Industrial power and energy savings initiatives in South Africa

The electricity crisis of 2008 sparked numerous initiatives by government, Eskom and industry associations to reduce power demand and energy use. This article provides a summary of some of these, their effectiveness and impact. The main purpose of these programmes was to reduce the demand on the grid and to free up generating capacity. Two […]

Explosive environments: fundamentals of area classification

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. Area classification (called “classification of hazardous locations” in our mines) is the process whereby the degree of exposure to explosive atmospheres for a plant […]

Optimal facility performance through data analytics

Data analytics, the practice of collecting and analysing data to identify operational trends, can help building and facility managers reduce major equipment spend while improving energy savings by up to 30%. Buildings account for up to 40% of energy use in most countries, making them a prime target for cutting waste, saving money and using […]

Green building: Energy efficiency pays dividends

Tucked away just off busy Grayston Drive in Strathavon, Johannesburg, is a facebrick office park that does not appear to be very different to the many other stylish developments mushrooming in the area. The three-storey Upper Grayston Office Park on Linden Road is, in many respects, quite a remarkable development, especially its blocks E and […]

The cost of poor power quality

  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. Therefore, every […]

Preventing system failure in solar PV systems

  It is vital for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to accommodate the temperature fluctuations and environmental conditions to which they are typically exposed as these conditions often cause ongoing system failure. The difference between standard test conditions (STCs) and nominal operating cell temperature (NOCT) is of interest here as these values in PV modules determine […]

Lightning and surge protection for rooftop PV systems

  Apart from damaging solar photovoltaic (PV) modules, inverters and monitoring elecronics, lightning strikes also lead to field-based and conducted electrical interference. According to the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), photovoltaic (PV) is the fastest growing power generation technology in the world. More than 35 GW of PV is installed and operating worldwide, producing […]

Modern power quality issues

  As we connect more electronic devices to our power systems, the quality of the power becomes more complex. Grounding affects voltage stability and, more importantly, is critical to personal safety. Numerous articles have been written on the subject of harmonics. However, these articles do not always address our basic problems in an understandable way: […]