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Every page of EE Publishers’ new flip-page e-Zine editions, including all advertisements, may now be read on-line, exactly as they would appear in print, in a presentation that combines advanced, high-resolution graphics and animation capabilities  with document portability, text functionality and search-ability… (more)

The ECA, ECB and ERIC (the Electrical Registration and Inspection Council) have arranged a series of road-shows across South Africa to explain and discuss the new (2009) electrical installations regulations (EIR), which were published on 6 March 2009 in Government Gazette 31975, Notice R242. The first presentation will take place on 4 August 2009 at a venue to be announced shortly. The subsequent dates and venues will be published in Vector and on EE Publishers’ electronic media… (more)

Government Notice no. 410 of 2009 changes the scope and jurisdiction of the National Bargaining Council of the Electrical Industry (NBCEI).  The council’s area of jurisdiction now covers the whole of South Africa except for one small area.  In addition, the installation and/or maintenance and/or repair and/or servicing of electrical security fences and their ancillary equipment, and the design, installation, repair and maintenance of CCTV, intercom, intruder detection, access control and data cabling installations have been included… (more)

Arc-flash events are a serious risk to worker safety. A  480 V/10 kA arc flash has the energy of approximately eight sticks of dynamite. The energy of an arc flash is proportional to its voltage, current, and duration. Since arc time has a linear effect on incident energy, reducing fault clearing times results in a proportionate reduction in arc-flash energy. How fast is two ms? It takes more than twice that long for a hummingbird to flap its wings once. The purpose of detecting arc flash is to minimise the time needed to trip the circuit breaker and interrupt the fault. Implementing arc-flash detection in the protective relay minimises trip time, cost, and complexity by using the current monitoring and protection already in the circuit… (more)

Although the cost of solar PV has been falling in recent years, it is still considered to be an expensive technology, especially in South Africa when compared to conventional grid based electricity. Despite this, there is increasing interest in the country in gridconnected solar PV, driven by a variety of issues such as energy security, environmental sustainability and socio-economic growth through increased investment opportunities and economic activity. International experience clearly shows that the most successful way to stimulate gridconnected solar PV markets is to create appropriate market mechanisms and incentives, such as a feed-in tariff… (more)

The world’s desire for faster and smaller semiconductor products with greater functionality is leading to smaller and more powerful integrated circuits. This creates technological challenges as companies seek to increase the interconnect speed, allowing it to match the increased processing speed of smaller devices… (more)

Organisations have been investing between 2% and 4% of their annual organisational budgets in information systems in recent years. Nevertheless, many managers and users complain that their information needs are not well supported… (more)

Du Toit Grobler, president SAIEE and Ajay Pandey MD and CEO of NeotelSpeaking at the first of a series of breakfasts to celebrate the centenary of the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers, Neotel’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Ajay Pandey said that progress in telecommunications in South Africa has been by default and not design. He said that Neotel’s entry into the local market is making significant inroads to change that.  “From the outset Neotel was labelled as the second network operator but no one wants to be the second in life,” he said. “So the first thing we did was to change that label to ‘the first converged network operator’. We made that shift as we are bringing something entirely new to South Africa…” (more)

 Audiocast: Ajay Pandey, Neotel’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, speaking at the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers’ centenary breakfast

Responsible users of energy can now save significantly through further tax incentives on certified energy efficiency projects; a measure introduced by Mr Trevor Manual in his 2009 Budget in Parliament…(more)

From the presentations and discussions at the SANEA “Action for Energy”, it was clear that very serious energy problems do exist in South Africa, and that greater efforts are required address and coordinate the currently inadequate research, policy, regulation, planning, funding, implementation and communication issues that are bedevilling the energy sector. These issues cut across all primary energy sources, including coal, oil and liquid fuels, gas, nuclear, hydro, wind, solar and biomass… (more)

Audiocast: Keynote presenter, Dr. Benny Mokaba, executive director responsible for Sasol’s SA energy cluster, speaks out on energy policy, regulation, investment and sustainability in South Africa (MP3 file)

Mine motion monitoringWhether underground or at the surface, unanticipated earth movement can pose particularly hazardous conditions on mines. Risks include the endangerment of lives, destruction of property and damage to valuable, specialised equipment. Today’s open-pit mines are far deeper than before. Because rock mass strength at these vast scales is difficult to evaluate, massive slope failure can occur with little warning. Monitoring therefore plays a critical role in early detection, minimising risk and safeguarding resources… (more)

The accurate positioning of voting stations within voting districts was an important factor in ensuring that the voting process proceeded smoothly on election day. Voting districts and stations were determined in accordance with provisions set out in the Electoral Act and focused on allowing the optimum number of voters unimpeded access to vote. Since 2004, the voters’ roll has grown by 2,5-million to 23,1-million and the IEC’s challenge was to analyse and amend voting districts and stations where necessary… (more)

Gone are the glory days when investing in an expensive new server just to run one piece of software could be justified. In the current economic climate, with IT budgets coming under closer scrutiny, any investment needs to be justified as a legitimate business need. Even for a GIS company that is dependant on extremely resource-intensive applications that typically require different platforms to run, justifying expenditure on separate servers for each new system can be difficult. And if the expense can’t be justified, “making do” with what they’ve got could mean lagging behind their competitors and losing traction in the market… (more)

Burial plough being loaded into the sea with Ras Sidr, Egypt in the backgroundOn 28 June 2009 Seacom expects to switch on their undersea cable,  which will link Africa to Europe and Asia via the Middle East, providing South Africa with true broadband connectivity to the world.  During a media briefing on 28 May 2009, EngineerIT features editor, Hans van de Groenendaal, interviewed Seacom’s CEO Brian Herlihy.  Installing a    17 000 km submarine cable and completing a project of this magnitude in two years from concept to completion is almost miraculous. There could be a delay of a week or two though, depending on pirate activity off the coast of Somalia where the last stretch of cable is being laid.

Audiocast: Interview of Brian Herlihy (Seacom) by Hans van de Groenendaal, EngineerIT

The Electricity Control Board, ECB, says there are some aspects of the new Electricity Installation Regulations (EIR) that do not yet achieve their intended purpose. Tony McDonald, owner of Vauton Electric in Pretoria and a member of the ECB, says his concerns fall into two main areas – the responsibilities carried by the registered (accredited) person, and restrictions on the person who may do the design, testing and inspection of installations… (more)

Audiocast: Interview of Tony McDonald (ECB) by Peter Adams, editor of Vector

The responsibility and authority for electrical reticulation conferred on local government by the Constitution of South Africa has often been cited as being an obstacle to the achievement of the Cabinet resolution to restructure the Electricity Distribution Industry (EDI) to create six regional electricity distributors… (more)

As saving energy becomes an increasingly important national priority, so do standards that can assist organisations to save energy. That is why the publication of two standards (SANS 879, Energy management-Specifications and ARP 136, Energy management-Guidance on energy management) is important news, as they provide general, practical and easily understood guidance on what has to be done… (more)

The long awaited process of publishing the new Second Hand Goods Act has taken place at last, after President Kgalema Motlanthe signed the Act on the 1 April 2009. This long awaited progress in getting the Act implemented has been well received by all the role players involved. The South African Revenue Protection Association (SARPA) has received coverage in all the newspapers, as well as the main radio stations regarding this matter… (more)

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