EDF Energy today welcomed the confirmation from the Conservatives of their strong commitment to new nuclear and their announcement of plans for a carbon price floor to encourage low carbon investment, a move which EDF Energy has consistently proposed.

EDF chief executive Vincent de Rivaz said: "The Conservative party has made a clear and definitive commitment to new nuclear power with no limit on the contribution nuclear could make. This is further evidence of the consensus that exists that clean, secure and affordable nuclear power is needed.

"We strongly welcome action to achieve certainty on the carbon price, which we have said for several years is a vital practical step towards decarbonising the UK economy in an affordable way and ensuring security of energy supplies. We are pleased to see recognition of the urgency of this action.

"EDF Energy has consistently set out the need for energy market reform, and said that certainty on the carbon price should be a priority. We have been strongly proposing a carbon floor mechanism for several years.

"A carbon price floor is the most cost-effective way to discourage investment in carbon-emitting plant and encourage all low-carbon investment including nuclear, renewables and clean coal.

"On planning we agree that it is vital to have a robust planning process with defined and binding timetables and which allows for proper public participation. It is important that any changes to the planning system do not introduce delay. We support the idea of National Policy Statements being ratified by Parliament to provide a clear political mandate.

"We will now study the full package of proposals in the Conservatives' energy policy in detail. In the meantime, we will continue our policy of engaging with all policy makers to ensure that the right framework is in place to encourage a low-carbon, secure energy future."

EDF Energy plans to build four new nuclear reactors in the UK, subject to the right framework being in place, with first concrete on the first plant expected to be poured in 2013.

ABB has won a £1.6m order from Outokumpu for variable AC drives for the fume extraction system at its Sheffield plant.

The project sees ABB supply four 1.2 MW fan drive systems to provide fume extraction for Outokumpu's stainless melting and continuous casting (SMACC) facility. Each package will consist of an ABB industrial drive, a transformer and an ABB high voltage motor. The systems will provide fume extraction for the melting shop generally and for individual units such as the electric arc furnace and the argon oxygen decarburiser.

Replacing the existing direct-on-line motors, the variable speed drive fans will produce significant energy savings and achieve an annual saving in CO2 of over 5,000 tonnes. David Cobley, engineering manager for the SMACC facility, says: "This is a significant investment by Outokumpu and demonstrates the company's commitment to improving the energy efficient of its plant and its commitment to the environment by reducing CO2 emissions". This was also big factor in choosing ABB. The company is also a proven supplier of excellent equipment as well as a reliable installer."

The contract includes the supply of four motor bedplates, removal of old equipment, a service contract, project management, integration of control equipment and an extended 36 month warranty. Installation is scheduled for late July and early August 2010.

The Approved Cables Initiative (ACI) recently launched its proactive and co-ordinated plan to investigate and address the issue of unsafe, non-approved and counterfeit cables in the UK marketplace.

The UK market for electrical cables and systems has an approximate value of £2bn. It is estimated up to 20% of cable product in the cable systems supply chain is unsafe, non-approved or counterfeit*, a major concern for the entire industry, from manufacturer through installer to end user.

The ACI, with industry and regulator support, aims to educate the electrical industry about purchasing and installing such cables, and raise awareness of the existence of unscrupulous manufacturers and distributors.

The launch, held in Westminster, was hosted by the British Cables Association (BCA) with widespread support from industry trade bodies including the British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC), Electrical Distributors Association (EDA); Electrical Contractors Association (ECA); Electrical Safety Council, and NICEIC Group.

Unsafe, non-approved cables often have copper conductors that are undersized with low conductivity, non-fire-resistant sheathing, or insufficient or poor quality armouring. Counterfeit cables can even have copper-coated steel or aluminium conductors in place of copper, therefore posing a serious risk of electric shock or fire, if over loaded. Some carry no markings at all, but the majority are fraudulently marked, showing standards and approvals to which they have no claim and are clearly intended to mislead the distributor, wholesaler and installer.

 

With industry and regulator support, the ACI has pledged to educate the electrical supply chain - from manufacturer to end user through a comprehensive communication programme of seminars, marketing material and articles to national trade media. For suspect importers, manufacturers and distributors, the ACI will be direct in its approach to investigate and publicise the results. The ACI is also calling on government to enforce and develop legislation ensuring only cables that fully comply with British, European or International standards and carry a third party certification can be manufactured for sale, offered for sale, distributed or installed in the UK.

*BCA - this is an estimated figure based on feedback from discussions with manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and contractors/installers and other initiatives.

 

Lamps from Megaman (UK) have been used to provide an effective, low energy light source for ArcelorMittal's factory in Willenhall, West Midlands. Over 150 high bay luminaires, incorporating Megaman's Clusterlite lamps, have been installed in the 150,000sq ft facility which is used for manufacturing and warehousing.

ArcelorMittal has 320,000 employees in more than 60 countries and brings together the world's number one and number two steel companies, Arcelor and Mittal Steel. ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. The company's Steel Service Centre is based at the Willenhall site.

Megaman's Luster High Bay and 320W Clusterlites have been installed to replace the previous metal halide lamps to achieve increased energy savings and decreased maintenance. All of the lamps are on photo cells to maximise the energy saving element of the project and Megaman Clusterlite lamps provide a longer life, making them ideal for use due to limited access to some of the lamps. This means less maintenance costs due to the extended frequency of change.

Clusterlite is an innovative, high wattage lighting solution that provides a real alternative to HID lamps. Combining all the virtues of compact fluorescent technology, excellent lumen maintenance after 15,000 hours of operation, superb colour rendering and uniformity and excellent lumen output, Clusterlite's performance is said to exceed that of the majority of HID lamps.

Offering up to 33% savings in energy consumption, Clusterlite offers instant restrike and rapid start-up whilst allowing cycles to be switched up to 600,000 times. The lamp tube design provides uninterrupted operation even if part of the lamp tubes fail, a unique feature that provides a solution where spontaneous maintenance is not possible.

It is estimated Megaman's Clusterlite lamps will provide ArcelorMittal with Energy savings of 68,428.8kw per annum/29.42 tons of carbon which equals more than £7000 in cost savings per annum. Perfect for use in a wide variety of applications including industrial, commercial and retail, Clusterlite is also ideal for use with motion sensors.

 

PD Devices has completed the acquisition of the Bowthorpe range of Transient Voltage Surge Protection Panel Products from Tyco Electronics (UK).This complements its previous purchase of the Bowthorpe Plug and Play, Data and Telecom range of surge protectors.

PD Devices is a designer and manufacturer of transient over-voltage surge suppression (TVSS) protectors.

It supplies products and custom solutions to protect against damage from lightning and transient over-voltages, serving a broad range of markets including, buildings and construction, rail transport, electrical generators and networks, telecom and data networks, office and home systems. It supplies direct and through electrical retailers, stockists and distributors.

It also offers a custom-designed product service and where applicable an on-site survey and consultation, and is an accredited Cibse CPD seminar course provider.

The European Parliament recently released its report on the recast of the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) directive. In his report, the Rapporteur, Karl-Heinz Florenz, addressed a number of concerns raised by producers and other key stakeholders.

 

Dr Philip Morton, chief executive of producer compliance scheme, Repic, said: "We are extremely pleased the Rapporteur has taken into consideration input from stakeholder groups, and the report deals with a number of issues which will help to make the recycling of WEEE both more efficient and more secure. If the key proposals are adopted it will give the UK Government the scope to improve the current UK system.

 

"For Repic, the key outcomes of the recast are those revisions to the directive which clarify producer responsibility and give consumers positive involvement in ensuring that end-of-life Electronic or Electrical equipment (EEE) is taken to collection facilities, thereby engaging the public and improving collection rates.

 

"Counting WEEE from all stakeholders, rather than just the WEEE handed to producer schemes, should plug more gaps and impede the illegal export of WEEE. Properly implemented, this will help the environment, reduce the cost burden, and raise the amount of reported WEEE. The increased focus on procedures to protect the environment during this process, by harmonising standards for the collection, treatment and recycling of WEEE, is a significant move towards a level playing field in all member states.

 

"The proposal to tighten export requirements is sensible too, as it will encourage more direct relationships between those collecting WEEE and the funding producer compliance schemes (PCS), thereby reducing the audit trail and enhancing the security of the recycling process. A short chain from collection to treatment and a direct relationship with the funding PCS makes it easier to know where WEEE comes from, where it goes to and who pays for it.

"Finally, it is particularly encouraging to see that the Rapporteur has introduced an interim collection target rate for member states of 45%, as this provides the UK government with a stepping stone to make effective changes and improvements to the system."

 

Berkeley Homes (Southern), a developer of sustainable housing, has installed line protection devices from ABB in its prestigious new development, the No. 1 Gunwharf Quays tower in Portsmouth. The new development, the tallest residential skyscraper on the South Coast of England, will be protected by a mix of ABB miniature circuit breakers (MCB) and residual current breakers with overload protection (RCBO), providing protection against overloads, short circuits and electrical failures and delivering maximum reliability and safety for residents.

The development includes numerous variants of ABB's System ProM compact MCB S200 series, from 6 to 32 amps, which are designed to immediately interrupt the supply in the event of a fault.

Unlike fuses, which are destroyed when an electrical fault is detected, MCBs can be either manually or automatically re-set to resume normal operation, leading to a more cost-effective set-up. ABB's MCBs fully satisfy the requirements of BSEN 60898-1, the British Standard for circuit breakers for overcurrent protection in household and similar installations.

ABB's residual current breakers with overload protection (RCBO) combine the benefits of a residual current device (RCD) with the overcurrent protection of MCBs. They work by detecting the leakage current and quickly reacting to prevent electrocution and ensure personal safety, as well as preventing equipment damage from overcurrents.

The development also includes ABB's isolator switches, enabling the building's main electrical circuits to be completely isolated for service or maintenance, allowing any work to be safely carried out.

Speaking about the project, Paul Hartley, sales engineer for ABB low voltage products business comments, "It has been a great experience working with Berkeley Homes, our strategic industrial partner, Parmley Graham and Logistical Building Services (LBS) on this flagship project. Our MCB and RCBOs will provide residents with premium levels of electrical protection befitting of a premium quality development such as No.1 Gunwharf Quays."

The No.1 Gunwharf Quays residential tower is landscaped into a historic setting, with the Historic Portsmouth Dockyard and Old Portsmouth only a few minutes walk away. The lipstick-shaped apartment block designed by Scott Brownrigg, sits alongside Gunwharf Quays, a £200m retail and residential complex.

Speaking about the development, Andrew Patrick, commercial manager for Berkeley Homes (Southern) commented, "We were very pleased with the service delivered by ABB. Parts were quickly delivered and the service was fast and efficient. Even when parts were out of stock, the ABB sales engineer ensured the parts were delivered by hand. All-round, an exceptional service and we're delighted our development is protected in the best way possible."

 

UPS Systems will host a unique event providing organisations with an insight into the commercial applications for fuel cell technology, featuring case studies that highlight the business benefits of fuel cells.

Whilst previous fuel cell events have focused on technical and academic discussions about technology, UPS Systems' event will bring together some of the industry's leading manufacturers to discuss the practical application of the latest products.

To date, UPS Systems has installed more fuel cells in the UK for portable and stationary applications than any other supplier. The event will be an opportunity for organisations to learn from UPS Systems' experiences and discuss how adopting fuel cell technology can enhance their operations.

Delegates will have the chance to hear from, and put questions directly to, the industry's leading manufacturers and fuel cell expert Tom Sperrey, as well as see fuel cell demonstrations.

Who should attend?
Those responsible to specifying portable or standby power for:
• IT
• Electrical engineering
• Remote monitoring/telemetry
• Traffic signage
• Security

Date:
Thursday 13th May 2010
• Registration at 9:30 am
• Event closes at 4:30 pm

Cost:
The event is free to attend and includes lunch.

Location:
The event venue is only 15 minutes drive from Junction 14 of the M4. The venue has ample, free onsite parking. If you are taking the train, it is just 10 minutes' walk from Hungerford station or a 20 minute taxi journey from Newbury station.

Herongate Leisure
Charnham Park
Hungerford
Berkshire
RG17 0YU

http://www.upssystems.co.uk/fuel_cell_seminar_intro_page.php 

Eaton Corporation's Centenary Fund has donated £21,172 to industry charity EEIBA (The Electrical and Electronics Industries Benevolent Association). The donation resulted from the Corporation's decision to set up a match-funding scheme to celebrate a hundred years of the MEM brand.

This scheme, which commenced on 1 September 2008, was introduced to motivate and support Eaton's customers and associates to raise money for EEIBA with Eaton matching those funds raised.

Timothy Lambert, EEIBA chief executive said, "With our long established and close links with our colleagues at Eaton, which goes back to the earliest days of the MEM Company, this welcome donation from all of these activities will go a long way in support of our welfare care programmes and is very much needed and appreciated at this difficult economic time."

The Lighting Association has joined forces with Weee Lite to sponsor a series of half day seminars that will provide the invited organisations with the opportunity of testing their companies' Weee and battery compliance strategy. It will also be an opportunity to find out how the updated UK Weee Regulations (2010), the proposed further redrafting in the European Parliament of the Weee Directive and the UK Battery Regulations will impact on their business operations.

These seminars are essential to ensure businesses fully understands the implications of these Regulatory changes to UK law and how best to comply. Previous seminars have been successful in reducing the financial liabilities of Weee compliance for attendees by up to 80%.

The principle speaker for the seminars will be V F Eckerman, the founder of Weeeco who has invaluable experience in Weee and battery bompliance and is managing the service offer for the members of LA Compliance, Weee Lite, Northern Compliance and C4U.

The agenda for the seminars will be:

Business Case Studies looking at the various options for WEEE Compliance
• Producers
• Producer of B2C & B2B EEE
• Distributors/ retailers
• B2C Weee arising
• B2B Weee arising
• Weee take back services
• Contractors
• B2B&B2C end user of Weee


Business Case Studies looking at the various options for UK Battery Regulations
• Producers
• Producer of automotive, industrial and batteries
• Distributors/ retailers
• Waste batteries arising
• Battery take back services
• Contractors
• End users of batteries

Proposed redrafting of the WEEE Directive
Questions and networking


For more information on the service or seminar dates/venues contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

A North West law firm is urging engineering firms to review their health and safety polices after tough new sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter offences came into force.

Mace & Jones dispute resolution specialist Ken Salmon said under the new rules set out by the Sentencing Guidelines Council (SGC), businesses convicted of the criminal offence of corporate manslaughter can be fined millions of pounds with a £500,000 minimum. For other health and safety offences that cause death, fines from £100,000 up to hundreds of thousands of pounds could be imposed.

Salmon urged companies to lock down on their health and safety policies as well as ensuring all staff are fully aware of the potentially ruinous effect, conviction may have for the business: "Directors can be left in no doubt that the range of penalties for health and safety breaches causing death are now very tough indeed," he said. "This is a clear statement of intent from the SGC which is reacting to a groundswell of opinion that punishments for corporate manslaughter offences have been too lenient. In addition there is also the threat of up to two years in prison for individual directors, managers or employees convicted of serious health and safety breaches. The message is very much review your policies and critically ensure they are rigorously and consistently enforced. And the drive to enforce it must come from the very top of the organisation."

Salmon said the SGC has made it clear when deciding on fines that judges should not be influenced by the impact on shareholders and directors, but should consider the potential effects of innocent employees and the effect the fine may have on the provision of services to the public: "There are mitigating factors that the court must weigh up in terms of how serious the offence is and the overall size and financial status of the defendant company will still have to be considered," he said. "But fines will be increased where there is evidence that the business could have foreseen the accident and where breaches of rules were widespread in the organisation."

Salmon said in addition to financial penalties, publicity orders are likely to be appropriate in most cases as part of the punishment. The order will specify the place where the public announcement will be made and consider the size and prominence of the notice or advertisement. The organisation may also be compelled to make a statement on relevant websites, ensuring that the information is brought to the attention of shareholders and members of the public.

The implementation of the new guidelines will soon come under the spotlight with the first corporate manslaughter prosecution against Cotswold Geotechnical Limited already underway.

Corporate Manslaughter was introduced as a specific criminal offence in the Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007, which became law in 2008. The new sentencing guidelines apply from 15 February 2010.

 

UPS Systems managing director Tom Sperrey (pictured) today forecasted significant commercial growth for the UK fuel cell industry.

While countries like Germany, Japan and America have embraced fuel cell technology, the UK has until now lagged behind with high capital costs serving as a major barrier to widespread adoption of fuel cell technology.

However, Tom Sperrey believes the UK fuel cell landscape is to change in the next 12 months as costs fall with new products entering the market: "2010 is bringing with it a new wave of fuel cell activity. Already new products are launching into the market and companies continue to show interest in learning more about fuel cells and adopting clean technology. We are currently discussing fuel cell system roll-outs with several major corporates and NGOs.

"Under a grant from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) we are part of a consortium working to develop new technologies that reduce the use of expensive materials in fuel cells. As these developments are rolled out commercially, we expect capital costs to fall and make the technology financially attainable for more businesses.

"Growth hotspots at present are traffic signalling, remote monitoring and security using smaller hydrogen and methanol fuel cells with power ranges between 25W to 150W for prime power and up to 15kW for standby power. Because smaller fuel cells are reliable, durable and portable, they are better suited to these types of applications.

"In these growth hotspots, fuel cells offer extended runtimes, for example, a fuel cell equipped with a 28 litre canister of methanol can easily operate equipment continuously for up to six months without human interference, therefore reducing the costs of manpower, transport and materials costs associated with sending someone to replace batteries on a regular basis.

"Smaller units have the potential to revolutionise the UK fuel cell industry. They are suitable for a range of applications and are proven technology in a growing number of commercial installations. With falling capital costs, and increased savings through lower running and maintenance costs, these smaller units are beginning to achieve widespread adoption across the UK. As capital costs fall, further applications become viable and create greater demand for fuel cells as an alternative and sustainable source of power."