You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2013.

For the foreseeable future all explosion protected (Ex) equipment used in South Africa, whether manufactured locally or imported, needs an IA certificate before it can be legally put into use… (more)

Better energy management – a must, not a luxury. Eric Léger was recently appointed as country president of Schneider Electric South Africa, a company with a German name but French parentage. Léger was previously country president of the company in Korea and Taiwan where he was responsible for business growth and before that he represented Schneider Electric in several other countries in similar positions… (more)

We invited a number of industry players to give their views on the quality of mobile telephone services in South Africa. We asked the questions and our panel of experts came up with some interesting insights… (more)

The Southern Africa Telecommunication Networks and Applications Conference (SATNAC) 2013 will be held at the Spier Wine Estate in Stellenbosch, Western Cape from 1 – 4 September 2013. The theme of the conference is “Broadband – a catalyst for sustainable economic development and promoting digital inclusion”. The format will be similar to that of last year, with a mixture of high level panel discussions and technical presentations by international events experts on communications… (more)

Supporting the annual Eskom Science Expo for Young Scientists is more than spending a few thousand rand from the corporate social investment budget; it is an investment in the development of skills to support the future of South African enterprise… (more)

This month’s winning letter: Issues this month include “South Africa, a technology-ready African country”. What is the future of electronics in South Africa from an innovation and growth context? Are we educating enough individuals to successfully compete in engineering and are the institutions and government doing enough to promote science and maths?… (more)

Answers by Eric Badenhorst, Veeam Software South Africa,
Eric answers typical questions on choosing the appropriate virtualisation management tool… (more)

Much has been written about cloud and security in the cloud. According to to VMware’s Ian Jansen van Rensburg at the company’s recent conference of over 1000 delegates from all sectors of the IT industry: “Cloud is a journey, not an overnight solution”. The debate continues as to whether to be in the cloud or not… (more)

Today’s IT discussions are filled with terms like cloud, virtualisation, SANs, BYOD, SaaS, and SLAs. Rarely is the physical layer – Layer 1 of the 7-Layer OSI model – part of the buzz. But at the end of the day, all network technologies lead back to that critical, foundational layer and the cabling infrastructure that supports it. If it doesn’t work, nothing works. And as with the technologies around it, it is changing… (more)

A booming partnership between Transmode, a global supplier of packet-optical networking solutions, and Saab Grintek Technologies (SGT) is enabling its fixed line and mobile network operator customers in South Africa and selected African countries to cost effectively address their capacity needs created by the rapid growth in video and data traffic… (more)

The author discusses a revolutionary approach to the delivery of telecommunications infrastructure that can reduce costs by 60% in comparison to traditional methods… (more)

Variable frequency drives are among the most useful devices in the industrial world. They allow the speed of a 3-phase AC electric motor to be altered whenever the behaviour of the motor’s load changes. By changing its output frequency and voltage, the VFD allows the motor to modify its RPMs to respond to those demands… (more)

Telematics systems for automotives are designed and manufactured to meet rigorous machine-to-machine (M2M) standards and ensure product longevity even under harsh environmental conditions and on rough roads. Unfortunately, upon implementation, these devices are equipped with the same SIM cards originally specified for mobile phones and consumer connected devices, which often don’t meet the specific needs of telematics systems… (more)

It can be difficult to comprehend just how fast test equipment is evolving to meet the new challenges in manufacturing and maintenance applications. It was just the other day that thermography was a basic system to check on looming problems in electrical switchboards and transformer installations –today it is used in the building industry and even to check on the health of racehorses… (more)

Productivity is the key to survival in today?s globally competitive environment. When you think about the basic inputs to production-time, labour, and materials – you can see there isn’t much room for optimisation. You have 24 hours per day, labour is costly, and you don’t have much choice in materials. Thus, every company must use automation to gain more output from the same inputs, or perish… (more)

Digitally compensated pressure transmitters show the limits of what is possible. The more important it becomes to have measuring accuracy, the more focused the pressure transmitters available on the market are on certain applications… (more)

In this article Hans van de Groenendaal reviews the White Paper by Jorg Kaleita of Altium EMEA, “Verification of FPGA-based systems”. When designing electronic modules and systems, the individual components and complete board need to be verified at different stages of project development… (more)

Checking interconnections without test pins. Testing printed circuit boards by hand is difficult, if not impossible, when using complex ICs and multilayer printed circuit boards. Fortunately most of these ICs now contain special logic which allows extensive testing of the chip’s internal connections and the interconnections on the circuit board. This is achieved by using the internationally standardised JTAG-interface… (more)

The South African Radio League’s theme for the 2013/2014 year is “Amateur radio embraces digital”, focusing on how the digital revolution is impacting on amateur radio and how it has opened up new opportunities for experimentation and development, from weak signal reception using digital means to applications of smartphone apps, digital modulation techniques and other software applications such as software-defined radio… (more)

  • Liquid Telecom signs with Ekinops for network expansion
  • Etisalat to increase its investment in Tanzania
  • Zambia sues mobile phone companies over “poor service”
  • PPP to boost rural Nigerian network
  • Power shortages “hamper development of ICT”
  • Kenya to put third digital-signal licence out to tender
  • Morocco to invite bids for 4G service licences
  • New satellite will bring broadband to rural Africa
  • Ghana’s mobile data subscriptions drop over “poor service”… (more)
  • Never run out of power when on the go
  • The BlackBerry Q5 launches in South Africa
  • Tired of typing on your tablet?… (more)

During his recent visit to South Africa, President Obama promised to provide billions of dollars for additional electricity generation in southern Africa. South Africa’s urgent need for additional electricity could be supplied from outside our borders, or by foreign companies inside our country. But are either of these options really in the country’s best interests?… (more)

During a high-profile site visit on 11 April 2013, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba advised Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi executives, in the presence of the assembled media, that first power from Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any such delays occurred… (more)

Sir, I hope I may be forgiven for reminiscing about some of the links in the electricity industry’s chain. To explain what that means, allow me recap, for the benefit of some of your erudite readers, some details about myself. I was born on 21 April 1765, which event took place just over 248 years ago. It was called the Age of Enlightenment, which also gave birth to the infant electricity industry… (more)

What started as a scheme to encourage homeowners and businesses to install rooftop solar PVs and other means to self-generate part of their electricity needs has grown into a gigantic headache for the industry… (more)

from the Independent Power Producers Association, while addressing the media at the Free Market Foundation’s offices recently, said that Eskom are misleading the public when the say that they are keeping the lights on. Many people tend to believe that as long as the lights are still on that everything’s okay with the electricity supply… (more)

As the agricultural and manufacturing sectors face steep electricity price hikes, alternative supply options are being studied to identify those which will best relieve the pressure of growing operating costs. Self-generation by means of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are proving to be one of the most effective options… (more)

With the recent determination for new generating capacity having been approved by Dipuo Peters, the minister of energy, new challenges and opportunities exist for South Africa to embark on exciting and innovative power projects that could transform the local power industry into a world class leader… (more)

The loss of excitation (LOE) condition of a generator may cause severe damages on both generator and the interconnected systems. This paper analyses the behaviours of different LOE protection schemes, such as R-X, G-B, P-Q and U-I schemes, for a hydro generator, which is connected to an infinite bus… (more)

During the recent floods in Mozambique a section of the Cahora Bassa HVDC line was damaged. This had a huge impact on the transfer of power between Mozambique and South Africa with one of the 533 kV DC lines out of service. Quanta Services Africa was awarded the contract in February for the short term emergency restoration of this line… (more)

Application of traditional connections such as transformer windings connected in wye and CTs in delta, or transformer windings connected in delta and CTs in wye, involves no modification of current inputs to differential calculations in the relay… (more)

Age, obsolescence, and network evolution or community requirements are common issues impacting electrical substations throughout the world and all these lead in the short or long term to the inevitable necessity for renewal of existing substations… (more)

Decentralised energy resources (DER), especially wind farms, became a challenge for protection, automation and control in the grids. Transmission and distribution system operators require tests for loss of mains and other decoupling protection functions… (more)

Connecting individual, private, small scale renewable electricity generators as power producers would diversify the risk of relying on a single entity to control the entire power-generation market. However, is it as straightforward as giving private individuals micro-licences for renewable electricity generation to home owners to become power producers and does the grid code cover small scale generators?… (more)

With major rivers such as the Nile, the Congo, the Niger, the Zambezi and the Orange as well as other innumerable watercourses and lakes, Africa is blessed with abundant hydrological resources that have historically provided the economic basis for much of the continent… (more)

The conversion of biomass into an energy form is one of the oldest technologies known to man. Since the beginning of time man collected wood and other organic combustible items, transported it to a homestead, broke it into more manageable pieces and burnt it to provide heat for cooking, protection and comfort… (more)

Power factor correction (PFC) is generally applied to save on maximum demand charges or power factor penalties levied by electricity distributers. If properly applied, PFC can also reduce energy consumption in many types of installation… (more)

Strategies and technologies are needed to protect workers and equipment from electrical arc-flash incidents in mining operations. The safe, efficient and reliable supply of electricity is therefore vital for profitable mining operations. Despite all the advances in electrical distribution and control, electrical accidents still occur. Arc-flash is one of the most serious… (more)

The incandescent lamp, which has famously been used in general lighting for over a century, is on its way out. In recent years, some 18 countries the world-over have introduced measures effectively banning manufacture, import or sale of the energy hungry bulb and now, it seems, South Africa is about to join their ranks… (more)

On 11 April 2013, public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba told Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi that first power from the Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any delays did occur. The Eskom CEO and his executive team assured the minister that the situation had been fully analysed, that the problem areas had been identified and were being dealt with, and that the due date would indeed be met… (more)

In an interview with EE Publishers features editor Hans van de Groenendaal, he attributed his company’s success not to its varied international market exposure, but to the fact that it is a “perpetual start-up company” always on the look-out for innovation and new markets to explore. Newly-appointed Schneider Electric South Africa country president Eric Léger held the same position for Korea and Taiwan respectively before coming to South Africa well-versed in the company’s operations and in doing business with diverse cultures… (more)

Supporting the annual Eskom Science Expo for Young Scientists is more than spending a few thousand rand from the corporate social investment budget; it is an investment in the development of skills to support the future of South African enterprise… (more)

As the country renewed trade links with the world after the former political dispensation, the old system of having the player and the referee under the same umbrella became unsustainable and was no longer seen as fair. With this in mind, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sought to make the state’s technical infrastructure regime compliant with international standards – to promote trade with international partners, as it were… (more)

Q: I am installing lightning protection at a cellphone site. How do I calculate the number of rods required to achieve a meter reading of 10 ohms? The ground is very damp. A: Lightning protection is a highly specialised field. The design installation of lightning protection must be done according to SANS 10313, the South African standard for protection against lightning, “Physical damage to structures and life hazard”… (more)

One of the most satisfying experiences of an apprentice’s life is when he hears the magical words, “you have passed”, “you are competent” or even, “I’ll have a double on you tonight!” This also heralds the end of being called an apprentice and now the big world calls out yonder for the qualified person to truly begin the journey of gaining experience with more decision making powers… (more)

Why are we not seeing solar street lights in our streets today? The answer is simple: some stand-alone solar street lights cause more problems than they solve. In some cases they don’t solve any problems at all… (more)

It is important to understand the full behaviour of the solid state lighting (SSL) device in terms of junction temperature as the device’s light output performance (both magnitude and colour) is strongly dependent on junction temperature…  (more)

Some IEC safety and performance standards for LEDs cannot be adopted locally, which prompted the local lighting industry to compose a local LED luminaire performance standard… (more)

What direct torque control (DTC) is, why and how it has evolved, the basic theory behind its success and the features and benefits of this new technology… (more)

In early 2002, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established a voluntary programme in which partner companies agreed to reduce SF6 emissions through technically and economically feasible actions… (more)

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