GreenPeace Protests: Harmful Emissions

Greenpeace Africa staged a peaceful protest outside Eskom’s Megawatt headquarters on Tuesday the 20th August, complete with hospital beds and pretend “patients” in the beds highlighting the harmful effects pollution has on the health of individuals and the environment. 

Most worrying of all is that Kriel in Mpumalanga is the world’s secondlargest sulphur dioxide emission’s hotspot – second place only to Norilsk in Russia! 

It is common knowledge that the Mpumalanga area has a concentration of coal combustion with no fewer than 12 Eskom coalpowered stations, which is of great concern to the Government. The Government is reliant on coal but is in the process of scaling down on coal usage as more renewable energy is introduced.  

Of special note is that the South African Government still has concerns about the introduction of renewable energy as the struggling economy and high unemployment figures need to be taken into the equation; the retrenchment of workforces is of great concern as Eskom does not want to exacerbate the problem 

The Government, however, is still moving forward on renewable energy despite the above concerns, by introducing wind farms in remote areas and installing solar energy in new housing developments. 

The protest was against Eskom’s contribution to air pollution and the extreme levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2) polluting the air in Mpumalanga. Eskom’s coal fire stations have contributed and continue to contribute to harmful emissions into the air. There is no question that the ordinary people are paying a huge price for the pollution crisis – not only with their health but with their lives as well. 

Studies have concluded that South Africans are becoming ill as a result of the high sulphur dioxide secretions in the air (SO2). Most disconcerting is that air pollution is not only affecting the air that is being breathed in by individuals in Mpumalanga but is also affecting other provinces surrounding Mpumalanga. 

South Africa’s Department of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries have claimed that a definite shift towards incorporating renewable energy will dilute the problem affecting emissions into the air in Mpumalanga. 

Greenpeace has concludedusing NASA satellites, that Kriel is the world’s secondbiggest hotspot for poisonous and harmful emissions into the air – this is only second to Norilsk in Russia. 

The Government has to take responsibility for its contribution to the harmful air we are breathing in – hopefully the protest by Greenpeace Africa will make the utility sit up and take notice and perhaps speed things along to make a difference to the very air we breathe in every day by introducing renewable energy to power our land. 

 

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Protecting Wind Power Turbines

Wind power turbines need to be appropriately protected against lightning and power surges that could cause untold damage to these structuresSouth Africans, by and large, think of renewable energy in terms of solar power only. There is a definite increase in businesses and homes installing solar panels for them to become independent from the grid. 

Fewer South Africans view wind power as a renewable option. The production of electricity from wind turbines is more common and widely spread than we realise and is as widely used as solar power. 

Suffice to say, wind energy is fast becoming an important part of the renewable energy landscape; therefore, the protection of these wind turbines from power surges and lightning has become increasingly important. 

According to statistics, coal is still used for energy in many sectors, but according to the CSIR, the cost of using wind for renewable energy is 40 % cheaper than using coal. 

South Africa enjoy many days of sunshine for solar energy options, but South Africa has huge areas that are windy such as the Western Cape and Eastern Cape as well as some areas in the interior of the country. 

The average period of time that it takes to erect wind farms is about 1.9 years which enables wind farms to be connected to the grid in a relatively short time. 

In the long term, it seems as though wind power will start taking precedence over other renewable energy sources and that wind turbines will require greater protection against electrical power surges and lightning strikes. 

Onshore Wind Turbines therefore require: 

  • Earth protection which will connect the electrical equipment to the ground safely which should then protect property and individuals from any electrical faults 
  • Lightning protection earthing which will protect the equipment from lightning strikes and conduct lightning currents from the down conductors to the earth 
  • Earthing that functions securely and competently ensuring the electrical and electronic equipment operates in a safe and efficient manner 

Wind farms are making huge inroads in relieving the power from the grid in many areas – more so than many of us realise. 

Solar Heating in SA

According to the SABS (South African Bureau of Standards), solarheated water systems should become the norm and not the exception in South Africa. Collaboration between the South African government and the private sector in the past couple of years has now provided a firm foundation for superior quality, safe locally manufactured geysers which is a cost-effective solution for heating water. 

Going forward, overcoming red tape combined with new sources of energy as well as testing and local certification of solar geysers will soon become an everyday occurrence in South African home. It has become apparent that the dependence on the power grid is fast becoming problematic and price hikes will go a long way to resolving power issues and enhance economic growth in South Africa. 

 At present the SABS is the only laboratory that independently tests solar geysers: 

  • The laboratory consists of both indoor and outdoor facilities 
  • The testing covers both mechanical and electrical parts 
  • Additionally, testing includes thermal performance 
  • Mechanical performance 
  • Safety tests 
  • Exposure of the systems in brilliant sunshine for a period of thirty days without any water to gauge what the outcome will be 
  • Fatigue and hydrostatic pressure testing 
  • Tests for the penetration of rain 
  • Hail damage and the resistance thereof 
  • Freezing resistance 
  • And last but not least, the resistance of dezincification 

It is imperative that we build any new homes, structures or buildings with renewable energy, and homes that are already on the power grid should be investigating ways and means to be totally independent of the power grid. There is no time like the present to instill new ways to green your world – the big question here is – how green is your world and how dependent are you on the grid? 

 

 

Online and an Offline UPS Systems differences

There are differences between Online and Offline UPS Systems – the big question is – what are they and what are the biggest challenges and advantages that we could face by incorporating these devices to keep our electric up and running all the time. The power utility, Eskom, is constantly in the news and is obviously facing huge challenges to keep our lights switched on, but for most of us running homes and businesses, not having power could prove to be a huge issue. 

Investing in devices to protect our devices and keeping on the lights takes a little bit of creativity, and investigating the options could prove to be the solutions for many of us faced with a future with erratic power that could cause damage to our sensitive equipment whether this means blowing your TV and PC or simply keeping that necessary fan or stove up and running. 

Most of us are aware that there are two different types of UPS Systems (Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems); these include Online and Offline UPS Systems. 

The commonality between the two, is, naturally, to provide a reliable backup of power when the lights go out or when they dip or hike.  

Online UPS Explained 

  • Your Online UPS System is different to the Offline system in that the power is derived directly from powerconditioning components 
  • Your Online UPS System is not directly connected to the power utility 
  • The power is stored in a battery so that when the power goes off power is drawn from the battery 
  • This power is then converted into AC power to continue the operation of household and other electrical devices 
  • Online UPS is Double Conversion UPS 
  • The main applications for the use of your Online UPS system will usually be in critical care environments and production houses where the continuation of power is vital

Online UPS advantages

  • Online UPS can regulate the voltage correctly 
  • The mains and load are presented separately 
  • There are no fluctuations (dips and surges) in the voltage, which means that the quality of the voltage is stable 
  • The reason for this is that the inverter is always switched into the “on” position 
  • The conversion time from DC to AC is negligible (the same reason being that the inverter is never switched off) 
  • When the utility power goes down there will be a continuation of power and no imbalances will be noted 

Offline UPS Explained 

  • Your Offline UPS System is a straightforward, inexpensive option to keep the power on and is directed through the UPS bypassing the inverter to the device. 
  • There is a small amount of filter to protect against instability. 
  • If the utility is unstable or goes down your Offline UPS System will switch to the inverter’s output to provide constant and a continuous power supply 

Offline UPS Advantages 

  • Your Offline UPS System is user-friendly and straightforward to operate 
  • Offline UPS is less expensive than the Online UPS option

Advantages of offline UPS 

  1. The efficiency of this system is high. This is because the charger is not constantly on.
  2. These are affordably priced.
  3. The internal controller is simpler.
  4. The power handling capacity of the charger is greatly decreased.
  5. Applications using offline UPS include emergency power supplies, printers, computers, EPABX, scanners, etc.

Often households opt for offline UPS systems than their online counterparts because of the higher energy efficiency and economical nature of the former. However, households that use highly critical loads should opt for the latter so that sensitive electrical appliances and data are protected. 

Those who are looking to buy UPS, either online or offline systems, are invited to make their purchases from Glowship, India’s largest online platform selling home utility solutions. We offer wide selection of top products from the reputed brands at the best possible prices. There are also a lot of other products like water pumps, solar solutions, LED lights, dewatering pumps, water softeners, water heaters, water purifiers, inverters, batteries, security solutions, and many more available with us.

Lower Cost Offline UPS generally, when on inverter/battery backup, provide a square/pseudo sine wave output waveform. Given the nature in which switch-mode power supplies used in modern computer/office systems draw power this type of output power waveform is usually more than adequate. In situations where a square/pseudo sine output waveform is not acceptable then true sine wave more expensive Offline or Online UPS are recommended.

Online UPS’s take the incoming AC mains supply and convert it to DC which feeds the battery and the load via the inverter. If the mains supply fails, then the batteries feed the load via the inverter with no interruption to the output supply at all. An Online system, by nature of the dual conversion design (AC-DC/DC-AC), ensures a far higher degree of isolation of the load from the irregularities on the mains supply. In general, Plug N Play Online systems are more expensive than similar Offline solutions because the inverter has to be rated for continuous operation. 

SA Is Ramping Up Its Green Credentials

South Africa is moving forward by ramping up its green credentials by making a difference through the unpacking of numerous solarpowered projects. 

Businesses, individuals and the Government Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP) are making a difference together and is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s leaders in renewable energy. 

Here are some of the awe-inspiring strides that South Africa has made towards greening the environment 

The De Aar Solar Farm in the Northern Cape 

The De Aar Solar Farm is South Africa’s largest solar plant which is based just outside the town of De Aar. This solar power plant uses a whopping 167 580 amorphous silicon thin-film photovoltaic panels. Not only is it the largest solar farm in South Africa but the largest to be completed in the Southern Hemisphere, the Middle East and Africa. 

The Northern Cape is one of the hottest spots in South Africa which has some of the highest levels of irradiation levels across the globe; it is often referred to as a solar centre or hotbed. The farm generates an impressive 332 000 MWh. 

In the region of about 2 000 jobs were created as a result of this project during construction and 100 employees are still employed. 

George Airport – the first solar-powered airport on the continent of Africa 

  • George Airport is situated between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town 
  • Most of the energy that is utilised by this airport will be derived from a 200 square metre solar power plant that is situated on the grounds of the airport 
  • This solar power facility is made up of 3 000 photovoltaic components and over time the solar capacity will be able to deliver 750 kW of power when it reaches its full potential 
  • The project was created as part of the Department of Transport’s committing to lowering the load on the power grid with a view to creating sustainable facilities 

The South African Government is making inroads by using solar power and wind power to transform South Africa resulting in fewer emissions and a low-carbon, climateresistant economy. Solar and wind power, by comparison to using power from the grid, is already producing power at a lower cost.