An air compressor is a vital piece of equipment in several industries and for everyday use. Broadly speaking, they are used for inflating tires, spray painting, pressure washers, controlling water fountains, cooling, paintball, engines, health, agriculture, manufacturing, tools, and in construction. So, if you’re looking to purchase an air compressor, it’s likely that you will need it for a different reason than the next person. Therefore, it is important to do your research, so you buy the correct air compressor for you. Here is our handy guide to help you out.
How do they work?
Although the use of these appliances range from industrial work to at-home DIY, the most commonly used type of air compressor is a single-stage, piston-type model. The air is compressed into a tank via an electric motor or gasoline engine which drives a piston, confining the air inside the enclosed space. As more air enters the tank, the pressure of the air inside begins to rise and will reach a standstill once a specific level is met with the help of a pressure switch. So, when you release the compressed air for its designated use, the mechanism will once again start working to build the pressure back up. Alternatively, a two-stage, piston-type model will feature two pistons which help compress the air further, which makes them more suitable for large-scale industrial use where high quantities of compressed air is needed.
You now probably understand the gist of how air compressors work, and whether a single or dual system will be suitable for you depending on the scale you will use the compressor. However, there are still a multitude of different models for different industries and specific uses.
What are the different types?
If you are purchasing an air compressor for permanent usage, you are likely to invest in a stationary air compressor, which is large and used to yielding high levels of power so is suitable for regular and prolonged use. However, if you are looking for a versatile model which you can move from workstation to workstation, a portable air compressor may be the right option for you. These come in a variety of designs. This includes a “Wheelbarrow compressor” which consists of two tanks on wheels for easy transportation, a “Twin-stack compressor” which sees two tanks stacked vertically on top of one another to maximise floor space, the “Hot dog” style which consists of a single tank, and finally a “Pancake compressor”, made up of flat storage tanks as opposed to a cylindrical one.
When making a final decision on what air compressor to buy, ensure you do sufficient research, so you don’t regret your purchase. Consider the size needed, the industry it is needed for, and whether the level of air pressure within your compressor is compatible with the tools you want to power if doing so. You may also consider the motor power and whether it is powered by diesel or petrol. Hopefully, this guide has shed some light on how to get the ball rolling with your search for the perfect air compressor – good luck with your search!
Gone are the days where TVs cost a fortune to purchase. With advances in technology, TVs are evolving all the time which has caused the new models to become more desirable and the older ones to depreciate which makes for a wonderful price for your new TV.
With this in mind, you’ll need to know what TVs are available on a budget for you and which one you should ultimately go for. Here are our top TVs for any budget.
This 50 inch LCD TV is a great choice for any household. Offering you a 4K HDR picture, watching anything from the likes of blockbuster movies to the news will be crisp and clear making your TV watching experience all the more rewarding.
As well as this, this television includes three HDMI inputs which makes hooking multiple gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch easy; why choose between which ones you have plugged in when you can plug them all in making for easy switching between consoles.
If 50 inch isn’t the size for you then the Toshiba 50UK3163DB can also be purchased at 43in, 58in and 65in.
Samsung is notorious for making beautiful technological creations but this might be one of their best. This LCD television comes in eight sizes from 43in to 85in so depending on your budget, there’s plenty of room to choose from.
Displaying a 4K picture with a Tizen operating system, this Samsung television is one of the best budget TV’s that money can buy. Coming in comfortably under £500 for the 43-inch model, this TV will bring any room to life with crisp imagery on anything you watch.
If you’re wanting a TV that is smarter than most then look no further than this TCL television. Fitted with an incredible smart platform, this TV is easy to navigate making it suitable for families of a range of ages sharing the TV.
The TCL 55RP620K tackles complex colours on screen expertly well displaying them to the viewer to watch on in awe of what they are witnessing. Bring your favourite films and TV shows to life on a budget with this magnificent TV.
Getting TV’s on a budget is a fantastic way to save money but there is more than you can do to bring the cost down further. Use things like employee benefits to get an added discount on your budget TV. For example, people who work for the NHS have access to the Currys NHS discount as a perk for working there. Many companies will have a benefits scheme of their own so check with yours today and start saving.
No matter what size your business is, there are always reasons that you should go ahead and assess and upgrade your systems. You might already be aware of the benefits of technology and be utilizing those in your business, but that doesn’t mean that you should wait to upgrade. Technology allows you to compete with the big boys in your industry. It means that you can do more with your time and your money than you might ever have been able to in the past, and yet technology can have a downside.
There is a need for near-constant upgrades when it comes to your business systems. From the computers to the current business phone system you use, you need to stay on top of the upgrades and the technology you’re using. If you don’t know how the upgrades will work for you, then getting the best advice possible is the best step that you can take. You need to know what technology is going to work for your business, where to get the help and how you can make sure that your business is thriving. So, why should you go ahead and upgrade your business systems?
You’ll increase business productivity. We have bigger and better CPUs and faster hard drives, more processors and more of a need to communicate than ever before. The older systems are just not as fast as we need them to be. If you want to be able to keep up, you need to ensure that you have the newest hard drives in place to make it work!
You’ll learn to communicate better. Upgrading your telephone system is an absolute must when it comes to your business systems. You have to be aware of the ways that you communicate with your clients, customers and even your own staff. Your lack of attention to this detail could make the difference between you having the right flexibility or not.
You will be more efficient. We’re in the very fortunate position that we can use the technology that we have right now to do things that we couldn’t do before. Remote access via mobile devices and tablets is still relatively new, and yet they’re making us more efficient. If you rely on dinosaur systems, you’re going to find it much more difficult to remain efficient and keep up with the times.
You’ll improve your security. We’re living in a time where keeping up with the hackers is vital for us to be successful. Our older systems are not as secure as they used to be, with security checks necessary across a range of different soft and hardware options. It’s vital that you have the right information in place and you keep it as protected as possible. Newer technology has the security that you need in the right place, and better security is what your business needs.
The features – oh, the features! In new operating systems, the features are often the reason that people get involved and upgrade. They’re better with security. They’re fancier to work with. They simply do a better job than the older features of older technology.
You need better support. Sometimes, the upgrade in your IT systems comes with a better understanding and level of support from an IT team. IT professionals simply cannot support technology that has become too old and you have to make a point of upgrading to get the support that you need.
Your staff will be happier. You need people who work well, but they can only do as well as the tools that they are given. Employees will be more and more frustrated when you provide outdated software and systems, and it’s never going to be good for your company if you don’t look into how you can make their lives easier.
Your customers will be more engaged. If you ensure that you have upgraded your business systems properly, you’ll find that your customers are finding your business to be easier to access and information easier to digest. You want to make life easier for customers because they can then have a better, more targeted experience of your business. It’ll be what sets you apart from the rest of the world.
When it comes down to it, upgrading your technology is just good sense. You want to be able to improve on what you already know and do better for everyone else. This is how you thrive in business and how you keep doing well for the future.
On Saturday 26 November, In the sleepy mountain town of Gstaad – Switzerland, British company Pulsar Fusion demonstrated its latest green hybrid rocket engine.
An impressive visual plume effect of supersonic shock diamonds, typical of a high-temperature high mass flow rate rocket exhaust, could be seen through the snowstorm as the team operated the engine in quickly changing conditions. The exhaust speeds of the engine were recorded at Mach 7. This engine would be capable of launching a small rocket to an altitude of several 10s of km, well above UK airspace, or powering the upper stage of a rocket with a larger booster stage into orbit.
CEO, Richard Dinan commented: “British companies with space ambitions must be international and fast-moving, achieving technological milestones on time and on budget whilst being environmentally conscious. Pulsar’s objective is to build world-class technologies that serve as a force for good.
Pulsar’s green (non-toxic) hybrid rocket engine combusts nitrous oxide (N2O) oxidiser and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel and oxygen. The HDPE can be obtained from recycled plastic and the two fuels burn together to produce a non-toxic plume.
The propellants used – nitrous oxide N2O and polyethylene HDPE – are some of the cleanest available to the space industry, producing an exhaust of largely water vapour and having an extremely low production energy requirement, resulting in one of the lowest carbon footprints in the world for an engine of this size.
It is a new model that enables Pulsar to manufacture these compact rocket engines at record lead times, with an enhanced safety factor as due to the design, these engines have relatively benign failure modes in comparison with conventional liquid propulsion engines.
WHAT DOES PULSAR FUSION DO?
Pulsar Fusion is primarily engaged in the research of high-speed propulsion and clean energy applications from nuclear fusion.
Pulsar Fusion received UK government funding in September 2021 to further develop its HET (Hall Effect Thruster) plasma satellite engines, capable of 20 km / second particle exhaust speeds. These Pulsar thrusters have recently been tested at Harwell’s facilities where they withstood 20g’s of vibration, simulating a rocket launch. Pulsar now seeks to IOD test these engines. (In-Orbit Demonstration).
The company’s ultimate milestone is to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies of which it has been researching for nine years which could eventually be used for interplanetary travel – and which scientists say could halve the journey time from Earth to Mars. A first prototype is expected in 2025.
HOW WAS THIS TEST DIFFERENT TO THE PULSAR UK TESTS?
The test in Gstaad ran the engine on liquid oxidiser, compared to only gas in the UK. The oxidiser quantity and engine impulse were increased by a factor of nearly 10, and the chamber pressure raised from around 5 bar to over 20 bar on the first Swiss test to nearly 50 bar on the 2nd one. Pulsar supercharged the flow with nitrogen pressurant which has not been done in the UK before and in doing so raised the thrust to near the design value of 12kN or just over a tonne of thrust.
WHY DEMONSTRATE IN SWITZERLAND?
The demonstration took place on the Gstaad Runway, an idyllic spot surrounded by mountains. Pulsar sees Switzerland as a country that is well placed to support advanced, environmentally friendly space technologies. The company strives to be a British company that can demonstrate its technologies to international clients and Switzerland is an ideal gateway for such an ambition. Pulsar hopes to carry out further tests in the region in 2022 and invite European space clients to attend. Additionally, Pulsar is in contact with most of the UK launch sites and would probably start with further static tests and low altitude flights at Machrihanish, near Cambletown on Argyll before moving to one of the other sites such as Space Hub Sutherland on the mainland or Spaceport-1 on the Hebrides for high altitude flights towards and beyond the Karman line at 100km.
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Fast and responsive: powerful octa-core processor and 3 GB RAM. 50% more RAM than the previous generation.
Up to 12-hour battery life and 32 or 64 GB of internal storage. Add up to 1 TB with microSD (sold separately).
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Enjoy your favourite apps like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and more through Amazon’s Appstore (Google Play not supported, subscription fees may apply).
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Pulsar Fusion Ltd, a UK nuclear fusion company based in Bletchley, has just developed and tested its first launch capable, high-power chemical rocket engine in the UK.
These rocket engines could be used for a variety of applications, including launching people and satellites into space.
The company’s ultimate ambition in the future is to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies for interplanetary travel – which scientists think could cut the journey time to Mars in half.
This successful set of test firings showcases the rapid design development and test process of high-performance engineering components to support Pulsar Fusion’s energy and propulsion hardware portfolio roadmap. The rocket engine proudly displayed the Union Jack flag during testing.
Pulsar’s UK acceptance tests at COTEC – Ministry of Defence military base in Salisbury, took place on November 17 and 18, 2021 (As pictured) which were static tests. These will be followed by an international demonstration for space clients in Switzerland on November 25.
This hybrid rocket engine has demonstrated impressive visual plume effects such as supersonic shock diamonds typical of a high temperature, high mass flow rate rocket exhaust.
CEO – Richard Dinan, commented: “We are delighted with the UK test firings at COTEC. It is a hugely significant moment and we are proud this rocket is built in the UK. To have a British rocket test on UK soil is novel.
“Pulsar is among a very few companies around the world to have built and tested these technologies. We have a team of fantastic scientists with a wealth of experience to thank for these milestones. We have also drawn talent from some of the UK’s top universities who have begun working with and testing our plasma thrusters at campus facilities. We are extremely proud of these achievements and look forward to expanding our network with the British and European space community with our hardware demonstration later this month in Switzerland.”
Pulsar’s ‘green’ (non-toxic) hybrid rocket engine combusts nitrous oxide (N2O) oxidiser and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) fuel and oxygen. It is a new model that enables Pulsar to manufacture these compact rocket engines at record lead times, with an enhanced safety factor as due to the design, these engines have relatively benign failure modes in comparison with conventional liquid propulsion engines.
A hybrid rocket engine has the following main components and requires control of only one fluid – a liquid oxidiser during testing. Liquid oxidiser is fed under a regulated pressure through a control valve into a combustion chamber containing a technology as proprietary.
Pulsar Fusion received UK government funding in September 2021 to further develop its HET (Hall Effect Thruster) plasma satellite engines, capable of 20 km / second particle exhaust speeds. These Pulsar thrusters have recently been tested at Harwell’s facilities where they withstood 20g’s of vibration, simulating a rocket launch. Pulsar now seeks to IOD test these engines. (In Orbit Demonstration).
The company’s ultimate milestone is to produce a hyper-speed propulsion engine using nuclear fusion technologies of which it has been researching for nine years which could eventually be used for interplanetary travel – and which scientists say could halve the journey time from Earth to Mars. A first prototype is expected in 2025.
About the company:
Pulsar Fusion is an advanced propulsion technologies company. It manufactures compact and efficient satellite engines for use in orbit, and liquid rocket engines for launch and atmospheric propulsion.
By 2025 – the company wants to develop nuclear fusion propulsion engines for static demonstration.
By 2027 – the company wants to manufacture a nuclear fusion rocket engine to be launched and tested in orbit.
Pulsar’s fusion propulsion systems are enabled by the technology generated in the rocket engine programme.
As a person with an avid interest in technology, getting the chance to review a new piece of Virtual Reality kit was very exciting, so when I was invited to review the new HTC Vive Flow a week before their official launch on October 14th, I jumped at the chance!
So on the morning of October 8th, I set off to Dingley Place in London to find out more.
The preview event was hosted at a modern shoot location near Old Street, and it presented as a modern apartment and outside space, which turned out to be an ideal place to experience this new tech.
HTC now have been producing cutting edge ‘room scale’ virtual reality headsets since 2015 and have both consumer and professional solutions available in the marketplace.
Typically, VR headsets are quite large and cumbersome and work in conjunction with hand controllers and connect to a reasonably powerful PC or dedicated console which does most of the legwork, with mainly immersive virtual reality action games. Not something you can readily carry around with you.
With the launch of the Vive Flow, HTC has turned this whole idea on its head. Rather than focus on 3D action games, instead, HTC has positioned the device primarily in the mindfulness and wellbeing space, with lightweight ‘glasses’ that connect to your Android smartphone (which doubles up as the hand controller).
The glasses themselves are very light, coming in at 180g which I was told was the weight of a bar of chocolate. The front of Vive Flow’s lenses has a mirror finish with a camera hidden behind each lens for motion tracking and a ‘pass-through’ view.
Rather than using a full wraparound design, the Flow fit like standard glasses with speakers built into each arm. The goggles fit very comfortably over the eyes using a soft material, there is also an active cooling system that blows cool air onto your skin when it detects heat increasing.
The Vive Flow uses a very advanced lens system which is one of the reasons why the device is so like, this also allows for diopter adjustment which means many glasses users will be able to use the device without wearing them.
Each lens has a high-resolution display at 3.2k combined (2x 2.1” LCD 1600 x1600 per eye). The displays refresh at 75mhz and have a field of view of 100 degrees. Onboard storage is 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM.
The glasses are designed to be powered via an adapter, they do contain a battery for management purposes rather than completely wire-free use.
I tried 5 different modes of use.
Mindfulness and Chillout Area – I experience the mindfulness side of this technology where I was transported to a beach someone exotic and watch the sunrise, whilst I was gently coached on my breathing and reached a really nice calm place!
Disney+ – Here I was able to experience the full cinematic version of the Disney+ streaming platform and had a chance to watch a segment of Free Guy starring Ryan Reynolds. The video quality was exceptional as was the surround sound. It was very impressive!
Pirates – This was a VR pirate game where I had to shoot cannonballs at pirate ships – Lots of fun!
V&A Curious Alice – This was an interactive experience in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was really good fun again, you can find out more here.
Lo-Fi Cafe – I really liked this experience, it was an incredibly immersive and calming experience. I was sitting in a Cafe with a steaming coffee in front of me, music playing on a record player, an open book on the table and a laptop. There were empty tables which I was able to transport over to. I could also surf the internet in a VR browser. I could also draw and write in thin air. Most importantly, I found it really relaxing. Living in a house that can be very very noisy, I really felt I could actually take myself away from the hustle and bustle of life into that virtual cafe and watch the rain running down the window and just relax.
I realised more than anything was that VR has indeed reached a point when the brain can be fooled enough to be calmed into a sense of relaxation wherever you might be. In a workplace, busy home or even on a transatlantic flight. I was very, very impressed.
ZipCharge, today at COP26, revealed its first game-changing portable Electric Vehicle (EV) charger, the Go. By bringing the possibility of home charging to all, the Go removes a common barrier to EV ownership that exists across the world. In the UK alone, 8.5 million or 40% of car-owning households don’t have designated off-street parking.
The Go is the first element of a global portable EV charging platform that combines hardware, software, machine learning and innovative ownership models to bring affordable, practical EV charging to more people than ever. ZipCharge Go also creates an intelligent energy management platform that provides flexibility and resilience for the national power grid.
Realising that widespread EV adoption would be hampered by the inability to charge near or at home, ZipCharge co-founders Richie Sibal and Jonathan Carrier identified and developed a solution. Using their decades of experience in automotive electronics systems engineering and product development gained at cutting-edge businesses like McLaren Automotive, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Gordon Murray Group and LEVC – their answer is the Go. Now well into the development phase ZipCharge is on track to deliver the first models to customers in Q4 2022.
ZipCharge Co-founder Jonathan Carrier “We’re delighted to be launching the Go at COP26, it’s the perfect place to introduce ZipCharge to the world. In light of the Government’s recent Net Zero Strategy: Build Back Greener manifesto announcement, never before has the automotive industry had cause to innovate so rapidly to help us reach a low carbon future. One of the key barriers to wider uptake of EVs is charging anxiety; the inability to charge near or at home. ZipCharge removes that hurdle and in doing so, will democratise EV ownership.”
Events such as COP26, the United Nation’s Climate Conference, are crucial to establishing robust plans to achieving the Paris Agreement. The ZipCharge team is cognisant of the fact that transport is a key contributor of greenhouse gases; the rapid adoption of EVs and innovation in automotive are key to ensuring the target of net zero is met.
The SMMT, the UK’s most influential motoring trade body, advises there are currently 600,000 plug-in electric hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV) on the roads in the UK today – up 66% on 2019 figures – that could make use of the ZipCharge product. Mike Hawes, the Chief Executive of the SMMT, said earlier this year “In the same way people charge a phone overnight, people will want to charge at home when they park overnight.”
Distinctive design that combines simplicity and attention to detail
The ZipCharge Go sets a new standard in the visual appeal of EV chargers, with a purity of form and a modern, consumer-focused design concept. Developed by automotive and consumer product designers, the form conveys simplicity, strength and aesthetic integrity. The design balances form and function, respecting the engineering requirements, with a strong symmetry in its detail design. For example, the power panel concentrates charging functions and status LEDs in a single location to simplify access and makes the Go easier to use, which is mirrored by the scallop for the side grab handle. The front cover can also be personalised in a range of different colours and finishes, to match the exterior of your EV.
Compact and Convenient to Use Everyday
Engineered to the same standards as automotive electronics systems, the lightweight ZipCharge Go power bank is the size of a compact wheeled suitcase which can be charged at home or elsewhere using a standard domestic plug at a lower cost per kWh of electricity when compared to public charging. Using the retractable handle, users then wheel it to wherever they’ve parked their EV and plug it into the charging port. The port locks the charging cable in, securing the charger with the vehicle. ZipCharge Go provides up to 20 miles (32km)* of range, providing sufficient range for the average daily commute (in UK/EU), in a little over 30 mins and can then be neatly stored in the trunk / boot, or at home. ZipCharge Go can be used in all normal weather conditions like a normal fixed charge point.
High Performance Battery and Power Electronics
Packaged neatly inside are high energy density NMC lithium-ion battery cells and associated power electronics. A bi-directional AC-DC inverter enables two-way charging from the grid to the unit, and from the unit to the grid, so the power bank can be used to store cheap off-peak energy and feed it back into the grid at peak times. An integrated communications module supports OCPP compliant smart charging, over-the-air updates, remote diagnostics, and together with geo-fencing and tracking technology provides enhanced security and peace-of-mind.
ZipCharge Co-founder Richie Sibal “Our technical approach to engineering the Go as a lightweight, compact and safe charging solution, and then evolving that into an EV charging platform reflects our intention to combine the development of battery-based systems with the lowest future environmental impact possible.”
Sustainable Materials and Circular Approach
In engineering the Go, ZipCharge has focused on making the most of our planet’s limited resources, by doing more with less. The Go has been developed to be as energy efficient as possible with minimal losses. With learnings from automotive, the Go is designed for lightweight and performance. Like sports cars, ZipCharge uses an aluminium spaceframe to house major systems thereby improving the integrity and stiffness of the unit. This intelligent engineering extends to the consideration of the environmental impact of the materials and components. For example, the Go’s outer shell will be made from post-consumer recycled plastic. By the second half of this decade the ambition is for every ZipCharge charger to be manufactured from recycled materials.
Smart Connectivity to Lower the Cost of Charging and Save Money
Integrated 2G/4G connectivity enables users to remotely manage their Go charger via the ZipCharge mobile app to monitor the device and schedule charging events so the power pack is always ready for when they need it. Inbuilt Artificial Intelligence (AI) will enable ZipCharge to learn the users’ charging patterns and make schedule recommendations to optimise charging at off peak times, saving money and reducing the load on the grid.
Intelligent Energy Management to Support the Energy Network
Thanks to the bi-directional AC-DC inverter, the Go power bank becomes a local energy storage device that can arbitrage energy pricing through time of use rates and, when not in use, sell energy back to the grid at peak times. When hundreds of decentralised Go chargers are pooled together they form a virtual power plant that can supply demand side response services to help balance the grid, providing flexibility and resilience.
Affordability and Flexible Ownership to Democratise Charging for All
Like Peloton and other hardware pioneers, ZipCharge will offer its hardware-as-a-service. Chargers will be available to purchase outright or on subscription for as little as £49 (€57) a month. This is possible because ZipCharge has set the ambitious target to offer the Go at a price comparable to the fully installed cost of a level 2 home charge point, and significantly less than bi-directional home charge points currently on the market.
Basic software functionality will be available to everyone so they can plan and schedule charging, with the enhanced AI software functionality and insurance on subscription for a small monthly fee which, on average, will save the user £15-20 per month. Charging an EV at home has never been so convenient and affordable.