Saturday, 30 March 2013

New Technology Promises Electrical Power from Friction

The Georgia Tech researchers demonstrated that [a] static charge phenomenon, called the triboelectric effect, can be harnessed to produce power using a type of plastic, polyethylene terephthalate, and a metal. When thin films of these materials come into contact with one another, they become charged. And when the two films are flexed, a current flows between them, which can be harnessed to charge a battery. When the two surfaces are patterned with nanoscale structures, their surface area is much greater, and so is the friction between the materials—and the power they can produce.

This technology provides enough power for such things as pacemakers, LEDs, and small batteries for cell phones and other devices.

love this quote - The advance is a wonderful example of how devotion to reason and science improves human life.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

100-year-old electrical puzzle

ABB solves 100-year-old electrical puzzle – new technology to enable future DC grid

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, today announced a breakthrough in the ability to interrupt direct current, solving a 100-year-old electrical engineering puzzle and paving the way for a more efficient and reliable electricity supply system.

After years of research, ABB has developed the world’s first circuit breaker for high voltage direct current (HVDC). It combines very fast mechanics with power electronics, and will be capable of ‘interrupting’ power flows equivalent to the output of a large power station within 5milliseconds- that is thirty times faster than the blink of a human eye.

The breakthrough removes a 100-year-old barrier to the development of DC transmission grids, which will enable the efficient integration and exchange of renewable energy. DC grids will also improve grid reliability and enhance the capability of existing AC (alternating current) networks. ABB is in discussions with power utilities to identify pilot projects for the new development.

“ABB has written a new chapter in the history of electrical engineering,” said Joe Hogan, CEO of ABB. “This historical breakthrough will make it possible to build the grid of the future. Overlay DC grids will be able to interconnect countries and continents, balance loads and reinforce the existing AC transmission networks. “

The Hybrid HVDC breaker development has been a flagship research project for ABB, which invests over $1 billion annually in R&D activities. The breadth of ABB’s portfolio and unique combination of in-house manufacturing capability for power semiconductors, converters and high voltage cables (key components of HVDC systems) were distinct advantages in the new development.

HVDC technology is needed to facilitate the long distance transfer of power from hydropower plants, the integration of offshore wind power, the development of visionary solar projects, and the interconnection of different power networks. ABB pioneered HVDC nearly 60 years ago and continues to be a technology driver and market leader with many innovations and developments. With over 70 HVDC projects, ABB accounts for around half the global installed base, representing an installed capacity of more than 60,000 megawatts (MW).

Deployment of HVDC has led to an increasing number of point-to-point connections in different parts of the world. The logical next step is to connect the lines and optimize the network. ABB is already working on the construction of multi-terminal systems and the latest DC breaker innovation is a major step in the evolution of HVDC grids. In parallel to the new hybrid breaker development, ABB has an established HVDC grid simulation center developing solutions for future DC overlay grid operations.

Norman Collier's funeral (off topic)

Can you imagine it... Russ Abbot, Roy "Chubby" Brown, Eddie Large, Freddie Davies, Tom O'Connor, Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball and Roy Hudd all there

what a send off!!!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Convert Sound Into Electrical Energy

In the future, you could charge your cell phone just by chatting.

Researchers at South Korea’s Sungkyunkwan University have developed a new technology that converts soundwaves into electrical energy, The Telegraph reports. With the sound-harvesting tech, batteries could be charged by everything from the human voice and music to the sound of highway traffic.

Researcher Dr. Sang-Woo Kim said, “The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked as a source. This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power.”

no comment :)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Sparkies using smart phones...

A new survey by electrical wholesaler, Newey & Eyre found that four out of every five contractors (83%) claim to use an iPad, smart phone or laptop as part of their everyday working life. Interestingly, it was shown that technology has become so engrained in their lives, more than a quarter of those surveyed (28%) claimed that they would feel lost without the use of technology at work.

The poll also revealed that many electricians are using smart technology to carry out a vast array of tasks, with more than two thirds (67%) listing online product ordering as the top reason, followed by downloading technical specifications for particular products. Finally, contractors also use their smart devices to look for technical advice and to carry out price comparisons.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that one of the biggest challenges facing those working in the industry is the rise of legislation and the issues that arise from trying to stay abreast of the various changes, with seven in ten contractors (77%) citing this as an issue.

Further to this, more than half (55%) also claim that an increase in technical products mean that they have to work harder to keep up to date with new technology.

In response, half of contractors (51%) are now turning to apps to provide them with quick, on the job product information. In addition to complex product information, many apps now offer guides to how certain products can meet stringent new legislation guidelines.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Friday, 22 March 2013

ESC TESTS REVEAL FAULTS IN ENERGY SAVING PRODUCTS

Recent testing commissioned by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) on a selection of plug-in energy saving devices has shown that not only were manufacturers’ energy saving claims unjustified, but also the products contained dangerous electrical safety failures.

The ESC’s safety and performance tests were carried out in an independent laboratory against general safety standards

The manufacturers claim that these devices offer an energy saving or reduction in electricity costs of up to 35%. To test performance, the power consumption of a typical domestic television was measured with and without the energy saving device connected. None of the products showed an energy saving.

Additionally, none of the products passed the safety assessment with problems found, including accessible live parts, absence of an internal fuse protection, supplied with a substandard UK fitted plug, and insufficient resistance to heat and fire.

Although not necessarily an indication of a safety hazard, none of the samples had adequate safety marking, with three of them missing the CE-markingii, which suggests that EU and corresponding UK safety laws are either blatantly not being applied or are being misunderstood.

Martyn Allen, Head of Technical Development at the ESC said:

“The idea of a ‘plug and go’ device that will save money on electricity bills is likely to appeal to people, given the continuing and well publicised rise in energy prices. These devices are appearing with increasing regularity and are widely available online.

While it is cause for concern that these products do not deliver the energy savings claimed by manufacturers, the electrical safety failures are extremely worrying. At best they are a waste of money. At worst they could cause serious injury. We have been liaising with Trading Standards so that appropriate enforcement action can be taken”.

The Trading Standards Institute's consumer and product safety lead officer Christine Heemskerk said:
"We welcome the recent testing carried out by the ESC on these 'electricity saving devices'  - it complements and supports work already carried out by trading standards in this area, and clearly more awareness needs to be raised about these devices.

"We are urging consumers not to use these products as tests have shown that not only they do not deliver tangible energy savings, they also can pose a fire and electrocution risk.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

ISO 9001:2008

We are working to ISO9001

ISO 9001 is by far the world’s most established quality framework, currently being used by 1,064,000 organizations in 178 countries worldwide, and sets the standard not only for quality management systems, but management systems in general.

watch this space...




Galaxy S3 or the note

Need some help, we are moving to organisation software & we are looking for android phones for the engineers! comments plz Galaxy 3 or Note?

Makita's Pink Drill exceeds £50,000 donation to Breast Cancer Care

Over £50,000 has been raised for Breast Cancer Care through sales of Makita's Pink Drill and other fundraising activities.

Whilst the traditional counter sales at Makita’s dealers across the UK have been at the heart of the campaign’s success, many other elements have contributed to this superb result. The construction media has willingly given publicity to the campaign and there have been reader competitions using the Pink Drill as Makita donated prizes. Television personality Tommy Walsh also stepped forward to smile for the cameras to help boost recognition of the BCC efforts.

'A big, big thank you to everyone in the construction industry who has supported our fundraising efforts for the Breast Cancer Care charity by purchasing our Pink Drill in recent months,' said Barry Smart, Makita's national sales manager. 'These sales together with brilliant additional fundraising activities have generated more than £65,000 for this very special charity. We are all proud to have been involved.

'Many of Makita’s dealers have run Pink Days in their outlets to boost collections although some of the bright pink wigs may not have been the highest fashion statement - but the results have been great! One Makita employee cycled all the way to Paris to raise additional funds.'

But the campaign is not quite over. Introduced as part of the celebrations to mark Makita’s 40th year in the UK power tool market, which officially concludes at the end of March, Makita is reminding everyone that the special edition Pink Drill is still available and that Makita continues to contribute the £5 per unit sold to Breast Cancer Care.

'I hope we can push up our sales of the Pink Drill before the end of our official 40th anniversary year to salute our industry which has made this tremendous charitable effort possible,' concluded Smart.

Electrical socket blamed for explosion in Fulham

An OVERLOADED electrical socket is believed to have caused the fire and explosion in a Fulham flat which forced residents from their homes and resulted in traffic disruption for more than a week.

The blast happened above the SophistoCat furniture shop in Wandsworth Bridge Road, causing bricks and concrete to scatter inches from a busy bus stop.

The force of the explosion, which firefighters confirmed was due to an electrical problem, caused the building to become structurally unsafe, forcing the shop to stop trading and residents from their homes.

Engineers have been working on making the building safe, reinforcing it with concrete boulders and scaffolding. The section of road near the building was closed off, with temporary traffic lights put in place to manage vehicle flow.

safety testing?

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Second competitor for Formula E electric race

FIA’s new Formula E electric car race series has a new competitor-China Racing.

The Beijing-based team is only the second to sign up for the new racing series, joining McLaren in helping to launch the new, electric-only race competition.

The inaugural 2014 race  will see China Racing use the new Formula E racing car supplied by Formula E Holdings (FEH), the race promoter. Eventually, it is expected that the team will develop its own electric racing cars within the next three years with support of Chinese EV makers.

The Formula E race car is being developed by Spark Racing Technology (SRT) –a partnership between McLaren and Dallara. Throughout 2013, China Racing will work with SRT and Formula E Holdings to test the race car and promote the championship globally across the 10 host cities, planned for the first season.

Mr. Yu Liu, Chairman of China Racing Formula E Team: "We are very excited that the FIA is launching an electric car racing series and we are proud to be one of the first Formula E teams.

Product Recalls

Product Recalls - http://www.esc.org.uk/recall/ check your stuff

Monday, 18 March 2013

More CASH To Fix The Planet...

To be honest we dont really understand our impact on the envoronment as we dont have comparative data, but you can bet that we are NOT making things better..

If we are losing the war on climate change, our best weapon is one we’re badly under-utilizing.

We are in the midst of the greatest surge in carbon emissions it has ever seen. In 2013, we are likely emit around a billion tons more CO2 than they did in 2012, where in turn they emitted almost a billion tons more CO2 than they did in 2011.

The drivers of this surge of carbon pollution are simple. Around the world, 6 billion people are climbing out of poverty. Those men, women, and children--in Asia, in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Latin America--crave cars, larger homes, central heat, air conditioning, televisions, and mass-produced goods of all sorts. stuff,  stuff and more stuff, all of which takes energy. And what sort of energy do people choose? The cheapest kind available.

what can we do??? a global cap-and-trade system, pervasive carbon taxes, renewable energy mandates, even geo-engineering schemes.

fair enough, worth pursuing, but you can confidently say they’ve proven very far from sufficient in tackling the problem.

 unilateral strategy that would address climate change does not exist.

Make renewable energy so cheap that it hardly makes sense to use anything else. Make it cheaper to use solar and wind than coal or natural gas, and utilities and industry will switch. The larger the price difference is, the faster that switch will happen.

The potential is there. The Sun strikes Earth with thousands of times more energy than humanity uses from fossil fuels. The energy in just a few weeks of sunlight is greater than our known or projected reserves of fossil fuels, combined. Solar panels on less than 1% of Earth’s land area could meet all of our energy needs for the century to come. And the prices of solar panels are already plunging,

Yet, as the continued exponential growth in carbon emissions shows, that price drop isn’t happening fast enough. At the current pace of price reduction, we’re on track for burning fossil fuels as our primary source of energy well past 2040, a path that would blow us well beyond the consensus 2 degrees Celsius threshold for preventing the most dangerous warming.

we need R&D directly into techniques that would further drop the costs of green energy and energy storage technologies.

U.S. government spends only $2 billion each year on green energy R&D.

new solar cells with a record breaking 45% efficiency caqn beteetered.

Yet that $2 billion sound s alot, but in comparison is a pittance compared to the $65 billion in damage that hurricane Sandy wrought last year, or the $35 billion in damage that 2012’s epic drought inflicted.

Climate change is here, now. And even worse may be in store.

In addition to Sandy’s crippling of the East Coast and the drought that knocked out a third of the U.S. corn crop, 2012 brought a new record low in the size of the Arctic ice cap, bringing the ice coverage down to a level not seen in thousands of years. Satellite measures tell us that, by volume, four fifths of the ice that covered the Arctic in 1979 is now gone.

As the rest of that ice melts, darker waters below will absorb more heat, speeding the warming of the planet. And the nearby Arctic tundra--with nearly a trillion tons of frozen carbon--will be at risk of thawing and releasing that carbon into the atmosphere, setting off a new tipping point in climate change.

We can change the behavior of the world. Make green energy cheap, and the world will come. To succeed in that goal, we need to up our investment exponentially, think big, how much will the next disaster cost? $35 billion?  $65 billion?  $100 billion, $250 billion, $500 billion, surely its worth investing more than a measly couple of billion loose change..

Electric ambulance (paramedic)

YORKSHIRE Ambulance Service (YAS) is to be the first in the country to test two “electric ambulances” which will respond to emergency incidents.

The two Vauxhall Ampera electric cars are to be brought into service in York in the coming months as part of the ambulance service’s rapid response fleet. The trial will be supported by City of York Council’s recharging sites which are being introduced around the city.

Richard Smith, fleet manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service, said: “We are very excited to be the first ambulance service to trial an electric vehicle that will respond to incidents, reduce our emissions and provide significant savings on fuel costs.

Councillor Dave Merrett, cabinet member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “I very much welcome Yorkshire Ambulance Service’s move to introducing lower-emission vehicles to its fleet. This is a first for the UK and an initiative I hope other emergency services will adopt.”

There are already several locations in the city where electric cars can be charged and more sites are planned in the near future.

Friday, 15 March 2013

621-mile range, 10-minute charge

Maltese company announces electric car with 621-mile range, 10-minute charge time

Rather ironic for a little isalnt thats less than 20 miles long.

An electric car boasting more than double the range of the 265-mile-per-charge Tesla Model S is currently in development on the island nation of Malta.

Alternative energy firm Silex Power has announced plans to build a battery-powered luxury car called the Chreos, which it says can go 621 miles between charges.

And it will take only 10 minutes to fill it up.

Using a system the company calls Hypercharging, owners will be able to plug the Chreos into a high voltage charging station developed specifically for the car for the ultra-fast charge. Tesla employs a similar system for the Model S it calls Supercharging that needs more than an hour to top off the battery pack.

Along with cost, short range and long recharging times are two of the main factors holding back the mainstream adoption of electric cars. A recent, controversial story in The New York Times recounted a trip in the Model S from Washington, D.C., to Milford, Conn., using Tesla's charging station network that highlighted the potential pitfalls of long-distance travel in these types of vehicles and led to hundreds of cancellations for the Model S, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

Many details about the Chreos are still under wraps, but in a telephone interview with FoxNews.com, Silex Power CEO Jonathan Grech said the battery is an evolution of existing technologies, rather than an all-new advance in energy storage.

exciting eh!!!


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Case study considers bedroom tax on disabled

Case study considers effect of bedroom tax on disabled tenants

A housing association has conducted a case study on one of its tenants to gauge the effect that the Government's bedroom tax might have on disabled people.

Grand Union Housing Group says that Amy Warren is one of many disabled people who are "terrified" about the potential effects of the forthcoming welfare reforms.

Amy, who has been disabled since birth and walks with a stick with difficulty, lives alone in a specially adapted two-bedroomed bungalow.

On some days she is unable to walk, and has suffered with depression since she was made redundant. She now works as a volunteer with her landlord, South Northants Homes (SNH), part of Grand Union.

The 35-year-old makes a point of informing herself about money matters and knows she is set to lose 14 percent of her housing benefit under the bedroom tax. Under the new rules she will be deemed to be under-occupying her home, which means she will have to find an extra £13 a week.

She is also frightened that with the introduction of Universal Credit later in the year, which will be paid in arrears, she will have to find a whole month’s rent – nearly £400 – up front.

Being disabled, she may qualify for Discretionary Housing Payments but she doesn’t hold out much hope.

“When you’re living on benefits it’s really hard to make the cuts we’re going to have to make. I consider myself quite well-informed about it all. I have taken an interest. But people are just gob-smacked when they find out what it’s going to mean.

“I really want to work. I had always worked until my health meant I had to stop. It’s not that I don’t want to work.”

In the meantime she has started working as a volunteer tenant representative for SNH in the hope this will put her in better stead to get a job which might suit her health needs.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Grand Union makes top 100 Best Companies for second year

Well done to the team...

Social housing provider Grand Union Housing Group (GUHG) has been voted one of the top 100 not-for-profit organisations in the country according to the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times Best Companies list, which looks at every aspect of the workplace, celebrates the best companies to work for in the UK.

Employees from GUHG, which is the parent company of Aragon and MacIntyre Housing Associations and South Northants Homes, were asked to take part in a rigorous survey that identifies workplace performance and best practice according to certain factors.

Alan Humphreys, GUHG’s Chief Executive said: “We were delighted with our success last year but to make it onto the list for a second year running is great news for our staff. We learned a lot from the Best Companies award over the last year and are always trying to implement further improvements to the workplace in recognition of how much we value our employees.

“A great workplace is about fairness and opportunity for everyone at every level. We are undergoing huge changes in our industry at the moment which has meant some big changes for our staff and we really want to thank them for their continued dedication.”

GUHG has built on the success of the last two years, when it was first accredited with star status by Best Companies.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Brain-Boosting Technique Might Help Some Functions While Hurting Others

Electrically stimulating the brain may enhance memory, but impede with a person’s ability to react without thinking.

We would surely all love a way to boost our brain power. But new research suggests that one promising experimental method could come with a cost. Using a noninvasive technique to stimulate the brain, researchers found they could enhance learning when they targeted a certain spot. But that also made people worse at automaticity, or the ability to perform a task without really thinking about it. Stimulating another part of the brain had the reverse effect, on both learning and automaticity.
“This tells us something about the human brain,” says lead researcher Roi Cohen Kadosh, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, in England. “We can’t ask for everything without paying a price.” The findings were published Tuesday in the Journal of Neuroscience.


Cohen Kadosh and collaborators used a technique called transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), a noninvasive method for stimulating specific parts of the brain. The approach has previously been shown to enhance various brain functions, including working memory and attention, and is being used to help stroke patients regain lost language and motor skills (see “Repairing the Stroke-Damaged Brain”). But until now, little research had been done on whether improving performance on one task would come at the detriment of others.

Electric RACE cars set for streets of London

London has been chosen as one of the potential hosts of the Formula E Championship which will see an array of electric Formula cars take to the streets.

Other cities named in the preliminary calendar are Rome, Los Angeles, Miami, Beijing, Putrajaya, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Zero emission world class motor racing is a scintillating concept and I am hugely keen that London be involved in the birth of Formula E. It has the potential to highlight the impressive strides being made in the manufacture of electric vehicles and hosting a street race could also be of considerable economic benefit to our city.”


Since its launch in August 2012, FEH, the organiser of the championship, has received formal demonstrations of interest to host a race from 23 cities across five continents.

FEH intends to organise up to 10 races in 2014, the inaugural year of the championship. A further two slots will be kept free, to include two additional cities among those that have expressed interest.

The promoter has started working with the eight cities included in the calendar, to discuss all the specific elements involved in hosting a street race. The objective is to finalise formal agreements with the cities on or before July 1, 2013.

The final calendar will be presented to FIA for its approval at the September 2013 World Motor Sport Council.

With regards to teams, so far FEH has proposed two teams out of 10 to the FIA for the 2014 race, these are: the first British team – the FIA Formula E Team Drayson and the first official Chinese team-FIA Formula E Team China Racing.

In February 2013, the Italian company Dallara announced it would design the first Formula E cars and the first sketches have already been released. McLaren is designing and building the powertrain for the cars in a consortium with Spark Racing Technology (SRT), a new company led by French businessman Frederic Vasseur.

Formula E is an ‘open’ championship, it encourages car designers and constructors to build a Formula E car. The FIA technical regulations have set the framework for making such submissions possible.

iPad Allows This Electric Car To Drive Itself

Morning.. did you have a good weekend

found this over the weekend....

Robotic technology developed by Oxford University is working alongside the iPad to enable an electric Nissan Leaf to drive itself. Apple’s tablet is built into the vehicle’s dashboard, and can be used to activate the robotic technology that will take over the vehicle for short stretches.

The system, which is designed to take the strain off of drivers during busy commutes, uses small cameras and lasers built discretely into the body of the car that allow it to recognize its surroundings and avoid collisions.

The new technology is low-cost, according to Oxford University, and aims to provide us with a glimpse at what the car of the future might be like. It learns routes you regularly take — such as the drive into the office or the morning school run — then uses an iPad fitted to the dashboard to ask whether you’d like the car to take over for a short period on a familiar route.

Touching the iPad’s display activates “auto drive,” and then the robotic system takes over. Tapping the brake pedal returns control to the driver at any time.

busy @ the Mo, but I will try and post the video later...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

A World Full Of Electric Cars

from http://www.greenerideal.com/vehicles/0301-a-world-full-of-electric-cars/

It is often claimed that electric cars will be the saviour of motoring as oil supplies begin to run out and the cost of petrol and diesel becomes more and more prohibitive. So far, electric cars have not caught on due to their limited range before a recharge is required and also to their high initial purchase cost. Recently however, breakthroughs have been made in regard to the range problem and electric cars may soon become a more realistic alternative to the internal combustion engine.

A new investigation by MoneySupermarket has revealed what the effects of making every car in the world battery-powered would be. The investigation shows that although there would undoubtedly be beneficial environmental consequences of switching to electricity from petrol and diesel, the loss of revenue for governments would be substantial. It also reveals that individual savings would be relatively low, particularly in terms of motor insurance.



Environmental consequences

The average car produces around 138 grams of carbon dioxide for every kilometre driven and the global average annual distance driven per car is around 13500 km. There are over 1 billion cars in the world. So the total carbon emissions produced globally by driving cars per annum is currently around 1,900,000,000,000 kilograms. If every car was converted immediately to run on electricity, annual emissions would be reduced by around 950 billion kilograms, or 950 million tonnes, which is around half of current levels.

In the UK alone there are over 31 million cars producing around 59 billion kilograms of carbon every year. This would be reduced to around 30 million kilograms after our hypothetical switch to batteries only.

Globally, 295 billion gallons of petrol also would be saved if every car was electrically powered.



Financial consequences

If every motorist in the UK drove an electric vehicle the government would lose more than £24 billion of tax revenue every year compared to current levels. The vast majority of this loss, around 80%, is due to losses in fuel duty.

The British exchequer would also miss out on around £4.9 billion in road tax charges (green cars being exempt from road tax) as well as approximately £38 million resulting from sales of motor insurance. Green drivers save around 5% on their annual insurance premium, which amounts only to around £24 on average, the average insurance premium being around £478.

Electric cars are also exempt from congestion charges and this would cost the UK government around £130,000,000 every year.

Additional tax revenues of £418,000,000 would arise in the UK from the extra electricity used but this pales into insignificance compared to the revenues lost. Having said that, the investigation did not produce figures for the other benefits of cutting exhaust emissions such as health benefits and EU carbon reduction targets.

Globally, the cost of the extra electricity used amounts to a whopping £271 billion, the UK portion of which is around £8.4 billion. The loss to car insurance companies in terms of revenue would be approximately £24.2 billion globally and around £750 million in the UK alone.

Savings to individual motorists turn out to be fairly insubstantial on the whole with the average driver reducing their yearly motoring costs by just £952. This is made up of savings of £773 in fuel, £24 in insurance and £155 in road tax.

Friday, 8 March 2013

German Scientists Develop New Range Extending System For Electric Cars

While hybrid vehicles are more energy-efficient than those that are not, scientists at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Stuttgart want to do a better job at extending these semi-electric cars with their free-piston linear generator.

Not unlike your typical range extenders, this new device would allow the car to run on an electric charge for distances up to about 50 kilometers and then utilize an internal combustion engine to recharge as you drive longer distances.  What makes the free-piston linear generator stand out from the rest is that instead of solely relying on gasoline to power the combustion engine, drivers can opt to use a range of alternative fuel sources such as hydrogen or natural gas.

During the public unveiling, Director of the DLR Institute of Vehicle Concepts, Horst E. Friedrich, commented that their range extender will eventually make it possible for people to “drive as efficiently as possible and in the most environment-friendly manner”.

Now that the technology has been demonstrated and shown to work, the next phase is to further develop and build a prototype that can be one day be used in a vehicle.  That process can take some time so don’t expect to see the free-piston linear generator listed among the specs of 2014 or 2015 car models.  If your interested in the more technical details of the project, head on over to the source link to get the full rundown.

Jason Goodman is leaving today

http://www.woolgarelectrical.co.uk/staff.htm

we wish him luck in his new job

good luck Jason

ESC TESTS REVEAL FAULTS IN ENERGY SAVING PRODUCTS

Recent testing commissioned by the Electrical Safety Council (ESC) on a selection of plug-in energy saving devices has shown that not only were manufacturers’ energy saving claims unjustified, but also the products contained dangerous electrical safety failures.

The ESC’s safety and performance tests were carried out in an independent laboratory against general safety standardsi 
The manufacturers claim that these devices offer an energy saving or reduction in electricity costs of up to 35%. To test performance, the power consumption of a typical domestic television was measured with and without the energy saving device connected. None of the products showed an energy saving.

Additionally, none of the products passed the safety assessment with problems found, including accessible live parts, absence of an internal fuse protection, supplied with a substandard UK fitted plug, and insufficient resistance to heat and fire.

Although not necessarily an indication of a safety hazard, none of the samples had adequate safety marking, with three of them missing the CE-markingii, which suggests that EU and corresponding UK safety laws are either blatantly not being applied or are being misunderstood.

Martyn Allen, Head of Technical Development at the ESC said:
“The idea of a ‘plug and go’ device that will save money on electricity bills is likely to appeal to people, given the continuing and well publicised rise in energy prices. These devices are appearing with increasing regularity and are widely available online.
While it is cause for concern that these products do not deliver the energy savings claimed by manufacturers, the electrical safety failures are extremely worrying. At best they are a waste of money. At worst they could cause serious injury. We have been liaising with Trading Standards so that appropriate enforcement action can be taken”.

The Trading Standards Institute's consumer and product safety lead officer Christine Heemskerk said:
"We welcome the recent testing carried out by the ESC on these 'electricity saving devices'  - it complements and supports work already carried out by trading standards in this area, and clearly more awareness needs to be raised about these devices.

"We are urging consumers not to use these products as tests have shown that not only they do not deliver tangible energy savings, they also can pose a fire and electrocution risk.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Harrington Builds fraudster jailed for ripping off tradesmen

A fraudster from Hove was jailed for 18 months at Lewes Crown Court Thursday 21 February.

Russell Chandler, 29, of Cambridge Road, Hove, targeted small businesses by pretending to offer contacts for work.

He employed sales staff whose job was to try to persuade tradesmen to pay his company Harrington Builds a “one-off administration fee” of £250.

Those targeted as part of the scam were told that the fee would be refunded.

Chandler, also known as Alfred Chase, was brought to book by the Brighton and Hove City Council trading standards department for making false representations.

His company, which had an address in Preston Road, Brighton, and a professional-looking website, cold-called businesses which were advertising on the internet.

Those businesses were told that Harrington Builds UK was looking to build up a consortium of contractors to sub-contract work to in their area.

They were promised a contract and told that it would be the first job of many.

Businesses were asked to provide documents and references and were issued with “follow up contracts” including a reference number.

But they were not given any work and those who became suspicious were unable to reach Chandler’s company.

The types of contracts that were said to be available included cleaning, painting and decorating, electrical work, garden maintenance and rubbish collection.

The scam was worked from Brighton and Hove but targeted people from all over the country during 2011 which was when Brighton and Hove trading standards officers started investigating.

The technique was similar to the method used by FPBUK, also known as Future Build UK, another company run by Chandler but which has now been dissolved.

He has also been linked to A Chase Associates based in Crescent Road, Brighton.

Chandler pleaded guilty to 11 counts of making false representations.

Jo Player, the council’s trading standards manager, said: “This was a blatant scam targeting small businesses who can ill afford to waste money in these times.

“Trading standards operates the well-respected ‘buy with confidence’ scheme where businesses can advertise their services and the public can find reliable traders.”

JUSTICE

Harrington Builds - JUSTICE is served


Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Flowers go electric


Bees and flowers communicate using electrical fields, researchers discover

Flowers' methods of communicating are at least as sophisticated as any devised by an advertising agency, according to a new study, published today in Science Express by researchers from the University of Bristol.  However, for any advert to be successful, it has to reach, and be perceived by, its target audience.  The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers.

Flowers often produce bright colours, patterns and enticing fragrances to attract their pollinators.  Researchers at Bristol's School of Biological Sciences, led by Professor Daniel Robert, found that flowers also have their equivalent of a neon sign – patterns of electrical signals that can communicate information to the insect pollinator.  These electrical signals can work in concert with the flower’s other attractive signals and enhance floral advertising power.

Plants are usually charged negatively and emit weak electric fields.  On their side, bees acquire a positive charge as they fly through the air.  No spark is produced as a charged bee approaches a charged flower, but a small electric force builds up that can potentially convey information.

By placing electrodes in the stems of petunias, the researchers showed that when a bee lands, the flower’s potential changes and remains so for several minutes.  Could this be a way by which flowers tell bees another bee has recently been visiting?  To their surprise, the researchers discovered that bumblebees can detect and distinguish between different floral electric fields.

Also, the researchers found that when bees were given a learning test, they were faster at learning the difference between two colours when electric signals were also available.


Microsoft fined by European Commission over web browser

Microsoft has been fined 561 million euros ($731m; £484m) for failing to promote a range of web browsers, rather than just Internet Explorer program, to users in the European Union (EU).

It introduced a Browser Choice Screen pop-up in March 2010 as part of a settlement following an earlier EU competition investigation.

But the US company dropped the feature in a Windows 7 update in February 2011.
Microsoft said the omission had been the result of a "technical error".

But competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said the action was unprecedented, adding he wanted to deter any company from the "temptation" of reneging on such a promise.

In theory the watchdog could have fined the firm 10% of its global annual revenue, which would have totalled $7.4bn based on its 2012 report.

"The European Commission is sending a firm signal in this first case of its type that it will not tolerate failure by a company to comply with the commitments it gave to settle an antitrust infringement procedure," said Tony Woodgate, a competition lawyer at Simmons & Simmons.

Google next!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spaghetti sauce causes small electrical fire


this has to be the story of the day...

Spaghetti sauce causes small electrical fire at Fairhaven school

Spaghetti sauce spilled into an outlet and caused a small electrical fire in an office at Rogers Elementary School at approximately 9 this morning.

According to Fire Chief Timothy Francis, the building was evacuated for six minutes after the alarm went off. The fire caused no serious damage to the building and the town wiring inspector was called in to inspect and service the outlet.

Random!!!

Chromebook Pixel Pt II

Fair enough, It's good looking but Google dont have a track history with hardware.

forget apple, but would you really pay  £1049 for a laptop? honestly?

The Pixel, which Google says has the best screen with the highest pixel density of any on the market, is a great showcase for the search company's Chrome OS but it is overpriced

It also comes with huge amounts of cloud storage - a terabyte for three years - which Google says would cost you $1,800 alone (BS), making the Pixel a bargain, but can you trust all you info to the cloud with your internet??? is the UK's net good enough yet?

If you want to make a movie using a high-end video editing application,or play online games, then you will not find the Pixel much use. its a Tablet on steroids. get a Pad, you could get 2 ipads for that cost..

what do you think???



Monday, 4 March 2013

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is fine for people with fast, symmetric internet access available at all times.

In the UK, the reality is slow internet in most places, adequate download and poor upload speeds in some places and fast internet access in both directions in very few places.

even with Flitwicks fibre, the speeds are up and down like a yoyo - 1 minute 32 meg, then down to 2, up to 13. there is no stability...

would you really rely on the Cloud as it currently is???

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Estonia launches national electric car charging network

Its a bitter pill to swallow that Estonia is better organised that the UK!!!

Estonia's reputation as one of the most wired-up countries in Europe has been boosted further with the opening of what is being billed as the world's first nationwide electric car charging network.

The sparsely populated Baltic state with a population of just 1.3 million hopes the 165 "fast chargers" will overcome the "chicken and egg" problem facing the take-up of electric cars worldwide.

The network of charging points, which was opened officially on Wednesday but has been running for several months, uses direct current (DC) to charge cars in less than 30 minutes, rather than around eight hours to recharge a car's battery as is the case with most of the more than 3,000 points in the UK.

There are believed to be around 650 electric cars in Estonia, more than 500 of which were Mitsubishi i-MiEVs given to social workers by the government in 2011. Motorists can get grants of up to€18,000 (£15,700) off electric cars, compared to the £5,000 cap for the UK's electric car grant. The average full price for a new electric car is around £30,000.

Estonia's minister of the environment, Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, said: "The fact that recharging is so easy is one of the main reasons more and more Estonians will decide in favour of electric cars in future. Our entire transport policy should be based on the notion that environmentally friendly travel is the cheapest and simplest option there is."

The charging points are no further than 60km apart, and were paid for by the Estonian government. Whether the push to electric cars will come with environmental benefits, however, remains to be seen: the former Soviet republic gets more than 90% of its electricity from carbon-heavy oil shale.
Ulrich Spiesshofer, head of discrete automation and motion at ABB, the Swiss company that makes the charging points and won the tender for the network in January 2012, said: "Having a nationwide fast-charging network will encourage motorists to switch to electric vehicles and it will motivate other countries to invest in their own charging infrastructure."

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Chicken & Egg

It is great to see the UK joining the US and a few other countries by investing in private and public car-charging points. The amount is still minimal compared with the $100m invested by the US in the EV Project back in 2009, but £11m over two years shows leadership and will pay dividends for years to come.

Is For some, of course, it's a handout. They don't see the roads teaming with electric cars yet, so why build charging points? They fail to see is that the charger/electric car question is the classic chicken and egg issue that even petrol cars faced 100 years ago.

Back then, people didn't want cars until they knew there were fuelling stations. And likewise, nascent oil companies didn't want to build petrol stations until people had cars. It took years for "market forces" to sort it all out and in the meantime most people were content with horses. The difference in 2012 is that we don't have time to wait. National defence, oil price volatility and climate change issues are deadly serious. Smart leaders are making sure electric cars are given a true chance to succeed.

In the film The Revenge of the Electric Car it documents the car industry's about-face on the subject at three companies. Former EV-basher and GM vice-chair Bob Lutz admitted simply that "the electrification of the automobile is [now] a foregone conclusion". Electric propulsion makes cars faster and cleaner. GM's plug-in car, the Volt, runs on electricity and uses gasoline for times when batteries can't do the trick. Nissan's no-nonsense CEO, Carlos Ghosn, invested $6bn to develop the Leaf, making it the world's bestselling electric car in 2012. And the start-up Tesla's Model S made headlines as Motortrend's car of the year for 2013. Charging stations will bring even more players to the game.

Questioning subsidies is healthy, but the public may want to stay alert to the bias driving some electric car stories.

This is a disruptive technology threatening many vested interests. A quick glance of three of the four "related stories" on the BBC website, for example, included: Electric cars 'pose green threat'; Electric car money 'only for few'; and Car charging points 'hardly used'. Really?

The green threat posed by electric cars is only a threat if the UK chooses coal for all of its electricity and never recycles its batteries. The elitism charge only plays out if the government gives up on the programme. And charging points may hardly be used only because there are so few of them – so far. Chicken and the egg.

In the UK, there are nearly 9,000 public petrol filling stations. There are a handful of charging points. This new concerted effort to subsidise them in homes and public places is thus long overdue. So far the US subsidies have helped build 14,000 public stations and the sale of more than 50,000 cars by Tesla, GM and Nissan. It's what's needed to help break the monopoly of petrol-powered cars.

The future isn't any one kind of car or transportation, but subsidising new infrastructure like charging stations reduces risk for the future and generates more options for everyone.

Home improvement exhibition

At the rufus centre. Just got here by the skin of my teeth.

Come and see us...

Friday, 1 March 2013

Home Improvement Exhibition

Come and see us @ the Home Improvement Exhibition
Saturday 2nd March
11am - 4pm
The Rufus Centre
FREE Admission

Whether you're planning to improve, redesign or simply redecorate your home, you'll find everything you need at the Home Improvement Exhibition at the Rufus Centre! There will be lots of local companies ready to give you help and advice with your home improvement project.

Because you deserve the best...

We would like to thank you for your business and support during 2012. We hope that you have a successful 2013.

our private fleet of over 12 commercial vehicles and our experienced,  professional engineers that have all been trained to the best standards and work top best practice...

Some of our engineers have over 10 years experience in the industry making sure your homes and businesses are safe

If you would like further information drop us a line.

sorry for our gloat, but we are good :)