Sunday, 31 August 2014

Audi introducing 48-volt electrical system to boost power and efficiency in thier cars

Audi will upgrade part of its vehicles’ electrical system from 12 to 48 volts, allowing it to integrate new technologies and increase the power and efficiency of its cars.

Audi recently showcased some of the 48-volt electrical system’s potential in its RS5 TDI and A6 TDI concepts. Both of those vehicles are fitted with an electrically powered compressor designed to act like a supercharger from just above zero rpm to counter turbo lag. The compressor operates independently of the engine load, markedly improving acceleration performance.

In the current development version (above), a compact lithium-ion supplies 48 volts during the engine-off phases, and a DC/DC converter integrates the conventional 12-volt electrical system.
The lithium-ion battery works in collaboration with a new efficiency-optimised alternator to effectively operate as a mild-hybrid system.

Audi says the powerful alternator achieves an energy recovery output of 10kW – significantly more than current systems – and translates to a saving of 10 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is equivalent to about 0.4 litres of fuel per 100km.

found on

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Merc in the US offers free spin in an electric car to anyone who sends a ‘Yo’ for the Electricurious

Mercedes Benz has hit on a novel way to stimulate interest in its range of smart electric cars, by offering a free ride in one to anyone who sends them a ‘Yo’ using an app.

From noon today in San Francisco pop-up signs will appear in the city’s Mission and SoMa districts inviting passersby to send out a ‘Yo’ to ‘smartUSA’. Anyone who does so will be invited for a spin on the spot to wherever they wish to travel (within city limits).

Mercedes-Benz spokesman Eric Angeloro, explained: “The main priority is to get people to drive the vehicle, and tapping into that Yo audience is a great way to do that. We’re giving ‘Electricurious’ San Franciscans the world’s first-ever Yo-powered test ride.”

We wonder when it will happen in the UK?

Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Fact

In 2006, an Australian man tried to sell New Zealand on eBay. The starting price was $0.01 AUD and managed to reach $3000 before eBay closed the auction.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Three days left to get yourself a "powerful cleaner"

The dreaded EU says most vacuum cleaners waste too much energy.

Anyone wanting to buy a powerful vacuum cleaner has only 3 days left to be certain of getting one - following new EU rules that come in next month.

From 1 September, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners above 1600 watts.

Hoover - based in South Wales - said that most of its cleaners were in that category.

It has been replacing its models since July with less powerful versions, but a few are still left on the shelves.

Elements of the directive - known as 2009/125/EC - are being challenged by the Dyson group.

The consumer organisation Which? says many of the models involved were rated as "best buys" by its researchers.

In one recent study, five of the top seven cleaners had motors of more than 1600 watts.

The new European rules are part of the EU's energy efficiency directive, designed to help tackle climate change.

Among the models which will soon no longer be available are:
  1. Hoover Spirit TSP2101 (2100w)
  2. Miele S5281 (2200w)
  3. Samsung CycloneForce Sensor (2100w)
  4. Bosch BSG8PRO1 ( 1800w)
No models made by Dyson are affected, as all the motors on their machines are below 1600w.

The new EU directive on energy efficiency will also require manufacturers to put an energy rating on the box.

From 1 September, vacuum cleaners will be given seven different ratings, from A to G.

This includes measuring the performance on hard floors, carpets, and how much dust is emitted.
But the Dyson group is challenging this aspect of the new rules, and has applied for a judicial review of the EU directive.

It argues that the performance criteria do not include testing a vacuum cleaner when there is already dirt inside it - what it calls "dust-loaded".

Dyson also says that 126 million cleaner bags and filters from new vacuum cleaners end up in landfill across the EU every year.

Yet the new labelling system does not reflect the impact of used bags and filters on the environment.
The rules will get even tougher in three years' time.

From 1 September 2017, all vacuum cleaners will have to be less than 900w.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Get the right light

Most of us have changed from traditional light bulbs to energy saving ones. But there is now a range of lower energy bulbs that you can install to save you more money.

Even halogen spot lights can be replaced - the new LED (light emitting diode) bulbs are bright enough to do the job.

They are priced between £4 and £20 and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings. If your supermarket doesn't stock them, most DIY stores do.

The Energy Saving Trust recommended logo can give an indication of light quality and durability.
For the average household, changing all bulbs would cost around £125. The low energy versions would last longer and save around £60 a year.

need help?

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Attempted DIY over the bank holiday ???

According to research from LV= home insurance.two million have damaged their property as a result.

The most commonly ‘botched’ DIY tasks are painting and decorating, applying bath sealant and tiling and home owners have paid out £67 million to put right their DIY disasters...

They survey found that one in 10 had to claim on their home insurance as a result of damaging their property doing DIY and 5% have to call in professionals to repair damage caused by their own botched attempts, a figure which has increased year on year since 2010.

The jobs most likely to go wrong include painting and decorating, 32%, applying sealant around a bath or shower 18%, tiling 16%, plastering 13% and filling a hole or crack in the wall 12%.
Some 49% said they have caused cosmetic damage such as spilling paint, 26% water damage and a further 16% resulted in electrical faults. Some 16% have also damaged the fabric of their property by, for example, putting their foot through the loft floor or smashing a hammer through a wall.

Most amateur DIY attempts start from a desire to save money. In total, 85% who attempted DIY did so because they thought it would be cheaper to do the jobs themselves rather than hiring a professional, while 22% thought the job would be relatively easy to complete.

Over ambition and lack of knowledge are among the main causes of DIY disasters. Among all those that caused damage in their home, 36% didn’t know what they were doing, 18% found the job was just too complicated and 24% blamed their tools for the job going awry.

The rise of online tutorial videos has exacerbated the problem, with complicated do it yourself looking too easy. Some 8% did the work after watching an online tutorial video as it gave them the confidence to have a go. And 29% have attempted to have a go at potentially dangerous tasks such as electrical repairs, 8% roofing work and 4% knocking through a wall. Some 3% have even attempted gas appliance repairs without professional help.

The firm pointed out that for specialist jobs involving gas, electrical, plumbing or structural work, it is essential to call in the professionals to ensure the work meets current safety and building regulations, otherwise home owners risk invalidating their home insurance policy if things go wrong.
It also explained that in the past five years 10% have made a claim on their insurance policy as a result of damaging their home through botched DIY and want to remind people it is important that they know what they are doing before they start a job.

And the best UK mobile service is?

EE has again been ranked top overall in research comparing the performance of the UK's four mobile networks, with Vodafone coming last.

Research firm RootMetrics tested UK networks for the speed and reliability of their voice, data and text services in the first half of 2014.

EE was ranked first overall, followed by Three, O2 and finally Vodafone.

But RootMetrics said all networks showed signs of improvement compared with last year.

RootMetrics' research is based on more than 920,000 tests of the networks' services, conducted across the UK in the first six months of the year.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Supplies to Multi-Occupied Buildings - UK power networks advice

Document Number: EDS 08-0118 Addendum

Version: 2.0

Date: 01/08/2014

© UK Power Networks 2014 All rights reserved 1 of 1
EDS 08-0118 V2.0 Supplies to Multi-Occupied Buildings - Addendum.
This addendum has been produced to provide clarification and guidance on:
Section 5.2 – Intake Position; regarding the provision of multiple LV intakes at a single
intake position;
Section 9 – Fire Fighting Supply Arrangements; providing clarification of the UK Power
Networks position.
This addendum should be read in conjunction with the published EDS 08-0118; where there
is conflict with the existing standards, this addendum takes precedent.
5.2.1 Multiple intakes for EDS 08-0143 supplies

A building network supplied in accordance with EDS 08-0143 may have more than one
service and cut-out within the single intake position. All supplies (new and existing) shall be:
 Located no further than 5m apart, in an adjoining room if required, and include
appropriate labelling to ensure an operative can easily identify all supplies in an

 Installed with the appropriate method of earthing, including bonding where necessary, to
avoid the diversion of neutral/earth current throughout the fabric of the building.

 Installed and suitably protected to preclude any possibility of parallels across UK Power
Networks’ network, to prevent the passage of fault current through a customer’s
equipment, overload of incoming supplies, and the inadvertent electrification of a network
deemed to be isolated.

Note: UK Power Networks cannot guarantee enhanced security of supply from the LV
distribution network.

Additional supplies for segregated networks within an existing building of common metallic
framework or shared metallic services shall be supplied in accordance with section 8.
For further guidance on earthing systems refer to EDS 06-0017.

9 Fire Fighting Supply Arrangements
UK Power Networks is unable to provide fire fighting supplies that comply with the
requirements of BS 9999:2008.

Should a customer require an additional supply as part of the design, this shall be offered in
line with the guidance in section 5.2.1.

Addendum References
BS 9999:2008 Code of Practice for Fire Safety in the Design, Management and Use of
EDS 06-0017 Customer Installation Earthing Design

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Rolls-Royce says it wont 'compromise' on electric cars

 Despite reporting on an Electric Roller previously in this blog, but CEO  Now Torsten Muller-Otvos says the brand won't embark on any new technologies that involve "compromise."

And at present, given the time it takes to charge up an electric car and the requirement that it be plugged in, that's a compromise.

If Rolls were to embark on an electric car, at very least it would have inductive charging, meaning it would charge on its own via a plate underneath the car in a garage.

"A Rolls-Royce can't be a compromise," he says flatly here at a breakfast meeting with reporters at a seaside villa. Rolls tried an electric concept a couple of years ago, but it had limited range, which would have made it a show-stopper with customers.

Instead, Rolls is focusing on its new model, a convertible version of its sleek Wraith, due by 2016. Wraith has helped boost Rolls-Royce sales because is aimed more at the market for executives and the well-heeled to drive themselves, rather than using a chauffeur. It's the third car in the Rolls-Royce lineup, along with Ghost and Phantom.

While having just three models might challenge some automakers, Rolls says it's just fine by them. Its output is limited by a Goodwood, England, factory that can't be expanded and the brand's cachet rests on its exclusivity.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Doom n Gloom - Electromagnetic pulses could cost trillions and affect millions

Predicting or worrying about disasters is a popular pastime in the Scientific community

Solar storms and nuclear weapons can create electromagnetic pulses can destroy satellites, disrupt GPS and make parts of infrastructure fail. EMP's cam be man made too, created by weapons discharge.

This is a real threat,  discovered the hard way in 1962, when a Pacific nuclear test caused electrical damage 870 miles away in Hawaii

The Earth has a vast natural magnetic field, courtesy of currents inside its iron core and over millennia it gradually changes.

As long as it is stable it is not noticeable except for turning compass needles.

But what if something forced it to move? The change would produce currents in long conductors such as power lines or telecoms cables.

The field is weak, but a shift across miles of cable can induce powerful currents, strong enough to burn out fuses or damage transformers and other electronics.

A nuclear explosion - can produce currents that disrupt smaller devices. In fact, microchips are easily burned out by a few volts in the wrong place.

Do we need to worry about naturally occurring geomagnetic storms, caused by the solar wind interacting with the Earth's magnetic field? Not really, we need to plan with robust, protec6ted infrastructure..

Should we worry about Man produced electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) by nuclear weapons, or so-called e-weapons, devices that have been developed to disrupt enemy electronics?

If something causes widespread and persistent black-outs and equipment damage the economic damage – and human problems – would be enormous.

But then again thinking about it, if some lunatic set of a nuclear device or similar. would you really be thinking that the prime cause of the damage to the economy or the loss of human life.

Get real

Friday, 22 August 2014

Friday Fact

Author Ian McEwan helped his son write his A-level English exam about one of his own novels, Enduring Love. The teacher disagreed with his interpretation.

its My Birthday Today :)

If ever there was an excuse to go out and enjoy yourself, a bank holiday is it.

Have a great weekend and have a fabulous time. make the most of it... Just in case you nail a wire or your electric go off with a bang - emergency call out number is 07746 243 248

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Reversible USB cable design finished

The design for the new reversible USB interface - the standardised connection for data transfers between electronic devices - has been finished.

It means users will no longer have to worry which way round the part is facing when plugging it into a device.

The new USB Type-C is small enough for mobiles but "robust enough for laptops and tablets", its designers said.

But the new USB cables will not connect into the current ports that are found on millions of devices.
Specifications are now finalised but the rollout will take time as matching ports are included in new devices.

Pictures of renderings of the new USB were first posted online by tech websites such as Cnet.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

It's Time to End the Use of Rogue Electricians

From the ESC

Every week, someone in the UK dies from an electrical accident.

Dodgy electrics also cause half of all house fires and result in 350,000 serious injuries a year. And yet, our research has found that the use of non-registered electricians has trebled in the last year. This really concerns us. We fear that casual attitudes to using non-registered electricians are contributing to the number of electrical accidents in people's homes.

We estimate there are as many as 20,000 unregistered electricians operating in the UK. Using an electrician who is registered with one of the government-approved scheme operators is the only way to guarantee they have the skills to carry out the job properly and to be sure that there will be a procedure in place should something go wrong. The implications of not using one could be serious. A third of registered electricians we spoke to say they have witnessed an increase in the amount of substandard and potentially dangerous work being carried out by non-registered electricians. At best, this work requires a costly fix; at worst it could cost someone their life.

We know that many people use non-registered electricians without realising, because they haven't checked or haven't known how to check their credentials. Indeed, many people may tell you that they're qualified to undertake electrical work - from your neighbour to a friend's recommendation - but you must always make sure you've hired a registered electrician. You wouldn't use an unregistered heating engineer to fix your boiler, so why do it for your electrics?

So that's why I'm glad to announce that Electrical Safety First have recently helped launch a new official consumer mark for registered electricians in England and Wales: the Registered Competent Person Electrical Mark. The new mark provides an instant visible safety assurance and the accompanying website lists in one place all electricians registered with one of the government approved scheme operators for domestic work. Simply by entering your postcode online at, you can easily find a list of local registered electricians. And if you've already got someone in mind, you can easily validate their credentials by entering their company name on the site. It's an important tool that helps people stay safe and keeps the industry transparent for everyone's benefit. Don't take the risk: always use a registered electrician.

There are a number of ways you can better protect yourself, wherever you are in the UK. Follow these simple tips:
• Don't be embarrassed - ask to see their credentials:
 If they're unwilling to show you their credentials, you're better off with someone else.
• Ask for a reference:
 Don't just take their word for it. Ask for a reference from a happy customer. Find out what work they've done before, and how satisfied their previous clients were with it.
• Get more than one quote:
 Get at least three quotes so you can compare options. It can then be tempting to go with the cheapest option. But if they're considerably cheaper than the rest, alarm bells should be ringing. Don't scrimp the first time around - you could end up paying far more later to repair the damage.
• Know everyone working on your home - don't rely on the contractor to make the choices:
 Contractors might not have the same standards as you do; after all, it's not their home. Find out who everybody is, and get proof of competence before they undertake any work.
• If something doesn't feel right - take a step back and reassess:
 Never feel pressured to make a decision quickly. If anyone is making you feel uneasy, it's best to seek advice before you contract them. For any dispute, contact the scheme operator that your electrician is registered with, and for any ongoing disputes, you can speak with the Citizen's Advice Bureau and Trading Standards.

For more information, with specific tips related to England & Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, visit:

Follow Phil Buckle on Twitter:

Found at

Turn it off

The average family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by remembering to turn appliances off ( if they aren't doing it already).

If you turn a light off for even a few seconds, you'll save more energy than it takes to switch on again. That applies to all light bulb types.

Nearly all electrical appliances can be turned-off at the plug without upsetting their systems.

The only exceptions are satellite and digital TV recorders. They should be left plugged-in for recording programmes.

Check the instructions on any appliances you're not sure about.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

former regulators say the industry is Over Regulated

Five former energy regulators have suggested that too much regulation may have hindered competition among energy suppliers, maintaining high prices.

They suggest that since 2008 regulation has been too aggressive.

The former regulators include Stephen Littlechild, head of electricity regulation from 1989 to 1998, and Sir Callum McCarthy, head of the current regulator Ofgem from 1998 to 2003.
Their arguments are set out in evidence to a recent competition enquiry.

In July the CMA (Competition and markets Authority) launched a full scale enquiry into the working of the energy industry at the request of Ofgem, amid widespread and long standing concern that gas and electricity suppliers are able to keep on raising prices, free of any real competitive pressure, even when wholesale prices have been falling.

The former regulators, who also include Clare Spottiswoode, head of gas regulation from 1993 to 1998, say that Ofgem's own interventions in the way the industry is run have imposed extra costs on it, and have also forced energy suppliers to eliminate some cheaper tariffs.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Venturi go for the 600+ km/h electric speed record

Monaco-based manufacturer Venturi likes to take up a challenge.

The all-electric FIA Formula E Championship competitor is also known for its current land speed record with an electric vehicle.

Set in 2010, the Venturi BB-2.5 reached 495 km/h. But improvements made on the new machine might take speed trails to a whole new level.

The ‘Venturi Buckeye Bullet’ also carries the name of ‘La Jamais Contente’ (the never satisfied), honouring Camille Jenatzy’s electric car, the first vehicle that breached the 100 km/h barrier already in 1899.

Venturi reached 487 km/h at the Bonneville Salt Flats with a hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle in 2009 and sharpened its record to 495 km/h a year later. That one was set with state-of-the-art battery technology under the hood.

Venturi aims to set a new FIA electric world speed record with its VBB-3, a four wheel drive 2,200 kW (3,000 hp) machine with a total torque up to 2,800 Nm. This is a significant improvement for the vehicle that is 11.35 metres in length.
This project was initiated five years ago and is carried out in partnership with the Ohio State University, enabling them to set the benchmark in the field of high-performance electric vehicles at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States.

It’s team of top engineers do get listed in the records, but Venturi wisely uses its programme to test electric powertrains and components in extreme conditions. It represents a thorough R&D programme that moves Venturi forward.

One million on 'superfast broadband'

Morning!!! how was your weekend

Todays gripe is our crappy broadband...

More than a million people in the UK now have superfast broadband speeds, according to the government. 1 million down, 60 million to go...

It said it remained "firmly on track" to roll out high-speed internet to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017 but we are quite surprised that will be achievable as we are not particularly rural in Maulden and we have no chance of 'fibre' and are currently running at 1.6mb

The government also said its rural programme would deliver returns of £20 for every £1 invested, representing "tremendous value for money".

But many have questioned the quality of access across the UK, and whether speeds are really that fast.

For businesses, superfast speeds are boosting profits through increased sales, reduced overheads and accessing markets abroad for the first time. - we say - too little too soon and just Not good enough

Superfast broadband is defined by the European Union as speeds of 24Mbps or above.

personally in Flitwick I have broadband that can achieve 33mbs meeting the governments 24Mbps target but it has been as low as 20Mbs in busy periods

The UK government's ambition is to provide 95% of the UK with those speeds or higher by 2017, with the rest having a minimum speed of 2Mbps.

There are far too many homes and businesses in both rural and urban areas that won't see any benefit for some years to come

By contrast, Finland plans to have a baseline speed that is more than four times faster - 100Mbps - by next year, while South Korea wants to see citizens equipped with 1Gbps connections by 2017.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said that the UK's broadband target is simply not ambitious enough when compared with other nations and wants the government to commit to delivering a minimum of 10Mbps for all homes and businesses by 2018-19.

There is still a long way to go

as a Small businesses we are increasingly reliant on digital services, but are without decent  broadband.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Smart technology could help the disabled

We have touched on this before how the new Tech can help the disabled

We have been fitting various add on's for the deaf including vibrating pagers that tell you when the door bell rings or more importantly the smoke alarm sounds.

Deaf people always remember the first time a new technology came on the scene, and made life just that little bit easier in a hearing world. now with this new emerging technology it has the possibility a whole new raft of extra freedoms.

The idea Television subtitles, text phones, the advent of the internet and texting all seem old hat compared to what coming.

When I  first heard about Google Glass I did a blog about 'duck face' but also I was rather selfishly excited about what it could do for me, but the possibilities for the deaf are with Live subtitling 24/7 and calling up an in-vision interpreter at the touch of a button.

Remarkably both seemed imminently possible.

One company - 121 Captions working with Microlink is already working on this & the R&D is looking great.

Samsung and Microsoft are developing their own forms of smart glass and wearable technology which should open up the market to more affordable tech and it will also push innovation. Do you think the I-phone would have been developed as fast if there wasn't the Samsung Galaxy?

We are waiting for a lot of exciting tech firsts to come - how about google glass that talks to the deaf as a guide dog. then has a map to get you round and character recognition to read labels

Imagine the freedom of driving to Tesco in a driverless car and doing your own shopping, making all your own choices.

Exciting times and more Freedom is coming and it cant come too soon. The possibilities are real.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

The mysteries of electric fish

Scientists have discovered the secrets behind electric fish, using genetic studies that revealed how these they developed an organ that can unleash a tryly shocking jolt.

Researchers unveiled a genetic blueprint of the electric eel - a fearsome creature that can zap you with an electric field of up to 600 volts - as well as detailed genetic data on two other types of electric fish.

Even though six groups of electric fish have evolved independently in far-flung places like the Amazon and murky marine environments, they all seem to have reached into the same "genetic toolbox" to fashion their electricity-generating organ, they said.

The new study found that various electric fish rely on the same genes and biological pathways to build their electric organs from skeletal muscle despite the different appearance and body location of their organs. Their electrical abilities stand as one of the wonders of nature alongside traits like bioluminescence in some insects and sea creatures and echolocation in bats and whales.

Water is a conductor of electricity while air is not. Thus, birds or terrestrial animals could not come up with this.

There are hundreds of species of electric fish worldwide, with varying degrees of electric power, but NO Birds.

Fish with weak electric power use it to navigate in dim waters and communicate with one another. Those like the electric eel - a serpentine freshwater predator up to 8 feet long (2.4 meters) that is not a true eel but rather a catfish relative - possessing a powerful jolt use it to stun or kill prey and repel enemies. Scientists have wondered about how these fish first acquired electric powers and how this characteristic emerged six times in groups not closely related to one another.

Electric organs start out their lives as muscle precursor cells. Through a series of developmental steps, they become larger, more electrically excitable and lose their ability to contract.

Certain fish exploited that by transforming ordinary muscle cells into a larger type of cell called an electrocyte that generates vastly higher voltages. The electric organ is made of these cells.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Friday Madonna Fact

Following the announcement this week of Lauren Bacall's death, aged 89, there is now no-one named in Madonna's iconic song 'Vogue' who is still alive.


Got a Tesco Hudl - it has a data reset flaw

Data saved to a Tesco Hudl is vulnerable to recovery thanks to a bug in its core processor
Hiding data by using a factory reset option does little to delete potentially sensitive information, suggest researchers.

Three separate investigations of Android's data deleting systems found it was possible to recover information.

In some cases, a reset just removed the list of where data was stored and deleted nothing else.
In particular, Tesco's Hudl tablet was found to have a flaw that let attackers get at data saved to onboard memory.

All the investigations used second-hand devices sold via auction sites such as eBay.

There is a known bug in the Rockchip processor at its heart.

All modern gadgets can be flipped into a "flash mode" so the onboard firmware can be updated and data written to the device.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Flat Glass Windows Generate Electricity

By improving upon their earlier design on photoactive crystal tungsten diselenide, a team at Vienna University of Technology has come up with a thin, flat solar cell which could be used in glass panes to let in light, and also generate electricity.

The team had produced an ultra-thin layer of the photoactive crystal tungsten diselenide. A semiconductor comprising a layer of tungsten sandwiched between two layers of selenium atoms, this could turn light into electricity and vice versa.

When light shines on a photoactive material, single electrons are removed from their original position. A positively charged 'hole' remains, where the electron used to be. The movement of the electron and hole produces electricity.

But to prevent the electrons and holes (positive charge) from recombining, it requires many tiny electrodes placed between the layers to draw away the charge.

Instead, when combined with molybdenium disulphide, the holes move inside the tungsten diselenide layer, and the electrons migrate into the molybednium disulphide.

Clever stuff

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Meet James Hart

Woolgar Electrical is proud to announce and welcome James Hart as one of our 2014 electrical engineering apprentices

He joins the Woolgar Electrical team from school and is raring to go!

It does make me old when we have someone just turned 16 joins our team.

Exploding manhole covers could be down to 'wettest year on record'

With the summer we are having you might be forgiven for forgetting it was the wettest winter on record.

An increase in the number of reports of exploding manhole covers could be the result of faulty electrical cables damaged by the wettest winter on record.

There have been reports of 64 exploding or burning manholes so far this year, compared to 51 for the whole of 2013, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive and seen by the Sunday Telegraph.

In 2011 and 2012, there were nine and 31 reports respectively.

Experts believe the surge in incidents could be due to record-breaking amounts of rainfall recorded between December last year and February - the wettest winter since national records began, according to the Met Office - which could have seeped in to damaged underground power lines.
But such incidents could also be caused by other kinds of electrical faults and gas leaks.

Standing room only – Jake Mulvaney RIP

It was standing-room-only when we went to pay our respects at the celebration of the life of Jake Mulvaney. A fitting tribute to how well he was loved. He had lots of friends and was very very popular.

Norse Road Crematorium will seat 150 but the people attending would have filled those seat ten times over and more when the coffin entered to the strains of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’.

From that point on there wasn’t a dry eye in the house fuelled by some wonderful personal tributes.

His brother said how proud she was of him and the troubled times were always outweighed by the moments of magic.

The poem “The Dash” was read. It was the first time I had heard that. It refers to the hyphen that appears on almost every headstone. The hyphen that is placed in-between a person’s date of birth and the date of their death.

An insignificant looking ‘dash’ which, when you stop to think about it, covers a person’s entire lifetime…

I recommend that you to spare a few moments to read the poem. It truly is something memorable.
The family instructed to keep the curtain open and we all filed past the catafalque with many touching the coffin. A fitting moment of finality.

We feel for Eddie, after losing his wife through cancer he now has to suffer every father’s worst nightmare of losing a “wonderful son”.

I don’t know how he can be so strong and must me mulling questions over in his mind I never ever want to consider.

Eddie is a very brave and strong man who deserves our admiration. Our thoughts are with you

Rest in Peace Jake.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

I might just go to an E-Formula race.

I have been told the noise is part spaceship, part jet engine and part Tron bike

I like the thought of the high-powered, all-electric cars zooming around the race track are certainly far quieter than the chest-rumbling, ear-splitting noise that hits Formula One fans. though having said that, F1 is now a lot quieter

The new Formula E championship is breaking a host of racing taboos: special music to trumpet crashes, female drivers, city centre circuits and, most controversially, a fan vote to give the most popular drivers power boosts to blast them past opponents during races.

Racing royalty from Alain Prost to Sir Frank Williams are backing the new series, with Emerson Fittipaldi declaring it a “new era for motor racing”. It has now been approved by world motor sport’s governing body, the FIA, and is funded by stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and major carmakers including Audi & Renault

Is zero-emission racing the future? can it make electric cars sexy?

lets see..., accelerate improvements in the technology and tackle city-choking air pollution and, ultimately, climate change. Agag, like most of those involved, have roots in Formula One and are reluctant to criticise the brash, gas-guzzling F1 circus seen by some as an eco-horror show.

We loved Robin Williams because...

Totally off topic but we feel it had to be said
  1. The opening scene of Aladdin was almost completely ad-libbed. Directors blindfolded Williams in front of a table of different items and asked him to describe them in the character of the street merchant.
  2. When auditioning for the role of Mork on Happy Days, Williams reportedly sat on his head in the interview when asked to sit down. The producers subsequently hired him because “he was the only alien who auditioned”. Nanu Nanu, Shazzbutt (Hope I got the spelling right!!!)
  3. After Superman actor Christopher Reeve was paralysed in a horse-riding accident, Williams visited him in hospital - dressed up head-to-toe in doctor’s scrubs while gesticulating in a Russian accent. - When he eventually pulled off his mask, Reeve said it was the first time he had laughed since the accident.
Captain, My Captain, you were a damaged comedy genius and will be sadly missed.

Monday, 11 August 2014

NASA acknowledges 'impossible' fuel-less drive may actually work

I am sorry that many of the blogs recently have NOT been very electrical

I scour the news but all I am getting at the moment is press releases about one or other side of the electric car debate.

Nevertheless the following is very interesting.

Space travel may drastically improve soon, thanks to something once deemed impossible by many experts. An American scientist has invented a fuel-less space drive, which has been given the seal of approval by NASA after being tested.

When a vehicle launches into space, it usually requires a heavy tank of expensive liquid hydrogen fuel that powers the thrusters that propel the spacecraft forward. But what if we could lighten the spacecraft's load, as well as make its launch less expensive?

The key to making that happen is fuel-less thrusters. But there's just one problem with that: until now, most scientists believed that creating such space drives were impossible.

Roger Shawyer, a British scientist, claims that he's created such a system, but he's been shot down by experts who say that his system violates the laws of physics.

Scientist Guido Fetta, though, ignored the naysayers and built something similar: a drive that creates thrust by bouncing microwaves around inside a container, creating electricity. And now, after testing the engine, NASA is defending Fetta by stating that his system actually works.

Fetta's engine works by pushing against particles in what's called empty space, which in turn, creates thrust. Of course, space isn't actually empty, so, in theory, this works. The term for this is "quantum vacuum virtual plasma." In NASA's tests of the system, thrust happened without any need for fuel, making this engine the first of its kind to get the space agency's approval.

NASA's Johnson Centre is now investigating the use of these thrusters. If testing goes well and we can actually use quantum vacuum for space travel, not only will spacecraft's become lighter and less expensive to produce, but they'll be able to travel farther into deep space without ever worrying about running out of fuel.

Of course, it's too early to get excited about this. There is still no proof that the system will actually work in space, where extreme conditions are the norm.

"Whenever you get results that have extraordinary implications, you have to be cautious and somewhat skeptical that they can be repeated before you can accept them as a new theory," says Intuitive Machines chief engineer Michael Baine. "Really, it's got to come down to peer review and getting that done before you can get any kind of acceptance that something exotic is going on here."

found on

EDF shuts two nuclear power stations temporarily

The electricity company EDF has temporarily shut down two of its nuclear power stations, Heysham 1 and Hartlepool.

It said it was a precautionary measure after finding a defect, in June, in one of the boilers at Heysham 1.

The problem was first detected during a routine boiler inspection, which led to one of the station's two nuclear reactors being shut down.

All four reactors at the stations will be shut as they are of similar design.

The company said all the boilers associated with the two nuclear reactors at Heysham 1, and with the two nuclear reactors at Hartlepool, would be inspected to make sure they were safe.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

UK passengers will be allowed to fly to the US only if their phone works...

Air travellers making their way into or out of the UK  are being urged to make sure their mobile devices have enough juice to be powered-up and proven to be the real-deal.

A number of global airports serving the US will  introduce stricter security screening in the wake of a raised terror threat, which has since been extended to cover more airports and regions.

As the UK government has failed to specify exactly which flights and airports will be implementing the mobile device screening measures, the simple advice is for all travellers to ensure their devices are charged.

Passengers flying into or out of the UK are therefore advised to make sure electronic devices being carried in their hand luggage are charged before they travel.

The additional security measures were put into place after US intelligence was tipped-off about a new kind of explosive device that could pass through airport security in the guise of a Smartphone. Since then, airport security workers have been asking passengers to switch on their Smartphones, tablet PCs and other such devices to prove they’re real, otherwise refusing to accept the devices on-board.
Other devices included in the screening include hairdryers and appliances, electric shavers, digital cameras and more – all of which must be charged or will not be allowed to fly.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

A little gaming is Good for you..

Playing video games for a short period each day could have a small but positive impact on child development, a study by Oxford University suggests.

Scientists found young people who spent less than an hour a day engaged in video games were better adjusted than those who did not play at all.

But children who used consoles for more than three hours reported lower satisfaction with their lives overall.

The research is published in the journal Pediatrics.

Experimental psychologist Dr Andrew Przybylski analysed British surveys involving 5,000 young people aged 10 to 15 years old.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Friday Britney Spears Fact :)

Britney Spears’ music is used by the British Navy to scare off Somali pirates.

RANDOM but Brilliant

Thursday, 7 August 2014

The green Deal windows are closing...

The Government has announced it is closing the GDHIF after a surge in applications meant the £120 million cashback fund was swallowed up quicker than expected. A reported £70 million went in just two days from just under 10,000 applicants.

“The government was very clear on the fact that the pot available was limited,” commented NICEIC’s sector specialist Dani Putney.

“But like everyone within the industry we were surprised at how quickly the cashback fund was eaten up,

“It was especially disappointing because there was evidence that the Home Improvement fund had revamped scheme and the increased advertising was obviously working.

“However, whilst it is sad to see the scheme close so quickly it does mean that with around £120 million in vouchers now in the market place there should be plenty of opportunities for Green Deal installers.”

The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) launched the GDHIF in June. The scheme offered customers installing energy efficient measures significant savings via cashback vouchers.
Within the first six weeks of the scheme opening DECC said more than 12,000 households in England and Wales had applied for vouchers - representing more than £43 million of a projected £120 available for this year.

The government has since said it will consider re-opening the scheme if it turns out that the vouchers that have been applied for are not used.

NICEIC was recently named certification body of the year at the Green Deal & Eco Awards. It currently maintains a register of more than 1000 authorised Green Deal installers.
“We have consulted with our registered installers and will be sending the feedback on to DECC,” added Dani.


Meet Shaun

Let me introduce you to Shaun Butler

This is our New Engineer

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Protect People at Risk- Watermist

One of the biggest problems facing the owners and operators of premises that house the most vulnerable people in society, is how to protect them from fire. The Fire Industry Association ( FIA ) and The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association ( BAFSA ) have teamed up to consider how ‘watermist’ could be a major part of the solution.

Fire deaths persist in sheltered accommodation and premises where people are detained; the recent report into the 14 deaths in the fire at the Rose Park care home starkly illustrates this. Low and sometimes non-existent, staffing levels are increasingly being identified in risk assessments that are called for under UK fire safety regulations. Current and projected cut-backs in the Fire & Rescue Services mean those responsible may not be able to rely on the timely arrival of the manpower and resources necessary to save the lives of those at risk. Watermist may be considered as a viable option to ‘protect people at risk’ due to its ease of retrofit in the many existing facilities where timely evacuation in the event of fire is not achievable.

Watermist is ‘Waterspray with droplet diameters less than 1000 microns’. It is the latest fire protection technology providing highly effective fire suppression using very low water flows and is suitable for electrical hazards, ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids and gases.

The key to its effectiveness is the dispersion of water in fine droplets. Water absorbs a large amount of heat by raising its temperature; it absorbs a considerable amount more when converting to vapour, but this can only happen if the droplets are small enough to readily vaporise.

The increased droplet surface area enables them to rapidly cool the environment. Watermist systems use significantly less water than other water based systems, reducing water damage when discharged and reducing the time and effort to restore premises afterwards.


Cryptolocker victims to get files back for free

All 500,000 victims of Cryptolocker can now recover files encrypted by the malware without paying a ransom.

The malicious program encrypted files on Windows computers and demanded a substantial fee before handing over the key to the scrambled files.

Thanks to security experts, an online portal has been created where victims can get the key for free.
The portal was created after security researchers grabbed a copy of Cryptolocker's database of victims.

"This time we basically got lucky," said Michael Sandee, principal analyst at Fox-IT - one of the security firms which helped tackle the cyber-crime group behind Cryptolocker.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

'light-sheet imaging'

Baby zebrafish had a chemical indicator added to each of their neurons

Indicator became fluorescent in the tenth of a second after a neuron fired

A laser illuminated the neurons firing allowing the footage to be captured

Study could allow researchers to better understand the ‘rules’ of brain activity by mapping which neurons are responsible for certain movements

This new technique was able to capture 80 per cent of the fish’s neurons in action, showing the electrical storm within its brain in unprecedented detail.

The study could allow researchers to better understand the ‘rules’ of the brain activity by mapping exactly which neurons are responsible for certain movements.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia


In a light sheet microscope, a sheet of laser light scans across a sample, illuminating a thin section at a time.
Each zebrafish was genetically engineered to have a chemical indicator in each neuron. This indicator becomes fluorescent in the tenth of a second after a neuron fires.
To enable a fish in the microscope to see and respond to its virtual-reality environment, Professor Ahrens' team needed to protect its eyes.

Monday, 4 August 2014

UK green electricity output up by 30%

Electricity from renewable sources increased 30 per cent over 2013 to account for 14.9 per cent of total generation, government figures reveal

The increased share marks a rise of 3.6 percentage points on 2012, when renewables made up 11.3 per cent of total electricity generation, according to the latest energy statistics released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

Offshore wind generation increased by 50 per cent, and onshore wind output increased by 40 per cent. Importantly, both the offshore and onshore wind load factors – 37.5 per cent and 27.9 per cent respectively – exceeded or equalled the 27.9 per cent recorded by gas power plants, suggesting wind power can deliver significantly higher levels of efficiency than critics say

Installed electrical generating capacity of renewable sources also rose by 4.2GW in 2013, mainly as a result of a 27 per cent increase of 1.6GW in onshore wind capacity and a 59 per cent increase in solar photovoltaic capacity that added a further 1GW.

Bioenergy capacity also increased by 27 per cent or 800MW as a number of previously coal-fired power plants converted to biomass.

Things are looking greener..

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Hairdryer which fell off radiator caused a fire...

A hairdryer which was left plugged in while its owner went shopping sparked a fire which severely damaged a ground-floor flat.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at Bishops Walk, Aylesbury. It left the bedroom what Bucks Fire and Rescue described as ‘60%’ damaged by fire, with smoke damage throughout the property.

The Fire service is now reminding people of the importance of switching off and unplugging hairdryers and other electrical goods when they are not being used.

Watch Manager Jamie Humphrey said it appeared the hairdryer had fallen to the floor, knocking its switch to the ‘on’ position.

Once the fire had been extinguished and on investigation, it was clear that a hairdryer had been the cause of the fire.

The owner had used the hairdryer then placed it on a storage heater, leaving it plugged in. She had then gone shopping in the town centre for about 20 minutes.

lesson to be learned there - unplug it when you have finished with it!

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Electricity bills to be down by £12 a year, says Ofgem

Energy regulator, Ofgem, has set out plans which should reduce domestic energy bills by £12 a year.

Seeking to control the amount afforded to the UK’s electricity network, the energy watchdog has allocated £17bn to the reform of the nations’ electricity distribution system.

This is intended to aid the upkeep of power networks over an eight year period commencing in April next year.

Roughly 8% of the entire energy bill is accounted for by power distribution costs, and it is this figure which is set to fall by an average of £12 for people across the UK, with the amount saved varying depending on location.

In their proposal, Ofgem explained the cuts had been fuelled by £2.1bn in savings accrued over the course of the last year. The regulator depict the scenario as a win-win, due to the combination of enhanced public services and a cut in the amount lost by bill-payers.

Five of the six primary electricity distributors had their plans vetoed by Ofgem due to the lack of value they offered to customers, all huge names within their industry including Northern Power Grid and SSE Power Distribution.

SSE appearing aggrieved by what it deems as unrealistic expectations, regarding price-cuts on the part, of the regulator.

The electrical distributor asserted that it has shown, on numerous occasions, its willingness to provide better value for consumers and pointed to its reputation

Come and see us at the Flitwick Classic Car & Bike Show Tomorrow from Midday

The Flitwick Show is back again and it´s set to be bigger and better than ever before.

Classic Car & Bike Show 2014

Sunday 3rd August 12noon - 4pm

The Rufus Centre Field, Steppingley Road, Flitwick, MK45 1AH

Visitor Entry £3 adults / FREE for children

Whether you're a classic vehicle enthusiast, or simply looking for the perfect family day out, then look no further! With an impressive line-up of over 100 exhibitors, auto jumble, stalls, beer tent selling real ales, Pimms tent, children's entertainment, live music and more, why not come and see us for a chat?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Friday Fact

The average person spends three years of his or her life on a toilet.

Gotta go to the Loo