore's law???

Transistor Made Using a Single Atom May Help Beat Moore’s Law

Scientists have taken a first early step toward escaping the limits of a technological principle called Moore’s Law by creating a working transistor using a single phosphorus atom.

The atom was etched into a silicon bed with “gates” to control electrical flow and metallic contacts to apply voltage, researchers reported in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. It is the first such device to be precisely positioned using a repeatable technology, they said, and may one day help ease the way toward creation of a so-called quantum computer that would be significantly smaller and faster than existing technology.

Moore’s law states that the number of transistors that can be placed on an integrated circuit doubles every 18 months to two years, and it’s predicted to reach its limit with existing technology in 2020. Cutting the size of a transistor to a single atom may defeat that concept.

Support for landlords

The National Landlords Association offers support and guidance to private residential landlords across the UK, representing members' views and interests at local, national and European level.

Visit for more information.
The Residential Landlords Association is a campaigning organisation, lobbying government and parliament on behalf of its members, also offering guidance and support to its members in England and Wales.

Visit to find out more.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Make sure that your property has adequate RCD protection

Since 2008 the UK standard for the safety of electrical installations, BS 7671, has called for almost all electrical circuits installed in homes to be RCD protected. An RCD is a life-saving device which protects against dangerous electric shock and reduces the risk of electrical fires.

14 new pure-electric cars models in the next year...

In the coming year, major car manufacturers will begin selling 14 new pure-electric cars and, for the first time, they will be sharing a standard plug-in cable. However, now, some companies believe that electric cars don't need a plug at all. Here's a look at a universal car charger.

A partly-disassembled car is being charged, yet it is not plugged in. Since the dawn of the electric car, manufacturers have been dogged by the charger. At the turn of the century, there were almost as my different plugs as there were cars. This was a problem for public garages that could not accommodate every style. And for drivers who had to worry whether their destinations would have the right plug socket. I know. I drove an electric Honda as my only car for four years.

Today, for the first time, the industry has standardized on a single charger. Well, actually three flavors of a single charger: Level 1, which uses a common 120v AC plug, but is slow, Level 2, which requires a dedicated 240v AC charger and plug in your garage, but is 4 times faster, and Level 3 (and DC Quick Charge), which are not intended for home use, but are superfast (30 minutes to a full "tank").

maybe the industry is growing up and we can actually consider going electric

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blast from the past 90's snaps

A blast rom the past from when D A Woolgar was a sole trader and there were only 5 of us (Mary must have been our budding David Bailey)

the directors had hair then.

comments please

Thursday, 1 March 2012

is Kate Middleton pregnant?

off topic from the NYT... :)

No. well to the best of my knowledge she isnt anyway...

But that’s beside the point. Londoners bet on everything. The bookmaker Paddy Powers has conjured odds on royal baby names, ranging from the distinctly possible — Diana (8 to 1), Frances (Diana’s middle name, 5 to 1) and John (Diana’s father, 6 to 1) — to the more creative concepts that appear to hinge on the extent to which a vengeful William wants to make a statement: Wallis at 100 to 1, Fergie at 250 to 1 or Fiona (after the “Shrek” princess) 40 to 1.

gotta laugh

Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely

Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely

Using exotic man-made materials, scientists from Duke University and Boston College believe they can greatly enhance the forces of electromagnetism (EM), one of the four fundamental forces of nature, without harming living beings or damaging electrical equipment.
This theoretical finding could have broad implications for such applications as magnetic levitation trains, which ride inches above the tracks without touching and are propelled by electro-magnets.

As the term indicates, EM is made up of two types of fields – electric and magnetic. Alternating current sources generate both electric and magnetic fields, and increasing one of them generally leads to the increase in the other. But electrical fields can cause problems if they get too high.

sounds funky

1st of March

Depending on what side of the fence you sit, today is the first day of spring, but there is a far more important statistic to consider - only 298 days till Christmas... :)