You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

Where energy is concerned, our government suffers from multiple split personalities. Eskom falls under the Department of Public Enterprises, with the Department of Energy setting overall policy and the Department of Environmental Affairs yapping at their heels. The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) controls the price while EDI Holdings tries to set up regional electricity distributors… (more)

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On 11 May 2010 new Draft Amendment were published for public comment (Notice 391 of 2010). If the new amendments are accepted, they could have a huge impact on the construction industry, and most business and property owners. Most people think the regulations will not affect on them. Be careful not to make a mistake in this regard… (more)

By positioning it directly on the thermostat sensor, the eCube reduces the number of compressor starts and run time. It lets the control system measure the temperature of the products in the refrigerated space, not the air temperature, thus providing a more stable and consistent temperature in the refrigerated space… (more)

Book Review: The Six Sigma Way by PS Pand, RP Neuman and RR Cavanagh. Part 3 of a four-part series. This might be “the most important new core competency your organisation will need to develop in the 21st century. Understanding what customers really want”… (more)

Bridges over highways are highly visible landmarks, and a programme to beautify them has achieved notable results.The South African Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and various local authorities awarded contracts to Giantlight to illuminate some highway bridges… (more)

This article is an extract from the book: “Lighting Design and Application – a practical guide for lighting practitioners”, which is available from EE Publishers… (more)

The size or power density of a power supply is a key criterion when selecting the optimum product for a given application. In applications where fans are not desirable due to noise or reliability concerns then efficiency becomes of primary concern… (more)

The weak point of heat-sink-mounted power modules is the “gap” between the module and the heat sink which results from unevenness on the contact surfaces and which has to be filled with a thermal conductive medium in order to get rid of the air pockets. Semikron is working on closing this “gap” on two levels… (more)

Standby power generators are becoming an essential component of any emergency power strategy, often complementing the installation of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems and power inverters… (more)

Information-enabled machines have many advantages: they help machine builders reduce total cost to design, develop and deliver those machines to the market. As the economy has cooled, demand for information-enabled machines has heated up… (more)

The Yara Belle Plaine, a major producer of ammonia, granulated urea and nitric acid, was looking to improve the energy efficiency of its plant by operating at consistent, stable, high levels of production while at the same time achieving tighter control of greenhouse gas (NOx and CH4) emissions… (more)

Residual current operated devices (RCDs) are often fitted in electrical installations to provide additional protection against fire and electrical shocks. Verifying the correct and safe operation of RCDs involves a number of dedicated tests… (more)

There are positive and negative factors involved in selecting aluminium cables for use in a project. Ever since the introduction of aluminiumcored electrical cable, cost savings have been the sought-after “pot of gold”. The price of copper on the LSE skyrocketed, adding fuel to the fire… (more)

With the rapid expansion of solid state lighting (LEDs) in both availability and use, one would expect that the development of the traditional light sources would slowly come to an end. When looking at fluorescent lamps, the opposite is true… (more)

The days of unlimited energy use belong to the past. Manufacturers of electric apparatus and machines are forced to optimise energy consumption of their products. One of the means to achieve this is to increase the efficiency… (more)

Smart grid applications will profoundly change the way utilities operate, and will bring telecommunications to the core of their activities. Wireless will be a key part of the telecommunications infrastructure; it allows utilities to reach their subscribers, fixed assets, fleet, and staff in secure and cost-effective ways, using both fixed and mobile connections… (more)

The SIM20A is a short range transceiver, operating in the 433 —434,79 MHz frequency band. On paper, the device is capable of a 1500 m transmission distance, but how will the equipment perform under field conditions which may vary considerably from industry to industry?… (more)

Lalela is the Zulu word for “listen” and that is exactly what radio amateurs around the world are invited to do: listen to signals coming from a balloon travelling around the world at a height of approximately 22 km. Once at that height the prevailing winds will drive it around the world… (more)

The latest in space technology – just click on each link:

Snippets from around Africa:  Angola’s Unitel approves US$800-million investment plan;  Probe ordered into MTN-Uganda’s “exploitation” of subscribers; World Bank provides additional US$44,7-million for Ghana project; World Bank gives Sierra Leone US$5-million for connectivity; Econet Zimbabwe threatened with closure over alleged support for MDC; EASSy cable switch-on will reduce dependency on Seacom; France Telecom settles US$325-million dispute over Telkom Kenya; Three shortlisted for Mozambique’s third mobile phone licence; Bharti Airtel earmarks US$600-million for Nigerian projects… (more)

Building and running a data centre in-house has appeal: keep control of sensitive data, utilise in-house space and resources, and avoid last-mile costs by locating applications and data in the building… (more)

In addition to server consolidation and virtualisation, recent trends towards service-orientated architectures, Web 2.0 applications and cluster computing are accelerating the implementation of unified network fabrics in order to cope with the higher I/O throughput and greater bandwidth needed to deliver these services… (more)

Virtualisation is an important technology. It was introduced to the IT market at the right time, when “off the shelf” servers provide far more computer power than the majority of applications need. This is part one of a two-part article… (more)

Every day in the world of pressure measurement, many gauges and transducers are calibrated using varying specification levels of piston gauges/deadweight testers as standards. These standard devices need a skilled operator and can be cumbersome to use (more)

There are so many electronic functions in the modern car, that the traditional motor mechanic or car enthusiast can often no longer easily tune the engine or fix something, without sophisticated electronic equipment to locate the simplest of faults… (more)

Zero-drift amplifiers dynamically correct their offset voltage and reshape their noise density. Two commonly used types of zero-drift amplifiers – autozero amplifiers and choppers -achieve nanovolt-level offsets and extremely low offset drifts due to time and temperature… (more)

Nowadays people expect some of the advanced devices that they have at home or in the office to be in their cars. To achieve this successfully, many of the systems and components need to be adapted to withstand the shocks, vibration and temperature changes experienced in motor vehicles… (more)

Information-enabled machines arm manufacturers with a valuable resource for gaining the critical operational insight they need in today’s knowledge-based business environment… (more)

Industrial Ethernet has rapidly become the reliable technology infrastructure for automation communication within production plants, utility substations and intelligent transportation system environments… (more)

Data centres can be the single largest source of electrical power consumption and carbon emissions for large corporations, as traditional data centres on average use several thousand megawatt hours per year… (more)

Hans van de Groenendaal spoke with Aingharan Kanagaratnam, head: network solutions, Ericsson South Africa.  “Broadband deployment means that communications will go way beyond people-to-people communication and will revolutionise not only the way we talk to machines, but also how machines talk to machines”… (more)

We’ve come a long way from jealously-guarded proprietary solutions to the open systems and technologies of today. Since technology is no longer an excuse, we’re left with the challenge of getting companies to think and operate as single, unified entities – and that’s a little trickier than you might think… (more)

A new method for the determination of peroxides in oil developed by researchers at Nynas promises to become a useful tool for both product development and analysis. Able to detect the very first signs of oxidative ageing, the INPOX method is versatile, accurate, clean, and easy to use… (more)

The tournament is over. The vuvuzelas are silent and the stadiums are empty. Soccer fans have returned home, the standby plant at the stadiums and the IBC is being packed up and shipped off to some other event and the country is back to normal. Thanks to extensive planning, there were no power hitches for the duration. Attention now needs to be focussed on the immediate future power needs of SADC… (more)

Policy supporting the inclusion of embedded generation in the future generation mix in South Africa implies that the number of generators connected to networks will increase significantly. Embedded generators introduce a new paradigm in the electric power industry and change some of the assumptions on which networks have been designed and operated, particularly with respect to voltage control and protection. What are the impacts of embedded generation on the distribution networks? How can they be counteracted?…  (more)

Generators can be standby (backup) or permanent (dedicated) power sources. Whatever the application, generators are increasingly being used to supply power for AC drives. A good understanding of the drive, the generator and how each affects the other is essential to assure proper operation of the system… (more)

Working temperatures underground in mines can go up above 40°C in the stoping areas and working without cooling is impossible. Over the years decentralised cooling production has made way for a central refrigeration plant on the surface. The disadvantages of the central refrigeration plant installed at the surface are however the high energy costs of pumping water back to the surface.For the reduction of energy costs and the friction losses power recovery turbine units can be installed… (more)

The term “hybrid” means a DC system that switches a generator on to fast charge a cyclic lead acid battery and off again once charged. Provided a cyclic battery is sized to run the average load for 20 h, and the generator can reliably provide more than four times the existing standby load for the first hour of equalize charge, then the generator schedule can eliminate every third diesel refueling visit and also eliminate two out three generator maintenance and replacement costs… (more)

n 2009, Sedgeley Energy began a series of energy audits on common area portions of 18 shopping centres around the country. The aim of these audits was to make the centres more energy efficient, so as to reduce electricity costs, counteract tariff increases, avoid possible  penalties, increase asset value, and to help alleviate the South African energy crisis. This is achieved by reducing both the total energy consumed (kWh) and the maximum demand (kVA) of the centres though better control and retrofitting to efficient technologies… (more)

Standby power generators are an essential component of any emergency power system, often complementing UPS systems. While a generator can be a convenient source of power around the home or business, it can represent a serious threat to safety if installed incorrectly. So, before buying a generator, consider its application. This will determine its size or capacity. Generators with capacities of between five  and 50 kW are readily available for home and home-office use, while industrial generators from 50 kW to over 1 MW are common… (more)

In 1958, a strange arched structure was taking shape at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (where most American new nuclear reactor designs were developed and tested). Anyone seeing the huge completed structure today would probably conclude that that it was a hangar for a jumbo jet, or an aircraft of similar size… (more)

Call it the soccer surge, if you will. At halftime or the end of a major match, millions of English citizens go from one Anglo tradition to another, from watching football on television to drinking a cup of hot tea. As households across Albion put the kettle on, typically an electric type that draws about 1500 W, power demand suddenly spikes. For World Cup games contested by England’s national team, the increment often tops 1,5 GW… (more)

In Roman times the emperors laid on games for the hoi-poloi to keep them off the streets and preserve the Pax Romana. They gave them bread, too, not just cake. In the splendid stadia, sumptuous feasts were held in congenial surroundings and enough blood and gore was provided to control the crowds if not to manipulate them. It would present a certain complication, though, if halfway through the devouring of the Christians by the lions, the torches were all to go out because someone had short-changed the pitch for a nice little backhander… (more)

Cigré stands for “International council on large electric systems”. It is a body of experts whose primary focus is the dissemination of information for the good of the electrical power transmission industry. The issues facing Cigré are, due to the nature of its activities, issues facing the power transmission and distribution industry as a whole. This editorial hopes to summarise some of these issues… (more)

Celebrating 150 years in the country this year, Siemens is turning it eyes towards South Africa’s future beyond 2010. As a frontrunner in its commitment towards the environment, South Africa plays a key role for Siemens in the development of the African continent. “We have built a sustainable business based on 150 years of strong relationships with our South African customers and we are striving to expand our partnership with the countries of Southern Africa,” says Stuart Clarkson, CEO of Siemens Southern Africa, on the occasion of the company’s anniversary festivities… (more)

You have an energy intensive business of approximately 1,5 MVA to establish. Your only two criteria in choosing where to site the business are that it has to be in one of South Africa’s  larger metros, and the cost of electricity in that metro. Where would you go? Richard’s Bay, says  the NUS Consulting Group. This is because Richard’s Bay proved to have 26% less expensive electricity than the next cheapest metro, Tshwane, in a recent survey of municipal electricity charges – and is a startling 45% cheaper than Johannesburg, the most expensive of the twelve metro’s surveyed… (more)

Imagine my sheer delight when I heard about a well-known competition for innovative energy-saving ideas. The award, a tidy little cash prize. The reward according to my partner, however, was the prestige of producing a recognised award winning product. The way I see it, it’s a win-win situation. He basks in the glory of recognition and I find meaningful ways to ‘invest’ our prize-money. Invest, however, is a slightly ambiguous term in our household because he doesn’t view surgical weight reduction as great an investment as I do… (more)

The SAPP is moving from short term energy market (STEM) trading of electricity to a day-ahead market (DAM). The DAM is a centrally cleared auction process which results in the counterparty to each trade being unknown and is currently undergoing market trials. SAPP has had to change its transmission pricing methodology to a method based on separate “entry” and “exit” charges… (more)

The PdMSA 2010 Conference and exhibition, hosted by ABB South Africa and Martec, to be held on 1 and 2 September at ABB’s premises in Johannesburg, will offer interactive sessions delivered by local and international industry experts sharing the vision for asset health. The sessions will offer insight on how to use predictive maintenance and condition monitoring to increase uptime and plant availability, without increasing cost… ( more)

Today we announce three major developments: the public release of the proposed new SETA landscape; the release of the draft framework for the National Skills Development Strategy 2011/12 to 2015/16; steps to deal with non-performing SETAs… (more)

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