Using smart storage to enhance rooftop solar performance

  Rooftop , or own generation, solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, are being installed by many commercial and industrial users, including mines, with the aim of reducing energy costs and increasing security of supply. What many users don’t realise is that the load profile results in unused energy which may be utilised to gain further advantages […]

Promoting energy access: Meeting the challenge with cogeneration

  The International Energy Agency reports that nearly 1,3-billion people still lack access to electricity, and two-thirds of those people live in ten countries – four in developing Asia and six in sub-Saharan Africa. The agency estimates that nearly $1-trillion in cumulative investment is needed to achieve universal energy access by 2030 [1]. In its […]

Protecting off-grid PV systems

  There are many studies on the short circuit behaviour of grid connected PV and renewable energy systems but not many on the protection of off-grid PV (OGPV) systems. Many national wiring codes are beginning to include protection of PV systems, but the subject is neither well nor widely understood. This article covers the protection […]

Pitfalls on the road to urban grid independence

  Urban grid defection, also known as grid-independence or off-grid generation, is a topic which has received much attention of late. There are numerous articles suggesting that, in the not very distant future, it will be economically possible for urban consumers to operate independently of the grid with a suitable combination of renewable energy sources […]

Tapping untapped renewable energy

  In water distribution networks in South Africa, water is often fed under gravity from a higher reservoir to another reservoir at a lower level. This provides an opportunity to generate renewable energy by passing the flow through a turbine. The high pressure head at the receiving reservoir is then dissipated through the control valves […]

Integrating a wind farm into a transmission or distribution system

  South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme (REIPPP) has produced keen interest by Independent Power Producers in wind energy facilities (WEFs) [1]. Integrating a WEF into a transmission or distribution network not only requires good engineering practices but also conformance to the NERSA grid connection code. This paper considers some of the requirements […]

Oil analysis in wind turbine gearboxes

  South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), under the leadership of the Department of Energy (DoE), envisages renewable energy contributing 42% or 17,8 GW of the country’s new generation capacity by 2030. One of the ways the DoE plans to achieve this is with 8,4 GW of wind generated power. The DoE’s Renewable Energy Independent […]

Thin film solar photovoltaic technologies

  The number of projects worldwide using thin film PV in preference  to silicon wafer technology is increasing, and record  efficiencies for different technologies are being claimed. Thin film PV continues to show advantages over other forms, both in manufacturing and performance. This article looks at some of the latest developments in both products and […]

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