November / December 2020 Volume 254 | No 9 www.electricalreview.co.uk
Informing the electrical industry for 140 years
Fire, Safety & Security
Is a lack of components driving the counterfeit market?
Talking Point Under pressure: Why burn-out at work should not be underestimated.
Why the future of fire safety in UK schools and hospitals is grounded in technology.
Conten t s Regulars
04 • Editor’s Comment Lucky us.
06 • News Stories from the sector.
10 • Gossage Gossip The latest gossip from our industry insider.
30 • Talking point
Under pressure: Why burn-out at work should not be underestimated.
32 • Products Innovations worth watching.
34 • Final Say
Energy-as-a-Service: Turning cost into competitive advantage.
Features 14 • Lighting Dave Watkins of Abtec Building Technologies highlights the role that smart building tech can play in occupant safety, with particular emphasis on emergency lighting.
22 • Cables Is a lack of components driving the counterfeit market? Jonathan Parry of PEI-Genesis delves deeper.
24 • Power Generation Backing up our NHS: Bradley Morrissey of Finning UK & Ireland explains engineering considerations when upgrading hospital backup generators.
26 • Fire, Safety & Security Eaton’s Marc Gaunt explains why the future of fire safety in UK schools and hospitals is grounded in technology.
Claire Fletcher email@example.com
Jordan O’Brien firstname.lastname@example.org
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Alex Gold email@example.com
GROUP ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
Sunny Nehru +44 (0) 207 062 2539 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Editor’s Comment During this time, many of us keep getting told we are ‘lucky’ to have a job. But I would like to rephrase that to ‘fortunate’. Many of us have the jobs we are in through years of study, time spent getting experience (often for free) or just sheer hard graft, and there is nothing ‘lucky’ about that. A job is a damned achievement, a requirement in order to be able to provide for yourself and your family in the capitalist society in which we exist. A capitalist society (that will always be) more important than you. Those who lost their jobs and livelihoods due to this horrendous situation weren’t simply ‘unlucky’, it wasn’t some sort of karmic retribution, it was beyond unfortunate, it was tragic. Even in the case of those still working, resources have been dramatically depleted, workloads have increased, and some have even taken pay cuts just to retain their employment. The pressure has never been greater. In this issue’s Talking Point, we delve into some of the pressures experienced within the electrical industry and what workers pushed to the brink can do to help avoid burnout. At the end of the day, we are now seven months into this thing, so if you feel yourself flailing, do not ignore it. No job is worth your life, or your sanity. Claire Fletcher, Editor
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4 Electrical www.electricalreview.co.uk Review | Nov/Dec 2020 ????
News UK could see an additional 1.3GW of wind power in winter 2020 The UK is set to see huge amounts of wind power capacity come online in winter 2020, according to Cornwall Insight. The research company’s Renewable Pipeline Tracker report shows that a total of 1.3GW of new wind capacity will come online later this year. While an additional 1.3GW doesn’t sound all that much in the grand scheme of things, that is around a 5% rise in total capacity, which could reach 25.4GW. Lucy Dolton, analyst at Cornwall Insight, said, “New capacity anticipated this winter is almost wholly attributed to the Contracts for Difference scheme. Additionally, according to Cornwall Insight’s Renewables Pipeline Tracker report, a further 0.4GW could also come online this winter. “While there are no guarantees that these sites will commission this winter with limited announcements on confirmed routes to market, it demonstrates additional capacity in the ‘queue’ of wind sites.”
Disneyland Paris to build one of Europe’s largest solar canopy plants Disneyland Paris has confirmed details surrounding the solar power plant that the company announced earlier this year, with the resort confirming it will be one of Europe’s largest solar canopy plants. Instead of constructing a traditional solar power plant, the resort intends to leverage its large car park to provide power to the two theme parks and eight resort hotels. It will install solar canopies above car parking spaces that will offer a dual purpose – providing shade for the parked cars, while also generating power. Construction on the solar canopies officially began in July and are expected to be fully operational by 2023. The canopies are being installed in collaboration with French company Urbasolar and will encompass 42 acres using 67,500 solar panels. When fully operational, the solar canopies will produce 31GWh of electricity each year, which is technically enough clean energy to account for 17% of the resort’s total electricity consumption, although given the power is going to the grid, it won’t solely be powering Disneyland Paris. In typical Disney fashion, the solar canopies are set to be used as a design centrepiece, with a section set to light up at night in the shape of a Mickey Mouse head, visible only from the sky. This is similar to the Mickey Mouse-shaped solar plant at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
UBER TO INVEST £5 MILLION IN EXPANDING LONDON’S PUBLIC EV CHARGING NETWORK
Uber is stumping up £5 million of its own cash to expand the public electric vehicle charging infrastructure available in London. The £5 million from Uber will be targeted at some of the London boroughs where electric vehicle charging infrastructure lags behind other (wealthier) boroughs. The company is investing the cash to help persuade its drivers to make the switch to electric vehicles.
6 Electrical Review | Nov/Dec 2020
TIME RUNNING OUT FOR PUBLIC SECTOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF £1 BILLION DECARBONISATION FUND
The public sector is running out of time if they hope to take advantage of the UK Government’s £1 billion decarbonisation fund, according to Energys Group. Energys says public sector energy professionals need to act quickly to start the process and should not be unduly concerned by the workload associated with an application. The Decarbonisation Scheme’s funds are being allocated against very tight timescales – both for the grant application itself and for project delivery. Priority will be given to projects with an early implementation date.
More than half of electricians admit to having their tools stolen Tools are amongst the biggest investments that electrical companies make, yet more than half of electricians have admitted to having had their tools stolen. This information comes from new research by Direct Line – Business, which revealed that 58% of electricians have had
tools stolen, with the majority of tool thefts happening overnight. The research looked at trades in general, which found that electricians were the second most likely to have their tools stolen, with roofers taking the top spot at 65%. Plumbers followed shortly behind electricians at 55%.
JAPAN COMMITS TO NET ZERO BY 2050
SELECT cautiously welcomes Scottish delay to new smoke alarm rules SELECT has cautiously welcomed a proposed one-year delay to new rules on domestic smoke alarms in Scotland – but says Holyrood needs to roll out a major awareness campaign on the rules in the meantime. The campaigning body for the electrotechnical sector says it understands why First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is set to postpone the requirement that all homes should have linked heat and smoke alarms, as well carbon monoxide alarms where appropriate, until February 2022. But it added that the issue remains a serious safety consideration and said that it was imperative that householders were
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made aware of the importance of professional installation so that they could plan ahead and get the precautions in place as soon as possible. Alan Wilson, managing director at SELECT, said, “We recognise that in the current climate, some homeowners may be reluctant to have tradespeople in their home to carry out any work that needs to be done. “However, we also know that there was still a degree of uncertainty and misinformation among some homeowners. Hopefully with the additional time we now have, that can be rectified with a clear government information campaign.”
Japan has become the latest major economy to commit to achieving net zero emissions, with the country setting 2050 as its target. While the 2050 deadline will likely irk many campaigners, this is the biggest commitment Japan has ever made in regards to cutting its emissions. Previously the country was targeting a reduction of just 80% by 2050.
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Gossage Gossip Less is more
How can I meter?
We all know that during 2020 electricity sales are falling. Everywhere. The best bet is that by the end of the year, overall consumption levels will be down around 5% on 2019 levels, maybe more.
Sophisticated metering offers businesses great beneﬁts for several reasons, but smart meters are required by companies to be enrolled into the central data and communications hub (DCC), which is being run by the ubiquitously loss-making Crapita. Costs for this are currently forecast to be 103% higher than the original bid.
Received wisdom is that this will have been due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But received wisdom may not be providing the whole story. I have been looking at electricity sales ﬁgures recorded during the ﬁrst nine years of this decade. When there was no Covid-19, but there was still a quite remarkable shift in Britain’s electrical system during the 2010s. Overall, the amount of electricity consumed had already fallen by nearly 15% between the years 2010 and 2019. That meant that the economy was already using 50TWh less electricity in 2019 than it did in 2010. To put that into context, even if every car and taxi was already powered by electricity (as opposed to just 3% of them), that 50TWh could have been diverted to powering well over half of them.
However, for businesses with DCCenrolled smart meters across multiple sites, that requirement can present unnecessary challenges. Businesses can physically go to each site and collect the data. Or they can try and build an interface into the DCC, which will cost about £1 million on average. Or they can simply ask their supplier for the data. Right now, suppliers which buy, sell and bill for energy, don’t have appropriate incentives, or may simply lack the resources to undertake this role effectively. So, the smart metering programme, as it stands, erects barriers for businesses in gaining access to their own data. That is a very retrograde step. This problem could be solved by allowing a supplier to offer to install advanced meters for all business customers, and crucially for those installations to count against the supplier’s overall smart meter obligations. Give suppliers that incentive and it should prompt them to remind businesses that they too have a choice. Commercial customers really do not have to lock themselves into an expensive platform that sacriﬁces independent access to data.
Not in my back yard It is reported that Downing Street is supporting plans for a £2.2 billion (minimum) subsidy to ‘small’ nuclear reactors. A complete misnomer, as the prototype is the same size as all the earlier large nuclear power stations. Despite much hype, these ‘small’ nukes as yet exist nowhere in the world. Even were the prototype to become a reality, the real problem will be ever ﬁnding sites where these unicorns might be installed. Anticipated local hostility is why the existing new nuclear programme – published 14 years ago – is, without exception, planned for existing sites with old nuclear reactors. After all, the government has still failed to identify a site for the safe storage of nuclear waste, let alone for new reactors. Before Dominic Cummings throws billions of public money at ‘small’ nuclear reactors, might I suggest that the government produces a White Paper setting out the potential sites awaiting these ‘small’ reactors? Once that happens, I doubt there will be any majority in Parliament for proceeding with such White Elephants.
10 Electrical www.electricalreview.co.uk Review | Nov/Dec ???? 2020
The sun ain’t gonna shine anymore All responsible newspapers employ factcheckers. Their job is to ensure individual columnists do not publish inaccurate and ill-informed nonsense. Sadly, it appears that the UK newspaper The Sun no longer employs such staff. Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference last month, Prime Minister Johnson announced what was billed as a new target for offshore wind 10 years hence. In practice, it was all spelt out in the 2019 Conservative general election manifesto. That didn’t stop Sun columnist, and climate change denier, Rod Liddle writing splenetically about the reported £50 billion price tag of meeting the UK’s new offshore wind target, “You might as well spend it on unicorn tears”. Fair enough. That is his opinion. No need for factcheckers. But it was how he sought to justify this hostility where Liddle’s imagination was permitted to run riot. He exploded, “Wind turbines, especially offshore turbines, are also expensive to build, expensive to maintain, polluting to construct and they need replacing very often indeed.” Liddle provided no source for this claim. Actually, every reliable ofﬁcial estimate reveals that electricity from offshore wind will be far cheaper than gas and doesn’t require regular replacement at all. The ex-BBC Today programme editor then made an even more ﬁnancially illiterate statement. It was that, “nuclear power is the way forward” for the UK, “even if nuclear power stations do cost a few quid to build.” A few quid? Just the proposed 3.2 GW Sizewell C nuclear plant will cost a reported £20 billion. Liddle then added that the targeted 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 will, “satisfy less than 10% of our need.” The turbines will, in fact, generate around half the UK’s current electricity demand. More if that continues to decline. All of these last three Liddle pronouncements are quite simply lies. Any halfway competent fact-checker would have struck them out. I gather that The Sun’s circulation is dropping like a stone and is now twothirds lower than it once was. If it continues to print rubbish like this, my guess is that the rest of Britain will shortly follow the example set in Liverpool and cease buying this rag altogether. Supplies of toilet paper are really not that short.
A different way of thinking When it comes to the protection of critical power, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Here, Louis McGarry, sales and marketing director at Centiel UK Ltd, thinks both inside and outside the box, quite literally.
hen there is a need to protect critical power and you have run out of space, what do you do? Consider the modular approach. Now, I know what you are thinking, ‘another article about modular UPS’, but just wait a minute before turning the page. I am referring to taking the benefits associated with a modular UPS and how they apply when designing add-on structures which can be integrated into your existing real estate. When we talk about modular UPS, we talk about flexibility, reduced footprint, scalability both horizontally and vertically, ease of maintenance, and high quality. These same benefits can also be seen when implementing add-on structures. Walk around any hospital which is more than 10 years old and you will usually see a pick and mix of different add-on buildings, from extensions to portacabins, all striving to provide the extra space needed to support the facility and its patients. A UPS can be installed into such ‘add-on structures’ too, offering cost-effective and rapid deployment of power protection, right to where it’s needed. There is a growing range of options to suit different scenarios. Shipping containers, for example, have been used to house UPS systems for many years. Containers can be used both inside and outside buildings to deploy self-contained critical power infrastructure, which can be added like Lego bricks as required. They can also be a great option to extend a comms room or put a new facility in a remote or challenging location, offering a scalable solution when facilities have run out of space. Modification of the container is necessary to provide a quality installation and an adequate environment for equipment. They need to be insulated, boarded and set onto concrete foundations, usually slightly raised to remove the risk of flooding. They need to be lined and finished to prevent condensation. However, this has advantages too, a white melamine finish creates an environment which is similar to that of a clean room, adding to the longevity of the equipment being housed. A different option is Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) composite buildings. Unlike shipping containers, which have fixed dimensions of 20 feet, GRP composite buildings offer more flexibility, they are bespoke and can be designed to any size, to match any requirement. They are relatively lightweight, and this can open up the innovative use of unused areas on roofs for example, maximising the use of space. We recently designed and commissioned a new UPS for a facility near London. With the existing buildings already at capacity, there was simply nowhere for the critical power infrastructure to be housed internally. A different thought process was needed, harnessing our internal expertise
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and past experience, we were able to develop a solution to house the UPS external to the building. A GRP composite building was craned into position on a specially reinforced roof. The innovative concept and design that we created allowed access for equipment and maintenance, maximising the space available and minimising costs at the same time. There are a number of advantages to using GRP composite buildings. Firstly, they create more space at a fraction of the cost of an extension or the construction of a new brick building, and can result in up to ten-fold savings. They are totally bespoke, so can be designed to match the exact needs of the client and the size of the UPS and other equipment required. They are safe, providing a fire-retardant structure and high-level security. Colours can be ordered to blend in with the existing environment (or stand out if necessary – even bright pink is available).
tion precisely matches our approved design. We work with all parties to create the concept, manage the design process and complete the entire installation successfully. For these turnkey projects to work, a joint approach is needed. Contractors, sub-contractors, consultants, sales engineers and the operations team all need to work together, and all need to understand and be clear on the design of the project upfront. Collaboration and agreement on paper is necessary. It’s a measure twice, cut once scenario, where everyone needs to know their demarcations and responsibilities. Installation itself, providing the planning process is managed correctly, can be very swift. In this way, GRP can offer a customisable, cost-effective and rapid deployment of power protection. For the data centres of the future, or indeed any facility that needs to protect power, it is likely they will become an even more popular option for organisations looking to save space and reduce total cost of ownership. Providing the design work is completed diligently by an experienced team, they are quick to install too. The recent London project took just eight weeks to complete from the approval of drawings to full commissioning of the UPS within the new GRP structure. Craning the GRP onto the reinforced roof took just one day, minimising disruption to the busy site. There are a number of considerations that need to be addressed when designing GRP solutions. You are working within a condensed space, so layout planning needs to be detailed and completed by experienced engineers. Everything associated with the electrical infrastructure, such as the type and weight of cables and their entry points all need to be planned and re-planned as the design develops. The overall aim is to ensure that the area available is fully optimised and offers ease of installation and maintenance going forward. Environmental control also needs to be considered. Air conditioning to keep batteries at the optimal temperature plus extraction points need to be in the plan. Even the colour of the GRP itself and surrounding buildings – particularly if it is a dark colour and placed in direct sunlight – can influence the amount of energy usage and air conditioning needed. This means calculations need to be made carefully, taking into account all elements of the build. It all comes down to planning and joined-up thinking. At Centiel, we work closely with a trusted GRP manufacturer to ensure the specifica-
A different option is Glass Reinforced Polymer (GRP) composite buildings. Unlike shipping containers, which have fixed dimensions of 20 feet, GRP composite buildings offer more ﬂexibility, they are bespoke and can be designed to any size, to match any requirement The team at Centiel has been at the forefront of UPS development over several decades. We are experienced and trusted innovators, who think differently. Our expertise in modular technology and UPS design enables us to advise on the best options available to suit individual clients. For GRP or containerised UPS systems, we manage the concept, design and build of the full turnkey installation. Our leading-edge technology, backed-up with our comprehensive maintenance contracts carried out by our experienced engineering teams ensure our clients’ power has the very best protection at all times, wherever it is housed.
Lighting the way
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The Government’s draft Building Safety Bill aims to deliver a better, safer future for buildings and those who occupy them. Dave Watkins, director at Abtec Building Technologies, explains the role that smart building tech can play in occupant safety. uilding safety, and buildings which fail to keep occupants safe, continue to grab headlines, as do the legislative changes which aim to make way for a safer future. In her report in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, Dame Judith Hackitt recognised that there needed to be a complete culture change within the construction sector in order to address quality and safety issues throughout the design, construction and occupancy phases of a building. Many of the recommendations Dame Hackitt made for delivering a more robust building regulatory system were included in the draft Building Safety Bill launched this summer. To quote the Rt Hon. Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, from the Bill’s introduction, “The Bill will introduce a new era of accountability, making it clear where the responsibility for managing safety risks lies throughout the design, construction and occupation of buildings in scope. There will be tougher sanctions for those that fail to meet their obligations.”
Building a safer future The changes will have an impact on almost everybody in the supply chain. And the overriding message is that in order to make buildings safer for the people who live and work in them, we must embrace a culture of accountability and continuous improvement. While the full implementation of the legislation is a few years off, there are steps which construction firms and building operators can take now to improve building safety. In light of these changes, there has been renewed emphasis on the performance of building management systems, including emergency lighting, which is an important part of the system to evacuate. Those in positions of accountability, particularly those responsible once the property is occupied, must deliver a safe passage for occupants out of the building by ensuring, and more crucially signifying, a clear escape route. Therefore, they must take a good look at their existing system and ask themselves whether it is truly fit for purpose, particularly in commercial and public buildings. Emergency lighting is about more than the luminaires. Quite simply, building managers and operators must be sure they can control, monitor and test their emergency lighting systems with ease and confidence. In the UK there are very clear regulations concerning the provision and testing of emergency lighting systems. Lighting that illuminates
emergency routes and exits must be provided in all non-single-user public and private buildings, with a full discharge procedure to be carried out once a year – and more basic functional tests to be undertaken at least once per month. Yet, despite the transparency of current legislation and supporting industry standards, such as BS EN 50172:2004/BS 5266-1:2016, it is widely known that regular testing of systems is sporadic at best. As a result, too many buildings remain ill-equipped with outdated systems and testing practices. This means they cannot be relied upon in the event of an incident, and safety is put at risk. A system that is robust and fully compliant is essential. But so too is a configuration that allows end-users to make regular checks and ensure that the system remains ‘fit for purpose’. Increasingly, the view is that this can only be achieved by having a unified network infrastructure that allows all devices to be monitored continuously, and any potential failures to be reported at the earliest possible opportunity.
Too many buildings reman ill-equipped with outdated systems and testing practices Open protocol approach It is for precisely these reasons that the international vendor-neutral KNX protocol has become so integral to many major construction projects. Designed for a wide variety of commercial and domestic building automation applications, KNX allows systems, including lighting, HVAC, security, AV and displays, to be controlled and managed using the same open standard communications protocol. Technology manufacturers across the spectrum have adopted KNX since it began to become more widespread in the late 1990s. At a time when even major names in the lighting world are withdrawing support for their proprietary systems, the case for an open, future-proofed system, such as KNX, has never been stronger. A consistent baseline of capabilities means that KNX can bring a welcome new level of reassurance to a project. Moreover, for lighting specifically, it can provide users with greater flexibility and control over their emergency lighting systems – both viewed individually and within the context of overall building safety. For instance, individual groups can be monitored and controlled via the DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface), whilst a KNX/ IP interface can be used to allow lighting systems to be connected across multiple buildings or floors, offering the benefits of adapting to a converged network topology. This gives IP clusters of control and allows expansion of the system through the building or multiple sites. Those who have made KNX the foundation of their building technology systems routinely report an increased sense of confidence among their technical staff and ‘regular’ employees. And although we all fervently hope that there will be no further building safety tragedies, these types of efficient and integrated system designs will provide the best opportunity for a positive outcome if the worst does ever happen.
Lighting: The heart of a healthy and productive building An office or commercial building is a complex asset, especially when it comes to lighting. With people starting to return to work, now is the time to ensure the building and its lighting is working as efficiently and effectively as possible, as David Neale, marketing manager at Sylvania UK, explains.
n Europe, buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and nearly 36% of CO2 emissions with lighting, cooling and ventilation being responsible for more than 60% of electricity used by office buildings. That is a vast amount of energy, and over recent months, a high proportion of that has been wasted through underutilised buildings. It is not just energy that we need to consider in the new world of the office. The health and wellbeing of occupants is more important than ever, and it is no surprise that this issue has come into sharp focus over the last few months. Employees want to feel safe and
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comfortable in their working environments, yet research has shown that 68% of employees complain about lighting in their workplaces. Something that needs to change. ‘Smart’ buildings are becoming increasingly mainstream and sought after thanks to significant developments in technology, as well as people’s understanding of their capabilities. Smart technologies are opening opportunities for previously ‘dumb’ components to elicit, store and analyse business data. The insights gathered can inform both real-time and strategic decision making to help office managers, facilities managers and board members make more effective choices about the built environment. At the same time, increasingly complex legislation is bringing even low-performing buildings up to scratch. For example, with the introduction of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) in the UK, a minimum energy efficiency rating of ‘E’ is now required before a building can be rented out. The 2010 Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive are the EU’s main pieces of legislation promoting the improvement of the energy performance of buildings within the EU. The EU has already adopted a number of measures to improve energy efficiency in Europe, including mandatory energy efficiency certificates accompanying the sale and rental of buildings. Large companies are also required to conduct energy audits at least every four years. These standards should not be seen as a hindrance or inconvenience to landlords or businesses, quite the opposite. They should be seen as an opportunity to revisit office planning, to find efficiencies and cost savings, to optimise the business. With lighting representing one of a business’ main energy costs, there are real savings to be made. According to the Carbon Trust, using occupancy sensors to dim or switch off lighting when a room is unoccupied can reduce electricity use by 30%. Daylight sensors that enable adjustment of artificial lighting in a room, according to the amount of natural lighting coming in, can reduce electricity use by up to 40%. Within these wider business benefits, employees themselves are increasingly cognisant of the role that lighting can play in their own wellbeing, and are increasingly likely to make requests to improve their environment – requests that must often be acted upon to comply with health and safety legislation. As well as increasingly stringent standards coming into force, other initiatives are exploring the role of the built environment in employee
wellbeing. The WELL Building standard and Buildings 2030 are big in Europe, highlighting the need to create a better, healthier, more productive environment. WELL explores how ‘design, operations and behaviours within the places where we live, work, learn and play can be optimised to advance human health and wellbeing.’ It comprises over 100 features, outlined over eight concepts, with 13 related to light alone. These features should be considered in a truly high-performance building that puts its employees first. Buildings 2030 is a European initiative, supported by the European Climate Foundation, aiming to ‘mainstream the demand for high performing buildings in Europe by seeking public and private sector commitments to invest in better indoor environments by 2030’, citing ‘people’s health, wellbeing and productivity’ as a core priority. Light levels in an office are extremely important. Dim lighting can cause a number of health issues, such as eye strain and headaches, and the associated drops in productivity. Overly harsh lighting can also cause eye strain and even trigger migraines. Getting the balance right means taking a considered approach to fixtures, fittings and lamps, before even starting to think about the opportunities that smart technologies add. Office work can be particularly demanding on the eyes – especially when employees are required to stare at screens all day. Artificial light from badly-specified or fitted luminaires can have ill effects on screen displays, causing a number of visual complaints. However, the health
impacts of poor illumination are not limited to just the ophthalmic. Employees straining to read in poor light can suffer musculoskeletal issues thanks to compromised posture. Given that illness costs European businesses an estimated £77 billion a year, the benefits of improving lighting for the wellbeing of employees cannot be overstated – for the health and wellness of employees themselves, and for the business. So, what can be done?
Smart technologies are opening opportunities for previously ‘dumb’ components to elicit, store and analyse business data As well as the clear benefits good quality lighting can have for employees, the office can do more for the business too. Make lighting a contributor rather than a cost: lower infrastructure costs and get more out of the space available in one of the business’ most valuable assets. Lead with LED There are a surprising number of businesses that have not yet made the switch to LED. The positive effects of LED lighting on mood and perfor-
well as allowing as much natural light in as possible, cooler temperature lighting keeps people focused. Warmer temperatures are associated with more relaxing environments, so could be well applied in communal break areas, for example. Either way, LEDs remove the harsh glare associated with incandescent and should be considered an important first step in improving quality of light, if they are not already installed. Take control We control other utilities every day to save money and work more efficiently, why should lighting be any different? Highly intelligent, decentralised lighting control systems enable businesses to adapt lighting controls and achieve significant energy savings through more granular control. Many lights are left on at full intensity above empty desks or in corridors and rooms that have extremely low footfall.
Daylight sensors that enable adjustment of artificial lighting in a room, according to the amount of natural lighting coming in, can reduce electricity use by up to 40%
mance are undisputed. As well as health and wellbeing, LED lighting has a significant impact on the bottom line. LEDs consume less than 80% of the electricity of incandescent bulbs, so the potential operational expenditure (OPEX) benefits are clear. LED lighting has long been acknowledged as the optimum solution for lowering energy usage. However, it must be well controlled in order to maximise energy saving potential. Supplement existing solutions As with retrofitting, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t need to undertake a complete rip and replace. In fact, look at where you can complement your existing lighting system, such as installing vertical surface illumination to give the impression of space and improve ambience. Utilise natural light Daylight continues to be the ideal source of luminance to complement and enhance employeesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; natural circadian rhythms, and while 75.8% of employees state that natural light is important to them, only 56.9% are satisfied with the offering in their workplace. Open blinds, reposition working areas near windows, ensure that all employees have access to as much natural light as possible. This is a low-cost way to use light to your advantage â&#x20AC;&#x201C; without even installing any new components. Improved quality of light The quality of office lighting influences behaviour and productivity. As
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New technologies are available that continuously detect human presence and natural light levels, enabling continuous zonal adjustment. Busy areas such as foyers and corridors will stay bright and well lit, whereas quieter areas like meeting rooms and lesser used corners of the office will automatically dim gradually over time to save energy. This level of advanced lighting control can save businesses up to 87%, achieving the highest possible energy saving and helping you to achieve your green building certificates, such as BREEAM. Better use of space The applications of occupancy detection are many and varied. From minimising cleaning requirements by informing cleaning staff about which rooms have been used in a given day, to delivering employees to the correct floor in the lift, depending on the space available, to optimising the purchase of office equipment and positioning it appropriately. There are also implications for security. If facilities management have a better insight into frequently used areas, they can close down unused space and negate the need for security to monitor activity in that area. Reduced maintenance By using space more intelligently and reducing usage accordingly, maintenance demands on lighting systems reduce in turn. The installation of LEDs will drive maintenance requirements down, given their long, reliable lifetimes. Couple LEDs with centralised, self-testing systems and the operational benefits become clear, as the resource burden on operational staff reduces. The most obvious place to apply this thinking lies within emergency lighting. Lighting is a big contributor towards our energy usage in commercial office buildings, but it can also play a valuable role in reducing it. Now is the time to take a serious look at improving our office lighting for the efficiency of our buildings and the wellbeing of its occupants.
ERA Protect Alarm is a first for the company ERA, the UK’s home security specialist, has launched the ERA Protect Alarm, part of its next-generation wireless smart security system – ERA Protect.
he BSI IoT (British Standards Institute Internet of Things) accredited alarm works seamlessly with other ERA Protect products, including the Outdoor Camera and the Floodlight Camera, via the intuitive smartphone app. The app allows easy management of all components of the security system at any time, from anywhere in the world.
Secure security at its best Offering fuss-free installation, with no hard wiring required, the ERA Protect Alarm is easy to programme via the app, and offers alerts sent via push notification to pre-programmed alert numbers, giving householders and business owners additional peace of mind. The ERA Protect Alarm’s remote capabilities are all secured using enhanced encryption methods between the hub and the sensors, ensuring optimum security.
The ERA Protect Alarm is a serious piece of equipment designed to provide a totally secure alarm system at an affordable price
Complete protection The ERA Protect Alarm is designed to always be protecting property, even if the internet goes down. Equipped with Dual Path technology that ensures alarms and cameras that are connected to the Wi-Fi, the alarm remains active if the internet is compromised by switching to the in-built 4G roaming SIM which connects to the strongest 4G signal. In poor connection areas, the system switches to the nearest network mast, and in buildings with poor Wi-Fi, the ERA Protect Alarm can be connected via ethernet for a strong and reliable connection. Leaving nothing to chance, in the event of a power cut, the alarm will continue to work via its battery back-up.
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Flexibility comes as standard The system offers flexibility to extend and customise it with additional products as required, such as a battery-operated siren that connects wirelessly to the alarm, whilst its ease of installation means that it is portable and can be removed and used in another location if needed. Additionally, remote control fobs and a touch keypad are included to allow local arming and disarming of the alarm. Unique for an affordable alarm system, a professional monitoring subscription is available. This has the flexibility to opt in and out – use permanently or just when you are away on holiday for example – which brings real peace of mind to consumers. Tania Tams, head of marketing at ERA, said, “The ERA Protect Alarm is a serious piece of equipment designed to provide a totally secure alarm system at an affordable price. The entire ERA Protect range represents a giant leap forward and the fact that it holds the prestigious BSI IoT Kitemark, is an indication of the quality of both our products and support services. “ERA Protect has been researched, designed and produced to the highest quality and we are totally committed to delivering these groundbreaking products and services – welcome to the next generation.” For further information on ERA’s brand-new ERA Protect range of smart home security, visit www.eraeverywhere.com, email info@ eraeverywhere.com or contact the sales team on 01922 490000.
Fake news Is a lack of components driving the counterfeit market? Jonathan Parry, senior vice president of Global Operations and European managing director at cables and connectors specialist PEI-Genesis, highlights how component shortage is pushing counterfeits into mission-critical sectors, and what the industry needs to do to fight the fakes.
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fter some respite in 2019, the global shortage of electronic components is likely to worsen in 2020 owing to a perfect storm of factors. The inevitable rise in counterfeit parts will be one that manufacturers must shield themselves against. The perfect storm is a phrase whose origins the Oxford English Dictionary traces back to 1718, to William Makepeace Thackeray’s novel Vanity Fair. In it, the author writes: ‘…the audience could not resist it; and they and the poet together would burst out into a roar of oaths and execrations against the fictitious monster of the tale, so that the hat went round, and the bajocchi tumbled into it, in the midst of a perfect storm of sympathy.’ In the meteorological sense, a perfect storm refers to the phenomenon born at sea when warm air from a low-pressure system collides with a flow of cool, dry air at high pressure – simultaneously fuelled by warm, moist air from tropical climes. It’s a perfect storm, then, that best describes the events over the last five years that have led to a global shortage of electronic components. The primary ingredients? Everything from the US-China trade war and Brexit, to rising copper commodity prices. Add to this, the growing adoption of electric vehicles, record sales of industrial robots and a global pandemic in the form of Covid-19, and you have quite the storm.
The great IP&E shortage What started as a few rumblings, grew to a head in 2018, in what one publication called The Great IP&E Shortage, referring to the three types of parts that make up 80% of modern circuit boards: interconnects, passives and electromechanical (IP&E) devices. A profound shortage of these parts, which includes capacitors, resistors, memory and other discrete components, has crippled production lines across the world as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) wait for deliveries with increasingly eye-watering lead times. Parts that once reached customers in 14 weeks, were now taking anywhere between six and ten months, or longer. Take just one of these – the multi-layered ceramic capacitor – a part used in everything from cars and TVs to computers and smartphones, the smallest of which is no bigger than a quarter of a millimetre. In its 2018 Q4 earnings report, audio giant Sonos acknowledged, “we anticipate lower gross margins (40-41%) in FY2019 as a result of industry-wide component shortages (primarily multi-layer ceramic capacitors or MLCCs).” What’s more, there is often limited incentive for original component manufacturers (OCMs) to ramp-up production of these parts. Many of these components are legacy parts that have been around for decades. Price erosion has already made them less profitable, so price hikes are an easy fix when demand outstrips capacity. They also fear being left with billions of units of inventory should the parts become obsolete before being shipped. So, it’s tempting for OCMs to focus their production capacity elsewhere, usually on devices with bigger margins, such as parts for the latest 5G smartphones or electric vehicles. Driving counterfeiting A consequence of the global component shortage is the rise in counterfeiting. The mix of shortages, price hikes and obsolescence is driving many OEMs to take shortcuts, with many choosing to buy parts from
grey market suppliers. Research firm Havocscope estimates that there are some $169 billion worth of counterfeit parts in circulation in the marketplace. You don’t have to knowingly buy a fake to be affected either. Despite being synonymous with the term fake, counterfeit parts actually include everything from unauthorised copies to those with incorrect or false markings. It also covers parts that don’t conform to the original design, model or standard; parts produced by unauthorised contractors; parts that are off-specification; and defective or used parts sold as new. For the user, the consequences of counterfeits can range from mild: a loss of accuracy in a desktop robot used for small electronics assembly, to life-threatening: a pump failure in a portable ventilator, or an unresponsive sensor in a passenger plane.
Parts that once reached customers in 14 weeks, were now taking anywhere between six and ten months or longer Breaking the chain Companies must uniquely place themselves to break the chain between component shortage and counterfeiting. Having a wide spanning inventory, held in component form as opposed to finished products is a wise move. This is because rather than holding finished products that may become obsolete, having access to components means companies can build millions of combinations of products using these parts. Combined with an automated manufacturing process with guaranteed lead times, there should be no reason for customers to turn to counterfeits. My advice to OEMs is to be wary of the grey market. Buy from trusted distributors that have long standing relationships with the major brands. For certain brands, companies must ensure they abide by their stringent quality standards. For instance, our customers can audit our manufacturing facilities at any time, and they regularly do, once a week or so. Over time, this transparency means companies can meet trusted advisor status for many of their customers, particularly those in the defence sector, where safety is paramount. In these sectors, price is often a secondary consideration to safety and being able to trust that your supplier will deliver parts that will protect people’s lives becomes the primary objective. When supplying cables and connectors into hazardous areas, traceability from cradle to grave is essential, i.e tracking supplier shipments from the moment they enter the manufacturing facility to the finished product sent to customers. Inspecting deliveries, matching shipments to records, and ensuring every person in the process logs the movement of parts means cables or connectors can be traced back to when and where in the world it was produced, where the components came from and who quality-checked the product. We live in turbulent times and industry faces a challenge that is, while difficult, not insurmountable. Understanding the nature of fakes, choosing carefully where you buy your parts and ensuring traceability in your supply chain is what’s required to create an equally perfect storm of countermeasures.
Backing up our NHS
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With UK hospitals experiencing year-onyear growth in patients — up 21% from 2009 to 2019 — and 2020 as a year like no other, healthcare operators are thinking hard about their back up power. Here Bradley Morrissey, bid manager at Finning UK & Ireland, explains the engineering considerations when upgrading hospital backup generators. ealthcare power is mission critical — a continuous power source is necessary to power everything from mechanical ventilators in intensive care, to medical imaging equipment and even the lighting and lifts needed for safe movement around the building. Diesel generators are a popular choice for hospitals due to the reliability they offer. However, there are several engineering considerations at play dictating what equipment is suitable for a specific healthcare facility.
Size matters Healthcare sites can consume over two million kWh of electricity a year, but this varies significantly from facility to facility. The first, and often most important, consideration is generator size — the backup generator must be able to provide enough power to keep all required equipment running. A genset package should be designed in-line with the Health Technical Memoranda (HTM) regulations, which includes being correctly-sized to meet performance requirements. There are also software tools available that allow the user to determine which generator best fits the performance requirements for the facility’s load, ensuring that they select the correct genset size. There are, however, multiple ways of achieving the same power output. In many facilities, a custom package is the best option, as healthcare operators can choose technology that achieves cost savings, is adapted to the available space, and offers excellent performance. For example, if a facility is running multiple gensets, it could be more effective to run fewer at a different rating. A major factor in what size generator a facility can incorporate, is the dimensions of the engine room, as many hospitals have limited space. There are ways of reducing the amount of space a generator package takes, such as removing the radiators and putting them in a remote location. However, the most straightforward solution for hospitals with small engine rooms is to opt for a power dense engine. Power density is a measure of the size of a genset compared with its output and is the result of significant work by engine manufacturers. Standard hospital generators have increased from 2.5MVA to 3.0MVA, a considerable improvement. Power dense solutions have an added benefit in that they require less ancillary equipment – they are cheaper to transport, install and maintain. Airflow Gensets are designed with two main cooling options – the most popular is a custom genset-mounted radiator sized to suit the application and environment; the second is a remote radiator located separately, for example, on the roof.
However, the room must have enough ventilation to cool the engine down, to prevent overheating – maximum engine room temperature is around 50°C for a typical generator. Many hospitals have small plant rooms where airflow is a problem, making this an important consideration. Operators can work with specialist engineers who will design a package that works well alongside existing equipment and in its surrounding environment. This may include altering the ventilation by adding extra fans or additional cooling mechanisms. If this isn’t feasible, the alternative is to redesign the engine package so that it requires less airflow. Hospital operators should check that their engine provider has considered this, and that ventilation is included in its quote, otherwise it may result in extra costs later on. Noise Engine noise can be a source of disturbance if not well managed. An acoustics specialist is best placed to perform a noise study and provide the details for acceptable noise levels to the engineering team. The engineers will then size the attenuators to make sure enough noise is absorbed. If required, lining the engine room with absorbing material, as outlined by the design calculations, will reduce the noise bouncing off the flat surfaces of the room. Hospital operators can enquire with their genset supplier, to see if it is able to do factory testing on the genset package, to check its performance before installing it. Ancillary equipment Hospitals must also consider the ancillary equipment needed to support their engine. For example, the HTM regulations lay out that the hospital must have at least 200 hours of continuous fuel supply on site, which will dictate the size of fuel storage. Hospitals with limited space may require a custom design to be able to safely store this amount of fuel on site. It is also important to ensure that an appropriately-sized fuel polishing system is included, to remove water, sediment and microbial contamination from the fuel and ensure that the generators are ready when they are needed. The genset provider should also secure a competitive, commerciallyviable and technically-compliant generator package, including acoustics, enclosures and other plant room installations. The engineering team will also review the switchgear solution to check that it integrates with the wider site design and any legacy switchgear or equipment. Emissions Finally, the hospital must consider emissions to ensure that they are compliant with the necessary regulations. Hospitals with a combined output of between 1MWth and 50MWth must comply with the Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD). If the addition of a new genset takes a facility up into this bracket, adaptations like selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology may be required for compliance, although standby generators are exempt under certain circumstances. Genset packages are a complex, but vitally important, part of hospital infrastructure – as patient numbers rise and power demand increases, it is critical that all requirements and regulations are met. There is additional pressure to reduce costs, which a skilled engine provider can do, without compromising on quality.
FIRE, SAFETY & SECURITY
Protecting our most vulnerable Marc Gaunt, segment lead, commercial buildings at Eaton, explains why the future of fire safety in UK schools and hospitals is grounded in technology.
ack in July, the government unveiled a £1 billion grant scheme to improve energy efficiency and boost low carbon heating in public buildings as part of its economic recovery plan. Whilst this is a step in the right direction for both the economy and the road to net zero, this funding somewhat overlooks the fact investment is urgently needed to address a pressing, life-endangering flaw in UK buildings: fire safety. Many public buildings – notably schools and hospitals – are still at much higher risk statistically of fires resulting in deaths or
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serious injury, leaving some of our most vulnerable at risk. The health and education sectors have the highest rates of fatality/injury requiring hospital treatment, and it’s important that holistic building safety doesn’t fall off the priority list in favour of the UK government’s green package or pledge to ‘build back better’. The government and those responsible for upholding building safety standards (including headmasters, hospital boards, facilities managers, contractors and design consultants) must be looking at how new technologies can help to reduce the risk of fires and ensure
FIRE, SAFETY & SECURITY
the safe evacuation of building occupants in the case of an emergency. Whilst we know all too well that the replacement of ACM cladding is one part of this, new technologies should also be explored to further mitigate risk and importantly, reduce impact. The current state of fire safety in education and hospital buildings According to data from the home office, education premises accounted for 4.2% of primary accidental fires across the UK in 2018/2019, whilst hospitals and medical care buildings accounted for 3.8%. When it comes to residential dwellings in London, 20% of fires in ‘other dwellings’ (not houses/flats) in 2019 occurred in nursing/care homes or hospices and 14% occurred in student residence halls.
Many public buildings – notably schools and hospitals – are still at much higher risk statistically of fires resulting in deaths or serious injury Even more alarmingly, data from a freedom of information request conducted for the Department for Education’s school condition data collection (CDC) programme (2017-2019), showed 2,717 (13%) of UK schools did not have a fire risk assessment, 2,098 (10%) did not have an electrical test certificate and 2,215 (11%) did not have a gas safety test report. These numbers not only show a lack of understanding, but also a lack of enforcement of basic fire safety standards across the education sector. It’s clear hospital and education buildings face significant fire safety threats, yet governments aren’t giving this issue the attention and funding it deserves in order to reduce the risk of fire incidences for some of the UK’s most vulnerable citizens. At present, the UK government seems to have tunnel vision around carbon reduction and hazardous cladding in high rise residential buildings, and whilst both are very real challenges, we cannot risk focusing on these to the detriment of wider building safety. Instead, they must be tackled together with other existing building safety risks, including those which can be easily solved through existing technologies. How can new technologies help reduce fire safety risks? Improving fire safety standards in UK buildings needs to be a priority for the government and those responsible for building safety. This can only happen with a holistic approach that takes into consideration investments to meet safety needs across the spectrum of risk, for both today and tomorrow. As facilities managers and building owners navigate this complicated threat landscape, it’s vital that they explore the technology that can reduce risks. Home office data found 10% of fires in the UK were due to electrical distribution faults in 2019/2020, with nine fatalities caused by electrical distribution fires (up from eight
the year before) across all types of dwellings. This is all despite the fact electrically-ignited fires can be prevented before they even start through Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs), while new, adaptive emergency lighting can help to avoid congestion and get people to safety faster. As threats continue to evolve, it’s important the government is taking stock of existing technologies, and investing in the right areas today, to improve the overall safety standards of some of the UK’s most critical buildings. What should the future of building safety standards look like? Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the Hackitt Review suggested the government take a more sophisticated approach in defining new building safety standards which currently only apply to a small set of commercial buildings considered at ‘high risk’ for tragic events (specifically multi-occupancy high-rise residential buildings). However, there is a growing consensus that the height of a building alone is not sufficient to characterise risk. Alarmingly, the Hackitt Review statistics indicate that for buildings of any height (excluding prisons and agriculture where incidents are significantly higher), hospitals and education buildings (for example, halls of residence and boarding schools) present some of the highest fire risks. Considering the existing levels of risk, coupled with the complexity of the buildings in question, and the potential vulnerability of occupants, the government should bring in specific measures to build in additional protection for occupants of these building types as soon as possible.
It’s clear hospital and education buildings face significant fire safety threats, yet governments aren’t giving this issue the attention and funding it deserves There will also be a likely strengthening of the oversight and regulation of construction products. Whilst no one wishes to see unnecessary constraints, additional costs or bureaucracy, the Hackitt report made it clear that a significant change in UK construction culture needs to take place. We must evolve our ‘fit and forget’ culture, and revisit building safety measurements more regularly – especially buildings at high risk, including schools and hospitals. Whilst cost is a factor, safety cannot be sacrificed to meet budgets. To properly address the issue of fire safety in UK buildings, the government needs to put in place a viable enforcement regime. From evidence already provided in the case of Grenfell, it would appear that ultimately the disaster was as a result of multiple product failings, poor installation practice/process and culture. Ultimately, this led to a large-scale tragedy which we want to avoid again at all costs.
FIRE, SAFETY & SECURITY
Remote alarm monitoring: A proactive approach to ďŹ re and CO risk management Since the wake of Covid-19, there have been increasing concerns for social housing providers surrounding gaining physical access to properties. Here, Nick Rutter, chief product officer at FireAngel, explores how fire safety solutions that facilitate remote real-time monitoring can not only overcome the potential issues posed by failing to gain physical access to a property, but also provide a compliant and future-proofed approach to asset and risk management across an entire housing portfolio. s essential works continue to recommence following over four months of disruption to usual management strategies and activities, social housing providers are faced with the challenge of understanding the level of risk each resident/property now poses, particularly with regard to fire safety. Since March, the ability for contractors to gain access to a property to conduct necessary maintenance checks and repairs significantly reduced for a number of months, as many vulnerable and elderly residents shielded from the virus and refused other individuals from entering their home.
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As contractors now work to overcome the backlog of repairs and complete a build-up of necessary maintenance checks, concerns are focused on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both themselves and residents to mitigate any potential spread of the virus. This is combined with the ever-present threat of the rate of infection rising, which would once again place an immediate and substantial halt on essential maintenance due to the inability for contractors to gain physical access to a property and potentially increase the fire risk level for some residents. So, how can social housing providers think ahead to overcome access
FIRE, SAFETY & SECURITY
and maintenance issues, successfully future-proof installations and gain understanding of the levels of fire risk within their portfolio? In short, remote real-time monitoring. Remote monitoring capabilities are not only offering a wide range of benefits for existing social housing portfolios, they are also transforming the future of fire safety and paving the way for a new generation of social housing digital developments that place IoT at the core of their construction. The activation of a connected cloud-based gateway allows instant remote real-time monitoring of smart RF smoke, heat and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms, enabling social housing providers to achieve full traceability, audit and compliance management across an entire housing portfolio by simplifying the monitoring of alarm networks across every property. By utilising the connected system, providers can further futureproof and enhance their fire and CO protection by receiving an overview of fire risk across the entire property portfolio to help pinpoint increasing risk levels and enhance overall efficiency. This subsequently supports a long-term reduction in overheads, as assets are applied in the most efficient way. Through the use of a connected gateway, providers can also activate instant access to vital information, including alarm diagnostics for every alarm across the network to ensure 24/7 legislative compliance. This also supports the future-proofing of properties against potential regulatory changes, as the system can offer the ability to be adapted at a later date to meet a change in resident risk, which may require enhanced safety systems. The ability to view the performance of each alarm in real time also aids proactive asset maintenance as social landlords can adopt a targeted approach to the application of resources, subsequently simplifying fire risk management. Providers have instant access to vital information from every alarm across each property, including current status, alarm history, replacement dates and network health.
As connected technology continues to pave the way for fire safety, social housing providers can benefit from IoT and connected fire safety technologies that utilise artificial intelligence (AI) to bridge the gap in communication between a property and its residents. Latest research by the Local Government Association (LGA) found that over 100,000 affordable homes will need to be constructed each year as part of the national recovery from the virus, and the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;new generationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of social housing aims to provide residents with affordable, high-quality homes that are fit for purpose.
Remote monitoring capabilities are not only offering a wide range of benefits for existing social housing portfolios, they are also transforming the future of fire safety The social housing sector has the opportunity to take an alternative approach to the fire safety installed within future properties, by procuring intelligent connected solutions that offer the ability to be cost-effectively upgraded and adapted at a later date to meet the individual needs of each resident. An AI-driven approach can provide automatic stratification of risk across an entire housing stock, saving providers valuable time and money, whilst also ensuring compliance with current and future legislation to deliver residents with the highest levels of fire and CO protection. As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the social housing sector, not only nationally but globally, social housing providers should take an alternative approach to the provision of fire safety solutions to successfully streamline their asset management through the facilitation of remote real-time monitoring.
Avoiding burn-out Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve all experienced stress at some point in our lives, but many of us are unaware of the dangers posed to our health as a result of the physical and mental exertion often unique to our working environments. Stewart Gregory, VP of Power Products at Schneider Electric, talks about managing the pressures of the electrical industry, and highlights why burn-out at work should not be underestimated.
orking in the electrical industry can be rewarding and challenging in equal measure. The industry is competitive, with tight margins and heavy responsibilities, which has only been exaggerated in recent months. Mistakes, miscalculations and delays are inevitable. For most people there will come a time when being unable to work will add pressures, often outside of our control. Unfortunately, stress is a major part of an electricianâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s job, but keeping it under control and at a manageable level is crucial to performance, physical health and work-life balance. In recent years, the industry has largely improved its acknowledgment of issues related to mental health, and how it supports those who are suffering. Whilst there is still more that can and should be done, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to consider the important roles that self-help and support networks can have in the recovery process.
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Not to be underestimated Roles in the electrical industry supply chain can be demanding. Whether you are an installer or consultant, a lot of travel, significant stretches of time working away from home, long hours and tight deadlines are to be expected. You may also be painfully aware of the potential health and safety risks of the job, which can endanger both your life and your livelihood. To some extent, a degree of stress is inevitable in every job. But when stress is ignored, underestimated or goes untreated it can become unmanageable. If left unaddressed, stress has the potential to cause anxiety, depression and even be fatal. Suicide rates among skilled tradespeople are soberingly high, almost 40% above the national average. Male suicide victims in this group account for 29% of all male suicides in the UK. Stress can also manifest in subtler but no fewer damaging ways. It can
and the sufferer is often capable of helping themselves. Personal perspective and initiative are perhaps the most important factors in beating stress. Understanding how to manage stress and self-help can make a world of difference. Acknowledging that you are under pressure is the first, and probably most difficult, part of overcoming stress. Noticing the warning signs – feelings of exhaustion, bad temper, working late and a worsening diet – is a crucial first step before working up strategies to mitigate stress. Stress isn’t always work-related, indeed it’s just as likely to be caused by family issues, financial problems like debt, or the pressures of caring for a loved one or starting a family. That’s why it’s important to make time for yourself. Setting time aside for exercise and relaxation are actionable and effective steps in relieving stress. We all need to reserve time to stay healthy and, ultimately, be more productive and successful.
Electrical industry professionals shouldn’t go it alone. While mental health awareness is growing every day, it sadly remains taboo in our industry
impact a person’s social, emotional and psychological well-being, as well as their lifestyle. Stress can cause severe phobias, panic attacks and alcohol addiction. Chronic stress can even contribute to family and marital breakdown, only worsening the plight of the sufferer. Poor mental health can be extremely self-destructive, and this is the true tragedy. Research shows that stressed workers are more likely to make mistakes on the job. Decision-making is impacted, and people suffering from depression tend to work slower and be less productive. In the electrical trade this can be a major barrier to success, only exacerbating professional frustrations and feelings of self-doubt. Managing the pressure Although exploring the struggles that many electrical professionals face can make for grim reading, the situation is far from hopeless,
Accepting support However, electrical industry professionals shouldn’t go it alone. While mental health awareness is growing every day, it sadly remains taboo in our industry. Many work in small teams, and while this familiarity and comradery can help alleviate feelings of stress and depression, it can also make individuals more embarrassed to say when they need help. The internal welfare and support structures other professionals benefit from are often absent or unavailable in the electrical industry. This leaves many feeling they have no one to lean on. Yet those in the electrical industry shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to others for advice and insight. Support networks are out there and have been set up to help give all players the financial, educational and emotional support they need. It is important that electrical industry professionals know they are not alone; experienced support networks like the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) are there for when you or your family need a helping hand. The EIC can provide counselling, legal and financial support for when a problem is too much to bear alone. They ensure that you get the support needed to get you back on your feet. Every one of us will encounter stress at some point in our lives. It is important to not avoid or deny our pressures but instead learn how to accept and deal with them. Electrical professionals have a growing number of support networks to call on, who can teach self-help techniques to aid independent stress management. When self-help isn’t enough and it feels like all other options have been exhausted, the EIC can share valuable legal, financial and personal advice. Whilst the electrical industry can be stressful, don’t let the pressure make you forget all the rewarding reasons why you became an electrician.
Knightsbridge launches self-test emergency lighting range
Introducing the new Fluke ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager
Scolmore stays one step ahead with new antiviral testing
Knightsbridge has introduced a range of self-test emergency lighting products that offer convenience, compliance, cost savings and ease of fault identification. The comprehensive, LED-powered range, which is ideal for retail, commercial, industrial and HMO applications, comprises of a robust bulkhead unit, a contemporary downlight, high lumen twin spotlights, and a versatile exit sign. The self-test feature is built into each product and conducts routine functional and duration testing in accordance with the relevant standards. With no requirement to isolate the mains supply to test, there is no disruption to the normal working day and no loss of productivity. After installation and an initial 24-hour charging period, the product conducts its own self-test operation, comprising a three-hour duration test, after which a 30-second ‘monthly’ function test is carried out every 28 days, and then yearly another three-hour duration test. Following each self-test sequence, the unit will revert into charging mode.
The new Fluke ii910 Precision Acoustic Imager uniquely enables the detection of corona and partial discharge from a safe distance of up to 120 metres. Teams can operate safely, minimise the risk of fires and help reduce outages. It also offers greater sensitivity to detect compressed air, gas, and vacuum system leaks, again reducing potentially costly downtime. The handheld operation of the rugged Fluke ii910 means problems can be identified from a safe distance without the need for cumbersome cords or accessories. Its intuitive operation means no training is required. The seven-inch LCD touchscreen overlays a SoundMap on a visual image, for rapid identification of discharge or leaks between frequencies of 2-100kHz. The array of integral microphones converts ultrasound signals into clear visual images on the backlit touchscreen. Captured data can be transferred via an integral USB socket direct to a PC. From here data can be uploaded to the Machine Learning PDQ Mode Reporting Platform.
With an increasing emphasis on building cleanliness, Scolmore has taken a further step to ensure that its wiring accessory products offer enhanced hygiene properties. The company’s popular Mode, Mode Part M and Polar plates have now been independently tested and have shown to have antiviral properties against enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. After a contact period of four hours, all tested plates were shown to have a 99.9% kill off rate against enveloped viruses and a 92% kill off rate against non-enveloped viruses. This new antiviral testing is in addition to the anti-bacterial testing already carried out. Mode Part M and Polar are all manufactured using Urea Formaldehyde, which has similar inherent properties to antimicrobial additives that inhibit the growth of infectious diseases. When independently tested, all products achieved a 99.99% kill off rate across all four types of the strains of bacteria – MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella and Klebsiella Pneumonia.
Knightsbridge • 0158 288 7760 www.mlaccessories.co.uk
Fluke • 020 7942 0708 www.fluke.co.uk
Introducing: Makita’s thirdgeneration of accessories
ESP launches new footoperated door pull
Makita UK has launched a new and improved collection of belts and pouches to its extensive and popular range of accessories. The newly-designed range makes it even easier for tradespeople to safely and easily store and transport their tools and accessories. The collection includes belts, braces, pouches, holders, bags, cases, gear and equipment, and offers users the durability and reliability needed for everyday use. With over 40 products in the range, Makita has a solution to suit every task; the pouches and holsters are available in a range of designs, depending on the end use. Each has the benefit of anti-slip technology, which is used on all friction points and pocket edges, to tightly grip tools, stopping them from sliding around and keeping them securely in place to help prevent accidental falls. To complete the range, Makita has also launched a range of handy additional accessories.
ESP has added a foot-operated door pull to its Aperta access control range, following increasing enquiries and demand from a marketplace where infection control is high on the agenda. With door handles and touch plates having one of the highest touch rates in any environment, they are likely to hold a significant number of microbes on their surfaces. With a foot-operated door pull, users are able to open the door in a more hygienic way with their foot, thus eliminating the need to use their hands and avoiding the problem of handle to hand germ transfer. Made from brushed stainless steel and supplied with rubber stoppers, the new foot pull will work on latchless wooden or metal doors. They are simple to install with the fixing bolt and screws included, and completed with an operation sticker to be positioned at eye level.
Makita • 01908 211678 www.makitauk.com
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ESP • 01527 515150 www.espuk.com
Scolmore • 01827 63454 www.scolmore.com
Help drive productivity with Multibrand’s new Supacell LED range Multibrands International has developed a new range of Supacell LED bulbs to help drive productivity during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The Supacell range has been designed using the latest technology for unparalleled performance and longevity. Fully dimmable, these bulbs come in an array of different colour temperatures to suit every need. Enhanced with smart capabilities, every bulb in the Supacell range can be scheduled based on physical parameters, for example, sunrise, sunset, luminosity and weather; this guarantees ambient lighting throughout the day. Each bulb is also fully compatible with Alexa, Siri and the Google Assistant, and has a specially-designed Supacell Smart Home App to allow the user to control the lights, and even set schedules and timers. The bulbs use up to 75% less energy than standard bulbs, making them cost-effective without the need for any specific hub or fittings.
Multibrands International 01274 307310 208 www.multibrands.eu.com
C.K lighting the way with an exciting range of new products C.K is set to extend its successful lighting range including: the C.K T9613 head torch, a feature-packed, powerful LED head torch, available in a USB rechargeable model or battery-operated option; and the C.K T9735USB 10W rechargeable LED site light, one of the most powerful compact site lights on the market. C.K T9613 LED head torch and T9613USB rechargeable head torch, available in either a rechargeable or battery-operated version features a 270 Lumen output, has a choice of seven lighting modes and a run time of up to nine hours. The C.K T9735USB 10W rechargeable LED site light is one of the most compact site lights available. This powerful rechargeable site light offers a 700 Lumen output, two lighting modes and a run time of up to four hours.
Carl Kammerling • 01758 704704 www.carlkammerling.com
Fluke 1660 Series multifunction installation tester and free DMM moneysaving offers Until December 15 2020, Fluke UK is offering two money-saving offers on 1660 Series multifunction installation testers, with a free Digital Multimeter (DMM) and free software. The Fluke 1664 UK-DMM comprises a 1664 FC multifunction installation tester with free Fluke DMS data management software and a free Fluke 115 digital multimeter; the Fluke 1663 UK-DMM comprises a 1663 multifunction installation tester with free Fluke DMS data management software and a free Fluke 114 digital multimeter. These offers may be purchased at a local Fluke authorised distributor. The Fluke 1664 is the only installation tester on the market that helps prevent damage to appliances that may be inadvertently connected to the system under test, it also makes it easy to share test results over a smartphone using Fluke Connect.
Fluke • 0207 942 0700 www.fluke.co.uk
New C.K Magma Test Equipment Case Plus
C.K launches cutting-edge power tool accessories
The current C.K Magma Test Equipment Case has proved a big hit with consumers, but C.K Magma has listened and made its storage solution even better. New features in its Test Equipment Case Plus (MA2641) include: improved access with easy-opening lid and two retaining straps; a bigger/deeper overall design; adjustable padded compartments for the safe transportation of test equipment and accessories; a convenient storage compartment to hold all the essential tools needed, plus 27 easily accessible pockets and a handy business card and document holder. Featuring a durable polyester construction, this quality test equipment case has a 100% waterproof polymer base for increased durability, plus a red inner lining for easy visibility. Transportability is a key feature of the C.K Magma Test Equipment Case Plus, which can be incorporated with any C.K Magma Wheeled Technician’s Case thanks to an integrated trolley strap.
C.K has enhanced its range, including three new multitool blade sets; a new 40mm HSS cobalt sheet steel hole saw; and a glass and ceramic drill bit set of five, all designed to consistently achieve the best results. The three C.K multitool blade sets, all feature bi-metal blades and include: the C.K multitool blade five piece set (T0870) and two, two piece sets (2 x 34mm x 40mm wood/metal bi-metal blades T0875) and (2 x 28.5mm x 57mm wood/ metal bi-metal blades T0876). The C.K HSS cobalt sheet steel hole saw 40mm (T3202 040) offers a faster, smoother cutting action to reduce burring, its cobalt and alloy steel construction allowing it to cut sheet steel faster than standard hole saws. The C.K glass/ceramic drill bit set of five (T3059) Titanium nitride coated and tungsten carbide tipped, contains: 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10mm bits with a ¼” quick change hex shank.
Carl Kammerling • 01758 704704 www.carlkammerling.com
Carl Kammerling • 01758 704704 www.carlkammerling.com
Ovia sheds light on phase two Exactly a year since its official launch, Ovia has taken the wraps off a raft of new products and a new, updated Ovia catalogue. There are new products as well as improvements and enhancements to existing lines; all designed to ensure a solution is available to suit all types of application and any size of project. A new range of battens has been added to the premium Inceptor collection. Inceptor B-Lite is a range of 4ft, 5ft and 6ft linear batten multi-current LED lights, which are a direct replacement for conventional battens and boast many features. A multi-current driver allows the installer to set the lumens in line with the particular location, whilst base-to-diffuser clips and pushfit terminal blocks all make for easy installation and speed of termination of the conductors. The popular Inceptor EVO range of bulkheads has also been expanded.
Ovia • 01827 300640 www.oviauk.com
Omicron: Assessing the risk of failure in rotating machines The reliability and availability of rotating electrical machines is highly important in power generation and industrial applications. Failure in motors and generators is influenced by thermal, electrical and mechanical stress factors over time. For an accurate failure risk assessment, it is essential to have accurate, up-to-date condition information about machine components to effectively plan their maintenance or replacement. A variety of off-line electrical tests can be performed over the complete life cycle of rotating electrical machines to increase their reliability, prevent premature failures and to extend reliable service life. These diagnostic tests, including measurements of capacitance, dissipation factor, voltage withstand, partial discharge and impedance, among other essential tests, including electromagnetic imperfection testing on stator cores, are performed to accurately assess machine condition. For effective condition assessments of rotating electrical machines, Omicron offers the matching testing and monitoring solutions.
Omicron • 01785 8482 0100 www.omicronenergy.com
Energy-as-a-Service: Turning cost into competitive advantage Mark Kelly, project development director, distributed energy systems (DES) at Siemens, and Mark McLoughlin, key account manager at Siemens Industries and Markets, Siemens Financial Services (UK), examine how smart financing is enabling manufacturers to harness energy savings to help them stay ahead of the curve.
he manufacturing industry is under pressure to lower carbon emissions by reducing its energy use. Since business and industry is responsible for around 25% of the UK’s carbon emissions, this has led to the introduction of a swathe of legislation, designed to make organisations manage their energy consumption more sustainably. At the same time, rising energy prices are increasing production costs. These regulatory and financial pressures are even more urgent as shareholders are increasingly aware of how fuel costs, network costs and poor energy purchasing decisions are harming their investments. In addition, UK businesses without an energy resilience strategy are said to be risking up to 17% of their revenue. Yet, one third of energy decision-makers say their organisation is ‘not prepared’ for a disruption to their energy supply from a temporary grid failure. To ensure businesses maximise the potential competitiveness benefits from meeting their regulatory obligations and financial demands, it is vital that they fully understand their responsibilities and how to manage them most effectively. Although many manufacturers have already built up their own in-house energy management expertise, partnering with dedicated energy solution providers can secure better financial and strategic outcomes, and allow them to focus on their core competencies. Strategically-sound suppliers are prepared to take a long-term and evolving view of what energy solution best meets each industrial manufacturer’s unique needs, using a holistic, integrated, site-specific approach. Partnered with an outside expert, businesses are shifting towards generating their own heat and power to bring energy production closer to its use. This enables manufacturers to cut energy wasted from transporting electricity from one side of the country to the other. Excess energy is captured and re-used, while production line processes are adjusted to optimise energy efficiency. An integrated on-site energy supply solution can immediately reduce operating costs, reduce utility negotiating power and provide a more secure,
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resilient energy supply. Overall, through a mix of flexible, decentralised and renewable energy generation strategies, a trusted partner can help businesses reduce energy costs by 25-40%. Energy service partners can also enable industrial manufacturers to access new digital tools such as data analytics to drive down their energy use. For instance, building a ‘digital twin’ – an exact virtual replica – of a manufacturing facility, allows solutions to be tailored to each specific site and organisational energy objectives, covering factors such as the demand for electricity, steam, and hot water. Despite the immediate benefits of an integrated energy solution, a substantial number of industrial energy users may be hesitant to risk capital on a non-core part of their business. Expert providers, however, have the knowledge, experience and expertise to offer ‘outcome-based’ financing arrangements which are effectively self-funding and require no upfront capital expenditure. Siemens Financial Services conservatively estimates that UK manufacturers could save £5.6 billion over five years, including £954 million in savings for the chemical manufacturing sector, by implementing Energy-as-a-Service solutions.
Partnered with an outside expert, businesses are shifting towards generating their own heat and power to bring energy production closer to its use Through Energy-as-a-Service arrangements, manufacturers can secure these operational cost reductions without putting pressure on capital resources. Instead, the manufacturer is charged a monthly fee that is structured to effectively deliver a net operational benefit, based on projected energy savings from solutions which optimise their energy use. In this way, manufacturing CFOs make payments based on outcomes – including energy savings, carbon reductions and resilience against disruptive power outages. Prioritising capital investment in energy optimisation is challenging for most manufacturers, competing with many other demands on scarce funds. By being able to access Energy-as-a-Service solutions, a growing wave of manufacturing CFOs can access new investments right away to reduce their operational costs and improve their competitiveness. On the other hand, if companies simply sit back and wait for the dust to clear, they will miss out on the savings available and lose out to competitors.
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