You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2013.

This article describes the concept of a Wide Area Alerting System (WAAS), a flexible ICT platform for building alerting and notification applications. It is tailored to the generation and dissemination of complex alerts or notifications derived from geospatial-temporal data originating from heterogeneous sensors, models and/or monitoring processes… (more)


In this article, we explore the results of the London Olympics Gold Medal tennis match between Roger Federer and Andy Murray to show how you can use GIS to identify particular patterns within the match that may not have been exposed by using traditional non-geographical analysis and display techniques… (more)

Setting up a lunar base could be made much simpler by using a 3D printer to build it from local materials. Industrial partners including renowned architects Foster and Partners have joined with the European Space Agency (ESA) to test the feasibility of 3D printing using lunar soil… (more)

Shanghai Nuclear Engineering Research and Design Institute (SNERDI) has a long association with Westinghouse, having produced 3D plant models to support Westinghouse’s AP1000 plant design, which is recognised as among the safest and most advanced nuclear power plants on the market today… (more)

In this article, we will highlight the multipurpose nature and economic value of a modern spatial data infrastructure (SDI). In addition, we will review the metrics by which investment decisions are made regarding the use of spatial technology in land-registry projects, and discuss an alternative approach of measuring the enormous benefits of geospatial technology that may be taken when assessing the economic viability of land-registration projects… (more)

It is important that municipalities know what properties belong to them. Furthermore it is important to know which of these properties are vacant and can be utilised for strategic developmental purposes. It was with this need in mind, that the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) embarked on a vacant land audit. This articles outlines the process and the challenges experienced along the way… (more)

Project managers in the resource, infrastructure and environmental sectors typically demand rapid turnaround imagery to serve the planning and monitoring phases of their projects. These demands are now being met via the provision of high resolution satellite imagery… (more)

This article examines how accurately mapping artisanal mining areas will enable the enforcement of mineral rights and the regulation of the informal mining sector as well as assisting in the management of scarce and valuable resources… (more)

Bathymetric survey systems come as a basic single beam echo-sounder to which one can interface a GPS/GNSS for lower resolution individual discrete points or the far more complex higher resolution and wider coverage multibeam echo sounder systems. This article details the factors which need to be taken into consideration when choosing a bathymetric survey system… (more)

The organisers of the South African Surveying and Geomatics Indaba 2013, the South African Geomatics Institute (SAGI) and EE Publishers, are pleased to announce that the conference will be opened by Mmuso Riba, the Chief Surveyor-General of South Africa. The conference is being held on 23 and 24 July 2013 at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg… (more)

The National Development Plan has elevated the task of building a capable and developmental state to a higher priority. There is broad consensus across the political spectrum of the need for a professional and competent civil service. The plan presents some clear principles for developing this professional civil service… (more)

In 2013 the global energy and utility industry faces significant challenges from ongoing environmental sensitivity, changing policymaker attitudes and consumer expectations. The top ten technology trends affecting the markets include mobile and location-aware technology, cloud computing, big data and social media… (more)

South Africa has a long history in space related activities but until the formation of the South African Space Agency (SANSA) in 2010, these activities were fragmented with periods of high levels of activity followed by a slump in activity. Being a growing knowledge economy, South Africa cannot afford this fragmentation… (more)

Geomatics is key to planning, infrastructure development and service delivery. Geospatial data, services and tools are essential for achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP). It is disconcerting that the entire NDP has become part of a political game. National development planning is needed as a matter of urgency. To get our national development planning on track, South Africa urgently needs to get its spatial data infrastructure (SDI) up and running. SDIs justify their development costs by generating greater economic benefit for the countries that build them and the developed world has taken note of this. Countries in the developed world are making increasing use of SDIs while we here in South Africa seem to be getting nowhere despite the numerous SDI workshops and meetings that have been held over the last decade or so… (more)

An analysis of the economics, thermal characteristics and development of heat pump water heaters in South Africa. s. Heat pump water heaters are recommended as sustainable and energy saving products. They save about 67% of electricity consumption… (more)

The methods for evaluating power quality (PQ), electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), and solutions for improving PQ. Corrective maintenance is generally the consequence of incidents or malfunctions during operation requiring troubleshooting to apply corrective measures… (more)

Thermal imaging technology has an important role to play in accident prevention for mine vehicles. Approximately 20% of the mining Approximately 20% of the mining industry’s fatalities can be attributed to vehicle accidents. With new legislation imminent, collision avoidance systems for mine vehicles are poised to become an essential part of safety systems in mines. industry’s fatalities can be attributed to vehicle accidents. With new legislation imminent, collision avoidance systems for mine vehicles are poised to become an essential part of safety systems in mines… (more)

Situation awareness has many complex definitions but it all comes down to being able to know what is going on, what can affect the outcome and how you would cope with what could happen. Situation awareness is one of the critical components of decision-making and highlights the importance of not wearing blinkers and focusing only on a narrow field of view… (more)

Variable frequence drives (VFDs) replaced motor generator sets and DC drives because of improved process performance and reduced maintenance costs. When the energy crisis occurred in the early 1970s, saving energy became a critical goal and the use of VFDs quickly spread into large pump applications and eventually into HVAC fan systems… (more)

Motor contribution can be used to calculate maximum short circuit current and the short circuit rating of electrical equipment. It can be demonstrated that motor by Darrell Broussard, GE Industrial Solutions contribution is present during faults regardless of the size or voltage rating of the motor… (more)

Spectral vision of a colour scene is determined by the product of the spectral power distribution of the light source, the spectral radiance (reflection) factor of the scene components and the photopic spectral visibility or V() curve. With the introduction of LED lighting, the lighting industry is faced with an infinite number of colour sources of light with numerous SPDs. The summation of SPDs can create even more diverse sources of light through combinations of these LED sources… (more)

Why drivers are needed for LEDs, their most important characteristics and their role in terms of influencing performance and lifetime. This article highlights how LED drivers by Henk Rotman, Philips Lighting offering operating windows are better equipped to deal with developments in the LED industry… (more)

Food retailer Sainsbury’s in Leek, Staffordshire, UK, needed a trusted, reliable solution that would provide high-quality lighting for its first-ever, all-LED supermarket. The shop in Leek subsequently Information from GE Lighting became the first supermarket to use GE’s Lumination Linear suspended luminaire, a thin, uniformly illuminated lighting panel suspended from the ceiling and powered by Intrinsix optical technology… (more)

There is widespread confusion in industry about what the South African Bureau for Standards (SABS) “mark” means, how companies can attain the SABS mark, and the difference between terms such as “accreditation” and “certification”. Starting with accreditation and certification, one often hears of “SABS accreditation”. As impressive as this sounds, it is a meaningless statement because the SABS provides certification and not accreditation services… (more)

In the mining industry where huge capital is required to develop projects, listed companies’ ability to raise funds on the stock exchange is crucial. The Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (2012), published in December 2012, could, however, hamper South Africa’s capital raising capability severely, according to Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS) director Otsile Matlou… (more)

Q: Can you help me in terms of positioning light fittings according to the standards? A: Generally, luminaires are positioned centrally in a room, or spaced evenly if there is more than one to ensure even light distribution. In commercial installations, the required illumination levels and distribution as well as the photometric characteristics specific to the luminaire and the room would play a part in determining the layout. In such cases, an expert would need to design the lighting installation to ensure good results… (more)

Addressing the annual conference of the South African Council for Project and Construction Management Professions in Johannesburg, Dr. John Fletcher, head of Dispute Resolution Services of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said disputes in the built environment are often very complicated and involve issues at multiple levels. These would require large amounts of time and money to resolve in court or through arbitration… (more)


An employee who has been found guilty in court, sentenced and put in prison won’t be able to work until he is released and may be dimissed for incapacity. Please note that you cannot just dismiss him for having a criminal record. You also cannot fire him/her for not being able to work as a result of his/her sentence. Unless you can show that, operationally, you as an employer cannot be expected to keep the postion open until he/she is released… (more)

The term “transformation” basically means “to change from the present condition to a new condition”. A very easy example of transformation is the change from the old, large circuit breakers we used to have in domestic switchboards which took up lots of space. The advent of the MCB resulted in at least a 50% reduction in space, together with all its other benefits. This transformation has a benefit for all of mankind from a technical perspective… (more)

Delegates at the ninth annual conference of the Ilumination Engineering Society of South Africa (IESSA) heard that competition from lighting manufacturers in the Far East does not pose a real threat to the local industry as many industry doomsayers seem to think. Addressing an open panel discussion, EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland said the real danger in terms of the influx of product from abroad lies with South Africa’s regulatory mechanisms which are failing us… (more)

Most modern UPS systems do not include the internal transformers that were present in earlier designs. This evolution has increased efficiency while decreasing the weight, size, and raw materials of UPS systems. In the new transformerless UPS designs, the transformers are optional and can be placed in the best location to achieve a required purpose… (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-synchronised-data acquired for the purpose of visualising and depicting the actual operation of the system… (more)

The renewable IPP procurement programme aims to install 3725 MW of renewable power in line with the allocated renewable energy capacity in the IRP 2010 – 2030. Biogas is included in the program with an allocation of 12,5 MW. South Africa has been slow to install biogas plants and it is estimated that there are as few as 150 biogas digesters installed at present… (more)

Much is said and written about the potential for renewable energy to transform the lives of rural people right across the African continent, but it is less common to see actual examples of successful renewable energy businesses in this arena… (more)

Orion New Zealand (Orion) is a distribution utility that serves the city of Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand. Orion is adopting the technical capabilities found in the IEC 61850 standard and other technologies for a simple-to-implement, fit-for-purpose design for distribution protection… (more)

Circuit breakers (CBs) sit quietly for months or even years, apparently doing nothing. Eventually the time comes, however, when the breaker is required to operate and then it must respond – instantly. If it doesn’t, supply disturbances can cascade, people could be injured, equipment can be damaged and the supply network may be vulnerable… (more)

Fire safety is serious business. No matter your industry the damage caused by a fire could be catastrophic for your business. But how do you mitigate the risk? The Fire Protection Association of Southern Africa recommends a fire risk assessment be done when any meaningful changes occur… (more)

Electricity distribution to households and business is the final step in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution value chain. Redistributed energy by municipalities to the South African domestic market is key to planning energy demand and supply… (more)

Constant power supply is fundamental to the operation of a mission-critical facility and, as power outages are not uncommon, certain electrical design considerations need to be put in place to help minimise the risks posed by such outages… (more)


Many electrical loads incorporate elements that can impose a leading power factor on the power source. While these loads are typically not a problem for utility power sources, leading power factor can cause generator set failures or the failure of certain loads to operate properly on a generator set… (more)

Let us consider the evolution of two technologies that consumers, institutions and businesses use every day: the electric grid and the telephone. The electricity grid infrastructure is largely exactly as it was a century ago; whereas the telephone industry has changed beyond all recognition… (more)

China’s continuing reliance on thermal energy will prove the key driver in the global boiler, turbine and generator (BTG) market in the near future, expects research and consulting firm GlobalData. According to the company’s latest report, BTG market revenue in China will increase steadily from an expected total of $20,9-billion in 2013 to $30,1-billion in 2020, boosting the nation’s share of the global market from 32% to 48%… (more)

This month’s letters cover “thinkers” and “doers” in technology, and the issue of nickel pollution from power stations… (more)

One of the biggest challenges facing the local and international thermal and coking coal markets is the uncertainty in the global economic situation which has resulted in many capital projects being shelved or postponed, says consulting engineering and project implementation firm Hatch Goba Africa’s director for coal Gerrit Lok. He went on to explain that coupled with the global economic uncertainty are supply and demand factors stemming from major economies such as the United States and China, which has had an impact on coal pricing… (more)

Sir, Two articles, nicely juxtapositioned on the same page of a leading business daily last month, caught my eye and I am tempted to put the merits of my case to your erudite readers. The first article was all about electric cars, or rather, how to create a market for them. Electric cars, you might recall, are those wonderful machines that will phase out the horse-buggy and the hansom cab and – oh yes, of course – the internal combustion engine… (more)

Global developments in the shale oil space could revolutionise the world’s energy markets over the next couple of decades, resulting in significantly lower oil prices, higher GDP, changing the geopolitics and shifting business models for oil and gas companies, according to a new analysis carried out by PwC… (more)

The global microgrid market is set for exceptional growth in the coming years as Europe and Asia mimic the growth that has seen the US dominate the industry, states the latest report from research and consulting firm GlobalData. According to the new report, the global microgrid industry is anticipated to reach a value of $18,9-billion in 2020 from a 2012 value of $5,3-billion – demonstrating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17,2%… (more)

Why is it that Eskom, a company with so much surplus electricity in the 1980s now faces shortages despite the dawn of low power electronic technology? The paradox is that low-power technology both assists in energy saving and also contributes to energy wastage. Developments in modern electronics have yielded low-power and even ultra low-power devices. Circuits that required hundreds of mA, now operate on less than a tenth of that… (more)


  • Compact, but with a full size keyboard
  • Wireless and rechargeable
  • Desktop in a single hand
  • All-in-one desktop… (more)
  • Econet’s Liquid Telecom buys Rwandatel
  • Namibia gets low-cost satellite Internet access
  • Consortium set up to roll out LTE 4G across Kenya
  • Vodacom launches M-Pesa in Mozambique
  • Smartphone revolution sparked by falling costs
  • Licence snag holds up Gambian voice services via ACE
  • Sony unveils expansion plans for Africa
  • Nigeria “needs one million cyber security experts”
  • Tanzania borrows US$403-million for next phase of ICT backbone… (more)

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