The Anonymous Widower

Heathrow Express Class 332 Trains Are Back

On my trip to Cardiff today, I took this picture of a Class 332 train back running the Heathrow Express.

Heathrow Express Class 332 Trains Are Back

Heathrow Express Class 332 Trains Are Back

When I got home, I found this recent article on Rail News.

I still won’t be using them, as to get to Paddington is not easy from Dalston withiout using a taxi, as I did when going out.

On return, I needed to get some supper and as Marks and Spencer is closed at Paddington, I had to get the tube to Kings Cross to get the food I needed.

From there I got a taxi home.

It won’t be easy to get to Paddington until Crossrail opens and if it opens as planned, there will be no need for those of us in the East to use Heathrow Express.

March 12, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Stopping Your Computer Upgrading To Windows 10

I never upgrade my computers to the new version of an operating system, unless it is absolutely necessary.

No-one has convinced me of a valid reason yet! And I doubt anyone will!

They are my computers, so I decide when to upgrade, not some idiot who might vote for Donald Trump and believes in the right to bare arms and the death penalty. Not you Bill, but can you vouch for all your employees?

But I have been pointed to this little program entitled GWX Control Panel, that immunises your computer against unwanted junk from Micros**t!

 

March 12, 2016 Posted by | Computing | | 2 Comments

Energy Switch Inertia

I’ve just heard Paul Lewis on BBC Breakfast talking about some of the new rules to find the best energy deal. It sounds a real mess, which is all to the advantage of the Big Six.

I wrote Read This Article If You’re With The Big Six Companies, when I read a good article by Stewart Dalby, where he advocated self help.

Talking to a few friends who are still with the Dreaded Big Six, I’m convinced that the biggest problem is brain inertia and making the decision to switch.

But against this, I’ve never met anyone, who is dissatisfied with a small supplier after switching.

There are various methods, I’ve heard of where people found their new small energy supplier.

  • Recommendation from a friend or someone they trust.
  • One lady was pointed to her supplier by her doctor.
  • From the consumer pages of a daily or local paper. One was even recommended by the Daily Star!
  • I’ve seen one supplier advertised above urinals in a pub toilet.
  • From a local councillor.

I chose my supplier, as I saw an interview with OVO’s founder in the Sunday Times. I liked what I read and as I still do, I have no reason to change!

 

March 12, 2016 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Questions About Solar Panels

Yesterday, despite the temperature being about eight or nine outside, because the evil devil had switched the radiant heaters on, the temperature had risen to twenty-eight inside my house, due to heat coming in through my skylight and by radiation from the flat roof.

Now the flat roof has been relaid and insulated, so to make matters worse the heat once in can’t get out.

So I decided I’d had enough and have decided to do what I had already ascertained was to be the next steps.

  • Put an electric shutter over the skylight.
  • Fit solar panels to both generate electricity and shade my house from the sun.

Hopefully, I’d generate enough electricity to run the air-conditioner, when the sun is on.

I entered my details into a comparison site and they said they’d select six local installers.

Within half an hour, I had a call on my phone and as the guy was in his van just round the corner, he was in my house doing a survey within five minutes.

He was also very much a local supplier, as both his flat and office were within five hundred metres.

He quoted for a four kilowatt system with sixteen panels, which he said would cost £5,000 as standard including installation and VAT.

I could also have micro-inverters which would up the cost to £6,300.

He indicated that micro-inverters were more efficient and had a loner life. He also enclosed the data sheet for the Enphase microinverters.

So I asked myself what are micro-inverters and what advantages do I get.

I found this web page entitled Should I Get Micro-Inverters For My Solar PV System?

Read the page and you’ll find there are two kinds of inverters;string and micro.

With a string inverter, you have one device that converts the DC of the panels to the AC of the house. So it’s like having one charger for all your devices.

With a micro inverter, each panel has its own inverter.

So the number of electronic components probably explains the difference in cost.

But there are other differences.

  • String inverters have typically a five year guarantee, whereas micro inverters have one of twenty-five. Only a madman would offer such a guarantee, if the devices failed regularly.
  • String inverters gear their output to the poorest performing panel, whereas with micro-inverters each panel performs according to the sun it gets.
  • If there is a chance of major shading, go for micro inverters.
  • Failures do happen and surely if each panel is an complete system, if one should fail, it is a problem, which is easier to locate and remedy.

Now I’m no expert, but my electrical engineering training says that micro-inverters are a better bet.

Years ago, when I worked at ICI, some others in the office were working on automating a chemical plant. Up until 1970, traditionally each temperature, pressure and position sensor input went into a massive and extremely expensive analogue to digital converter to link to the computer. But in this development, every input had its own converter.

I ‘m not in automation these days, but I doubt they use a massive and expensive converter and each input is handled individually.

So with my panels, I’m tempted to pay the extra £1,300.

I’m still waiting for the other five installers to phone.

March 12, 2016 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment