April 2015 - An Overview of the GB Smart Metering Programme.

Dave Openshaw, Future Networks Senior Advisor for UK Power Networks, told us how smart meters can improve overall electrical system efficiency and, for domestic installations, do away with meter readers and allow consumers to understand and control their consumption.

The Government (DECC) is leading the Implementation Programme, which includes gas meters, but was originally intended only for the domestic market. The Distribution Network Operators ( DNOs ), however, are pursuing options to improve how the electricity supply networks are operated using additional information obtained by the meters, such as voltage at the consumer terminals and their maximum demand.

The cost of replacing 53 million meters ( 28 million electric ) is reckoned at £11bn, with £6bn estimated net benefit. The installation programme was due to start in 2016 with completion in 2020. The programme is running late because of the extensive consultations required but is still scheduled to complete in 2020, which will reduce the net financial benefit ( originally £7bn ) as more technicians will be required to fit the meters in the reduced period available. Data will be transmitted from appliances to the meter at one frequency and from the meter to a central hub at a different frequency. Problems are anticipated in multi-occupied premises, particularly in high rise situations where metering is in the basement.

Comprehensive governance is in place whereby a Smart Energy Code has to be complied with, all data users must be registered, and comprehensive Technical Specifications have been issued. Three geographically defined WAN Service contracts have been awarded covering the North and the Midlands ( Arqiva )and the South ( Telifonica ). The contract to operate the Central Hub, where all data is assembled, has also been awarded ( Capita ).

A pilot scheme in London involving 1100 consumers had strong price signals - 67.20p HIGH, 11.76p NORMAL and 3.99p LOW, with a minimum of 24 hours notice of when these prices would change (delivered by IHD with SMS option). More than two thirds found the smart meter useful and motivational. Most saved money, the mean amount being 4.31%.

Whilst the 2GW of solar farms currently connected are monitored at HV, DNOs are suffering from lack of knowledge of system input at any particular time of, for instance, LV micro-generation, which is increasing rapidly. With smart meters, the input of these various LV systems can be analysed and the simultaneous demand aggregated. At present, maximum input to the system and the demand are measured at different times - smart meters will overcome this problem and so enable system losses to be calculated more accurately.

The high voltage system is closely monitored for faults but for LV the DNOs rely on consumers phoning in when off supply: in particular, during storms in rural areas, HV damage to overhead supplies can mask LV problems. The DNO knows when the HV system is restored but consumers can still be off because of an LV problem. Smart meters will enable Controllers to determine whether all supplies are back on. They might even improve public relations for the DNOs.

Network monitoring will also allow high and low voltage conditions, which may have implications of public safety, to be detected, and might identify the need for system reinforcement or improved voltage regulation at LV ( at present voltage regulation is at HV only ).

Following several questions, the Chairman thanked Dave for a very informative talk. Members showed their appreciation in the usual way.

March 2015 - History of Newspapers in Suffolk

The Vice President, Eric Thorndyke, introduced Mr Pip Wright, who stepped in at short notice due to the unavailability of Paul Howe from Trinity House.

Mr Wright's talk was on the History of Newspapers in Suffolk, in particular the local ones. He illustrated his talk with many OHP's of examples of articles from the old papers and pages of all sorts of papers from different periods. The earliest news papers were made from recycled rag, hence the term often given to a newspaper as a "rag".

He began his talk with the London papers that used to arrive by train bur did not have any local content, thought to the development of the local papers including the Ipswich Journal, Suffolk Chronicle, Bury Post and many others and as time went by there were more papers produced by the smaller towns of the county. Pip included many stories from those papers which were most enlightening and entertaining. Mr Wright has a website "pipwright.com" where many of his books can be found and some can be read online.

Following several questions Eric thanked Mr Wright for coming to our rescue at such short notice and asked all those present to give him a vote of thanks in the usual way.

Feb 2015 - Air to Water Heat Pumps

The evenings lecture was given by Stuart Gadsden from Dakin on the subject of Air to Water Heat Pumps. Stuart began outlining the History of Dakin. Akira Yamada founded the Company Osaka Kgyosho Ltd in 1924 and Dakin Europe was founded in 1972 and has grown since in the air conditioning field.

He continued to describe how heat pumps work. They comprising an Evaporator, Compressor, Condenser and Expansion Valve, the same circuit as in the domestic refrigerator. A heat pump it takes heat from the atmosphere and delivers it inside the building for heating and in reverse for cooling. A heat pump it is typically 300% efficient. i.e. 1kW of electricity to run the pump will produce 3kW of heat.

There are three types of heat source for heat pumps, Geothermal, Hydrothermal and Aerothermal. The aerothermal ones are, Air to Air (air conditioning) or Air to Water (radiators & DHW). Air flows through the first heat exchanger using ambient air typically from minus 25 deg upwards and passes the heat gained in the process to the radiators etc in the building. The benefits are: free heat from the atmosphere and they can be up to 400% efficient; there is no risk of gas or oil leaks; reduced CO2 emissions and can work with solar thermal systems for extra benefits. Coefficient of Performance (COP) for air to water heat pumps is often quoted at an outdoor temperature of 7deg C and a water flow temperature of 35 deg C, The COP decreases with falling air temperature and rising flow temperatures.

Cost Comparisons

Heating System

Unit cost p/kWh



Heat output p/kWh

Gas Boiler New




Gas Boiler Old






350% - 200%

3.4 - 6.0

There are two basic types Split or Monoblock. The Split system has the outdoor unit containing the evaporator compressor and fan and the indoor unit has the condensing heat exchanger. Refrigerant pipe work runs between the outdoor and indoor unit which can be some 30m apart. Water is circulated in the building (no glycol required). With the monoblock unit all the components are contained in the unit outside the building and the water circuit then often requires glycol as an antifreeze.

Maximum flow temperatures are around 55deg C, higher temperatures may require some form of electrical backup or a cascade system of two refrigerant circuits offering higher efficiencies. Systems can also be combined with traditional boiler to give backup/topup heating when required. Compressors often use inverter technology to match heating demand and weather compensation of flow temperature is also available.

There are Standards for both the heat loss design (BS EN 12831) and the installation of heat pump systems (MIS 3005). Installation must comply with MCS planning standards (MCS020) and a Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme is available from the government.

Following questions Stuart was thanked in the usual way by all the members present for a very interesting and informative talk.

Jan 2015 - Ipswich Flood Management Strategy

The evening's lecture was given by Andrew Usborne, Project Manager of the National Capital Programme Management Service of the Environment Agency and was entitled "Ipswich Flood Management Strategy" and was illustrated many pictures and details.

Andrew began by outlining the project's time scale and aims. It was approved by Defra in March 2006, to provide flood protection from a 1 in 300 chance of both tidal and fluvial flooding each year over the 100 year period until 2106. As such, provides an increased standard of flood protection to approximately 3800 residential and commercial properties in the Ipswich area. The EA and Ipswich Borough Council have been working in partnership and secured additional funding contribution of £10M.

His talk started by showing the flood risk area of Ipswich and the location of the raised walls that would best protected the area. There is basically a raised wall running from the tank farm on the east bank of the river , round by the outer dock lock gates and back down the west bank behind the ABP West Bank Terminal with the tidal barrier situated at the mouth of the New Cut. The Wet Dock gates have been replaced with a taller set in line with the height of the raised walls.

Two 132kV HV cables, owned by UK Power networks, that run down the west side of the Dock Island and cross to the east side bank of the river, swinging out in the river, round the front of the down stream lock gates and these required diverting to enable the installation work of the tidal barrier. This work is scheduled to be completed by November 2015 and necessitates placing new cables in a tunnel which has to be bored under the centre of the lock and the cables diverted through it.

The work for the Tidal barrier was awarded in November 2014, with the design work starting in January 2015. The west bank works are due to finish in 2016 and the dredging of the new cut is due to commence in the Autumn of 2015 with the Tidal barrier in operation by the Autumn 2017.

The barrier has to present unrestricted navigation when not in operation and can be used for velocity control of the river. It will have a "sill flushing" facility and is designed for easy inspection and maintenance. The barrier gate, which is of a semicircular section, when not in use will sit on the river bed and when required rotated into position. To enable the installation of the civil works to be undertaken a coffer dam will be built in the New Cut and the river diverted around it. Then when the installation is finished the river will then be restored through the new barrier and the river bank reinstated. The control power house for the barrier gate will be located on the island adjacent to the barrier. The cost to date is £27 M with the overall cost projected at £55M

Following many questions the Roger Hayward thanked Andrew for a most interesting evening and the members showed their appreciation in the usual way.

Nov 2014 - Connected Homes

The evenings lecture was given by Roger Coote from Honeywell on "Connected Homes". First of all he began by telling us a little bit about Honeywell. It is an American company which has a turnover of approximately $40 billion, 55% of that is from outside the US, and has a worldwide presence operating in 68 countries with 131,000 employees. It is in Aerospace, Automation and Control Solutions, Performance Materials and Technologies. Connected Homes comes in the heating and controls field and amongst its competitors are Owl, Hive, and Nest with their wireless products.

By 2020 it is projected that there will be 26 billion connected devices in UK homes which is a growth of 30 times the present figure in the next few years. Developments in technology have grown at an extraordinary pace over the last few years, giving consumers the opportunity to live life more efficiently and flexibly than ever before. Over the last ten years, the complexity and capabilities of what are often perceived as simple domestic controls have been transformed. A survey went out to 2,000 installers and electricians and 500 homeowners' asking them about what they understood a smart home to be but also how they would go about getting or providing one.

The general definition is ‘A connected, controllable and intelligent home where all systems, including heating and lighting, communicate with one another and can be controlled from anywhere at any time using a single phone, tablet or computer'. Honeywell have added an additional viewpoint ‘with the main goal being energy efficiency'.

Honeywell's multi-zon system is called evohome and is a wireless system connecting thermostatic radiator valves, cylinder and room thermostats, motorized control valves and the boiler to an evohome controller. Remote access from a tablet or smart phone is also possible to the controller to make adjustments. Ease of control and energy saving is at the heart of the system. Individual rooms can have their own arrangements for different temperatures at different times of the day and week. There is also in-built optimisation features such as ‘delayed start' and ‘optimum stop' to allow evohome to intelligently optimise start and stop times. A learning TPI algorithm ensures each zone adapts to the weather and the seasons.

All items are available from suppliers of plumbing and heating products and come in a number of different packs depending on the requirements. The cost for a typical house is of the order of £400 and it is estimated that this can be recovered in about two years.

Oct 2014 - Ipswich Museum Campus Project

The evening's talk was given by Mark Hunter, Operations Manager, Building and Design Services, Ipswich Borough Council and was entitled "Museum Campus Project" Mark illustrated his talk with many slides to describe the proposed redevelopment of the Ipswich Museum site to bring it into the 21st century. The museum was built in 1880's and was the largest museum building outside London at that time. He said they could strip down and rewire and 'do it up' but that would not do it justice.

The museum site is a group of buildings made up of the original Grade 2 listed building, the Salem Chapel, (now the New Wolsey Studio Theatre), the High Street Exhibition Gallery and the Ipswich Arts School Gallery.

Architects were engaged to create a multi-building complex, connected so that visitors could move between the buildings without getting wet and with the multiple plant rooms being consolidate into one. The Services are also to be up-graded. A further requirement is to make the Museum a "destination" in its own right, and to conserve the artefacts and retell their story. The Museum houses about 150,000 objects from tiny flint arrow heads to the Woolly Mammoth. The plan is to keep such features as the terracotta panelling in the front of the building and to build a glass box entrance that can be seen from Crown Street to guide visitors to the museum. The security is also to be upgraded to prevent thefts from the museum (Jade has already been taken off display) and to have more modern displays such as the present Egyptology display. Some of the display cases that need to be attack resistant, can cost as much as £60k. The museum fit out costs are estimated at £7M for display cases, lighting and audio visual equipment etc. and the overall project is costed at £25M. It is proposed to obtain money from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the local Council and from voluntary contributions

There is to be a new building at the back of the complex for 'items on loan' to be displayed from places such as the Victoria & Albert Museum or the British Museum. The 'glass box' is proposed to house the entrance and a cafe which can also be used for evening events. The walk way connecting all the buildings together is known as the "Street" with the New Wolsey Theatre Studio being able to access the cafe in the evenings. In the new building there will also be a conservation room visible to the public and a viewing area where the public can look at and handle items from the museum store. The design has to balance interests of all ages museum and it is also proposed to have displays which can be changed from time to time.

All this work has to have the approval of English Heritage and discussions are being held with them as to what can be done before Planning Permission can be obtained. There is both a Site Project and a Concept teams overseeing the development and the whole project is being managed in house by the council staff. Resources will have to be manage for this project as both the council and museum staff will have to do their 'day job' as well.

While the work is being carried out all the items on display will need to be stored offsite, in the order that they are going to be required when returned to the to the museum on its completion. The time scale is for a starting in 2017 but if an early start is possible, there could be savings to the project costs. The Colchester Museum upgrade cost approximately £2000/metre.

Sept 2014 - The Chairman's Evening - My Working Life with Ipswich Town Football Club.

The evenings talk was given by Pat Godbold. She was born is Ipswich and when she was small she said that she wanted the work for John Cobbold, which in fact came true as she became his personal secretary. She started work in 1946 at Reavells and then through a friend was invited for an interview at the Football Club at which she was asked by Scott Duncan, to take dictation for a letter for Goal Nets. She got the job working for him.

Alistair Cobbold was the Chairman at the time and they were running the club on a shoe string, the staff did all the jobs around the ground even to washing socks at the club, while the rest of washing done at the Ipswich Steam Laundry. One day, on the day of a match John Cobbold even caught Scott Duncan watering down the whisky. It was a happy club to work for but one piece of advice Scott gave Pat, was to watch out for the players!

In 1955 Scott Duncan retired and Alf Ramsey was appointed manager. The "Boys" had a great respect for him but he showed no sign of emotion. Between 1954 and 1997 Pat worked with 9 managers, 4 Chairmen and 4 Club Secretaries. Jacky Milbourn was appointed manager in 1963 and was responsible for starting the Youth team policy and in 1964 Bill McGarry became manager. Pat said that he was not known for saying please and thank you and one Christmas he gave the girls in the office tights wishing them Happy Christmas.

Bobby Robson joined in 1969 and Pat work for him for over 13 years and was Personal Secretary to "Bobby Robson Enterprises". Mr Robson was the first manager to buy foreign players. Pat even had to find and purchase houses for the foreign players she also typed all players contracts. Mr Robson was interested in youngsters as well as the big boys and the directors used to travel with the team to the away matches. Every manager was a different personality and after 25 yrs service she was given car, but had to pay for her petrol. Then in 2004 Pat was presented with a 50-year service award by the Football Association.

In 1997 she retired from full time work while David Sheepshank was Chairman and he arranged an evening "do" at the Copdock Hotel for her where she sat at the top table with him and Mr Robson. John Motson BBC sports commentator attended and presented, "Pat Godbold - This Is Your Life" during a fantastic evening.

She has stayed friendly with some of the players and managers having travelled to 50 grounds, 10 European countries, the old Wembley Stadium and to the Savoy Gala Night Dinner Dance for Bobby Robson. David Sheepshank even took her to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

Pat is now enjoying retirement but doing one day a week as Archivist for the I.T.F.C. and helping people with Alzheimer's & memory loss.