You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2012.

Traditionally flood hydrology has concentrated on design parameters which are important for structures but the methods do not necessarily allow for cost effective production of flood risk maps for large areas such as district municipalities. By utilising existing GIS data, a GIS platform and components of a Hydro Data Model, combined with HEC-RAS for the river analysis, this methodology provides a rapid, cost effective alternative for flood risk modelling… (more)

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Traditional map publishers have been negatively impacted by new technologies making use of digital maps. Is an iTunes/iBook-like solution for maps on the way? So what does this mean for the map industry? Can publishers like National Geographic, Rand-McNally and a host of others, including government – who have traditionally delivered their products on paper – expect a similar fate if they do not adapt?… (more)

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC), operator of the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), manages a geographic information system (GIS) which is dependent on the utilisation of data derived from a wide variety of CAD drawings. This article describes the use of the ISO 13567 standard in the development of a CAD Standard for the Coega IDZ… (more)

Frances Baard District Municipality (FBDM) is fulfilling the district municipalities’ role, by providing a shared GIS service to local authorities, including Sol Plaatje, Dikgatlong, Magareng and Phokwane municipalities. In recognition of this, FBDM was selected for a prestigious Special Achievement in GIS Award (SAG) at the 2012 Esri International User Conference held in San Diego, earlier this year. The SAG awards acknowledge innovative and intelligent applications of GIS technology from around the world… (more)

This paper reports on a desktop study for Eskom to assess the availability of spatial data for electricity planning from renewable energy sources for the African sub-Saharan region, excluding South Africa… (more)

In the present day and age, land is scarce and infrastructure expansion is a growing concern. This concern affects any business that needs to either register servitudes for land or manage statutory land regulations. Business intelligence related to land and right management is essential to maintain, track and enable planning of infrastructure. A system which can capture and visualise these needs electronically, will solve these growing pains… (more)

Teledyne Odom has been producing hydrographic survey equipment for over 25 years, and more recently led the way in the development of low cost multibeam echo sounders. In January of 2012, Teledyne Odom released the MB1, the latest generation of this type of sensor… (more)

More and more of Hypack users are starting to pay attention to the “uncertainty” of their soundings. This probably started with the introduction of the Total Propagated Uncertainty Editor (TPU Editor) a couple of years ago and the ability to display uncertainty in some of the multibeam processing programs… (more)

Dr. Mark Norris-Rogers is the winning letter writer for August 2012. He won a Canon colour i-SENSYS MF8080Cw Wireless Multifunction Printer. He submitted a letter questioning certain aspects of PLATO’s continuing professional development programme… (more)

Response to Mr. Karl van Rensburg’s article “Land surveyors involvement with pre- and post-survey activities”… (more)

This is the first survey textbook published in South Africa since the publication of the well-known “Survey Handbook” by Durban Corporation many years ago. This fact alone makes it a very valuable addition to the available literature… (more)

This publication is well written, where the content adequately addresses its objective. Whilst modern surveying principles, techniques and applications are discussed, the writer has not deviated from the most important basic survey principles that promote and govern best practice in the survey discipline… (more)

Outlined below is the opening address given by Chief Surveyor General, Mmuso Riba, at the GISSA Ukubuzana 2012 conference held from 2 – 4 October 2012 at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni. The theme of the conference was: “An African dialogue: geomatics for infrastructure development and service delivery”. Let me start by commending the organisers of the conference. This is indeed a conference that comes at the right time when South Africa is looking for solution to challenges common to all those who want to see our beloved country growing and developing… (more)

This article focuses on a recently published book on engineering surveying written by South African academics, Koos Landman, Terry Hunter and Jay Jackson. Reviews of the book have been provided by Raubie Raubenheimer from Cape Pensinsula University of Technology (CPUT) and Joe Fraser from Manco-Aurecon JV… (more)

A full quorum of the Committee for Spatial Information (CSI) met on 1 October 2012 and agreed to adopt several recommendations proposed by its Data Sub-committee relating to the definition of base spatial datasets, criteria for base spatial datasets, criteria for data custodians, and the identification of an initial list of base spatial datasets and data custodians… (more)

An electrician with a license, known as a “registered person”, has applied to the Department of Labour (DoL) and has demonstrated his knowledge, skills and ability to conduct verification and certification of the construction, testing and inspection of the electrical installations for which he has been registered… (more)

The price of copper on the world’s commodities exchanges has risen, causing demand for copper scrap metal to soar and creating a very lucrative black market for stolen copper… (more)

There is much talk about solar power these days and many would-be users are confused or unsure whether they should install solar systems. We shed some light on the subject… (more)

Digital platforms are enabling worldwide collaboration across industry sectors, disciplines and interest groups, allowing approaches and methods to be shared and creating the perfect environment for cloud-based facitily management (FM)… (more)

How new technologies and design principles for low voltage switchgear can improve the effectiveness of RAMS programmes while reducing plant downtime… (more)

Reducing carbon emissions has become a growing concern for policy makers, car manufacturers and building designers alike. Consequently, batteries have taken centre stage in the search for alternative energy and the development of low-cost hybrid electric vehicles… (more)

The Rio+20 UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum has released the results of an independent global trial regarding LED street lighting in twelve of the world’s largest cities… (more)

Eskom has been placing much effort into driving the adoption of energy efficient lighting technologies in homes and businesses. While success has been achieved with these programmes, it remains important that the end-user be aware of the many factors to consider… (more)

Many organisations fail to consider water use when embarking on initiatives to reduce carbon footprint and conserve resources. The cost of electricity has continued to escalate in recent years and energy efficiency has become a focus area for business. Many organisations, however, fail to take into account one all-important area – water – when embarking on carbon footprint reduction initiatives and when looking to reduce resource usage to decrease cost… (more)

Integrated facility management can cut energy use by 25% yet it is slow  on the uptake in South Africa. As building owners seem reluctant to invest in integrating systems, tenants should take action – there’s a strong business case for it… (more)

Many lighting installations are being targeted with proposals to owners for energy saving, but without the proper evaluation of the end result. While these lighting re-furbishing projects can result in sub-standard installations, the longterm effect should not be taken lightly… (more)

The wage negotiations for 2012/2013 were concluded last year but as you will recall, the Collective Agreement could not be published as the representivity of the trade union was questioned. Consequently, the parties had to wait for the Department of Labour to conduct its own membership verification audit… (more)

Consulting Engineers South Africa’s (CESA’s) bi-annual Economic and Capacity Survey shows that consulting engineering is “not firing on all cylinders” as the industry awaits government’s planned infrastructure rollout. As a result of government’s delay, many consulting engineering firms now look north for work abroad… (more)

The Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) is the new name for the Workmen’s Compensation Act (WCA). The act provides compensation for disablement caused by injuries sustained or diseases contracted by employees in the course of their work, or for death resulting from such injuries and diseases… (more)

Eskom, Metrorail, Telkom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have collectively lost R3,12-billion to copper theft between April 2006 and December last year. This is according to transport minister Ben Martins in reply to a series of Democratic Party parliamentary questions by Pieter van Dalen MP… (more)

Highly excessive voltages and currents can threaten the operation of a PV plant. Such surges are mainly caused by lightning, but can also be due to faults in the grid. To ensure a path to earth for any lightning strike, or currents caused by overvoltage, is an extremely important factor in PV plant protection… (more)

There is much talk about solar at this time and many ‘want to be users’ are often confused or unsure if they should install a solar system or not. There is an enormous amount of information available in magazines, newspapers, advertising, the Internet and TV which can be very confusing… (more)

The renewable energy industry has experienced a laborious process with many course changes and reversals by government, NERSA and Eskom during the past several years. This paper discusses the relationship of this newly established South African Smart Grid Initiative and the renewable energy bid (REBID) programme… (more)

The next generation of PC-based power management applications should have the capability to integrate an active blueprint of the system including system topology, engineering parameters, and other pertinent information (such as GIS assets) with time-synchronized-data acquired for the purpose of visualising and depicting the actual operation of the system… (more)

Part of data centre planning and design is to align the power and cooling requirements of the IT equipment with the capacity of infrastructure equipment to provide it. This paper presents methods for calculating power and cooling requirements and provides guidelines for determining the total electrical power capacity needed to support the data centre, including IT equipment, cooling equipment, lighting, and power backup… (more)

Revenue protection is an ongoing battle in most utilities, and has a direct link to the profitability of the utility and thus is of critical importance. Technology can play an important role in helping the revenue protection and energy losses team in their ongoing battle to minimise non-technical and technical losses… (more)

Increasing worldwide demand for copper has caused copper prices to skyrocket in the last several years. Just ten years ago, copper cost about R13 910 per metric ton. Today, it’s over R65 600, and  analysts predict that prices will only go higher. Adjusted for inflation, it translates into a demand for copper the likes of which have not been seen since the boom about 100 years ago when electrification was brand new and the original power grid was first being built… (more)

Over the last several decades investor-owned utilities have spent huge amounts of money improving the efficiency of generation to reduce fuel consumption, conserve resources and improve their bottom line.  Unfortunately, less consideration has been given to transmission efficiency, where nearly 8 to 10% of all energy generated is lost during transmission… (more)

This paper examines the primary components in a typical commercial, industrial or mining electrical distribution network from the point of view of energy losses. It shows how system design considerations impact on energy efficiency.  Alternative solutions are presented in which features of a greener technology are leveraged to obtain significant further reductions in energy losses, capital cost and maintenance, yielding huge savings over the lifetime of the network… (more)

There are four basic types of high voltage current transformers. The hair pin tank type is typically made in South Africa for voltages up to and including 132 kV and is oil filled. This report looks at the 11 kV to 132 kV hair pin tank type made in South Africa… (more)

Water tree degradation is claimed to have been a major cause of cable system failures. It is very important to be able to accurately predict the influence and behaviour of water trees in order to avoid over designing cables making them uneconomical to produce. Modern XLPE cables do not suffer from the same early problems and wet and dry designs currently find good service life… (more)

Most gas engines are Otto cycle spark ignition internal combustion reciprocating engines using natural gas as the primary fuel. Smaller models utilise stochiometric combustion while the larger engines are lean burn engines with pre-chamber ignition systems.  The engines are coupled with packaged generator sets, cogeneration and, even, trigeneration units to optimise energy utilisation in the fuel being burned… (more)

Behaviour of high voltage motors has a strong influence on electricity generation in power plants, with serious financial consequences. Therefore, it is important to understand whether correlations could be found among work conditions, load, start-stop frequency, maintenance policy or other factors,  and large HV motor failures… (more)

Estimating the economic cost of electricity shortages is an exercise in enormous uncertainty. To reduce the uncertainty, or, rather, to get a sense of its range, I rely on a variety of methods. Firstly, several economists have attempted various ways to calculate the direct costs. Typically, they assumed the loss by each industry would be equivalent to three hours (the time span of undelivered electricity) of production in a normal working day… (more)

One can almost smell the revolution in the air these days. Spring has pushed out winter, fracking has ousted its moratorium, trees are budding green and NERSA is girding for another round of multi-year price determinations. The lambs are frolicking in the fields and the clowns in the circus. Change is a-coming. Out with the old, in with the new. Babies with bathwater. Even the electricity industry is crackling with potential… (more)

The Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG), representing South Africa’s mining and industrial companies, is concerned that there is insufficient clarity surrounding the press reports on MYPD3 and the reported rapidly escalating price increases… (more)

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) and Energy Minister Dipuo Peters are to be congratulated for climbing yet another rung on South Africa’s ladder to a sustainable energy future. Sustainable Energy Society of Southern Africa (SESSA) Ombudsman, Carel Ballack said it had taken over eight months but power licences have now been approved for the 28 successful renewable energy bidders announced in December last year by Minister Peters… (more)

Sir, I state for the record that I am a solar photovoltaic practitioner and hence will exercise my professional right to write a rebuttal to the letter by Dr. Chris Herold that was published in the April 2012 edition of Energize… (more)

While government departments and Eskom are forging ahead with plans and programmes to ensure that all is in place to facilitate meeting the planned 9600 MW of nuclear power generation included in the IRP 2030, industry, who will have to provide the plant, are waiting in the wings, hamstrung by a lack of commitment to plans. Government has the National Nuclear Electricity Executive Co-ordinating committee (NNEECC or NEC2), and the Nuclear Energy Technical Committee, who advises the above, and both are busy with self-assessment exercise to establish the readiness of the country to proceed with the plan… (more)

In July 2002 the German Amateur Radio Satellite Association (AMSAT-DL) announced its plan to take amateur radio to Mars. The association was planning to build two spacecrafts to be named AMSAT-Phase 3-E (P3E) and AMSAT-Phase 5-A (P5A)… (more)

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