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 […]

Lightning and surge protection for wind turbines

  Due to their vast exposed surface and height, wind turbines are frequently hit by direct lightning strikes. Comprehensive lightning and surge protection measures are essential to maximise the return on investment and prevent downtime. Download the PDF

Solar farm harvests energy in desert wasteland

  The UAE has embarked on an ambitious programme to introduce renewable energy into its generation mix. Homes, offices and other buildings in Dubai are now partially powered by the desert sun. Phase 1, which produces 13 MW, has been completed and is in operation. This article results from a visit to the site in […]

Success of biogas in Africa

  Biogas has huge potential in Africa. It can be deployed in remote areas in order to provide stable supplies of power. Due to the high cost of diesel and the unreliability of many African electricity distribution networks it is becoming a viable alternative for stable clean power. Biogas can be generated from a variety […]