You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2012.

This paper reviews several prevalent formats that are used to transmit GNSS data in real-time. This work has initiated from the research on real-time quality control for Network RTK positioning which aims to independently assess the positioning quality of users performing NRTK surveys… (more)


A new postcode system for South Africa is being developed and is to be implemented. This is the eLAND postcode and addressing system, incorporating barcoded location intelligence. It is designed to modernise physical document communications and also to satisfy the service delivery requirements of many stakeholders by taking advantage of advanced integrated database and integration functionality. It also enables communication of location information electronically… (more)

This article examines the need for an accessible national address database (NAD) that can be used by the South African GIS community and proposes a solution for how this can be achieved… (more)

Spectral rule-based preliminary mapping developed in Europe was replicated for Landsat 5 TM and Landsat 7 ETM imagery in the north eastern region of South Africa. Land cover classes in this area include the natural vegetation of the Kruger National Park, informal settlements of the Bushbuckridge area, intensive agriculture near Kiepersol, and the forestry areas east of Sabie… (more)

The demand for geographic information is steadily growing, requiring the use of new methods and technologies to register real data and to offer the best available information to users. With this in mind, a pilot project in the Spanish city of San Sebastian was established to apply mobile mapping technology to urban inventories… (more)

Using new, highly efficient techniques, Carnegie and Colombian scientists have developed accurate high-resolution maps of the carbon stocks locked in tropical vegetation for 40% of the Colombian Amazon (165 000 km2), an area about four times the size of Switzerland… (more)

The aim of this article is to give an international overview of the geographical information science (GISc) workforce, the roles and expected competencies of persons working in the industry, including the importance of professionalism through certification and licensing and the adherence to a code of conduct based on ethical principles… (more)

This draft Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) White Paper discusses cloud computing from the perspective of OGC’s geospatial standards development activities and standards baseline. It examines how standards figure into the options, benefits and risks of cloud computing for users and providers of geospatial data and software… (more)

Airborne hyperspectral imaging has been used extensively for locating unexploded ordnance, but the technology’s use for environmental baseline auditing is now receiving much global attention… (more)

AfriGIS has responded to the National Planning Commission’s (NPC) nine challenges to the country by issuing their own video on YouTube explaining how a combination of spatial and communication technologies can be used to address these challenges. The National Planning Commission (NPC) issued a video outlining the nine challenges facing South Africa and challenged the country as a collective to come up with innovative solutions… (more)

The annual OSGeo Board of Directors and Charter Membership elections have come to a close with the first meeting of the new board, and the selection of a new executive.  During the process 22 new charter members were added bringing this group to 144 charter members from around the world… (more)

Land surveyors should beware of allowing the profession to be marginalised. They need to provide a more complete service and should involve themselves in the town planning activities preceding surveying as well as the post application approval processes… (more)

This article is the final of three articles which aimed to assist geospatial professionals or career seekers in searching and applying for their first or next professional geospatial career opportunity. The July 2012 article discussed the various job opportunities available in the geospatial industry and the August 2012 article covered the importance of a good quality, relevant and to the point cover letter and CV when applying for a job… (more)

In order for organisations to work together in collecting and using spatial data, an infrastructure is required to set up the rules of engagement. This so-called spatial data infrastructure provides instructions on handling and packaging spatial data (standards)… (more)

We use surge protective devices without a clear understanding of their operation. This is exascerbated by the many urban legends on the subject. We take a closer look at a few of these and dispell some myths… (more)

The functions of transformer-based and transformerless UPSs might seem similar on the surface, but they have very different applications, and using the wrong device in the wrong application can be disastrous… (more)

The market for heat pump systems for water heating and space cooling/heating was developed well in South Africa over the last decade, but the uptake on heat pumps for industrial and agricultural drying is very slow… (more)

Manufacturers need a holistic approach to their core business. Manufacturing execution systems (MES) incorporates all aspects of production. This is known as manufacturing operations management or MOM. It could be argued that any manufacturing enterprise needs only enterprise resource planning (ERP) and MOM… (more)

This article presents a method to estimate the power efficiency of an electric motor using only the supply current measurement and motor parameters… (more)

The rise of LED lighting has transformed the lighting industry, but their emergence as a functional light source has highlighted the need to ensure that performance claims are made in a consistent and transparent way… (more)

A new lighting technology has made its debut on the market. Set to rival “conventional” LED and HID, light emitting plasma (LEP) uses radio frequency power and no electrodes… (more)

Outsourcing facilities management (FM) can deliver excellent results if you have realistic expectations, plan well, make use of appropriate approaches and insist on excellence in execution. Many companies, however, do not see the results they envisage. The essential first steps are ensuring that there are no fundamental flaws in your outsourcing strategy, dispelling myths, and knowing how to select a suitable outsourcing partner… (more)

It is sometimes possible for an employer to bear responsibility for unlawful acts committed by their employees in the course or within the scope of their employment. This reminds me of a line I once read in a book: “Sometimes, there is injustice in justice”… (more)

I am proud to be associated with the ECA and with contractors who deliver such good work and who encourage and train their workers to provide a standard of the highest order… (more)

One thing that can be said about the electrical contracting industry is that it evolves and changes all the time, sometimes for the better; sometimes for the worse. It is therefore important to try and keep you abreast with what is happening… (more)

A step-by-step sequence of events in a typical Eskom-funded DSM project and a closer look at the problems that prevent more ESCOs from participating in industrial DSM projects… (more)

Say what you will about the smart grid, the strongest grid may be no grid at all. The electrical power grid is under pressure as capacity continually increases, and cascading outages or systemic collapse are problems that are becoming increasingly likely. The solution: distributed generation… (more)

In 2011, the global lighting market was estimated to be worth between R799-billion and R924-billion. The high-intensity LED market alone was worth just over R106-billion and is expected, researchers say, to reach a staggering R1173-billion over the next two years. The same researchers predict a 20% market growth for LED lighting (indoor and outdoor) until “at least 2016″… (more)

Wind power is one of the fastest growing forms of renewable energy around the world. In South Africa two wind farms have been constructed and are currently operational, namely the Klipheuwel and Darling wind farms on the West Coast in the Western Cape. Proposals to construct many more have been submitted mainly along the West Coast, East Coast and the Central Karoo. Wind farms are considered integral to the development of the green economy… (more)

This paper addresses the concern of the lack of reliability; efficiency; and power losses of many photovoltaic standalone power supply systems caused by the different elements of the power supply system and varied power ratings. There exists a need for load demand matching with generator output, and the possible variability of the load which introduces further inefficiency was considered… (more)

Improved reliability thanks to financial investment, technology developments and greater awareness has surged the interest and popularity of renewable energy solutions. As the green agenda fills our newspapers and the cost efficiency of using renewable sources is realized, on-grid solutions are growing in popularity. But for properties not connected to the grid, reliability and efficiency are key for the end user… (more)

As an urban being one cannot but get accustomed to having electricity at the flip of a switch. However,  imagine life without electricity, without the basic appliances that we so very much depend on and take for granted… (more)

Cement manufacturing is an energy-intensive  process where electricity costs account for up to15% of  the total manufacturing costs. The increasing electricity  tariffs in South Africa make it imperative for cement producers to implement or become involved in DSM  initiatives in order to remain competitive. In this paper,  a case study of a load shifting project that was  implemented at a typical South African cement plant is  presented… (more)

Voltage dips are a major power quality problem for modern industrial processes, causing millions of Rands worth of plant outages. Static synchronous compensators (Statcom) are the latest generation of dynamic reactive power compensation equipment that can be used to effectively mitigate voltage dips amongst other power quality problems… (more)

With the use of more AC variable speed drives in our networks together with the move to larger drive motors for machines and our lack of available power there is a greater need for improved power quality to avoid dips, surges and harmonic problems on our networks… (more)

A total of six series capacitors are coming on line in 2012 in the 765 kV national grid in South Africa, supplied and installed by ABB. The installations, which form part of an initiative to increase power transmission capacity to the Cape region, will allow Eskom, the national power utility, more flexibility and reduce its reliance on existing local power generation. The ratings of the series capacitors range from 450 Mvar up to more than 1300 Mvar… (more)

Since early 1992 the debate intensified in South Africa in respect of amongst others the structure and business model for the electricity supply industry (ESI). These discussions also included the electricity distribution industry (EDI). The discussions since 1992 clearly highlighted the numerous views of the various interested parties in respect the ESI… (more)

With growing demand and constrained and weak power systems in Southern Africa, we need to find the means to improve the power transmission capability within acceptable power quality limits. Reactive power compensation (RPC) offers the most economic means to do so… (more)

In today’s technologically driven environment, energy is a valuable resource that needs to be controlled with increased efficiency in order to ensure a reduction in losses, a conservation of energy, and a lowering in peak demand.  Sharp increases in the cost of electricity will ultimately have a direct impact on the end-consumer… (more)

Electrical power poverty is one of the key constraints restricting economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The largest economy in the region, South Africa, is the outstanding example of this situation. Electricity costs are increasing at rates that far outstrip inflation and economic growth in order to fund ambitious power generation capacity investments. In addition to state led investments in additional coal fired thermal generation capacity, Independent power producers are being introduced to the power generation mix, primarily in the renewable energy space… (more)

Although renewable energy from solar and wind is becoming more affordable and available, it is still dependent on the sunshine or the wind and may therefore vary both minute to minute and over longer time periods. Batteries are still a good solution to this problem for small systems, but from a utility point of view, a buffer system which could make solar and wind energy dispatchable would be desirable… (more)

Letters to the editor expressing views, comment and opinion on relevant topics, and or responding to articles or letters previously published, are welcome and highly valued. Letters should be short and to the point, and no longer than 600 words maximum. The best letter of the month in each of EE Publishers’ magazines stands to win a sponsored prize… (more)

Although South Africa does not have significant proven gas reserves, the potential for indigenous natural gas reserves being found remains a possibility. The introduction of more natural gas into the energy mix in South Africa could lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions… (more)

Smart grids in South Africa will allow for control of peak hour demand, without having to increase generation capacity. However, the implementation thereof will require a substantial amount of financial support from government. The country can learn many valuable lessons from other international installations to formulate an implementation scheme that focuses on its existing strengths… (more)

Sir, This is indeed a Herculean task of no mean proportions to read all 480 pages making up the final version of National Development Plan – Trevor Manual’s plan, as I believe the NDP is colloquially known. With its great sweep of issues of national importance, one is of necessity forced to focus on specific areas of interest to avoid being drowned in the greater wash of the common good of economic and labour matters, education, training, skills and even energy… (more)

Eskom has managed to pull us through the winter peak without a single unplanned blackout. Well done. But we are still running close to the edge, and failure of any energy sources could put us in the pit. This was achieved at a cost of shutdowns in industry, power buy-backs etc., as well as as well documented impact on economic growth in the country. So we are still in crisis mode, and unless action is taken soon we will remain there for along time to come… (more)

Sierra Leone signs US$15-million Chinese loan to complete cable link; Nigeria’s National Rural Telephony Project comes to grief; Zimbabwe’s Telecel spends US$70-million to expand network; Namibia expands infrastructure to reduce telecoms costs; Tanzania’s IT-backbone drives down internet costs; Uganda announces plan to construct undersea cable; Airtel spends US$10m to expand Zambian network; More people have access to mobile phones than to clean water; ITU promotes broadband internet in Africa’s poorest countries… (more)

USB flash drive as a key ring; The world’s smallest 3G and WiFi personal hotspot; Logitech iPad speaker stand; Ultrabook performance at a fraction of the cost with an SSD upgrade kit… (more)

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) awarded to South Africa has created a renewed interest amongst radio amateurs in radio astronomy. Not long after Karl Guthe Jansky discovered radio signals from the Milky Way in 1931, radio amateurs became involved and did some major pioneering work… (more)

Compared to other soldering processes, the selective soldering process is considered to be particularly demanding. This article provides a survey of the single process steps and which possibilities exist to monitor and control them… (more)

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