Communication technologies for smarter grids

  Smart grids gather information and reach conclusions, but to react appropriately to changes in the generating and transmission environment, the systems and the people behind them need a complete view of the network status. Collating the information requires robust communications, because not knowing what is happening makes decision-making difficult. The geographical scale of transmission […]

Substation gets protection upgrade

  Fordsburg substation, as one of three major bulk intake substations for City Power from the 275 kV Eskom network, supplies a large portion of southern Johannesburg and surrounding areas. It has an installed capacity of 1000 MVA with 4 x 250 MVA 275/88 kV transformers, which give a firm supply of 750 MVA at […]

HVDC connection of offshore wind power plants

  Driven by the EU’s 20% renewable energy target by 2020, the first wave of voltage-source converters (VSC) for high voltage, direct current (HVDC) connected offshore wind power plants (WPPs) have been commissioned around the world, but with a notable high concentration to be found in the North Sea. These early WPP projects have been […]

Eskom’s power transmission development plan

  The Eskom transmission development plan (TDP) represents the transmission network infrastructure investment requirements and covers a ten year window. The plan is adapted and modified on an annual basis to accommodate changes in both generation and load requirements. The latest version of the plan was made public recently and this article summarises the main […]

Hybrid systems: key to managing grid connected PV systems

  Hybrid systems have traditionally been seen as large network connected units consisting of more than one technology. The development of smart inverters has led to the application of hybrid principles to smaller grid connected systems that can optimise the use of renewable energy, conventional standby plant and storage. This arrangement has the potential to […]

Lessons learnt from recent emergencies and blackout incidents

  Large disturbances which interrupt supply to customers over wide areas occur every now and then despite best practices and efforts in planning and operating the power grid. These disturbances are usually unpredictable, and they often result in interruptions to customers and damage to power system infrastructure followed by a lengthy restoration process, with serious […]

The grid-connected microgrid: local network of the future?

  The microgrid had its origin in off-grid applications which comprised of several generation sources, having all the features of smart grid was able to balance supply and demand. The development of advanced microgrid controllers has facilitated connection of microgrids to the main grid and lead to an increase in possible applications of grid tied […]

Optimising energy management and consumption

  The drying and processing of wood is a process that requires a lot of energy. Holzwerke Weinzierl in Germany nevertheless manages to generate more power than it consumes. The basis for this achievement is a modern energy management system that uses power measurement I/O terminals and embedded PCs to make the plant’s energy use […]