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A guide for plant management and technical staff on how to conduct an area classification, the process whereby the degree of exposure to explosive atmospheres for a plant area is determined… (more)


An investigation into compressed air wastage at the stopes in underground mines shows that rock drill operators (RDOs) leave manifold valves open due to negligence and for purposes of ventilation… (more)

From the ICMEESA archive A calliper-type brake gear designed to operate with oil-controlled spring units for even distribution of pressure and wear… (more)

The current trend towards slow-running direct drives is driven by a demand for precision, reliability and low maintenance, among others. This article provides a theoretical comparison of diriect drives and gearmotors based on known growth laws and a few practical assumptions… (more)

This article clarifies the origins of diesel particulate matter (DPM) in exhaust emissions and uses those insights to derive principles to manage these levels… (more)


Advances in materials science, designing and in manufacturing process made medium voltage switchgear reliable, but insulation failures continue to happen, often resulting in equipment damage… (more)

Selecting the protection system for electrical installations is fundamental to correct economical and functional service and to reduce problems caused by abnormal service conditions or actual faults… (more)

Microcontroller-based power conversion solutions offer extensive flexibility and allow installations combining solar photovoltaic (PV) and LED lighting to stay abreast with new additions and upgrades… (more)

This article explores ceramic metal halide, a conventional technology still evolving despite the LED revolution, and discusses its specifics, history, most recent developments, and future outlook… (more)

The powers that be cannot seem to understand why we have a major shortage of skilled people in South Africa. Unfortunately, this is not something that has occurred overnight but rather started back in the 1980s or so… (more)

This month, our readers write about the political will (or lack thereof) to address copper theft in SA; the implementation of a scrap metal act, as well as the social impacts of “red metal” theft. We also find out who really founded Beka-Schréder… (more)

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has announced the discontinuation of the debit pull option as a means of paying SARS as of the end of October 2013. Debit pull transactions were discontinued for ABSA, FNB, Investec, Nedbank and Standard Bank account holders. Taxpayers are advised to set up a credit push payment option or to use an alternative method of payment… (more)

Port Elizabeth-based Michael Straton was elected ECA(SA) president at the association’s AGM on 14 November 2013. He says the ECA will now consolidate its service to its members… (more)

The Free Market Foundation (FMF) has launched a constitutional challenge to section 32 of the Labour Relations Act 1995 in the Pretoria High Court in 2013. The section governs relations between bargaining councils (BCs), the minister and employers, and compels the minister to extend agreements struck by those at the bargaining table to those not present and not party to the negotiations… (more)

Afrikaans business rights watchdog organisation AfriSake has taken court action to prevent a contract between the City of Tshwane and private service provider PEU Capital Partners… (more)

The Department of International Development has awarded South Africa’s National Business Initiative (NBI) £8,6-million to bring energy efficiency supprt to companies in various sectors… (more)

In 2012, South Africa produced 80 000 tonnes of copper but export permit applications were lodged for 119 000 tonnes of the metal that year. This year, these figures for up to June were 60 000 and 92 000 tonnes respectively. According to Evert Swanepoel of the Copper Development Association Africa, underlying and in fact driving this ongoing increase in copper theft is a lack of adequate control on the export of this metal. As of last year, copper dealers are required to register in terms of the Second Hand Goods Act but very few have complied so far… (more)

Large parts of Johannesburg were plunged into darkness for almost a week recently as the result of industrial sabotage caused by disgruntled City Power employees. To discover what caused this extended power outage, EE Publishers’ Roger Lilley interviewed City Power’s director: Engineering Operations and official spokesperson, Louis Pieterse. In an attempt to display their disapproval of City Power’s decision to implement shift work, thereby slashing the company’s overtime bill, and the operators’ pay-packets dramatically, the operators decided to embark on a wildcat, unprotected strike. Some of them – wishing to make a point – switched off a number of circuit breakers in a few substations and minisubs around the city… (more)

The 2013 Presidential Excellence Awards of the Electrical Contractors Association of South Africa were conferred during a formal banquet to showcase the quality of work done by the association’s member companies over the past year… (more)

A contractor was awarded a tender by a municipality to construct low cost housing. The scope of the project was of such a nature that the contractor had to use additional subcontractors. The contractor concluded the agreement with the municipality and was responsible throughout the project for the obligations contained in the main agreement. To establish the obligations in respect of the plumbing work contractually, the contractor and plumbing subcontractor concluded a further agreement (a subcontract) to regulate their relationship and the rights and obligations regarding the plumbing work… (more)

The rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) industry should not be allowed to earn a negative reputation through poor installations; the answer lies with providing the correct solutions while never comprimising quality. Not only can roof-mounted PV panels change the power dynamic of South Africa by providing efficient, green energy for almost any use, but they also provide numerous South African companies with new options. Many of these companies may, however, be reasonably wary of installing these panels following a recent Carte Blanche exposé of poor rooftop solar geyser installations which resulted in unserviceable solutions… (more)

A survey of banks and specialised small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders has shown that financial statements prepared by chartered accountants are seen as more trustworthy when assessing credit applications. Businesses in need of financing would do well to consult a chartered accountant for advice and input. The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has found, in a survey of five major banks and three specialist SME lenders, that there are a number of areas in which lenders trust the input of chartered accountants (CAs) above other financial professionals… (more)

Moisture ingress in sport stadium floodlights compromises light output significantly, but a South African luminaire manufacturer has found a solution… (more)

LEDs in automotive lighting will not only improve road safety, but will enable vehicles to “think” in dangerous situations… (more)

The effect of tilting spot light designs over angles of 50° and 90°, and a comparison of the thermal results from LED coolers made with extrusion pin fin technology… (more)

The effectiveness and advantages of an energy-efficient concrete mixer drive using a synchronous permanent magnet motor to develop helical rotor movement… (more)

Variable speed drives (VSDs) should be considered as energy saving devices where electrical motors are used in the agricultural industry… (more)

Identifying and using the independent parameter for quantifying savings achieved by an energy efficiency pumping project… (more)

Commonly implemented in packaging, conveying and mixing applications, among others, rotational speed monitoring is also used as a safety and personnel protection mechanism… (more)

From the ICMEESA archive
Discussions and author’s replies to a paper on ash handling plant and their design and applications, presented at the 1957 Symposium on Pumping… (more)

With a number of tower blocks in downtown Johannesburg, ABSA has made use of rooftop space to construct SA’s largest groundmount-style, rooftop-based PV system eight storeys above street level… (more)

Safety is generally considered expensive although, in theory, a higher product compliance level should result in savings. Real savings can be achieved with proper planning. This may be of some inspiration to those battling with costs. Certification of all equipment for use in explosive atmospheres is controlled by ARP 0108, which is effectively part of legislation as it defines the legal requirements for certification of equipment for use in explosive atmospheres. According to this document, all explosion-protected (Ex) equipment shall have information assurance (IA) certificates issued by approved or accredited test laboratories (ATLs)… (more)

New Beka MD Carl Watson speaks to Vector about, among others, his immediate priorities, today’s drivers in the lighting industry, the effects of the recession and the lack of understanding of LEDs. Luminaire and GRP pole manufacturer Beka became an international player in the world lighting market when founder and former MD Johann Schleritzko recently sold his shareholding in the company to the Belgian Schréder Group… (more)

The South African Equity Workers’ Association (SAEWA) has demanded a number of changes to the Collective Agreement of the National Bargaining Council for the Electrical Industry of South Africa (NBCEISA)… (more)

Explolabs and Certex director and explosion prevention specialist Dr Johannes Auret answers questions on explosion protected (Ex) equipment, its use, certification and regulation, among others… (more)

Information from GE Digital Energy
A study to review the effects of exposing energy efficient lighting systems to transient surges which may occur at typical installations within facilities… (more)

Two case studies show the feasibility of retrofitting LED tubes to replace fluorescent lights in single offices, as well as in suites of offices… (more)

Electric motors are used either in constant or variable torque applications. The use of VSDs on electric motors can have negative effects on motors’ life, depending on the application and cause harmonics, voltage spikes and operating temperature increases… (more)

The unique demands of protecting generator circuits and the different requirements for generator and standard distribution circuit breakers… (more)

Hour meters may provide the most inexpensive source of “equipment reliability insurance” manufacturers can offer with their products. Here are some guidelines for making sound choices when specifying hour meters… (more)

The technical and control philosophy challenges faced in the automation of a water transfer pumping station… (more)

An investigation into the possible reasons for the decrease in productivity of underground pneumatic rock drills… (more)

Special ash pumps are used to dispose of the ash from large power stations. This article from the ICMEESA archive reviews the development of these and discusses special design features and limitations of this equipment… (more)

The workshop on developing standards for LEDs held during last year’s Industrial and Commercial Use of Energy (ICUE) Conference was found not to have had the desired effect on the lighting industry yet; transformation in the industry, including the drafting of standards, is taking longer than anticipated. We used a return visit by Lighting Science technical executive Fred Maxik to stimulate once again the drafting of standards regulating LED products entering the country… (more)

Speaking at an ECA(SA) Presidential Awards function in Johannesburg, ECA(SA) national director Jill Godden said the electrotechnical market has “tremendous potential”, yet is subject to great change… (more)

Advice on, among others, load calculations for chillers; extractor fans in toilets; double-pole switching for equipment; back-up for theatre curtains and calculating total load on lighting circuits… (more)

A reader disagrees with advice given in our “Experts Q&A” column: should capacitor banks on LV open panels be switched off when the site’s generator is in use?… (more)

A German luxury vehicle manufacturer attracted a lot of attention in 2006 when it advertised that it had “filed 9621 patents” during the development of its new model sedan, compared with NASA’s 6509 for the space shuttle… (more)

South African middle and high income homes use 50 mm diameter reflector lamps for general lighting, but these weren’t designed for this purpose… (more)

The adoption of LEDs in the entertainment lighting market has been driven by a number of factors but one aspect which has had a particularly positive impact is the evolution and diversity of LED packages… (more)

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