Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Inspection and Testing

By default, a lot of our work has been Inspection and Testing

we are known for it and we are good at it. so good that we have recently completed a full test of Audley End House (English heritage) and Framlingham castle.

were not proud, if you don't have a castle (there not to everyone's taste, there a bit cold a drafty) we also test domestic houses, rental properties and businesses.

why test?

With the increasing emphasis on Health & Safety and requirements laid down by many insurance companies. It is important that you make sure that your electrical installation is in a safe condition.

How can we help you comply with this?
You may ask.

Simple(s), with Electrical Inspection & Testing.


Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which incorporates The Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1992, a statutory legal duty is placed on all Employers to ensure that employees and all others are not subjected to risks to their health and safety. In particular , The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires those in control of part or all of an electrical system to ensure that the system is safe to use and it is maintained in a safe condition.

How we can help

Our specialist Electrical Inspection and Testing team are fully conversant with all the latest regulations relating to electrical safety and can carry out a full electrical inspection of your premises and appliances.

can we help???

Monday, 29 April 2013

we will...

Core Values

our team will always aim to adhere to.

Integrity – we will deliver our promises and be clear about what we can and cannot do.

Respect – we will respect our customers and everyone we work with.

Quality – we will always aim to provide excellent services and products.

Innovation – we will look for innovative solutions to resolve problems and deliver outcomes.

Listen – we will listen to our customers and partners and shape our services accordingly.

Teamwork – we believe we can achieve far more by working together.

Dad Electrical Hazards in the Home

Microsoft Excel

After two Harvard economists admitted a faulty spreadsheet calculation caused errors in a study used by numerous politicians to support their austerity policies, writer Colm O'Regan pays tribute to the power of Microsoft Excel.

They called it a "coding error". This made it sound like they were sequestered in a bunker surrounded by black screens on which a continuous parade of figures flickered past.

Instead it was just someone using Excel on a laptop who was highlighting cells for a formula and released his index finger from the left-clicky button of his mouse too soon.

The debate has raged - well raged is a strong word, perhaps sulked? - since Monday about the significance of the calculation mistake made by Reinhart and Rogoff in their 2010 paper for the American Economic Review, Growth in a Time of Debt.

Did the conclusions about debt, growth and need for painful correction send the politicians of the world to the special cabinet to dust off the scourges?

That debate is meaningless because the last five years of economic prediction have told us one thing: No one knows anything any more and the people who say they know something know even less.

Thatchers economists used a 'faulty model' and 2 decades later we are still doing the same thing...

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Melted fuse box

Lighting - going green

Lighting accounts for 8% of a typical household’s energy bills: cutting your lighting bill is one of the easiest ways to save energy and money in the home.

Replacing bulbs
Whether you rent or own your property, or live in a house, flat or bungalow, you can save money today by changing the way you use your lights and by fitting new energy-saving lights.

•if you replace a traditional light bulb with a compact fluorescent bulb of the same brightness you will typically save around £3 per year, or £50 over the life of the bulb

•if you replace a halogen downlighter with an equivalent LED you will typically save around £4 per year, or £14 0 by the time you have to replace the bulb.

Many homes today use a mixture of standard light fittings and halogen downlighters or spotlights (mainly in kitchens and bathrooms). There are low-energy alternatives for both these types of light:
•Compact fluorescents (CFLs) – these are what most people think of as an energy-efficient light bulb. A cost-effective option for most general lighting purposes, and now widely available.
•LEDs – even more efficient, and the ideal replacement for halogen downlighters. More expensive than CFLs but save even more money in the long term.
Of course, the easiest way to save on your lighting bill is simply to turn off the light when you’re not using it. You will ALWAYS save energy if you turn the light out when you leave the room, even if it’s only for a minute or two.

Using lights less
We all need light to do the things we want to do, but sometimes we leave lights switched on when we don’t need to, or we use more lights than we need. The basic message is simple – turn it off if you don’t need it. But here are a few tips to help...

•ALWAYS turn the lights off when you leave the room. Whatever type of lights you have, you will save energy by turning them off even for a few seconds.

•Most types of light bulb will last longer if you don’t switch them on and off repeatedly throughout the day. But you won’t save money by leaving any type of light on for a few minutes just to try and make it last longer. Just turn it off when you don’t need it and turn it back on again when you do. Simple.

•Try and arrange light switches so that it’s easy to turn them off. Most houses are wired so you can switch the landing light on at the top or the bottom of the stairs. Make sure you can do this wherever it will help, usually at every door to a room or corridor. Otherwise you may be tempted to leave the light on for later.

•If you have external lights, then a sensor that turns them on when you approach will make them much cheaper to run. If you fit a time switch too, they won’t keep coming on all night whenever a cat walks past.

Use the right light for the job in hand. If you’re watching television you probably only want low level background lighting, but if you’re reading a book you will want something bright but local.

•Having a range of lights in a room, all with separate switches, will make it easier to achieve the lighting you want and need, whenever and wherever you want it. And you’ll save more energy than you would by using a single dimmer switch for the whole lot.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Standby: the energy that no-one uses

On average UK households spends between £50 - £90 a year each powering appliances left in standby mode or not in use. This is the energy used by certain appliances when they are not in use and not switched off at the plug. That’s quite a lot of money to spend powering your microwaves clock display!

As well as standby power, other new additions to the average household’s collection of electrical goods such as broadband modems, broadband routers, digi-boxes and cordless telephones remain using low levels of electricity when not being used. These are not items that we tend to think to turn off, but can gradually go on to consume a great deal of electricity over the year. For instance a broadband modem router can consume as much as £9 worth of electricity if left on for an entire year.
Fortunately there are a number of Energy Saving Trust Recommended products available to help cut down your standby electricity consumption, such as standby savers that allow you to easily turn all of your appliances off from standby without having to reach for the plug.

Recent regulations specify that all electronic products sold within the EU after 2010 cannot have a standby power greater than 1W, which means we won’t have to worry as much in future about the standby consumption of our products. However, whilst the average standby consumption of new products is going down, households are being filled with more and more electronic gadgets, so it is still worth looking at your standby energy usage throughout your home.

Friday, 26 April 2013

Emergency Lighting Regulations Update (BS5266-1)

BS 5266-1:2011 Emergency lighting – Part 1: Code of practice for the emergency escape lighting of premises
BS 5266-1:2011 gives recommendations and guidance on the factors that need to be considered in the design of, and the installation and wiring of, electrical emergency escape lighting systems, in order to provide the lighting performance needed for safe movement of people in the event of the supply to normal lighting failing. It also gives recommendations for lighting in areas with fixed seating.

This is a full revision of the standard
It has been updated to assist those engineers wishing to protect occupants from the hazards identified by risk assessments and also to evaluate existing premises to decide if they need to be upgraded to meet current requirements. The standard has also been expanded to give guidance to protect occupants from a sudden loss of the normal lighting supply.
The aim of BS 5266-1 is to promote wider understanding of the different types of emergency lighting system which may be employed, and to give guidance on their correct application to the varied requirements of different categories of premises.
The recommendations given in this standard have been drawn up to encourage uniformity of application, based on providing adequate safety to people in the event of interruption of the normal lighting, and having due regard to the hazard level and degree of familiarity of occupants with particular premises.
The standard recognizes that, in addition to ensuring safe unobstructed means of escape from the premises at all times, an important function of emergency lighting is to make possible the immediate location and operation of fire alarm call points and fire-fighting equipment, and another is to minimize the chance of panic arising in enclosed spaces, such as lifts.

The 'responsible person'
The 'responsible person' is someone who has control, or a degree of control, over premises or fire-prevention systems within premises.
UK legislation imposes a duty on this person, to carry out risk assessments and to take such precautions as to ensure as far as reasonably practicable the safety of the occupants. These measures include the provision of safe means of escape, including emergency routes and exits, together with, where necessary, signs indicating them. Adequate illumination needs to be provided, together with emergency lighting of sufficient intensity in case of failure of the normal lighting.

Contents for BS 5266-1 includes:
  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Consultation and records
  • Illumination for safe movement
  • Emergency escape lighting design
  • Batteries
  • Wiring systems and circuit requirements
  • Choice of appropriate emergency lighting systems
  • Emergency lighting design procedure
  • Certificates and log book
  • Servicing

This part of BS 5266 supersedes BS 5266-1:2005 and BS 5266-10:2008, which are withdrawn.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Energy Efficiency Lighting Surveys

The Carbon Trust states that

Most organisations lighting accounts for more than 40% of of total electricity costs


and in retail outlets and factories could be even more.

Using the latest technologies in lamp technology and control techniques we can offer significant energy reductions over your existing setup and in some cases can reduce your lighting costs by up to 70%!!

can we help?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Warning over danger electric appliances in rental homes

Landlords and their agents have been advised to be super-wary about electrical products that are already in their properties, plus any new ones supplied, such as fridge freezers, cookers and tumble dryers.

The warning comes after a continuing spate of safety alerts and product recalls. Only last week, Dorset fire and rescue issued after a serious house fire caused by a tumble dryer.

One manufacturer, Beko, has been repeatedly at the centre of stories about domestic fires caused by their appliances, with fire brigade claims that they have caused at least 20 blazes at homes since 2010.

Despite a number of alerts and product recalls, it is estimated that around 138,000 Beko affected appliances are still in domestic properties.

Beko may have had the worst publicity but it is by no means the only manufacturer to have issued alerts – see the links given at the end.

Below is a list of the product recall information websites:
 Electrical Safety Council (ESC): www.esc.org.uk/recall. You will need to enter a model 
number, brand name or description of a particular item. If the product has been recalled, the website will advise on next steps.

Recall UK is the primary product recall site that lists all UK product recalls, for all product types, announced in the last few weeks: www.recalluk.com/default.aspx
 Beko safety notices: www.beko.co.uk/Pg/ProductSafetyNotices
 Bosch safety notices: http://www.bosch-home.com/us/support/safety-notices.html
 Siemens: www.siemens-home.co.uk
 LEC: www.lec.co.uk/safety-notice/
 Neff: www.neff.co.uk/
 Whirlpool: www.whirlpool.co.uk

White Goods Help – Archives for Safety Warnings & Appliance Recalls: 

electrical heartbeat

The rhythm of the electrical heartbeat is linked to Earth's rotation and the way thunderstorms build. New research shows clouds dance to this rhythm.

Giles Harrison and Maarten Ambaum from the University of Reading studied clouds in Finland and Antarctica during periods of solar darkness (to minimise other factors that influence clouds such as the Sun's heat). Writing in the journal Environmental Research Letters, they show that layer cloud (the blanket of low level cloud that covers about 40% of the planet) rises an average of 4m for every 1% increase in electric current, almost shifting up to 200m in the course of an electrical "heartbeat".

So what does the electrical current do to a cloud? Weather balloon measurements show it affects the charge and "stickiness" of droplets at the base of a cloud. It influences the cloud's properties, such as how much rainfall it produces and how much heat reflects into Space. Such information will improve weather forecasts. Interesting to ponder what else jives to this electric heartbeat.

Sunday, 21 April 2013


off topic, love this article in The Guardian

Infectious diseases, says the World Health Organisation, "are caused by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi; the diseases can be spread, directly or indirectly, from one person to another." Quite so. Just like Facebook addiction, which also spreads from person to person and has now reached pandemic proportions, with more than a billion sufferers worldwide.
The Facebook pathogen doesn't kill people, of course, for the good reason that dead people don't buy stuff. But it does seem to affect victims' brains. For example, it reduces normally articulate and sophisticated people to gibbering in the online equivalent of grunts. Likewise, it obliges them to coalesce all the varieties of human relationships into a simply binary pair: "friends" v everyone else. I have some real friends – as opposed to "friends" – on Facebook and every so often one of them posts a comment on something I've written. I've just looked at one such observation. It's thoughtful, subtle and nicely written. But beneath it is a button simply labelled "Like". If I click on it, my friend will doubtless receive a message from Facebook telling him that I "like" his comment. Big deal.

What's interesting about this is the way a software system has been designed to strip all of the nuances and complexities that characterise human interaction and compress them into a channel with the bandwidth of Morse code. Actually, the bandwidth is even more attenuated than that. At least with Morse, something can be either a dot or a dash, but Facebook lacks even that binary sophistication. It only has a "Like" button, possibly because a "Dislike" one might facilitate a higher level of discourse than that deemed desirable by the system's architect.

Cultural critic Neil Postman once observed that you can't use smoke signals for philosophical discussions: the communication channel simply doesn't have the necessary bandwidth. One wonders what he would have made of Facebook, or of the fact that a sixth of the world's population is apparently satisfied by such a primitive medium of communication.

Meanwhile, the efforts of Facebook's owners to "monetise" these poor saps continue unabated. The basic idea is to use their personal data to refine the targeting of ads at them, which means that, as time goes on, the system becomes more and more tiresome to use. This raises the spectre that, one day, the worms might turn and depart.

But – hey! – Facebook management has a plan for that too. It's revealed in a fascinating patent application just published. Like all patent applications, it consists of three coats of prime technical verbiage, and the devil is in the detail, but the essence of it is that in exchange for a monthly payment Facebook users will be able to get rid of ads and specify exactly what should replace them on their personal profiles. This is subtly different from what other "freemium" services like Spotify currently offer.

You have to admire the chutzpah implicit in this. First, you bombard your hapless users with ads. Then you offer them relief in return for payment. There's a word for this in English, but m'learned friends don't approve of it, so I will avoid it. I'll be surprised if the patent is approved, but the US Patent and Trademark Office has a track record in granting daft patents, as, for example, US Patent 5,443,036 for a method of exercising a cat by getting it to follow a spot generated by a laser pointer, so I might be unduly optimistic.

For fiendish ingenuity, however, Facebook's latest move into the mobile phone business takes the biscuit. Neatly avoiding the trap of getting into the handset-manufacturing game, the company has instead developed an Android app that really ought to be codenamed Cuckoo because it effectively takes over any handset on which it is installed. It can be downloaded for a subset of recent Android handsets and last week HTC unveiled the first phone that comes with Facebook Home pre-installed. The app conceals the array of apps that normally dominate Android home screens and instead puts Facebook activity squarely in the centre of the phone's screen. It splashes status updates across the phone's lock and home screens and makes Facebook's messenger application ubiquitous with little "Chat Heads" that follow you from app to app, thereby making it easy to keep up with what pass for "conversations" on Facebook.

What Facebook Home means, of course, is that Facebook will be the first – and perhaps the only – thing that new users of smartphones, especially in emerging markets (ie poor countries), see when they fire up their phones. And when they want to search for something, why, they will use Facebook's search engine rather than that of Google, the company that created the operating system on which Facebook's app runs. Howzat!

How green are green tariffs?

•Opting for a green tariff will not mean that the electricity you buy is all renewable. You cannot consider that your electricity supply is zero carbon or carbon neutral.

•Opting for a green tariff can provide additional incentives for new renewable generation or energy efficiency measures, and so lead to some additional carbon dioxide savings in the long term.

•If you opt for a Certified Green Energy Supply, then there will be some guaranteed additional benefit.  However, this could be as little as 50 kg carbon dioxide saved per year, or around 2% of the average household’s carbon dioxide emissions from electricity use.

•Green tariffs are no substitute for energy efficiency – you should always do whatever you reasonably can to reduce your current use of electricity and other fuels before considering spending money on a green tariff.

Green electricity offerings

Most energy suppliers offer 'green' electricity tariffs. These seek to support renewable energy. The two main types of offering are green supply tariffs and green funds.

Green supply tariffs
A green supply tariff means that some or all of the electricity you buy is 'matched' by purchases of renewable energy that your energy supplier makes on your behalf. These could come from a variety of renewable energy sources such as wind farms and hydroelectric power stations. Your supplier should let you know what sources are included in the mixture, and also what proportion of your supply is renewable.

Many green tariffs state that your supply is renewable but they simply assign some of the renewable energy they are already required to supply to you, while reducing the amount of renewable energy they provide to other customers. This does not increase the amount of renewables in the overall energy mix.

Some companies will guarantee that a proportion of the renewable energy they are purchasing (and you are buying) is 'additional' - it is above and beyond what suppliers are already required to produce. This creates an additional incentive to develop new generation capacity and so could lead to increased renewable generation and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
There are no companies offering green tariffs that are 100% additional renewable supply.

Green funds
A green fund usually involves paying a premium to contribute to a fund that will be used to support new renewable energy developments. Under this option, the existing electricity supply continues as normal, but your involvement could help to alter the mixture of energy sources in future toward renewable sources (depending on the type of tariff).

The new generation projects supported may also receive support under existing government support schemes.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Energy Efficieny Financing (Carbon Trust Loans)

In the past, Carbon Trust Loans were a nightmare to access for many businesses. But not anymore. The Carbon Trust and Siemens Financial Services have combined forces to offer a scheme designed to provide flexible financing options to all types of organisations seeking to make their operations more efficient and lower their energy costs.

The new easier to access scheme is offering leases, loans and other financing options from £1,000 upwards with no maximum to all types of organisations. New, more efficient equipment should lower energy bills and with payments calculated so that they are offset by the anticipated energy savings, the financing option is designed to pay for itself.


To qualify for energy efficiency financing, businesses must have been trading in the UK for at least 36 months, financing is then offered subject to a normal credit assessment.

The Carbon Trust will conduct energy saving assessments to review the estimated CO2 and energy savings that will be achieved by the new equipment. They will also assess whether the monthly energy cost savings are likely to match or exceed energy efficiency financing payments.

The Carbon trust will consider many types of project, provided they meet the scheme's energy and carbon saving requirement. Examples of projects that could qualify include:

Energy Efficient Lighting

Variable Speed Drives

Voltage Optimisation


Power Factor Correction

we work with Marshall Tufflex for Energy Audits, go on, give us a call

Size matters: the most efficient products come in small packages

Energy ratings labels on appliances are generally given to products based on size categories. The idea is to enable you to compare between two similarly sized products.

This means two differently sized appliances with the same energy rating may use quite different amounts of electricity. For instance an A rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £39 a year to run whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating would cost £54 a year to run. That’s £13 a year more.

In trying to save energy it is therefore best to look for the product with the best energy rating for the size of product you require.

What a week

The Texas explosion

What a week...

Baroness Thatcher's funeral, the Texas plant explosion and the Boston Marathon bombing. please can we have a quiet week next week?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Volvo on EV

'Customers don't want quirky electric vehicles' he told What Car?. 'Our electric vehicles will be in existing models'.
  1. No stand-alone electric Volvos
  2. Existing models will be electrified
  3. Three-cylinder petrols and diesel due
Volvo's electrification process has started with the V60 plug-in hybrid model and that technology will appear in future models, including the next-generation XC90 SUV, which will go on sale in 2014.

Mertens also admitted that work has started on three-cylinder diesel and petrol engines for future Volvo models. Likely recipients of the new engines will be the replacement for the V40 and a new small SUV, dubbed XC40. Both are being jointly developed using new architecture with parent company Geely.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

growing fuel crisis

The subsidies and Transport for London's funding for 50% of our vehicle charge point has allowed us to offer these vehicles to our customers with no cost premium, allowing us to be one of the first to offer fully electric vehicles, which is a good thing for London. Longer-term subsidies will not be necessary as battery technology improves and the costs come down.

look at what Tesla are achieving in terms of range with their new Model S, which Climate Cars has already ordered. The subsidies assist early adopters get the vehicles out there, so as soon as EVs become viable alternatives to petrol/diesel cars then they can be removed, having served the purpose of promoting initial uptake of this new technology.

 In 09 Daniel Sperling and Deborah Gordon published their book Two Billion Cars: Driving Toward Sustainability. But already the car culture has ceased to be sustainable, with petrol prices rising sharply. There seems to be total silence on this topic; but we must look to the future, for the sakes of our children and grandchildren. What oil remains is being sourced and burnt at ever-increasing rates, cost, and environmental damage. Increased traffic densities decrease the distance travelled per litre of fuel.

However, replacing oil-based fuel by renewable energy is inconceivable in the available time to avoid global warming. Reversing the car supremacy seems impossible. The only conceivable solution is through vast increases in public transport. Without that, the prospect is of a worldwide contest for fuel. And with vast arsenals, including nuclear weapons, at the disposal of several countries, efforts to ameliorate this prospect are urgently needed.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Shewanella oneidensis - Bacteria Generate Clean Electricity

Bio-batteries have now taken a giant leap towards becoming a reality. British scientists have made an important breakthrough in the quest to generate clean electricity from bacteria.

Findings published Mar 28 show that proteins on the surface of the bacteria can produce an electric current by simply touching a mineral surface.

The study has therefore found for the first time that it is possible for bacteria to lie directly on the surface of a metal or mineral and transfer electrical charge through their cell membranes. This means that it is possible to tether bacteria directly to electrodes - bringing scientists a step closer to creating efficient microbial fuel cells or bio-batteries.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia are working with a marine bacteria called Shewanella oneidensis.

Who should carry out the three-hour test on emergency lighting?

Question: BS 5266 Part 8 2004 specifies that it is no longer required for six monthly tests to be carried out on emergency lights by a contractor, provided that monthly tests are carried out by a competent person employed by the company - and the results recorded.
If that is the case, who is responsible for carrying out a three-hour test on the system - the competent person, or a contractor?

Answer: Clause 7.1 of BS 5226-8 requires the occupier/owner of the premises to appoint a competent person to supervise the testing and servicing of the emergency lighting system. This person should be given sufficient authority to ensure the carrying out of any work necessary to maintain the system in correct operation.

Clause 6.2 of BS 5266-8 requires that, on completion of a yearly inspection and test, a periodic inspection and test certificate should be supplied to the person responsible for the premises based on the model form in Annex H of BS 5266-1: 2011.

Therefore, a professional electrical contractor, competent to carry out the periodic inspection and testing for emergency lighting, is required to carry out the three-hour test.

Could electric cars reduce China's smog?

with the issue of pollution so high on the agenda at the annual parliamentary session, some are wondering what possible solutions might be in the pipeline.

One might very well be a renewed effort to kick-start the electric car industry.

Some reports suggest that the generous subsidy scheme for battery-driven vehicles will be expanded from the present five cities to 20 more.

But so far no country in the world has succeeded in making the dream of emission-free driving a reality.

Despite the lofty ideal, the electric car has so far been a sputtering disappointment, accounting for only a fraction of 1% of global car sales.

And the same is true in China. There is an existing target to put five million on the road by 2020 but the Chinese consumer is so far very much unconvinced.
'Range anxiety'

But BYD Auto Company in the southern city of Shenzhen is just one electric vehicle maker hoping that the time is now ripe for the government to step up its efforts.

 BYD is making electric cars but as yet not selling in great numbers

The company rose to global prominence in 2008 when venture capitalist Warren Buffett bought a 9.9% stake.

He was betting that if anyone could make the technology work then China's central planners would be the ones to do it.

They have certainly tried. In Shanghai, for example, the total amount of subsidy on offer, including an exemption from the city's expensive licence plate system, is worth up to $30,000 (£20,000).
But that would still leave more than $40,000 to be paid before you could drive away in a BYD e6.

Electric cars are not cheap and buyers have worries other than price.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Touchscreen interface for seamless data transfer between the real and virtual (video)

UK sees six-fold increase in the counterfeit electrical goods seized

The UK had seen a six-fold rise in the number of counterfeit and potentially dangerous electrical goods seized in the past four years due to surge in demand  for "branded" designer headphones and gadgets such as hair straighteners.

Figures obtained from local councils and Border Force, the organisation charged with patrolling the UK's borders, showed that the value of counterfeit electrical goods seized had increased from £2.6 million in 2009 to £15.7 million in 2012.

The same period had seen budgets for trading standards – council departments responsible for the identification and prosecution of counterfeit sellers on a regional level -cut from £85 million to just under £70 million due to cost cutting.

The data was made available in response to a request made under the Freedom of Information Act by the Co-operative Electrical, which was concerned over the volume of counterfeit – and often dangerous – electrical goods now flooding the market.

2009, local councils prosecuted  372 people for the sale of counterfeit electrical goods, a figure that fell to 245 in 2012.

According to The Co-operative Electrical managing director James Holland, there were numerous issues with counterfeit electrical goods, the main ones being that they would not work or that they posed a safety risk as a result of shoddy manufacturing that was not subject to the same standards of genuine products.

The Earth's 'electrical heartbeat' seen in clouds

The findings, made by analysing 10 years' data of cloud heights from the north and south poles, open up a whole new perspective on our understanding of how clouds form and influence our weather and climate. Scientists have been aware of the daily global ebb and flow of electric current through the atmosphere for 100 years, when it was shown to vary consistently throughout the day wherever on the planet it was measured.

This regular variation, effectively a global electrical heartbeat, is known as the Carnegie curve, after the ship whose cruises provided the defining experiments in the 1920s. The electric current is caused by electrified storms across the world. Its daily peak occurs at 7pm GMT each day when the major sources of thunderstorms are the American and African landmasses. The current is usually weakest at 3am GMT, night-time across most of the world's continents, when there are fewest thunderstorms occurring globally.

Previously no connection had been made between this current and the formation of clouds. But, by analysing cloud base measurements made during polar darkness when there are few other influences on cloud formation, University of Reading meteorologists Professor Giles Harrison and Dr Maarten Ambaum found evidence for the first time that cloud heights are closely linked to the Carnegie curve.

Professor Harrison said: "What we found was remarkable. The variations from both north and south poles are almost identical, suggesting a strong link with the Carnegie curve, when other factors are taken out of the equation. This may arise from charging of small droplets in the cloud's base, encouraging them to stick together.

 Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-03-revealed-earth-electrical-heartbeat-clouds.html#jCp

Monday, 15 April 2013

FET / Fixed Wire Inspection and Testing

Why you need Fixed Wire Testing & Inspection
Fixed wire inspection & testing of installations is necessary as they deteriorate with age. This is due to a number of factors such as damage, wear and tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading and environmental influences.

It’s easy to take electricity for granted - just flick a switch and the power comes on. But electricity can also be an invisible danger that can cause shocks, severe burns, and death, as well as property damage from fires and explosions. In some cases, there is no warning of the danger to come. Fortunately, with a proper system of inspecting and testing, you can protect your property and the people that use it.

Legislation - Do you comply?
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 which incorporates The Management of Health and Safety at Work regulations 1992, a statutory legal duty is placed on all Employers to ensure that employees and all others are not subjected to risks to their health and safety. In particular , The Electricity at Work Regulations 1989 requires those in control of part or all of an electrical system to ensure that the system is safe to use and it is maintained in a safe condition.
How can we help you comply with this?
Electrical Inspection & Testing.

Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR)
Formerly known as a Periodic Inspection Report, (PIR) an Electrical Condition Report will give you a full assessment as to the condition of your electrical installation.  An electrical condition report should:
  1. Reveal overloaded circuits
  2. Find any potential risk of fire or electric shock
  3. Highlight inadequate earthing 
How often should an Electrical Installation Condition Report be undertaken?
Inspection and Testing should be undertaken as follows:

Domestic Properties - 10 years
Commercial & Industrial Premises - 5 years
How we can help
Our highly experienced team of testers can carry out a full Electrical Installation Condition Report on all types of properties. - we test castles and stately home too :)http://www.woolgarelectrical.co.uk/
All of our testing team are fully conversant with the latest BS7671:2008 regulations relating to electrical safety. can we help?

Energy storage units

CUTTING edge electrical energy storage units are being installed across the North-East and Yorkshire as part of a multi-million pound project.

Led by Northern Powergrid, the Customer-Led Network Revolution (CLNR) project is installing batteries which store electricity and release it into the grid when needed as a greener way of using energy.

Two are being sited at Wooler in Northumberland with four more across Darlington and Maltby, and all but one unit will be placed inside existing Northern Powergrid substations.

Ian Lloyd, the project’s manager, said: “This is one of the biggest and most important energy storage projects happening in the UK today, thanks to the scale of the installations and the diverse range of locations we’re using.”

He added: “We want to be in the position where we can create a ‘smarter powergrid’ and find cost-effective ways to manage the changing usage and generation needs of our customers.

The £54m project is the largest of its type in the UK and puts the region at the forefront of the UK’s drive to reduce carbon emissions.

How To Use RCDs

handy video

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Fundamental particles, a fountain pen and a mind that could look back billions of years the great Peter Higgs

The dominant theory is that it all began about 14 billion years ago with the Big Bang. Almost immediately some of the energy released began to condense into fundamental particles.
The process of creating the stuff around us - matter - was under way.

The process of creating that matter depended on some fundamental particles acquiring mass. But how? Good question: if everything started with a vacuum how could things that had mass come out of nothing?

It's one of the most important questions in science.

Without mass, the Universe would still be a cloud of fast-moving particles. Without those particles clumping together, no protons, no neutrons; no atoms, no molecules; no stars or galaxies or planets. No us.

It was Peter Higgs's achievement to come up with a mathematical solution in Edinburgh in the early 1960s.

A younger Peter Higgs By his own admission, Peter Higgs was not a distinguished experimental physicist

He had no PC - they hadn't been invented yet. Not even a pocket calculator. Just a fountain pen, some scrap paper and a mind that could look back billions of years.

Thanks Pete :)

there you have it we are all made of fundamental particles...

Check out the view on the way in this morning

today and tomorrow, funnies

Friday, 12 April 2013

Freaky Friday fact!!!!

NASA to start work on finding a small asteroid that could be shifted into an orbit near the moon and used by astronauts as a stepping-stone for an eventual mission to Mars...

Take over an airplane simply using his Android phone

Have you seen Skyfall???  former MI6 operative Raoul Silva, the bad guy humiliates, discredits M as revenge against her for betraying him.

Silva was "more than a villain", larger than life, but could it happen... in Silva's first salvo's with bond he gloats at the possibilities of his point and click (pip) world, but could it really happen??

Imagine the kind of havoc a malicious hacker could cause if he or she were able to take over an airplane simply using his Android phone. With a tap of his or her fingers, the hacker could arbitrarily control the plane remotely and redirect its path. If you think this is only something that could happen in a Hollywood movie, think again, because that's exactly the scenario a German security researcher laid out on Wednesday at a conference in Amsterdam.

Hugo Teso, a security researcher for the German IT consultancy firm N.Runs — he is a trained commercial pilot as well — explained at the Hack in the Box security conference that a protocol used to transmit data to commercial airplanes can be hacked, turning the hacker into a full-fledged hijacker.

The flawed protocol is a data exchange system called Aircraft Communications Addressing and Report System, or ACARS. Exploiting its flaws, as well as the bugs found in flight management software made by companies like Honeywell, Thales, and Rockwell Collins, Teso maintains he can take over a plane by sending it his own malicious radio signals. To do that, he has created an exploit framework, codenamed SIMON, and an Android app called PlaneSploit that can communicate with the airplanes' Flight Management Systems (FMS).

"You can use this system to modify approximately everything related to the navigation of the plane," Teso told Forbes' Andy Greenberg in an interview. "That includes a lot of nasty things."

makes you think.

Most energy-efficient' LED light revealed by Philips.

Lighting company Philips has developed an LED lamp that it describes as "the world's most energy-efficient".

It said the prototype tube lighting LED is twice as efficient as those currently used in offices and industry around the world but offers the same amount of light.

Being able to halve the amount of energy used could bring huge cost and energy savings.
Lighting accounts for more than 19% of global electricity consumption.

The prototype tube lighting produces 200 lumens per watt (200lm/W) compared with 100lm/W for equivalent strip lighting and 15lm/W for traditional light bulbs.

"This is a major breakthrough in LED lighting and will further drive the transformation of the lighting industry," said Rene van Schooten, chief executive of light source and electronics at Philips.
"It's exciting to imagine the massive energy and cost savings it will bring to our planet and customers," he added.

The lamps are intended to replace the fluorescent tube lighting used in offices and industry, which currently account for more than half of the world's total lighting.

In the US, for example, such lighting consumes around 200 terawatts of electricity annually.

Swapping to the energy-efficient lamps could save $12bn (£7.8bn) and stop 60 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, according to Philips.

LED light bulbs are more efficient than traditional incandescent ones because there is less energy loss through heat.

However they tend to be more expensive than ordinary light bulbs.

Philips expects the light to go on the market in 2015, initially to replace office lighting.

Ultimately though it is seen as a real alternative to lighting in the home.

The company has not yet published prices but a spokesperson told the BBC that the cost would not be significantly more than current LED tube lights.

The Energy Saving Trust - a UK charity which provides advice on how to cut carbon emissions - said manufacturers' claims always had to be treated with caution, but added that if Philips could bring the product to market it would represent a major advance.

"The typical performance of LEDs we have trialled and tested before has typically been in the range of 50 to 70 lumens per watt which is significantly better than traditional lighting - so if this new Philips product can perform as claimed then it represents a huge leap forward in performance," James Russill, the trust's technical development manager, told the BBC.

"It is also good that this product is aimed at office environments, where lighting is often left on for 24 hours per day - the potential for reducing electricity demand is therefore very high."

It will all now depend if Phillips is 'over driving' the LED's and therefore shortening lamp life.

we will just have to wait and see what guaranteed lamp life Philips market it with, anything less that 50,000 hours would suggest over driving or bad heat management. lets see what 2015 brings.

US grid-friendly electric vehicle charging

A technology that will allow widespread adoption of plug-in electric vehicles without negatively impacting the electrical grid is the subject of a commercial license agreement between Battelle and AeroVironment, Inc., of Monrovia, Calif. The technology may also ultimately result in lower costs for plug-in electric vehicle owners.

Battelle operates the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

AeroVironment will use a portion of the licensed technology in a new prototype version of its Level II charging systems.

While electric vehicles will ultimately reduce the nation's dependency on oil, some are concerned that millions of electric cars on the road will threaten the stability of the electrical grid. Developed at PNNL, the Grid Friendly EV Charger Controller technology tells the car's battery charger when to start and stop charging based upon existing conditions on the electrical grid.  Since electric vehicles can now be charged when electricity is most readily available, the technology could translate into lower bills for vehicle owners and a more stable grid.

as previously stated, Aus has worries and the UK needs a better strategy too.

What is LED lighting?

Light-emitting diodes have been around for years.

Traditionally, they have been used as indicators on electrical devices, such as standby lights on TVs. This was because LEDs were available only in red, but recent advances mean that other colours are now available, and the light emitted is much brighter.

White light (used for general lighting) using LEDs can be created via a number of techniques. One example is mixing red, green and blue LEDs.

It is suggested that LEDs can last for up to 100,000 hours, compared with the 1,000 hours of traditional incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps' (CFLs) 15,000 hours.

The technology is also much more energy-efficient, using up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.

The long lifespans and low energy use make LEDs economically attractive because even though the fittings cost more, the running and maintenance bills are lower.

any questions?http://www.woolgarelectrical.co.uk/

Thursday, 11 April 2013

In some circumstances electric cars can have a greater impact on global warming than conventional cars.

One recent study by scientists in EV-friendly Norway has found that in some circumstances electric cars can have a greater impact on global warming than conventional cars.

One of the authors of the report, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Guillaume Majeau-Bettez, admits that he is shocked and disappointed that their findings are not more positive for EVs.

"The electric car has great potential for improvement, but ultimately what will make it a success or failure from an environmental standpoint is how much we can clean up our electricity grid - both for the electricity you use when you drive your car, and for the electricity used for producing the car."
The study is a life cycle analysis of the global warming impact of the production and operation of EVs, driven for 150,000km (93,750 miles), compared with the production and operation of conventional cars. The scientists include so-called "well to wheel" data, taking into account the energy needed to refine and transport oil into petrol or diesel.

One of the findings is that the energy intensive manufacturing of EVs mean that some cars make almost double the impact on global warming as conventional cars. This is mostly because of the raw materials and energy needed to build the lithium-ion batteries.

However, the moment a new EV hits the road, the environmental picture starts to improve.

However, even here the picture is mixed, and wholly dependent on how electricity is generated in the country the car is being driven in.

Electric Car Future Where You Never Have to Plug It In

This obviously mirrors the MIT research

Trio of engineers from Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) envision a future where electromagnetic induction embedded in roads continually power future electric vehicles.
Picture an all-electric vehicle cruising down the highway, emitting little noise and no noxious fumes. It’s such an improvement that you have to wonder why only a handful of all-electric vehicles are now available on the mass market.

Here’s a big reason: Picture the driver of that same car getting a call from a relative living far away who needs immediate help. Suddenly, the driver’s eyes become riveted on the most important indicator on the dashboard: the estimated number of kilometres that the car can go on the remaining battery charge. Will he make it to his relative’s house? Even if he does, will he find a charging station so he can get back home?

There’s a name for this modern misgiving: range anxiety, a new form of disquiet experienced by drivers of all-electric cars. The Nissan Leaf, for example, can be driven on the highway for only about 75 miles / 120 kilometres on a single charge, and fully charging up its batteries takes 8 hours or more.

GM working on electric car with 200 miles range,

The rate of progress in electric car technology might not seem very fast, but it's steadily pushing us toward EVs that are affordable and have enough range for the vast majority of drivers. And while it's always going to be better to walk, bike, or take transit than drive, as long as there are cars out there, they might as well be electric and powered by clean electricity sources (cleaning up the grid is also a priority!).

The latest bit of promising news comes from Dan Akerson, GM's CEO. During his speech at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference, he said that his company is developing a car that could have a range of 200 miles (322 kilometers).

“There will be breakthroughs in battery technology, they’re on the horizon,” Akerson said today during a presentation at the IHS CERAWeek energy conference broadcast on CNBC.com. “We’re actually developing a car today which is really anathema to the way the auto industry works: We’re running a dual play on the technology to see which one will succeed. One will result in” a 100-mile range, “the other will be a 200-mile range.”

200 miles by itself isn't so special - after all, the Tesla Model S with the biggest battery pack can do over 300 miles - but what is implied by Akerson (hopefully I'm not reading too much into it!) is that this 200 miles EV would be priced competitively with what is on the market today. It would be an increase in range by improving battery technology and building a lighter, more efficient vehicle, not simply by doubling the size (and thus cost) of the battery.

Wednesday, 10 April 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.

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.

The researchers compared performance among three groups—those who had stimulation to the prefrontal cortex, which is linked to complex planning and decision making, stimulation to the parietal cortex, part of the brain that helps integrate different types of information, and sham stimulation, in which participants thought they were getting the treatment but were not. The parietal stimulation group learned the best but had the worst automaticity, whereas the prefrontal cortex group had the opposite pattern. (It may seem counterintuitive that learning and automaticity can be dissociated, but they can.)

MOT your home...

Even seasoned homeowners need to give their home the occasional electrical “checkup” to assure that wiring, circuit breakers, socket outlets and plugs are in good working order — and, above all, used safely.

"Electricity is a tool, and like any tool must be handled carefully,"

So here are simple tips — plus a list of what to double-check — to assure your home is wired for safety:

Breakers tripping, fuses blowing? This is not an item to ignore — breakers and fuses are devices sized to protect the wiring in your home. Time to bring in a professional.

Be sure all your circuits are properly earthed. A circuit consists of wires that transport electrical current to your lights and appliances.

Water and electricity definitely don’t mix! Unplug any appliance before you wash or even wipe it down.

Replace any damaged wires / flexes on appliances in your house pronto — they can potentially cause shocks or fires.

Do you have any plugs that wobble or seem to have a “loose fit” in the socket? If so, it’s time to replace them.

Never force a plug into a socket, and never attempt to adjust a plug’s pins to make it fit. Both actions are dangerous!

Make sure all plugs and cords are kept a safe distance from heat sources such as radiators or space heaters. Don’t place furniture on top of cords, and don’t run cords under rugs or blankets.

smart and watchful — dimming lights, flickering lights, a sizzling sound or a burning odor mandate a prompt professional investigation.

Find out easy, cost-effective ways to give your family an extra measure of protection against electrical costs and possible calamities

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

impacting the environment as little as possible.

As it turns out, marrying the two is a good way of enticing people into electric cars--buying cars in the knowledge they're impacting the environment as little as possible.

A researcher at Simon Fraser University in Canada surveyed 1,500 American auto consumers to discover their thoughts on electric vehicles.

Regardless of the type of vehicle a respondent had recently bought--be it pure electric, hybrid, or a conventional car--interest in full electric vehicles grew when paired with a green electricity program.

“For the conventional car buyers," says researcher Jonn Axsen, "once we offered green electricity with plug-in vehicles it increased their interest by 23 per cent, which is significant.” For hybrid and full electric car buyers, interest was even higher.

Conveniently, a report by Navigant Research confirms it--stating that electric vehicle owners and buyers pay much more attention to the energy powering their vehicles, preferring clean power such as solar.

Ring mains joined

A question in a forum. Food for thought...

Question: Over the past few years, there have been many DIY installations, and many DIY enthusiasts tell stories of how easy it is. But from things they say, there must be many installations where two ring mains have been connected together - where they have simply picked up one end from one ring main and connected the other end to another socket; possibly on another ring, thinking that they are making a ring.

I believe that on testing, we should test that circuits go OFF, with only one MCB off. DIY types may not notice the problem, as they tend to say 'I always just switch everything off'.

Your thoughts please….?

Answer: In short, most electricians - as part of a good practice regime - perform dead testing; that is, testing a circuit for the absence of voltage using products such as a two-pole tester like our T1XX series, or even the SM100 series of socket testers.

Also, I would hope that such poor workmanship would be found as part of the initial visual verification checks, and the insulation & continuity dead test measurements, which should typically be performed before any live measurements.

Any questions???

Acceleration of Electrons by a Laser in a Vacuum

Accelerating a free electron with a laser has been a longtime goal of solid-state physicists. David Cline, a distinguished professor in the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Xiaoping Ding, an assistant researcher at UCLA, have conducted research at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and have established that an electron beam can be accelerated by a laser in free space.

This has never been done before at high energies and represents a significant breakthrough, Cline said, adding that it also may have implications for fusion as a new energy source.

In free space, a plane-wave laser is unable to accelerate an electron, according to the Lawson-Woodward theorem, posited in 1979. However, Yu-kun Ho, a professor at China's Fudan University in Shanghai, and his research group have proposed a concept of what physicists refer to as the capture-acceleration scenario to show that an electron can be accelerated by a tightly focused laser in a vacuum.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Emergency Lighting Testing

We can take care of all your emergency lighting testing needs leaving you safe in the knowledge that your system is being properly maintained at all times.

Types of testing required

In order to comply with emergency lighting regulations BS5266 with regards to testing, the following testing should be carried out:


Indicators of central power supply shall be visually inspected for correct operation.


If automatic testing devices are used, the results of the short duration tests should be recorded. During this period, all luminaires and signs shall be checked to ensure that they are present, clean and functioning correctly.


If automatic testing devices are used, the results of the full rated duration test shall be recorded. For all other systems the monthly inspection shall be carried out and the following additional tests made:

a) each luminaire and internally illuminated sign shall be tested for its full rated duration in accordance with the manufacturer's information;

b) the supply of the normal lighting shall be restored and any indicator lamp or device checked to

ensure that it is showing that normal supply has been restored. The charging arrangements should

be checked for proper functioning;

c) the date of the test and its results shall be recorded in the system logbook;

when was the last time you check your lights

we also do a design service

AC vs. DC Powerlines and the Grid

we have discussed this before

Ever since the earliest examples of long distance electric power transmission, overhead transmission lines have been the preferred method for transporting large amounts of electric power.   As the length of any conventional transmission line increases, both the energy transfer capacity of the line and the efficiency of energy transfer decrease.  The main ways to fight this are to increase the transmission line voltage, and/or to increase wire diameter.  At the time that power grids linking major cities were first built, there was no convenient way to change the voltage of DC power, whereas the transformer made that relatively easy for AC power.  That is why AC power won the “war of the currents” in the 1880’s. Up until 1956, only AC power could be readily changed from one voltage to another (via transformers, which only work for AC power).  In 1956, ABB built the first high voltage DC (HVDC) transmission line in the West (which is still in service, though it has since been upgraded) between Gotland Island and the Swedish mainland, via a subsea cable. The Soviet Union had built an HVDC line earlier than that, between Moscow to Kashira, which was based on technology taken from the Germans after WWII. These early projects were based on mercury arc valves. Since then, HVDC has evolved a lot, and is now the best way to transmit large amounts of power great distances.
There are different trade-offs for AC versus DC power transmission.  Voltage can readily be taken up to about 765,000 volts (765 kV) for an AC powerline (this is the current maximum AC voltage in the US) but beyond that, power dissipation through dielectric loss becomes significant.  (Dielectric losses are caused when dipoles in matter align with a changing local electric field.  As the polar structures turn to follow the field, the movement causes local heating.  This is the basis of microwave ovens. The dielectric loss during transmission is equal to the total heat that is generated in materials around the powerlines due to induced motions of electric dipoles.)  At high voltage, non-resistive power dissipation via dielectric losses (for AC only) and/or through corona discharge (for both AC and DC) becomes severe.  Voltage for DC overhead powerlines can be taken up to higher voltage than the maximum practical AC voltage; at present the worldwide maximum is ±800 kV for HVDC lines. Note that the way that voltage is reported for AC vs. DC powerlines is different; a ±800 kV DC powerline has 1600 kV conductor to conductor (800 kV conductor to ground), whereas AC voltage refers to the conductor to conductor root mean square, or “rms” voltage; roughly speaking AC rms voltage is comparable to the line-to-line voltage in DC in terms of transmission capacity. In effect, HVDC voltage can go about twice as high as HVAC voltage, which explains most of the advantage of overhead HVDC lines compared to overhead HVAC lines.

Wire diameter is limited for AC transmission lines due to the “skin effect” that prevents an AC current from penetrating to the center of a large wire, whereas a DC line can be arbitrarily thick.  At 60 Hz, the skin effect becomes significant for wires greater in diameter than about an inch. Because of the skin effect in part, multiple wires arranged in a circular pattern and separated by polymer spacers are often used in high capacity high voltage AC transmission lines. Thus, overhead HVDC powerlines can transport significantly more power for greater distances than AC lines, for two main reasons: the effective voltage can be higher, and the wires can be bigger. But DC lines were not developed initially to be capable of higher voltage, nor to be able to move more power than AC lines, but rather to make it possible to put high capacity power lines underground (for security) or under the ocean (to bring power to islands initially).

To understand why undergrounding HVDC lines for great distances is feasible, while undergrounding HVAC lines for more than about 40 miles is not, it is necessary to consider the capacitance of air-insulated overhead lines versus cables, which are typically surrounded by polymer insulation and soil. Capacitance is a property of every electrical circuit, not just capacitors (which are designed deliberately for high capacitance). A wire suspended in air has much less capacitance (by about a factor of 50-100) compared to a cable, in which the wire is surrounded both by polymeric insulation and soil. The capacitance limits how fast the voltage responds at the far end of a power line when voltage is applied at the near end. Capacitance has only a small transient effect on a DC power transmission line, delaying the voltage rise at the far end of the line by milliseconds at most when voltage is applied at the near end. When capacitance of an AC line is too high though, it has a quite dramatic effect; this is the case because at 60 Hz, the voltage reverses 120 times per second (8.33 milliseconds for per reversal); each time this happens, the “line capacitor” needs to be charged up before any power can flow through the line. The much higher capacitance of a cable (especially one that is located underground or undersea) means that this limiting line capacitance is reached for a much shorter cable (50 to 100 times shorter) than an overhead line. Thus at most short bits of an AC power transmission line can be placed underground, whereas there is no problem in terms of power flow with putting a DC power line underground.

Another important property that differentiates AC from DC power lines is that for an AC line, the line power must be synchronized with the local AC grid at both ends of the line, whereas DC power can bridge between two different synchronized AC grids that are not synchronized with each other. For this reason, DC power lines are often referred to as “asynchronous links” by power engineers. Examples where this is important involve power links between the Quebec AC grid and the Eastern US grid; between the Eastern and Western US grids; between the Texas grid (ERCOT) and everywhere else; and between the incompatible 50 Hz and 60 Hz regions in Japan.
Nearly all of the above factors would seem to favor DC over AC transmission, so why are most transmission lines, and virtually all power distribution lines AC? Simply put: transformers (which change voltage of electrical power) and circuit breakers are dramatically less expensive for AC than for DC power. At the time that the first long transmission lines were built by Westinghouse between Niagara Falls and New York City, there was no such thing as a DC/DC transformer, and that hard technical limitation persisted for a hundred years (which is why we have a strictly AC grid). Today, electronic DC/DC voltage transformers are found on every computer motherboard, and can be built for high voltage, high power conversion as well…but these devices are a lot more expensive at present than conventional transformers. However, being electronic devices, these DC/DC transformers have been on a steeply declining cost curve for some time now, and it is probable that they will in the future reach cost parity with conventional AC/AC transformers. This could mean we will have a DC grid in 100 years or so, but don’t hold your breath. Meanwhile DC circuit breakers are also a huge problem, especially at high power levels above one megawatt (MW). ABB recently announced a breakthrough on HVDC circuit breakers that they say will allow HVDC circuit breakers up to one gigawatt (GW; equal to 1000 MW; still well below what will be needed to implement a supergrid). ABB has not published either a cost for their new breaker (which I estimate will be about 100 times as high as comparable AC circuit breakers), nor on-state power loss figures (which I estimate will be ~0.25% of transmitted power). We still have a way to go to having a DC circuit breaker that is capable of enabling a supergrid, in spite of ABB’s efforts to convince us otherwise. This is a problem I have been working on; I call my solution a Ballistic Breaker™.

taken from - http://theenergycollective.com/rogerrethinker/204396/ac-versus-dc-powerlines

more safety advice... (video)

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Lighting - energy saving

lighting can represent over 35 per cent of energy consumption in buildings depending on the application.
Solutions for lighting control may save up to 50 per cent on the electricity compared to a traditional installation.

These systems should be flexible and designed for the comfort of the users.

 The solutions can range from very small and local controls such as occupancy sensors, up to sophisticated customised and centralised solutions that are part of complete building automation systems.

can we help?


Friday, 5 April 2013

Energy efficiency the bigger picture

In order to make improvements we need to be able to measure the amount of electrical energy control energy effectively.

Energy measurement is essential for energy management. Therefore, the design of the electrical distribution system needs to be carried out in such a way that will allow the metering and control of the various electrical loads in an installation.

A further key point when designing a new installation includes determination of the most energy-efficient location of the transformers and switchboards in an installation in order to reduce the
electrical losses within the electrical distribution system.

The objective is to locate the transformer and switchboard at the centre of the group of loads they are feeding. Also, in order to have an energy efficient installation, losses in equipment need to be as low as possible.

Thursday, 4 April 2013


The development of LED technology has resulted in steadily falling costs and ever increasing light outputs. Since the 1960, costs per lumen have fallen by a factor of 10 every decade and the
amount of light generated per LED package has increased by a factor of 20.

The exponential rise in light output, mirroring Moore’s Law for electronic devices, is called Haitz’s Law after Dr Roland Haitz.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Electrical Maintenance

paying a lot for your Electrical Maintenance ?

give us a call...

We probably are the Electrical Maintenance Experts you need.

Simply the best! - Electrical maintenance specialistElectrical maintenance is one of our core businesses and is an area of electrical work that we quite simply are one of the best.

We service and maintain government buildings, English Heritage, NHS, commercial and industrial premises.

Reactive 24 hour call out

Maintenance of lighting systems

Inspection & Testing

Fault Finding

can we help?

3-D Printing Using Old containers..

wanna be a bona fide, recycling, polar-bear-saving rock star.

printing 3D using old milk cartons..

Michigan Technological University's Joshua Pearce is working on something really clever. His main tool is open-source 3D printing, which he uses to save thousands of dollars by making everything from his lab equipment to his safety razor.

Using free software downloaded from sites like Thingiverse, which now holds over 54,000 open-source designs, 3D printers make all manner of objects by laying down thin layers of plastic in a specific pattern. While high-end printers can cost many thousands of dollars, simpler open-source units run between $250 and $500 -- and can be used to make parts for other 3D printers, driving the cost down ever further.

"One impediment to even more widespread use has been the cost of filament," says Pearce, an associate professor of materials science and engineering and electrical and computer engineering. Though vastly less expensive than most manufactured products, the plastic filament that 3D printers transform into useful objects isn't free.

Milk jugs, on the other hand, are a costly nuisance, either to recycle or to bury in a landfill. But if you could turn them into plastic filament, Pearce reasoned, you could solve the disposal problem and drive down the cost of 3D printing even more.

So Pearce and his research group decided to make their own recycling unit, or RecycleBot. They cut the labels off milk jugs, washed the plastic, and shredded it. Then they ran it through a homemade device that melts and extrudes it into a long, spaghetti-like string of plastic. Their process is open-source and free for everyone to make and use at Thingiverse.com.

The process isn't perfect. Milk jugs are made of high-density polyethylene, or HDPE, which is not ideal for 3D printing. "HDPE is a little more challenging to print with," Pearce says. But the disadvantages are not overwhelming. His group made its own climate-controlled chamber using a dorm-room refrigerator and an off-the-shelf teddy-bear humidifier and had good results. With more experimentation, the results would be even better, he says. "3D printing is where computers were in the 1970s."

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Infrared Thermal Imaging Surveys

We have a well funky Flir Infrared Thermal Imaging camera.

as well as creating some quite freaky images, it has some quite serious applications

Electrical faults can be time consuming and costly to diagnose. Trying to find faults prior to them happening can be troublesome since switchgear and distribution boards have to be shut down, causing great inconvenience to numerous systems (sometimes)

Infrared thermal imaging, however,  can avoid these issues and can pinpoint faults in seconds, perhaps months before they actually cause failure. This allows maintenance to be scheduled and workflow to continue, generally saving far more expense than the cost of the survey.

All of our thermographic surveys are carried out using the most advanced thermal imaging cameras and analysis software commercially available. Our  thermographers have excellent electrical engineering backgrounds with experience of working in all types of commercial and industrial environments.

So whether you require a survey to satisfy the policy requirements for your insurance company, fire risk assessment recommendations or as part of an ongoing predictive maintenance programme - can we help?

How was your Easter

Good one? finished your eggs yet?

Artificial Leaf

Bringing the concept of an "artificial leaf" closer to reality, a team of researchers at MIT has published a detailed analysis of all the factors that could limit the efficiency of such a system. The new analysis lays out a roadmap for a research program to improve the efficiency of these systems, and could quickly lead to the production of a practical, inexpensive and commercially viable prototype.

Such a system would use sunlight to produce a storable fuel, such as hydrogen, instead of electricity for immediate use. This fuel could then be used on demand to generate electricity through a fuel cell or other device. This process would liberate solar energy for use when the sun isn't shining, and open up a host of potential new applications.

The new work is described in a paper this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by associate professor of mechanical engineering Tonio Buonassisi, former MIT professor Daniel Nocera (now at Harvard University), MIT postdoc Mark Winkler (now at IBM) and former MIT graduate student Casandra Cox (now at Harvard). It follows up on 2011 research that produced a "proof of concept" of an artificial leaf -- a small device that, when placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, would produce bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen.

The device combines two technologies: a standard silicon solar cell, which converts sunlight into electricity, and chemical catalysts applied to each side of the cell. Together, these would create an electrochemical device that uses an electric current to split atoms of hydrogen and oxygen from the water molecules surrounding them.

The goal is to produce an inexpensive, self-contained system that could be built from abundant materials. Nocera has long advocated such devices as a means of bringing electricity to billions of people, mostly in the developing world, who now have little or no access to it.

Q & A of the Day – Must rental flats be fitted with emergency lighting?

Question: For communal residential properties - is there a requirement to provide emergency lighting within each tenant flat?

Answer: Generally no - premises should be provided with lighting to ensure that, in the event of a fire within the premises, suitable lighting is provided to assist in the evacuation of the premises.
Tenants should be familiar with their own flat and should be able to find their own way to the communal area/staircase, which would generally have some form of emergency lighting.

You can obtain further information from the Local Authority concerned and/or guidance from the 'Landlord’s' Guide to Electrical Safety', issued by the Electrical Safety Council, or by government sites dealing with fire safety.

See also the BS 5266 series dealing with emergency lighting.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Brit lands on the moon!

aliens have landed

Barack Obama’s favorite cartoon character

Barack Obama’s favorite cartoon character is Spongebob Squarepants.

cool dude...

New fangled thing called electricity

love this!

Pinned Image

a paperless office

Our plan for a paperless office looked good, on paper


Pluto for sale

Sir Richard Branson today released information about Virgin's latest tourism-based business venture. Virgin news announced that the company has bought Pluto in 2011 and had it reinstated as a planet. after an earlier downgrade.

Sir Richard said: "Virgin has expanded into many territories over the years, but we have never had our own planet before. This could pave the way for a new age in space tourism."

The company have even created a special vehicle - launched last year - which is capable of 're-structuring' Pluto by leaching on to asteroids and 'bulking up' the planet in order to reach the required planetary mass. The ship will reach Pluto in April 2014 to begin construction.

plots of land and advertizing space are being sold off at auction between 08.00 and 12.00 at Virgin head office. the auction will be personally hosted by Sir Richard Branson.

one of the expected hottest items to bit on will be Pluto's first fast food franchise.

Electricity invention