Electricity + Control

Back in the early days of electricity, power frequency — the rate at which alternating currency (AC) fluctuates per second — was all over the place. Distribution systems operated at frequencies ranging anywhere from 16Hz to 133Hz. Then, in 1891, the leading German utility set the standard in Europe at 50 Hz. Meanwhile, the United States opted for 60 Hz, as did parts of Japan when GE installed a 60 Hz plant in Tokyo in 1896. And, thus, an inconvenient legacy was born.

The first highly cost-effective solar powered desalination plant in South Africa will be commissioned by the end of October 2018 at Witsand, Hessequa Municipality in the Western Cape. 

As the world generates more and more electricity from intermittent renewable energy sources, there is a growing need for technologies which can capture and store energy during periods of low demand and release it rapidly when required.

The pressure to improve energy efficiency is constant and intense, particularly for electric utilities which face the cascading effect that changes to power production and distribution can have on energy efficiency efforts by both utilities and consumers. In this quest for improvements, it is easy to lose sight of why you should want more energy efficient operations.

Barry Elliott, Rockwell Automation

Rockwell Automation Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director Barry Elliott considers the possible impact of the Internet of Things in Africa. Will automation, artificial intelligence and robotics – or as it’s been called, the ‘rise of the machines’ – really reduce the value of people and their roles as meaningful contributors to society?

How can manufacturing efficiency be improved? Any significant optimisation of production lines is getting increasingly difficult to achieve. Bringing smarter automation into the workplace offers an innovative solution, but it all starts with data. Immense amounts of data.

 
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