Archive for May, 2010

Worldwide Jellyfish Watch website

May 30th, 2010 by Richard Lord

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has created a jellyfish sighting database on the web.  If you find a jellyfish on a Bailiwick of Guernsey beach or in the sea you can submit the record to the MBARI.  Go to the Create new sighting web page where you will see a map. A red marker will be positioned over Monterey.

This is a screen shot of the map. Go to the website and drag the red marker from California to the Bailiwick of Guernsey to pinpoint the location of the jellyfish sighting

Drag the red marker all the way across the world to the Guernsey location where you saw the jellyfish and fill in the information in the boxes provided.  You do not have to subscribe to the website to fill in the information.  You can zoom in and out of the map.  The zooming feature will allow you to pinpoint the location of your jellyfish sighting in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

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Sustainable Housing: How can we save 80% of our energy use in existing homes?

May 29th, 2010 by Richard Lord

As part of the LSE Sustainability in Practice Lecture series, Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, Head of LSE Housing and Communities gave a presentation in February 2010 on “Sustainable Housing: how can we save 80% of our energy use in existing homes?” The LSE has made available a PDF file of Professor Anne Power’s PowerPoint presentation.  An 37 mb and 80 minute MP3 file of her presentation is also available.

Have you considered using a photovoltaic panel to charge an electric bike?

May 28th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Several people in Guernsey are using renewable energy to charge electric bicycles.  Gavin Lanoe uses PV panels to charge a battery for his electric bicycle.  He used a kit to modify his bicycle into an electric bike.

Gavin Lanoe's electric bicycle is charged by sunlight

Environment Department planning exemption for installation of solar panels

May 28th, 2010 by Gavin Lanoe

Guernsey’s Planning Section of the Environment Department has an exemption specifically for the installation of Solar Panels, which is stated in the document ‘Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance 2007’.

The section on the exemption for solar panels states the following:

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Explaining a unit of electricity

May 28th, 2010 by Gavin Lanoe

Guernsey Electricity Ltd. charges for electricity in units.  One unit is equivalent to using 1000 watts of power (one kilowatt) for one hour.  This is expressed as a kilowatt hour or kW.h.  If a piece of equipment uses 500 watts it would use 1 kW.h in two hours.  (500 watts x 2 hours = 1 kW.h)


A kettle boiling uses approximately 2850 watts of 2.85 kW per hour but only for 3 minutes at a time.

An electricity meter shows the kettle using about 2850 watts of power (click on image to enlarge)

You therefore need to boil the kettle 20 times for one hour of usage.

In that hour the kettle will use 2.85 kW.h or 2.85 units.

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Aladdin’s Cave Ltd. supports environmental causes by donating income from plastic bag sales to G-CAN

May 28th, 2010 by Richard Lord

Aladdin’s Cave Ltd. on Les Canus Road, Capelles, St. Sampson, Guernsey sells carrier bags in support of Guernsey Climate Action Network (G-CAN).  Their total charitable donations to G-CAN have amounted to almost £1500 in the last two years.  G-CAN appreciates their support.

Sticky: International Plastic Bag Free Day is 3 July 2010

May 27th, 2010 by Richard Lord

The International Bag Free Day website states that the aim of the nominated day is to make society aware of the over-consumption of plastic bags and disposable products and work towards developing more responsible and more environmentally friendly habits.

It is also a day to assess the results of the measures applied in different countries.

This year international organizations will join the initiative which will turn July 3rd into International Plastic Bag Free Day.

It will be a day of celebration, reflection and exchange of experiences around the world.

This initiative, which comes from Spain, provides some resources.

Sizing the power output of a photovoltaic system to cover the running load of your home

May 27th, 2010 by Gavin Lanoe

The running load or standing load as it is sometimes known is the amount of electricity your house uses while you are not home.

This electrical load is from the devices that are switched on all the time like refrigerators and alarm clocks etc.

For my home this list includes….

Computer Equipment

• Server PC with UPS

• Broadband Router

• Network Switch


• Cooker (clock / timer)

• Fridge Freezer

• Chest Freezer

Safety Equipment

• six mains powered smoke alarms

Everything Else

• Sky Digibox (for Sky+ scheduled recordings)

• Alarm Clock

• Alarm Radio

• Power usage meter

• three Rodent Repealers

The electrical load of all this equipment adds up to approximately 350 watts.

In order to cover this standing load with power generated from a solar photovoltaic system we must generate more than 350 watts during the day.  Covering the standing load of your home is a good idea because during the day electricity is most expensive.  Guernsey Electricity’s standard domestic tariff for customers with a single rate is 14.5 pence per kW.h.  The Super Economy 12 Tariff has two rates of 15.16 pence per kW.h at the peak rate and 6.29 pence per kW.h for the low rate.

Installing a system that can generate more power than is being used is a good idea but only to a point. Over-sizing the installation slightly will help to compensate for dull days.

If the rate at which your local energy provider will buy power from you is reasonable (currently about 6.5 pence per kW.h) then you can use the surplus power you generate to sell back to the grid and off-set the expense of the watts used overnight.

So we are looking for a solar photovoltaic (PV) system that will generate 350 watts of power reliably.

This article is also available on my website.

Urban Net publishes “Mind the Skills Gap – The skills we need for sustainable communities

May 27th, 2010 by Yvonne Burford

The Academy for Sustainable Communities publishes “Mind the Skills Gap – The Skills we need for sustainable communities” on Urban Net.

Tranquility in Town – Open Garden on 29 May from midday to 4 pm

May 27th, 2010 by Richard Lord

The two acre, multi-award winning garden at Grange Court, The Grange, St. Peter Port will be open to the public on Saturday 29 May from midday to 4 pm.  There will be refreshments and a gardening tombola.  Entrance cost is £4.00 and the money goes to charity.