October 31, 2011
An important milestone in the phasing out of inefficient lamps will be introduced in April 2012. The ruling addresses the maximum wattage for ELV halogen lamps above 37 watts in accordance with Australian Standard AS4934.2-2011 Part 2: Mimimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), which states “For ELV halogen reflector lamps, the average measured wattage shall be no more than 37W.
With the enforcement date being April 2012. The relevant section of AS4934.2-2011 will be legislated in each state and the expected outcome of the legislation is the 50 Watt MR16 halogen lamp will not be able to be imported after April 2012.
For more information please download the PDF
October 24, 2011
Australia has ranked seventh in the world’s most skilled countries after winning 10 medals in eight categories at the WorldSkills competition in London.
As reported in news.com.au Ben Houghton, 21, of Dubbo, was honoured as the world’s best young electrician, winning gold, and Australia’s highest overall point score, in the electrical installations category. The apprentice electrician, who works for AKE Electrical, said his win was “bloody unreal”.
“I was hoping to do my best but I never thought I was going to win,” he said.
He said the gold medal made him proud to have done a trade rather than go to university: “I always wanted to work with my hands.
“This will hopefully get me some good job offers.”
Australia’s four silver medals went to Guy Brooks in welding, Kye Szeniak in car painting, Liam Janetzki in refrigeration and air conditioning and Kate Crocker in restaurant service.
Hairdresser Alexis Scott won bronze, along with Lester Tibbles in brick laying and the manufacturing challenge team of Matthew Hall, Ben Hooper and Michael Theobald.
Skills and trade powerhouse Korea won first place overall, followed by Brazil in second, then Japan, Switzerland and Singapore. More than 200,000 people from 50 countries attended the four-day competition held at the ExCel centre in East London.
October 12, 2011
As the weather heats up, so too will the cost of cooling your home. The best way to keep your home cool during the summer is to use an air conditioner to keep the temperature low, but there are other ways that will keep your home low without the rise in electricity bills!
Ceiling Fans/ Fans
A ceiling fan can be a great way to cut down on electricity and keep cool this summer. A fan can easily make a room in your home feel around 6-7 degrees cooler. The best thing about it is that it saves a lot of energy in comparison to an air-con. Even a high energy using fan will only use about $10 a month if it is left on for 12 hours a day. Ceiling fans are by far better than the normal fans but nevertheless just as efficient in circulating the air and keeping the room cooler.
Check out the range of fans we online, just type in ‘ceiling fans‘ in the search bar!
Cover your Windows
Curtains, shades, blinds or shutters can reflect the heat away from the house. Pay attention to the positioning of your house rooms with direct sunlight (from the east in the morning and west in the afternoon) So you know when to keep the blinds closed or where to install shutters.
Appliances cause Heat
Another way to keep cool this summer is to keep the heat out! Don’t forget to turn off all the electrical appliances that are on or on standby. Not only will you save energy from turning these appliances off, but you will keep your house cooler in the process.
The second biggest energy drain in summer is your fridge. One reason for this is that they are often set colder than is needed to keep food safe. Keep the temperature between 3–5°C. If you have a second ‘beer’ fridge, only switch it on when you need it and run it in a cool place.
Make sure the door seals are in good condition; if the closed fridge door can’t grip a piece of paper, it’s time to get the seals replaced. It’s not an expensive job; ring around local fridge repairers for a quote.
October 7, 2011
Thousands of new solar power systems are failing because of poor quality components. Industry insiders have told The Courier-Mail many consumers were unaware the cheap systems they had bought were faulty or not performing efficiently. They said some faced a costly “time bomb” as warranties ran out and low-cost inverters failed, leaving them with replacement bills of about $2000.
Yesterday it was revealed 6000 households had panels but were losing money while they waited months for Energex to install “smart meters” that measure the value of the surplus power. This latest problem relates to customers unknowingly being sold poor-quality inverters with components from countries such as China. Inverters are the most important component in solar power systems, converting energy generated from roof panels into power suitable for households and the grid.
They are also expensive, so the use of cheaper ones can save $1000 even on a standard 1.5kW system. However, the imports have a high failure rate and also don’t extract the optimum energy from panels. Brisbane businessman Brian Springer, who operates Springers Solar, said there had been a rise in “suspect business models” in the industry. Mr Springer said his main concern was that reputable companies were being tarnished by those chasing a fast buck. “Cheap systems have become a major problem and it’s getting worse,” he said. “Customers are missing out on energy efficiency and reliability”.
Master Electricians Australia’s chief executive Malcolm Richards said he was aware of issues with cheaper products being used in solar systems. Mr Richards said a key issue was many systems were not operating efficiently because the size of the inverter was not ideally matched to the panels. “There has been a shortage of 1.5kW inverters because of demand, so 3kW inverters were sold as an up-sell to customers. They still work but with less efficiency and require more electricity to run so this detracts from the performance of the system,”
Looking for quality Solar Systems? Check out our range online today!
Old or poorly installed ceiling downlights can set fire to roof installations or timbers which burn in the roof space above smoke alarms. These fires can go undetected until it is too late. Often, people only know their house is on fire when flaming material comes through air conditioning vents or the ceiling collapses. It makes a safe escape more difficult and causes significant damage.
How can a fire start in the roof space?
A roof space fire starts above the ceiling material but beneath the roof tiles or tin. There are a number of things in a roof space that may cause a fire. These include water
pipes, heater flues, heat from the back of downlights and electrical circuits that have been damaged by poor workmanship, white ants or rodents.
NOTE: If downlights are installed correctly and a safe distance is kept from combustible material, there is no risk of fire.
What are the main causes of downlight fires?
A fire can start when the heat given off by downlights comes in contact with combustible material including insulation, leaf litter, wiring or roof timbers. FESA research shows downlights can heat up to more than 240 degrees.
What can I do to prevent downlight fires?
When installed correctly, downlights do not pose a fire risk. It is important to:
- Inspect all downlights and transformers
- Ensure a non-combustible or mechanical barrier is installed to prevent insulation or other combustible material covering downlights
- Always use fittings and guards that meet Australian Standards
- Following any work in the roof space, inspect all downlights and transformers to ensure they are clear of insulation or other combustible material
- Consider replacing 240 volt incandescent globes with compact fluorescent globes that produce less heat
- Consider replacing 12 volt halogen (dichroic) globes with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) that produce considerably less heat
What has been done to reduce downlight fires?
Industry and Government have been working together and developed a standard on the safe use of 240 volt and extra low voltage (less than 50 volts) halogen (dichroic) downlights to reduce the risk of fire. Consumer and electrical contractors education is ongoing. Australian Standards (AS/NZS 3000) – Wiring Rules 2007 specify:
- Minimum side and top distances between downlights and roof timbers
- Ability for heat producing devices to release heat
- Physical barriers to prevent combustible materials being too close to exposed light assemblies
October 6, 2011
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