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Electrification and Distribution

Anticipated tariffs hike makes energy efficiency wise choice

     22nd September 2017 A ruling by the Constitutional Court last month which allows State-owned power utility Eskom to retrospectively ask the National Energy Regulator of South Africa to permit Eskom to claw back additional tariffs from consumers, could lead to further hikes in the price of electricity for South... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions
CELL BALANCING Balancing the charge of individual cells in a battery can prolong battery life

Digital switchgear launched in China

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is... 

Digital switchgear launched in China
Photo by Duane Daws
DIGITAL ALARM The switchgear can send alarm notifications to specific people via many channels

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas

     22nd September 2017 Suited for off-grid households’ electrification, the Mobiya TS 170S portable solar LED lantern is being distributed by electrical solutions provider Magnet Group. The Mobiya solar LED lanterns have been designed by automation systems company Schneider Electric as an appropriate, safe and reliable... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas
SHINING ROADS The lanterns can be used by rural communities that do not have access to electricity

System advantages start with modular abilities

     22nd September 2017 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand explains that the advantages of using modular systems is the integration between Legrand’s busbar trunking systems, cast resin transformers and XL³ cabinets. The modular systems include cast resin transformers, with low... 

System advantages start with modular abilities
EASY INTEGRATION Using Legrand systems allows for new technology to be easily integrated into older systems

Current Electric

By: Zandile Mavuso     5th May 2017 Established in February 1982 and acquired by electrical engineering group Actom Group in June 2008, current and transformers manufacturers Current Electric has been in the forefront of supplying ISO9001 accredited products globally.  

Current Electric

Uncertainty surrounding resource programmes highlighted

By: Sascha Solomons     16th September 2016 With South Africa needing to ramp up its potential power supply in the medium and long term, engineering and design firm WSP⎪Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa comments that the biggest challenge impeding ramp up of power generation from IPPs is the level of uncertainty regarding power procurement... 

Uncertainty surrounding resource programmes highlighted
JAY URBAN The major current developments in the electricity generation space include the initiation of the GTP, which aims to use LNG for the gas-turbine power plants

Eskom delivers on services despite arising challenges

By: Sascha Solomons     16th September 2016 Service delivery in South Africa is a very demanding undertaking, says the Western Cape provincial branch of State-owned utility Eskom; however, it has to be done regardless of the challenges. Eskom provincial spokesperson Jolene Henn adds that for this reason, the delivery of projects within the... 

Eskom delivers on services despite arising challenges
Photo by Duane Daws
STATE-OWNED UTILITY ESKOM Electrification by Eskom in the Western Cape has been undertaken in urban areas within the metropolis, peri-urban areas , rural areas and deep rural areas towards the border of the Northern Cape

Bank’s IPP projects producing over 40% of connected renewables

By: Dylan Stewart     11th December 2015 Renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects financed by South African commercial banking firm Standard Bank are producing more than 40% of the 1 760 MW currently provided by the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). 

Bank’s IPP projects  producing over 40% of connected renewables
WIND POWER The 140 MW Cookhouse wind farm in the Eastern Cape is one of the projects to have been funded by Standard Bank

Natural gas will power South Africa’s future, says consulting firm

By: Dylan Stewart     11th December 2015 As South Africa grapples with its current and future energy challenges, global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company argues that gas energy, supplemented by renewable power, is a feasible baseload option for meeting the country’s 2025 energy needs. 

Natural gas will power South Africa’s future, says consulting firm
Photo by Bloomberg
EXTENSIVE FUNDING Between R600-billion and R1-trillion worth of investment will be required by 2030 to develop gas-to-power facilities

Late project delivery part of Eskom’s monetary woes 

By: Dylan Stewart     11th December 2015 The behind-time and above-budget construction of State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile coal power stations, both with an output of 4 800 MW, is a significant contributor to Eskom’s monetary crisis, states KPMG South Africa chairperson Ahmed Jaffer. 

Late project delivery part of Eskom’s monetary woes
LEARNING EXPERIENCE The construction of Kusile (pictured) will have the benefit of lessons learnt at Medupi

Distribution enclosures comply with international standards

By: Kimberley Smuts     18th September 2015 International electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand last month announced that its range of XL³ modular power distribution enclosures comply with the new IEC 61439 standards, which replaced the previous IEC 60439 standards. The  XL³ cabinets and enclosures are used for... 

Distribution enclosures comply with  international standards
XL3 POWER DISTRIBUTION ENCLOSURE The XL³ cabinets and enclosures are used for power distribution sites that have a capacity of between 160 A and 6 300 A

Local gas sector small but to emerge

By: Dylan Slater     18th September 2015 The South African gas sector is currently small, compared with global standards, but there are several signs of the local sector emerging, says international executive search firm Odgers Berndtson. 

Local gas sector small but to emerge
EMERGING GAS SECTOR For South Africa to switch to a gas-based economy, infrastructure is required to bring gas onshore

Quality-control testing at PV project due for 2016 completion

By: Bruce Montiea     18th September 2015 Renewable-energy consulting and engineering firm Enertis is conducting factory inspections and independent quality-control tests at the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska photovoltaic (PV) project, in the Northern Cape. The company tells Engineering News that the testing started in May and will be... 

Quality-control testing  at PV project due for  2016 completion
QUALITY PRODUCT It is beneficial for local manufacturers of PV modules to formally test their products, as this leads to improved quality

KwaZulu-Natal municipality develops energy master plan

     18th September 2015 Specialist technical services provider Aurecon was tasked earlier this year by KwaZulu-Natal’s KwaDukuza municipality to develop an energy master plan for the municipality’s Electricity Priority Projects (EPP) programme, as well as electrical and civil design aspects of the programme, site... 

KwaZulu-Natal municipality  develops energy master plan
Photo by Duane Daws
ENERGY MASTERPLAN DEVELOPED The scope of Aurecon’s energy master plan includes the establishment of new supply points with Eskom

BE Lite Technologies

     18th September 2015 BE Lite Technologies manufactures and distributes light-emitting diode (LED) lights and employs a dynamic engineer who is able to develop custom-designed lights. The company currently provides a number of products for the mining industry, but aims to become more involved in other industries. The... 

BE Lite Technologies

Funding key to increasing electricity distribution – DoE

     7th February 2014 The Department of Energy (DoE) informed the Integrated Electrification Programme (Inep) committee, last year, that the current pace of the electrification programme would hamper its goal of reaching universal access to electricity in South Africa would not be reached, says DoE deputy... 

Power lines pose threat to SA vultures

By: Jonathan Rodin     7th February 2014 Cape vultures are adopting newly constructed power line pylons as roosting and breeding sites in areas where there are few natural perches. This is according to the study, ‘Do Power Lines and Protected Areas Present a Catch-22 Situation for Cape Vultures (Gyps coprotheres)?’, published on... 

Power lines pose threat to SA vultures
KERRI WOLTER Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses and decreasing the spread of some diseases

New range offers reduced environmental impact

     7th February 2014 Last month, electrical and digital building infrastructures specialist Legrand launched its range of products and systems for electrical installations and building infrastructures encompass environment-friendly cast resin transformers, designed for low environmental impact. 

Company’s focus on the environment evident

     7th February 2014 Further, the company was recently distinguished as one of the top three most competitively positioned PV inverter companies by market analyser Greentech Media Research. Owing to its unique footprint in South Africa, Schneider Electric is able to comply with 45% of the local content requirements... 

Various skills needed to realise clean energy projects

By: Gia Costella     8th February 2013 Solutions and integration provider Jasco says electrification challenges await South Africa, especially with regard to the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), as the current competence of local engineers and artisans is lacking, largely owing to the fact that this is a... 

Transmission projects play critical role in distribution of future generation capacity

By: Gia Costella     8th February 2013 Electrical component suppliers ARB Electrical Wholesalers, a member of JSE-listed ARB Holdings, is set to play a significant role in the distribution of power generated by State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers (IPPs), particularly those participating in the Renewable... 

Smart metering to change electricity distribution forever, says engineer

By: Gia Costella     8th February 2013 Smart metering (SM) systems will do for electricity distribution what cellphones have done for communication – they will significantly change the way we buy, sell and consume electricity, says engineering, management and technical services provider Aurecon electrical engineer Kobus van den Berg.   

Department aims to provide electricity for all South Africans by 2025

By: Gia Costella     8th February 2013 The Department of Energy (DoE) has introduced its Advanced Distribution Approach Methodology (Adam), a new model for electricity distribution in South Africa, which aims to supply power to all houses without electricity by 2025.   

New power distribution units introduced to Africa

     8th February 2013   International network infrastructure provider Siemon has introduced a new range of intelligent power distribution units (PDUs) to Africa. 

Millions of rands allocated for electrification in Free State

     10th February 2012 About R39.6-million will be spent by the Department on Energy (DoE) on electricity connections in the Maluti-a-Phofung (formerly QwaQwa) municipality, in the Free State, during the 2011/12 financial year, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said last month. 

SA to continue facing severely constrained electricity supply

By: Sashnee Moodley     10th February 2012 South African consumers have experienced interruptions in the supply of electricity over the past few years and the situation, in terms of the availability of generation capacity, is expected to remain serious until the end of 2013, says Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings strategic... 

Local masts manufacturer supplies utility poles to power giant

By: Sashnee Moodley     10th February 2012 Steel masts manufacturer Structa Technology has unveiled its new utility steel pole as part of its 200/240 range and has supplied these poles to State-owned power utility Eskom and various mining companies. 

Medupi transmission project EIAs progress

By: Sashnee Moodley     10th February 2012 Construction on State utility Eskom’s Medupi Transmission Integration project is under way, following the authorisation of four of the seven environmental-impact assessments (EIAs), says engineering and environmental consultancy Fourth Element Consulting director Stuart Dunsmore.  

Commissioning of first Ingula unit on schedule

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th June 2011 The first of four 333 MW pump turbine units at State-owned power utility Eskom’s Ingula pumped-storage scheme is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2014, with the remaining units to start commercial operation in 2014. 

Eskom working hard to offset time lost due to violent protests 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th June 2011 State-owned power utility Eskom aimed to stress its zero tolerance of violent protests when it shut down operations at its Medupi and Kusile power plant construction projects, in May, spokesperson Hilary Joffe tells Engineering News. 

Steel fabricator expands crane fleet

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     24th June 2011 Structural steel fabricator Cosira Group will deliver its new 400 t crawler crane to State-owned power utility Eskom’s Kusile power plant in August. 

Utility undertakes electrification of more households

By: Tracy Hancock     4th February 2011 In its current financial year, which ends in March, State-owned power utility Eskom will complete the electrification of 118 600 households in its supply areas at a cost of R1,75-billion, reports Eskom divisional capital programme manager of electrification Nomvula Hlatshwayo. 

Association expects a challenging year for municipal electricity distributors

By: Tracy Hancock     4th February 2011 Association of Municipal Electricity Undertakings (AMEU) of Southern Africa president Michael Rhode believes that 2011 will be one of the most challenging years that the electricity distribution industry (EDI) has experienced for some time.  

Industry crippled by delayed effects of recession

By: Tracy Hancock     4th February 2011 The electrical contracting industry (ECI) experienced a significant decline in the amount of available work last year, resulting in many employees being retrenched, reports industry body Electrical Contractors’ Association (South Africa) (ECA(SA) or (ECASA) national director of operations Chris... 

Transformers designed for easy setting and maintenance

     4th February 2011 Capital equipment division Becker Mining Africa of the Becker Group of Companies has extended its product range to include local electrical equipment specialist Emis transformers and switchgear combinations, designed for the distribution of electricity, energy cogeneration, rectification and... 

DoE deals with electrification backlog in Eastern Cape

     4th February 2011 The Department of Energy (DoE) is working at accelerating the electrification programme in the OR Tambo district municipality, which is one of the most challenging areas in the Eastern Cape region in terms of dealing with the current electrification backlog. 

Current IRP fails to tackle distribution costs – NGO

By: Tracy Hancock     4th February 2011 The current draft of the integrated resource plan (IRP2010) does not adequately factor in electricity distribution costs, says nongovernmental organisation Sustainable Energy Africa director Mark Borchers. 

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