ABB will supply a substation and heavy-duty gas-insulated switchgear for Dubai’s two man-made islands, dubbed the “eighth wonder of the world”.

Under the terms of the $30m contract signed with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, ABB will design, manufacture, erect, test and commission a turnkey switching station. It will also provide a 132kV gas-insulated switchgear, protection panels, electrical and mechanical auxiliary equipment and 20km of 132 kV XLPE cable. ABB will oversee all necessary civil works and will complete the work in 12 months.

The Jumeirah and Jebel Ali islands will accommodate dozens of luxury hotels, exclusive villas and apartments, marinas and shopping centres when completed in 2007. The islands are visible from space and are made of some 100 million cubic metres of rock and sand, increasing Dubai’s shoreline by 120 kilometres.

Orange, the telecommunications company, could soon provide the UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell base station.

The company is working with FDT Associates and BOC to develop a site in a forest at a height of 500 metres. This site provides network coverage to the A941 and, without this technology, would require around five kilometres of electricity cabling to receive necessary power.

The 5kW fuel cell from Plug Power runs on hydrogen, with a reserve LPG generator supplied by Harrington Generators. The lack of external power sources means other sites could soon appear in remote places where a shortage of power in the surrounding areas would previously have made it impractical.

This advance should broaden network coverage significantly.

FDT managing director, John Peake, said: “We are conducting the trial using the hydrogen fuel cells as standby power provision but we are already working with Plug Power to bring a fuel cell capable of providing prime power to a site to the UK.”

A British company has developed a tidal power system that should produce up to 1MW of electricity.

The TidEl system from SMD Hydrovision comprises floating turbines that are attached to the seabed by chains. The mooring arrangement allows the system to generate electricity in both directions, simply by flipping over as the tide changes direction.

A one-tenth scale model was tested in a water tank at the New and Renewable Energy Centre in Northumberland last January. The complete system, consisting of buoyant dual generator, spread mooring and grid integration controls, was

The smart home sector has long been touted as potentially massive, but with home improvement programmes forming the mainstay of early evening television, it appears to be gathering momentum.

Earlier this month Electrical Times reported that Schneider was entering the market under the Residential Systems and Solutions division of its Square D brand (see www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news)

Others have been covering the market for a number of years.

Connected Home organisers say the conference will provide informed discussion on the latest intelligent home issues – and promise productive business networking.

It will be held at the Holiday Inn, Bloomsbury from 21-22 April.

International trade organisation CEDIA (the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association) – which represents a multi-discipline network of 3,500 intelligent home companies worldwide – is sponsoring the event. Association chairman Stephen Gough says the event will: “undoubtedly further recent rapid growth in the sector”.

Electrical Times will be reporting on the event in the Intelligent Buildings feature of the May issue.

For further information, see www.the-connected-home.co.uk.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive comes into force in August. Alongside the Directive on the Restriction of Use of Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS), it has significant implications for companies in the electrical sector.

The WEEE Directive requires producers of electrical and electronic equipment to finance collection arrangements for their products at the end-of-life. This includes the cost of appropriate treatment and meeting specific targets for recycling and recovery.

It applies retrospectively to products already on the market.

The RoHS Directive will prohibit the sale and marketing of electrical and electronic goods that contain: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, or Hexavalent chromium. Flame retardants Polybrominated biphenyls (PBDE) and Polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBB) will also be banned.

The legislation applies to electrical and electronic equipment manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, retailers and those re-selling under their own brand products such as:

Electrical and electronic tools

Lighting equipment

Monitoring and control instruments

IT & Telecom equipment

Large household appliances

Small household goods

Consumer equipment

It requires producers to separate the collection of products from households and businesses, develop recycling and recovery programmes and maintain accurate records.

The DTI has yet to determine specific enforcement measures such as penalties and inspection but a spokesperson for the Department said it hoped to have set procedures in place by late spring.

“Although not set in stone, they are likely to be in line with the standard penalties for similar legislation such as the ELV Directive (End of Life Vehicles - WEEE’s counterpart in the automotive industry) which would mean the maximum penalty in a court is £5,000. If it goes to a Crown Court then the fine could be unlimited.”

To raise awareness of the likely implications, the inspection, testing and verification company SGS United Kingdom is running a series of one-day seminars that will discuss the new legislation and practical steps to ensure compliance.

In addition, delegates can learn of the services offered by SGS - such as environmental management systems, environmental training and testing electrical equipment to the WEEE and RoHS Directives - to ease the process for producers to meet government requirements.

The seminars will be held at six venues nationwide from late March and throughout April. The cost is £195 + Vat per delegate, which includes a buffet lunch.

By referring to Electrical Times, readers are offered a 10% discount per delegate for a space at the seminar.

For details on your nearest seminar, please contact Taz Azeez on +44 (0) 1276 697877 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Electrolux opposes the DTI’s proposals for calculating producer responsibility for recycling electrical equipment.

Consulting on new regulations resulting from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, the government proposed that producers’ financial responsibility should be based on sales revenue.

Electrolux says that a fairer system would be to calculate responsibility using market share on the weight or number of units sold.

“Market share based on revenue would be counter-productive and would penalise premium brands, when it is the premium brands that tend to have a much higher environmental performance,” said a spokesman.

“A revenue-based market share would tend to reduce the amount of money these companies have to spend on R & D and improving eco-design of their products.”

Shares in T Clarke were down 10% at 537.5p after the electrical engineering and contracting firm unveiled a 17% fall in full year pre-tax profits to £8.94m on turnover that slipped 1% to £143.3m.

Chairman Russell Race also offered a cautious outlook for the group for the new financial year, saying that the realisation of profits in line with 2003 would depend on the timing of the upswing of demand in the London commercial market.

Despite the downbeat full-year figures and cautious outlook, T Clarke said it was confident that the long-term prospects for its markets were more promising and that there had been positive signs of renewed activity in its core markets.

The company has won a number of new projects, including Bishop’s Square, Bishopsgate, London, Cardinal Place, Victoria, and BBC West One, London, improving its visible earnings stream into 2005 and 2006.

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a contract to the Iraq Power Alliance, a joint venture of Parsons E&C and Parsons Brinckerhoff, of Newcastle, to rebuild Iraq's electric power system.

The work includes rehabilitation of the existing generating, transmission and distribution systems, together with development of new power plant and T&D networks.

The contract, valued at $43m, is one of seven awarded by the Department of Defense to provide dedicated programme management and co-ordination support for all design and construction activities being performed within six sectors of construction in Iraq. Parsons Brinckerhoff is owned by Parsons Brinckerhoff of New York. There has been $18.4bn appropriated by the U.S. Congress to support the reconstruction of Iraqi infrastructure. Parsons E&C was also awarded a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers contract for restoring the Iraq oil infrastructure in the northern area of the country.

Shares in Amec also rose more than 4% after Britain's largest engineering services firm's joint venture was awarded a contract worth up to $500m for power projects in Iraq.

The Pentagon awarded a construction contract in Iraq to FluorAMEC LLC, owned 51% by U.S. organisation Fluor Corp. and 49% by Amec.

Amec established the Fluor joint-venture in April in the hopes of winning work in Iraq and had grown frustrated at having been passed over for major contracts.

Amec shares were up 4.35% at 288 pence.

Brian Wilson, former energy minister who now acts as Blair's special representative for trade and reconstruction in Iraq, welcomed the news.

British industry has been watching the contracting process in the United States with growing dismay as UK firms lost out on billions of dollars of work to U.S. rivals.

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) in London houses over 10,000 works of art in its primary collection, and precise management of the environment in which they are shown is essential to avoid long term damage.

In an unusual application of industrial control technology, a range of Rockwell Automation hardware and software provides the environmental control required.

The demands of the NPG are such that, rather than a conventional building management system (BMS), it uses a range of Rockwell Automation industrial control hardware and software to manage its building services. This includes Allen-Bradley SLC500 logic controllers and motor control gear as well as a Rockwell Software RSView32 Active Display Server supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

The new system uses 16 SLC5/05 processors linked to an RSView32 ADS server and three client workstations via a 10MB EtherNet/IP fibre and copper network. The outputs of the SLC500s are hard wired via I/O racks to the HVAC plant and 1-10V actuators, and take 4-20mA or 0-10V analogue inputs from a range of sensors.

The Ministry of Defence could undermine the government’s targets for UK renewable energy if it continues to oppose wind farms, according to a Royal Society announcement earlier this week.

Last year, the MoD objected to almost half of all proposed wind farms because of concerns connected with the interference of air defence radar. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) claims the MoD opposed 48% of pre-applications to build land-based wind farms in 2003 and 34% of pre-applications in 2002.

The society’s announcement came days after the publication of the government’s Renewables Innovation Review, which says wind power is likely to be the dominant renewable technology until 2020. The review says both on- and off-shore wind can deliver almost all the necessary growth to meet the 2010 renewable energy target.

The vice president of the Royal Society, Professor David Wallace, wrote a letter to the minister responsible for defence estates, Ivor Caplin, in which he attacked the MoD’s rejection of any wind development application within 74km of air defence radars. He points out that, with 13 such installations, this “moratorium” covers much of the UK.

Wallace goes on to mention that the restrictions are at odds with the rest of Europe. Germany is the only other country to impose a distance restriction and, even then, it is set at 5km.

The Royal Society has issued a submission to the inquiry by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee into the practicalities of developing renewable energy.

The BWEA has tried to eliminate the problem of radar interference by promoting the development of advanced radar filters, such as the AMS Advanced Digital Tracker. The association says it looks for other technical solutions but is at a disadvantage because those “better equipped with knowledge and expertise on radar issues remain within the military and civil aviation field”.

The Wind Energy and Aviation Interests Steering Group, chaired by DTI, has led most of the progress into the issue. However, the group – which comprises members of the wind industry and aviation stakeholders – has spent over two years trying to understand why turbines are visible on radar and the BWEA believes it needs fresh impetus to find a solution to the problem.

BWEA’s head of onshore wind, Chris Tomlinson, said: “We do not believe that the Steering Group is going to unlock this issue to any significant degree with its current work programme. The focus needs to be clearly on opening up technical mitigation solutions to deal with radar concerns.”

Almost 200 jobs will be lost when South Wales Transformers closes and its operations are moved to larger premises in Loughborough.
FKI Transformers, the parent company, hopes the move will reduce costs and allow it to compete more favourably in the UK and overseas. It says competitors in countries where it costs less to produce transformers have greater flexibility with prices and have profited in the UK market at the expense of SWT.
The decision to relocate was totally unexpected by the union Amicus, which says a 90-day consultation period will begin in the hope of securing the factory from closure.