On the 11th March 2020, The World Health Organisation (WHO), responsible for assessing the global developments of COVID-19, characterised the outbreak as a pandemic¹. As of 31st March 2020, it is reported that the pandemic has affected more than 179 countries, with more than 823,000 cases confirmed worldwide².
The 1st of January 2019 was a significant date on the electrical calendar, it was the day we at last saw the implementation of the 18th Edition of the IET wiring regulations. First introduced in July 2018, changes were made across the board as chapters were redesigned, rewritten or indeed introduced for the very first time. Definitions were altered, the scope was extended, and a declaration was made concerning only using the approved parts. Beyond these amendments however, perhaps the most important difference was the emphasis placed both directly and indirectly on green energy.
From providing brand new functions, improving on the old or simply finding solutions to make the operators job easier, this year has produced some incredible new innovations in the field of test equipment. We've put together a convenient shortlist of what we believe to be the top five devices released in 2019. With such an incredible range of products available - if you work in gas, electrical or buildings sectors - we guarantee you should give these a look!
Sulphur hexafluoride – SF6 – is widely used in the electricity distribution industry in medium- and high-voltage installations such as substations, transformers and power stations. It is an odourless, colourless, non-flammable gas that acts as an insulator and prevents explosions and fires brought about by short circuits.
These qualities have made it the most common gas insulator for HV switchgear and use is increasing as a greater number of smaller generators come onto the grid. However, concern has been raised about the global warming potential of SF6 as use increases, perversely driven by increased demand for renewable energy.
On 9th August, Britain experienced one of the biggest power cuts in a decade as over 1,000,000 people were left without power across England and Wales. As well as thousands of homes going without power, the blackout also had a massive disruptive effect on transport with problems on the rail network and at Newcastle airport in addition to disruption for community facilities and businesses. But what lessons can be taken from the outage?
From 2017, a change in the law required the introduction of a new refrigerant – HFO-1234YF (also known as R-1234YF) – in air-conditioning systems of vehicles, replacing the widely used R134a. This has implications for automotive engineers and HVAC technicians, particularly when it comes to using appropriate gas leak detectors.
Energy suppliers are obliged by Ofgem to take all reasonable steps possible to have a smart meter installed in the premises of all their domestic and small business customers by the end of 20201. The benefits of smart meters from both a consumer and environmental point of view have been loudly trumpeted in press releases and advertisements, but significant doubts remain and the 2020 deadline looks more and more optimistic when set against the facts. So where is the UK’s smart meter project?
Power over Ethernet, or PoE for short, is a feature that allows electrical power to be carried by network cables over an existing data connection. This means that network cables can pass electricity through them. For this to happen, a Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cable is needed. The job of this cable is to connect two devices together for the local network, as well as for internet network and file sharing. The company Cisco is credited with pioneering the PoE movement, when in 2000 they came up with the first ever successful system. There are many reasons for PoE’s rise to prominence, with the expansion of technology obviously a major factor.
Assessing air permeability is the best way of checking whether a property is airtight or not, particularly around areas other than windows and door frames. Airtightness is an important factor to consider as it gives a clear indication of material, component and workmanship standards as well as having an effect on running costs. Thermal imaging provides a great way of assessing air permeability using the blower door method and is therefore ideal for spotting defects before they start to worsen or cost money.