Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rock Ness Event Saved By Garden Path

Okay I know this is not directly related to Ullapool, but it caught my attention and thought it again shows the uniqueness of the Scottish Highlands.

Down at Loch Ness almost 25,000 people turned up for the event of the year, with Fatboy Slim headlining and local lad Mylo raving the place up. However disaster nearly stuck. When the crew were setting up Fatboys decks that found there was too much rock and the discs would skip on the turntables.

So the call went out to the local community to find two paving slabs to sort the problem out! Two community council members asked a local man who volunteered to dig up part of his garden path to save the day. The 2 x 2 concrete slabs were quickly transported to the stage and in place to steady the turntables.

And what a night with a giant Nessie bobbing to the music and ending with fireworks, we may well see this event next year extending to two days - here's hoping so!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Downpour delays UK's first solar car park

IHS website has released the following statement "Unfortunately due to wet weather conditions , the installation of the Road Energy System has had to be delayed. As of now, we're hoping to start later today - Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd. It is important that the first layer is installed in dry conditions.

Henk Verweijmeren, of IHS, said he was hoping for a dry spell later this week so that the pipes and a layer of grit could be stuck down.

On the current weather he said: "It is more like autumn. We've got horizontal rain."

when the system is completed the environmental benefits include cutting CO2 emissions and lowering the amount of salt needed to keep roads ice-free in winter.

In summer, cold water can be pumped through the pipes to cool it and reduce the level of maintenance the road requires

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ullapool company in UK road energy first

Ullapool is the first place in the UK to get solar panel roads.

Invisible Heating Systems (IHS) specialise in the manufacture, design and supply of energy-efficient heating is to launch a new system at their head office based in Ullapool next week.

IHS will launch and install the first Road Energy System in the UK, on Wednesday 21st June.

The system takes advantage of the heat-absorption capacity of tarmac to convert roads and driveways into giant solar panels created by energy stored in the ground. Thermal energy is then produced and is used to cool buildings, houses and roads in summer and heat them in winter.

It has huge environmental benefits, cutting CO2 emissions by up to 90 percent, compared to conventional heating systems. It also means saving on the use of salt on icy roads, lowering the environmental impact of salt.

Invisible Heating Systems (IHS) was founded in 1995 by Henk Verweijmeren and Liz Stewart. The company began purchasing underfloor heating systems from Holland and then adapted these to suit the building methods in the UK.

In Holland, where the system has been designed in consultation with IHS, it has been calculated that if an entire road system was converted to road energy, there would be no requirement for further energy for house heating.

Over the years, the company has developed its own brand and now markets and sells these across Europe. From Ullapool the company designs and supplies energy-efficient heating systems including geothermal, solar and wind energy.

IHS has recently moved into a new building at Morefield Industrial Estate, Ullapool. A grant of £125,000 was awarded to the company from HIE Skye and Wester Ross to help with the construction costs. Twenty five people are now employed and the company is going from strength to strength after celebrating ten years of successful business.

The company has recently opened up a new office near Birmingham. Liz Stewart of IHS commented: "We are delighted to be installing the first ever heating system of its kind here in Wester Ross. Even though we have proved that it is possible to set up a business so far north, we feel that a physical presence further south will enhance our company and guarantee our continued success in Wester Ross. We've come a long way and we are confident that we are doing something right."

Robert Muir, chief executive of HIE Skye and Wester Ross said: "It's great that IHS can operate out of Ullapool - creating jobs for so many local people. Liz and Henk's knowledge and expertise ensures that we maximise the potential of renewable energy projects of this kind. I am delighted that they are so strongly committed to their Wester Ross base, and having recently visited their new premises, I am looking forward to working with them on their future plans."

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