Balfour Beatty Engineering Services has been awarded a £15m electrical infrastructure contract by Farrans Construction at Arecleoch wind farm in south Ayrshire, Scotland.

The wind farm will comprise 60 wind turbines, generating a total output of approximately 120MW. Farrans Construction is working for ultimate client ScottishPower Renewables. Balfour Beatty's contract for Farrans is expected to be completed by Easter 2011.

SKF, the knowledge engineering company, this month celebrates its 100th anniversary in the UK. With a sales office initially established in London, the company's manufacturing facility began production in Luton in 1911. SKF has subsequently grown to become one of the UK's major industrial players, with manufacturing, sales and customer service centres around the country.

SKF was founded in Sweden in 1907 by Sven Wingqvist, inventor of the double row self-aligning ball bearing. The UK sales office and manufacturing facility were established just three years later.

SKF opened a sales office in London, in Lower Regent Street, in February 1910, with land being purchased for a production site in Luton, and construction work started in Leagrave Road, Luton just a few months later. In 1911, the new factory initially employed 150 people and produced around 180 bearings per day; by the end of the First World War, this figure had risen to 24,000 units per month and continued to increase in the following years.

Further expansion over the next two decades led, in 1936, to the opening of a new factory in Sundon, a few miles from the existing plant; production at the Leagrave site continued until 1977 when all operations were centralised at the Sundon plant, which has now become the company's UK headquarters.

Today, the Sundon factory produces spherical and CARB toroidal roller bearings for heavy industrial applications; SKF also offers a range of support services from the Sundon site, including machine tool spindle repairs and the refurbishment Taper Bearing Units (TBUs) for the railway industry.

In addition, SKF has a number of facilities across the UK; in Aberdeen for the delivery of maintenance strategy and services to the offshore oil and gas sector; in Gloucestershire for the manufacture of high performance bearings for the aerospace sector; and in 11 centres across the UK for the production of custom engineered sealing solutions.

Phil Burge, UK marketing manager, said: "Although SKF is a major global corporation, with production plants around the world, our UK engineering base has always played an important role in the overall success of the company, both at home and abroad. Even during the recent economic recession we have still managed to maintain a strong level of output, which we anticipate will grow in future years as the pace of global recovery picks up. As a result, we anticipate continued investment and development of our UK manufacturing operations, giving us the basis for another century of success in the UK".

Mitsubishi Electric has welcomed the announcement by Ed Milliband, secretary of state for energy and climate change of new feed-in tariff levels.

The announcement, made on 1 February details the payments that will be made to homes and communities who install power generating technologies such as photovoltaic arrays. Anyone using such technology will be able to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce.

The initiative is designed to bring about a significant increase in the amount of locally produced green energy, as a contribution to the wider shift of the energy mix to low carbon.

"The feed-in tariff will help to change the way we think about the energy needs of our buildings and significantly reduce the payback period," said Perry Jackson, general manager of the company's photovoltaic department.

"According to the Minister's statement, a typical 2.5kW well-sited PV installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 a year on their electricity bill."

"Solar PV technology is already proving one of the most popular uptakes in renewable energy sources and this announcement will have a significant impact reducing fuel poverty and cutting carbon," added Jackson.

Mitsubishi Electric PV modules use solar cells to convert sunlight directly into electricity, allowing for reductions in both property running costs and environmental impact.

Wilts, an independent electrical wholesaler, has undergone a major business re-haul for its new energy saving scheme. The brief was to look at all aspects of the business over the last two years, to see how energy and costs could be saved to benefit both Wilts and the environment The business is already looking to save between 60% and 80% of gas usage a year and 10% of electricity usage.

The new energy management system will include automatic meter readings for all electricity; this reduces wastage by ensuring Wilts only purchases the amount it needs. It also identifies where peak usage times are and why, so Wilts can look at methods to reduce them. Coupled with this, all energy use will be monitored, which will show all gas, electric, water and oil used at each site, and as a company as a whole. From this Wilts will be able to produce energy usage by person, by square foot, and the carbon footprint for each branch and for the company.

The main warehouse in Trowbridge has had all of its gas heating turned off and replaced with halogen heating, which is an estimated saving of £40,000 per annum at current rates. In place of gas, halogen heating has also been fitted in 31 branches with a further 21 branches to be converted by the end of the year.

Replacing old computers with flat screens saved 238 watts each, and replacing the auto flush urinals with manual flushes saved over 250,000 litres of water a year. Further plans include solar panels for hot water and heating in the offices within the next 12 months.

Nigel Arbury, fleet and facilities manager commented, "This is not just a one-off project, it is a permanent policy driven by our own initiative. We have taken our time to seriously review all waste and energy needs and will continue to review these annually, making reductions wherever possible."

Households and communities who install generating technologies such as small wind turbines and solar panels will from April be entitled to claim payments for the low carbon electricity they produce.

Energy and climate change secretary Ed Miliband today announced the feed-in tariff (FITs) levels and also published a blueprint for a similar scheme to be introduced in April 2011 to incentivise low carbon heating technologies. The renewable heat incentive (RHI) is thought to be a world first.

The schemes are designed to bring about a significant increase in the amount of locally produced green energy, as a contribution to the wider shift of the energy mix to low carbon.

Miliband said: "The guarantee of getting an income on top of saving on energy bills will be an incentive to householders and communities wanting to make the move to low carbon living. The feed-in tariff will change the way householders and communities think about their future energy needs, making the payback for investment far shorter than in the past. It will also change the outlook for a range of industries, in particular those in the business of producing and installing small scale low carbon technology."

From 1 April householders and communities who install low carbon electricity technology such as solar photovoltaic (pv) panels and wind turbines up to 5 megawatts will be paid for the electricity they generate, even if they use it themselves. The level of payment depends on the technology and is linked to inflation.

They will get a further payment for any electricity they feed into the grid. These payments will be in addition to benefiting from reduced bills as they reduce the need to buy electricity. The scheme will also apply to installations commissioned since July 2008 when the policy was announced.

A typical 2.5kW well sited solar pv installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 a year on their electricity bill.

Miliband was speaking as he visited low income homes in Dagenham being helped by eaga's Clean Energy for Social Housing project to make the move to microgeneration. The scheme offers free clean energy technology to tenants in social housing which will lower their electricity bills and carbon emissions.

John Swinney, eaga director of strategy and corporate services, said: "By utilising the feed-in tariff initiative and installing free solar technology this programme can cut energy bills for those most in need. We are also recruiting and training renewable energy engineers directly from the local communities where the green technology is being installed.

"This innovative development can be offered right across the UK. We expect thousands of households to benefit in the first few years and up to 300 additional green energy jobs could be created as part of this programme."

The Department of Energy and Climate Change also published today plans for a scheme to incentivise renewable heat generation at all scales. This will come into effect in April 2011 and guarantee payments for those who install technologies such as ground source heat pumps, biomass boilers and air source heat pumps.

Under the proposed tariffs the installation of a ground source heat pump in an average semi-detached house with adequate insulation levels could be rewarded with £1,000 a year and lead to savings of £200 per year if used instead of heating oil.

The heat incentive could help thousands of consumers who are off the gas network lower their fuel bills and gain a cash reward for greening their heating supply.

Details of funding for the scheme will be published in the Budget 2010.

It is with sadness we report the Faraday House Old Students Association (FHOSA) is to close after operating continuously over the last 105 years. It had been host to thousands of chartered electrical engineers. The Association membership is derived from old students of Faraday House.

In 1888 the revised Electric Lighting Act encouraged many local authorities to apply for Parliamentary Powers to establish generating stations to transmit power. Faraday House was founded to train engineers in this new practice. The college started life as the Electrical Standardising, Testing and Training Institution at Charing Cross but in June 1890 used the name Faraday House. It was located in the Charing Cross area, and fees were 100 guineas per annum. The first Faraday House Dinner was held in 1895 - it was free and some 170 attended. In 1905 the FHOSA was formed and 100 old students joined. A move was then made to Southampton Row. By now the college had 110 students.

In 1909 Dr Russell was appointed principal, and pioneered the sandwich course. This meant students had a year or so of theory and then experienced work in industry, returning again to more theory. By 1914 many old students joined up and a crash course was started to aid the war effort. By 1919 some 350 had been in the services and 34 had died. In 1920 the fees had risen to 300 guineas.

By 1928 1000 students had joined the Old Students Association and in 1929 a 40th anniversary dinner was held. In 1939 a discussion with the governors resulted in a decision to evacuate the college to Thurlestone in Devon. A new principal, Dr WRC Coode-Adams, took over from Dr Russell. Faraday House took over the Links Hotel. Staff and students who were married lived in the hotel or in houses that had been taken over by the college.

In 1942 the college returned to Southampton Row. After the war Faraday House had difficulty in recruiting, students were lured to other colleges and universities by grants. In 1957 Mr GH Randolph Martin was appointed Principal. He had been a lecturer at the college since 1948. The college closed its doors in 1967 as losses were now running at £20,000 per year.

During its lifetime Faraday House produced a succession of engineers who attained the most senior positions in industry and electrical supply in many countries, and six old students have been president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (now the IET).

The Old Students Association has a membership that is steadily growing older and shrinking as members die. The closure was inevitable without younger people coming forward to run it. The FHOSA will shut its doors finally after the Annual General Meeting in March 2010.
For further information contact DR Ollington on 01825-790137 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More than 130 jobs have been secured since industrial services company Hertel stepped in when the electrical engineering firm, Watson Norie, went into administration at the beginning of 2009.

Hertel launched a new electrical and instrumentation (E&I) division based in Wallsend, North Tyneside and after initially employing 30 staff it has grown to more than 130. Many of the roles created have been taken by former employees of Watson Norie.

Hertel E&I director Lee McLean Marshall is delighted with the success: "The new E&I division ideally complements Hertel's existing business and has undoubtedly benefited from the group's excellent reputation.

"We have won significant contracts since the business was launched despite being faced with very difficult trading conditions. The work is not only in the North East but right across the UK, such as at a large water treatment plant in Ayrshire and at the Grangemouth oil refinery both in Scotland. It is good that we have been able to find the skills we need to grow locally."

Hertel E&I is part of the international Hertel Group, whose UK headquarters are in Middlesbrough. Throughout the country the group employs around 3,500 providing a range of services to the industrial sector, in particular the petro-chemical and power generation sectors.

McLean Marshall added: "The future is looking very positive and we are starting to see an indication of an improvement in the market with a growing level of activity amongst potential clients. I'm hoping that we can continue to grow as strongly as we have and we can offer more
employment opportunities on Tyneside."

Following today's announcement the EU has re-confirmed its support for the Copenhagen Accord on climate change and formally announced its commitments for emission reduction targets, secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Miliband, issued a statement.

The UK, with its EU counterparts, remains committed to maintaining the momentum that has been generated over the last few months. Therefore the EU has submitted a unilateral commitment to reduce the EU's overall emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and a conditional offer to increase this cut to 30% provided that other major emitters agree to take on their fair share of a global reduction effort. Under the Accord, notifications are to be submitted by 31 January 2010.

Ed Miliband said: "Today's decision to keep the offer to move to 30% demonstrates the EU's commitment to maintaining a strong signal to the world on the urgency to act on climate change.

"The goal of moving to 30% has always been and remains conditional on others showing similar ambition. We must now continue to push for bold cuts in emissions beyond the 31st deadline.

"The Copenhagen Accord was an important step forward but we now need to redouble efforts to secure the legally binding treaty, and complete the unfinished business of Copenhagen."

 

Peter Still (pictured), industry standards manager at Schneider Electric, has been announced as the chairman for the Cenelec committee TC44X, which has the title Safety of machinery: electrotechnical aspects.

The previous chairman left the role last year and Still has now been confirmed in post. Still has a long history of standards work and has been involved with TC44X for the last 14 years since becoming standards manager with the global electrical equipment manufacturer, Schneider Electric. Having worked with a wide range of automation devices for more than 20 years, Still is well-placed to take over the position. He explained: "I am very honoured to have been chosen as the chairman of the Cenelec committee for electrical safety of machinery and I am looking forward to working alongside suppliers and enforcement agencies to help ensure the highest levels of safety.

"A crucial aspect of the role will be to ensure the committee's standards can be harmonized under the Machinery Directive, giving machine designers a route to compliance with the electrotechnical requirements of the directive."

Cenelec is the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. Cenelec's mission is to prepare voluntary electrotechnical standards that help develop the single European market for electrical and electronic goods and services, removing barriers to trade, creating new markets and cutting compliance costs, while helping to ensure common levels of safety across Europe. Cenelec works with 15,000 technical experts from 30 European countries. Its work directly increases market potential, encourages technological development, replaces differing national standards across Europe and guarantees the safety and health of consumers and workers.

Best (Building Engineering Services Training) recently produced a short film about its services for employers, apprentices and colleges.

In the film, Best apprentices Rory Taylor and Lewis Ayre, describe how their apprenticeship through Best is helping them on their way to succeeding within their chosen career.

Nick James, director at Arnold James Building Service Engineers, also comments on the service that Best provides to them (the employer) through its training advisers.

The Best film can be viewed at http://www.best-ltd.co.uk/case-studies/audiovideo/video.html.

The film was produced by AoC TV for the Association of Colleges annual conference and will be streamed and hosted online at www.educationnowtv.com for a further 12 months.

 

French nuclear group Areva has signed an agreement to sell its power transmission and distribution (T&D) business to industrial companies Alstom and Schneider Electric.
Alstom and Schneider plan to split the T&D assets between them, with Alstom taking the transmission part of the business and Schneider acquiring the distribution operations.

The decision to sell Areva's T&D business was taken by the Supervisory Board on 30 June 2009 after a review of the group's development plan. At the close of the bidding process, the Areva supervisory board, convened on 30 November 2009, asked the executive board to begin exclusive negotiations with Alstom and Schneider Electric to draw up the terms of an agreement providing for:

• A sale price of 4.09bn euros in enterprise value,
• A commitment to maintaining all European sites for a three-year period,
• Guarantees for the workforce: all European employees are to be offered a similar position in the same geographical area at an equivalent qualification level and without loss of compensation or seniority; unless the economic situation deteriorates significantly, there will be no layoff program except for voluntary terminations.

Closing will occur once the anti-trust authorities have given their approval and after a decree has been published, following the recommendation of the French Commission des Participations et des Transferts.

A new application allows users of ABB industrial and standard drives to see exactly how much energy they are saving.

Built-in parameters work out the energy savings in kWh and MWh, the financial saving in a local currency and the CO2 emissions equivalent of the energy saved.

The energy consumed when the fan or pump is used direct-on-line is compared with the energy used once the drive is installed and running.

The drive then calculates energy savings in kWh or MWh with reference to this baseline and displays it in an easy to read way on its built-in screen.

The information can be used by plant engineers and energy managers to ensure the application is attaining its optimum level, as well as by financial controllers and board level directors interested in keeping a closer control on the operational expenditure of a plant or process.