Power and water: Leliefontein pump-as-turbine station

Originally intended to be a booster station, Leliefontein’s location proved ideal for the establishment of a mini hydro-electric power station. The project, a marriage between the civil, mechanical and electrical engineering disciplines, shows how municipalities can use low cost, off the shelf equipment to generate clean power in their existing infrastructure. Wellington is home to […]

Deadly air: How Eskom’s coal-fired power stations are killing people

Eskom’s reliance on coal for electricity generation is proving to be deadly. According to new NASA satellite data analysis, Mpumalanga is the second worst SO2 emission hotspot in the world, beaten only by Russia’s enormous  smelters. This is due to the density of coal-fired power plants there. Although experts in medical research say that high […]

Little-known tax incentives boost business case for renewable energy

South Africa’s government, energy regulator and Eskom have often been criticised for obstructing the introduction of distributed, small-scale embedded generation (SSEG) which would help businesses to cut costs and ensure the stability of their power supply during load shedding. But in fact there are significant and far-sighted tax breaks which have been put in place […]

Winding resistance testing of motors

Winding resistance measurements detect various faults in motors and transformers: shorted turns, loose connections, broken strands and malfunctioning tap changer mechanisms. Winding resistance measurements detect problems in motors which other tests may not find. These problems include partial or fully shorted coils, poor crimps or connections, imbalance between phases (improper turns on phases) and incorrect […]

Integrating renewable energy sources into smart grids – Part three

There is global momentum to diversify electricity generation sources for economic, environmental and security reasons. Distributed generation (DG) enables more companies to enter the electricity market stimulating competition, encourages the development of renewable energy (RE) and limits the impact of events such as cyber-attacks. However, conventional electricity distribution networks are poorly matched to the needs […]

Locally made inverters for new solar farms

RWW Engineering, a South African manufacturer of electrical equipment for industry and utilities, has been appointed the South African manufacturer of inverters for Spanish company Green Power Technologies. The inverters will be used at three 75 MW solar PV farms which are being built as part of Round 4 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent […]

Application of machine learning algorithms in boiler plant root cause analysis 

It is often difficult to determine the cause of upset or detrimental boiler conditions because the large number of boiler input and output parameters create a complex problem to troubleshoot. Such was the case in this study, where a radiant superheater and internal desuperheater were retrofitted in an existing industrial water-tube boiler at a South […]