Editorial - Summer 18 - Fascinating Tech Magazine

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Editorial - Summer 18

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What a sizzling summer we are having and what better place to spend a super sunny weekend than at Silverstone looking at innovative technology and I don't mean the gas guzzlers looping the track but the fantastic technology inside the exhibition centre at the inaugral FullyCharged Live. 


For those of you who don't know FullyCharged is a YouTube channel founded by Robert Llewelyn of Red Dwarf Kryton and Scrapheap Challenge fame. These days Robert shares hosting duty with Johnny Smith of Fifth Gear fame and they cover everything to do with Green Energy from generation to home with a special emphasis on Electric transportation. This channel is up there in quality with anything the mainstream broadcasters produce and is growing in subscribers every day.




Still when I spoke to Robert on the first morning of the event he was visibly worried that no-one would turn up to this the first live event to have his channel's name. He need't have worried, even as we spoke we could see people beginning to arrive in the car park. 


This trickle begat a mighty river then a raging torrent of EV enthusiasts and people just considering electric cars alike. At one stage an Electric Car traffic Jam formed near the entrance. This is probably the cleanest Jam ever. 



The event combined a display of electric vehicles, a comprehensive exhibition, along with some amazing talks covering everything from range anxiety (which apparently none of the EV drivers present actually worry about) to Home Electricity and Heat Storage with a lot in between. 


All of these are available on the FullyCharged YouTube channel to watch and I highly recommend watching them all.





One of the crowd pleasers at the show was the Jaguar I-Pace the first fully electric cars from this brand.

Whilst this was a pre-production vehicle and was constantly plugged into a generator which kind of defeated its green image it still looked really good and had a definite quality feel to its interior

With a projected real world range of around 200 to 230 miles and a Jaguar sports car heritage in a cross-over package (well raised hatchback to some) this is definitely a vehicle to watch out for and one we are looking to review shortly.








Also interesting was Ubertricity's approach to solving the charging infrastucture issue by placing chargers in street lamps. Now this isn't going to be appropriate everywhere - some street furniture is in pretty unfriendly locations for cars -  but where lamps coalesce with on street parking it could be a real boon.

 A lot of London councils obviously already think so as they are busy  adopting this technology. 

(Quick side note... the Ubertricity stand was so popular we couldn't get close enough to take a picture - thankfully the 90x lens of the Kodak Pixpro reviewed elsewhere came to our rescue and the picture below was taken from a balcony the other side of the venue)




What struck me is how much impact all of this electrification is going to have on the national grid. Now we've all heard the doom and gloom about the amount of power needed to charge cars if we all had electric cars - in one of the aforementioned talks the National Grid representative said he wasn't at all worried about this - but  in fact its is going to be more about how home electric storage be it either a battery or perhaps your Electric car being able to return unused power to the grid at peak times. This is going to affect the current view of the peaks and troughs in electric supply and perhaps completely change the way we are charged for electricity.  Ovo one of the UKs bigger electricity suppliers were already on the ball with this and carrying out two trials one of home battery storage and the other of so-called Vehicle2grid - this latter only being for new Nissan leaf owners.

 

Heat is also very much part of the picture with the move away from boilers being mandated in a few years there is likely to be a move to heat pumps and solar for heat. Solar for heat sounds inconvenient most of us don't want to shower at midday when its bright outside (that is a bit of a generalisation but most of us don't want to have to wait for heat) - we want heat on demand. One way round this is to store heat and Sunamp were showing their Heat Storage Battery which looked very good and also highly efficient.


One of the issues with all these technologies is the initail investment required. One Solar vendor put it as pre-paying for 20 years electricity in one go. Now you can argue for and against government subsidies but I think one way to help might be to have an energy improvement funding pool giving out interest free loans for this technology.


All in all FullyCharged Live was a resounding success - Robert you definitely need not have worried. My interview with Robert was for theDigitalLifestyle Show at www.thedigitallifestyle.com


Our Challenge

One of the big things to come out of the FullyCharged Event was a challenge. Every year the FascinatingTech team cover the IFA Consumer Electronics show in Berlin usually driving there in a petrol vehicle. We have been challenged to repeat that journey this year using fully electric technology. A challenge we plan to accept. You can see how that works out next issue.


In the meantime enjoy our Summer Edition content


Garry Whittaker
garry @ fascinatingtech.com
Editor




Garry has an opinion on the recent FullyCharge Live Show
What day was it I am supposed to put out the bin
Making the Kitchen a healthier place 
Scribbling on screens
Bluetooth calls on the move





Garry gets all foamy and steamy... with a milk frother from Melitta, prints small 3D things with the DaVinci Nano and zooms in a long way to summer with the camera from Kodak on our cover
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