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Electricity Control April 2022 coverIn his Comment upfront in this April 2022 edition of Electricity + Control, Editorial Technical Director, Professor Ian Jandrell reflects on the energy crisis in South Africa, considering the recent spate of load shedding and the head winds facing the international fuel market. He suggests that this potentially presents an opportunity for the country – and the continent – and challenges us to consider a different energy paradigm.

Energy management + the industrial environment is one of the features in focus in this edition. With the shortfall in South Africa between energy supply and demand, Jan Fourie, General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa at Scatec, says the country’s abundant sunlight and wind resources make renewables the obvious solution. He highlights that innovations in battery storage technology enable renewable energy plants to output stable, consistent, dispatchable power, dispelling the misconception that output from renewable energy can only be intermittent. Nonetheless, as load shedding persists and the distribution grid becomes increasingly unreliable, industrial power supplies – and particularly safety-critical power supplies need to be protected from fluctuations in the energy supply system. Ivor Becks, specialist in UPS systems at ABB South Africa, emphasises the importance of using industrial UPSs in industrial applications. And while many businesses turn to alternative power sources and backup supplies, Vladimir Milovanovic Vice President, Power Systems for Anglophone Africa at Schneider Electric, reminds us of the need for industrial operations always to manage their internal electrical networks efficiently.

We also look at the evolving environment of Industry 4.0 + IIoT and the new technologies evolving with it. Alongside the global shift towards renewable energy sources, the transition to electric vehicles is gaining momentum and there is an increasing need for utility-scale battery energy storage to complement renewable energy plants. Dominique Scheider at Rockwell Automation considers smart manufacturing in the battery gigafactory of the future. John Browett, GM of CLPA Europe says the digitalisation of industrial processes is fundamental for businesses to thrive in today’s market, but he emphasises that an internal digitalisation strategy, conceptualised to meet a business’s particular needs and implemented progressively is key to a successful journey and real benefits. And Benjamin Coetzer, Director at Routed explains the new technology of containerisation which is being used increasingly in software development, changing the face of hybrid cloud and enabling new efficiencies in how applications are built and packaged.

In Measurement + Instrumentation, Ian Loudon of Omniflex South Africa looks at the options in wireless telemetry systems to monitor and control water levels in geographically widespread water reservoirs from a central control station, overcoming the need for regular site visits.

In Safety of plant, equipment + people, Carsten Gregorius and Udo Tappe of Phoenix Contact Electronics present various systems, from the simple to the more complex, which enable safe motion monitoring in automation systems, in line with industry standards.

Additionally, in our regular column on Reskilling, upskilling + training, the IEPA reports on progress in its training programme for new EPC Practitioners. In the realm of cybersecurity Paul Lowings, Security Executive at OneX, emphasises the need for OT and IT security systems – and teams – to work together. In Engineering the future we look at research work reported by MIT on the development of a low-cost solar powered desalination system, which could be used in remote areas without access to electricity or clean water. And in Write @ the back we join EIMS Africa, its portfolio company Umoya Energy Wind Farm, and SANParks in celebrating the pioneering Biodiversity Offset Agreement they formalised almost a decade ago which has proven successful.

Click to download and read this issue in PDF format.

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Leigh Darroll
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +27 11 622-4770
Fax: +27 11 615-6108

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Heidi Jandrell
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