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It is important when operating on medium voltage equipment that we follow the safety rules and operating regulations in order to be safe. This paper covers general safe operations on medium voltage equipment and looks at the aspects of switching, isolating, testing and earthing, as well as various types of medium voltage testers and their usage… (more)


I have been involved in investigating a number of internal accidents over a number of years. It is usually quite easy to establish the technical causes for the accidents that took place as there are regulations in place that guide an investigation to make certain conclusions. I have always felt that there were underlying facts that had an influence on the accidents and I decided to investigate the underlying causes. In doing the research the question I asked myself was “Can safety be regulated?”… (more)

Eskom and Municipalities distributing electricity are all experiencing electricity theft. An incident arising from an illegal electricity connection prompted me to submit this paper. During the investigation by the municipal electrical department, it was found that the neighbour was illegally switched on as the meter had previously been removed and the supply switched off by the municipality for tampering… (more)

The purpose of this brief is to inform and highlight the need for more stringent controls around risk assessment in operating procedures and training. The focus of this paper is risk assessment on certain construction regulations, which in this particular case study, a lack thereof resulted in a fatality. The first question that is raised is “what has this incident got to do with electrical safety”… (more)

The six future REDs will be established through the merge of the electricity distribution assets of the 187 municipalities licensed to distribute electricity and the Eskom distribution assets. The pockets of good performance are becoming less and should the restructuring process be further delayed the ability to recover in the medium term will be compromised… (more)

It is indeed an honor, privilege and blessing for me as the President of the Association and on behalf of the members of the Executive Committee to extend a warm welcome to you all to this 22nd Technical Convention of the Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings of Southern Africa, (AMEU). It is a pleasure to see so many delegates in this warm and friendly city of Port Elizabeth… (more)

South Africa has, due to its cultural, political and historical background, a far wider difference in individual risk perception, and as such, this would have a much greater impact on health and safety (H&S) management than other western countries. The purpose of the study is to determine what influence the individual’s perception of risk has on H&S practices in the South African electrical industry… (more)

To date, making significant electricity energy savings within any facility has often meant making either significant shifts in process procedures, or making major investments across various technologies. The majority of “easy” savings in electricity have often come from introductions downstream of the mains distribution room… (more)

The country’s infrastructure, of which the power system forms an essential part, is exposed to a variety of threats. Unlike countries more regularly exposed to the impact of such threats, South African society is relatively unprepared for the associated disruptions. The increasing dependency of society on electricity, and the potential for such threats materialising, requires that deliberate predetermined measures to be implemented to manage such emergencies and enhance the resilience of the country… (more)

An integrated asset management structure is the key to the success of any structure or business. Without a formal framework in place, you will not succeed in getting the benefits required from the system… (more)

Today’s public lighting designers and managers are required to provide far more reliable infrastructures, adopt ever increasing energy saving principles and to provide effective on-demand and proactive maintenance of these systems. Further to this situation, South African legislation enforces the requirement for well maintained systems… (more)

Planning usually takes a long time to compile formidable plans for the city and utilities involved. The rapid development within the big cities has presented great challenges to this crucial phase in the growth strategy of the cities. Some authorities cannot respond fast enough to the demands of the cities and the volume of work that comes with all the city’s needs… (more)

NRS 069 is published and available since 2004 to guide distributors on the correct implementation of engineering contributions for electrical services. Over and above these guidelines, an approved policy from council is required
together with a sound methodology representing the unique arrangements of each specific distributor to ensure successful implementation… (more)

Originally the South African Grid Code was developed with a view that the South African Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs) would have come into being rapidly, making the regulation of the industry much more efficient and simpler.With the delay of REDs, NERSA had to review its regulatory strategies to suit the current industry environment. The Distribution Code is also driven by the need to ensure standard rules for participation in the electricity industry especially from independent power producers… (more)

The City of Cape Town has sustained a significant number of bushing failures in medium voltage switchgear, mostly effecting catastrophic damage to buildings and adjacent plant.Three models of SF6 MV switchgear rack in truck breakers from the same manufacturer are in use, which are all interchangeable with previous generation oil breakers. A large number of bushing failures, mostly due to partial discharge activity across the surface of bushings, were experienced at least on two models… (more)

With the exception of the first democratic election in South Africa (SA) in 1994, the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (2010 FWC) is arguably the most important event in the evolving history of this nation.As an essential service that underpins economic growth in SA, the Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) has a significant contribution to make in the form of a reliable supply of electricity for the 2010 FWC. The only test run in preparation for the 2010 FWC was the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa (2009 FCC) which took place from 14 to 28 June 2009… (more)

The renewable energy industry forms part of a greater social contract, a contract between all members of society. The contract entails the move from unsustainable energy sources, to renewable energy sources – at a rate commensurate with the (reasonable) cost and sustainability of this energy source migration. This industry should not become or be monopolised by governments, parastatals or even large private entities – for the purposes of becoming a cash-cow. Policy, ideally, should ultimately empower individuals to become self-sufficient in providing for their own energy needs – after all, we all own a little piece of sunshine… (more)

In a few months the world’s largest and most anticipated sporting event will take place in South Africa. South Africa and the African continent will be showcased. Millions of viewers will tune in to matches, the broadcast of which will be critically dependent on the provision of uninterrupted high quality electrical power. The South African electrical supply industry (ESI) is critical in the preparation and execution of this historical event… (more)

Technical losses in a distribution network are well understood and their reduction is finite and essentially an engineering issue. Non-technical losses, on the other hand, although also well understood have evolved into an art form and their reduction requires innovation and persistence. Utilities around the world are actively addressing the issues. In South Africa prepayment meters were adopted as the “solution” in the poorer communities but it has been said that theft and non-payment of electricity are equivalent to the output of one Eskom “Six Pack” power station… (more)

Most South African networks have been underutilised for years which led to low level of maintenance. With the economic boom in the country, these networks have seen massive increase in loading and this increase has triggered puncture failures that were hidden during the low loading period… (more)

Substation designs have generally followed air insulated technology or gas insulated technology. When faced with space constraints or the need to reduce the investment cost of substations, creative adaptations of air insulated substation designs like transformer feeders and Jericho schemes together with smaller protection schemes have been used successfully… (more)

Pre-paid electricity metering systems have a 20-year history in South Africa and centralised load management, in the guise of so-called “ripple control systems”, much longer than that. Both technologies have been extremely successful over the years in their respective domains, but the world is constantly moving on and the whole global energy scenario today looks vastly different from what it did even ten years ago… (more)

The Electricity and Energy Directorate of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has embraced a culture of learning by introducing key educating principles that are effective in developing, recruiting and retaining staff. It is as a result of this environment and the opportunities afforded that I am able to comment positively on the rich returns in human capital investment… (more)

This paper analyses the current state of the South African Electricity Supply Industry (ESI) to motivate the importance of managing PQ on a daily basis. Different PQ management role-players are then identified and their PQ management strategies discussed to derive the user requirement of a Southern African power quality monitoring system… (more)

I trust and sincerely believe that like my predecessors, I can also rely on the Association of Municipal Electrical Undertakings as an important stakeholder, especially at this time as we grapple with the challenges that the electricity sector faces. I am sure that all of us will agree that the moment is indeed critical. The electricity sector has never been as vulnerable as it is today… (more)

South Africa is blessed with an abundant variety of renewable energy resources. It is well known that sunshine, solar energy, is in abundance in South Africa, especially in the north western parts where some of the best solar irradiation in the world can be found.The wind energy resource is limited to the Northern, Eastern and Western Cape Provinces but even in this regard South Africa has the potential to generate a number of gigawatts using conventional, land base wind turbine technology… (more)

When evaluating the different options available for the production of electricity in South Africa it would be irresponsible to do so without tempering one’s idealism by giving serious consideration to our national affordability. A crisis has developed in our nation’s electricity production and distribution industry. There are several obvious reasons for this which I surely need not elaborate on. Hopefully our national “2010 hysteria” will eventually wane and be replaced by more beneficial investment actions… (more)

In my humble opinion, as an architect wishing to partake in sustainable design for the future, I have to say that the nuclear option is of great concern. We need some assurances, from our own governments and not the French, that we can actually take care of the waste for the next couple of thousand years. The costs of electricity in South Africa used to be one of the cheapest in the world, and now we are finding that we need some R300-billion to finance new power plants… ( more)

The 2009 National Student Project Competition Sponsored and supported by EE Recruitment and EE Publishers took place at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban and this competition was supported by the SAIEE KwaZulu-Natal Centre. The welcome address was delivered by the host Prof. Stanley Mneney, Head of School, School of Electrical, Electronic & Computer Engineering, UKZN. The SAIEE Centenary President du Toit Grobler addressed the audience as did the main sponsor, Chris Yelland from EE Recruitment and EE Publishers… (more)
Nuclear power has been coming back into the international news during the past year. Some of the impetus for this has been a spin off from the international climate change debate, in which fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas have been targeted for emitting carbon dioxide. Fossil fuels have to emit carbon dioxide, as the fundamental heat equation is the combustion of carbon, which is carbon plus oxygen, which equals heat and carbon dioxide, no way around that… ( more)

The Areva Supervisory Board of 30 November 2009 has announced its decision to enter into exclusive negotiations with Alstom and Schneider Electric for the acquisition of the activities of its transmission and distribution business, Areva T&D. Schneider Electric and Alstom are satisfied with the decision of Areva to retain their offer for exclusive negotiations… (more)

It is often said that old codgers are not as smart at doing sums compared to the wiz-kids of today. Of course we didn’t use computers, but neither were we stumped when the power supply failed. We used pencil and paper or slate and brain and produced reliable results all the same. We were taught that it pays to keep things simple… ( more)

There has been renewed speculation about future power stations in South Africa since December 2008, when Eskom, after receiving tenders from two vendors for new nuclear power stations, decided not to place an order. South Africa has a critical shortage of generation capacity. In a healthy electricity grid the reserve margin should be about 15%. The reserve margin quoted by Eskom is 8%, but in practice it could be as low as zero… ( more)

The operation of the South African power system is challenging because of the long distances involved in power transmission, and also because of short supply of available generation resources in recent years. It is important that generation assets are used as effectively as possible, and WAMS is seen as a route to improve the security and utilisation of the power system… ( more)

Associated with the 765 kV system upgrade in Eskom, the implementation of a breaker-and-a-half substation layout and the introduction of IEC61850 based communication in Eskom Transmission substations, a new generation protective relay schemes for transmission feeders (both line impedance and line differential), transformers, reactors and busbars have been developed… (more)

The world’s electricity sector faces a significant, three-fold challenge: soaring demand, expanding to new energy sources and curbing emissions. A smart grid will help meet this challenge. Smart grids are set to revolutionise the way we produce, distribute and consume electricity, delivering major benefits in terms of cost, quality of life and environmental footprint… (more)

With the growing worldwide demand for electrical power a number of issues are being raised. The present infrastructure to distribute electrical power to the consumers in many countries is becoming old, out of date and inadequate; this also includes many of the existing billing meters used to generate revenue… (more)

The main drivers for the resort implementing electricity efficiency measures is firstly to satisfy Eskom’s requirement to reduce electricity consumption and to mitigate the chance of incurring significant electricity consumption penalties in the forthcoming years. The resort also has a strong policy of continuous improvement, pushing the need for increased electricity efficiency. The interventions have reduced the resort’s electricity consumption by an average of 22% compared to the base year… (more)

While the MeerKAT telescope – a pathfinder which will contribute to the development of the technology required for the SKA – is being constructed in the Northern Cape, the South African SKA Youth into Science and Engineering Programme is feeding a steady stream of high-level expertise into the continent’s SET system that will help Africa push the boundaries of radio astronomy and related sciences and technologies… (more)

Audiocast: Keynote address to mark the opening of the SKA’s Annual Bursary and Fellowship Conference delivered by Margorie Pyoos, Deputy Director General Socio-economic partnerships, Department of Science and Technology.

Informed sources within Eskom Generation have indicated to EE Publishers that significant further cost increases can be expected for both Medupi and Kusile power stations.

In the case of Medupi, provision has been made at a cost of “several hundred million rands” in the current R125-billion price tag to ensure that the plant is ready for the incorporation of flue-gas desulphurisation (FGD) plant. The FGD plant itsself will be installed under a seperate contract at the first general overhaul cycle of Medupi power station in about 2018.

Kusile, on the other hand, will have FGD plant installed from the beginning during the construction of the power station, and its cost is therefore included in the current overall R142-billion price tag. Further pushing up Kusile’s price will be a significant additional cost of interest during construction, as well as contract price escallation, resulting from construction delays and the moratorium on placing of contracts since December 2008 due to the absence of a funding plan for the Eskom new-build programme… (more)

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