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Energy Bulletin – 10 July 2015

Energy Bulletin – 10 July 2015

South Africa and Russia sign energy agreement pacts Meanwhile in Russia, South Africa’s Department of Energy and Russian state-run nuclear energy company Rosatom have signed two memoranda of understanding on nuclear power co-operation. The agreements was signed on Wednesday the 8th of July in Ufa, Russia during a summit of the emerging BRICS nations. Reactors that are being considered are from Russia’s Rosatom and Westinghouse for South Africa’s planned 9,600 MW nuclear fleet expansion, an energy advisor said in June of this year. The government is planning to build six nuclear power plants by 2030 at an estimate cost of between R400-billion and R1-trillion. Critics of the proposed plan said that South Africa cannot afford it at the present time due to rising debt and slow economic growth. The South African government responded, that it needs to diversify its current power mix while expanding its capacity. The BRICS nations account for a fifth of the world’s economic output and 40 percent of its population, with ongoing talks about opening a Development bank with a reserve pool of roughly R1,250 billion. Increased tariff of 12.69% commenced on the 1st of July for all municipalities The tariff increase that was approved by NERSA (National Energy Regulator of South Africa) during November in 2014 was implemented on the 1st of April 2015 for Eskom direct customers and municipalities on the 1st of July 2015. This is not be confused with the public hearings that was held in Nasrec, Johannesburg. Where Eskom delivered a proposal to increase the electricity tariff by a further 9.6%, which NERSA rejected on several grounds. With a weakening...
Solar project live in Wellington

Solar project live in Wellington

Our 280 kWp solar project went live in Wellington minutes ago, with the results from our online meter already shown on our website. The system went live at 13h56 and quickly ramped up production even though it is an overcast day. The graph below (from our website) shows that not only are NAPK (Noord Agter Paarl Koelkamers) producing all their own electricity, they are also feeding a significant amount back into the grid! How it all began Power-Star first installed an online meter at NAPK in 2013. The information was used to measure energy consumption in order to lower costs. Shortly after a Power Factor opportunity was noticed and corrected. The idea to install solar panels was realised after several months of data collection by the online meter. The cost of the project was weighed against potential savings and was implemented. The installation of over 900 solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) panels was installed in just 5 weeks. Contact Us for further information regarding the project and how we can assist your...
3 steps to reduce your energy costs

3 steps to reduce your energy costs

Lowering costs is paramount for any business that wants to succeed. Cutting energy costs does not necessarily have to be expensive. By following these three steps, you could potentially save on your electricity costs Step 1: Understanding your tariff Understanding your electricity tariff structure is vital for a business to run effectively. The various components of a tariff vary greatly depending on the supplier. Some are more complicated than others for example, time-of-use and co-generation tariffs. Certain tariffs will have added parameters like distance from the supplier, voltage and capacity. Having knowledge of all the costs and penalties on certain tariffs, we are able to advise you on energy plans and contingencies to improve overall energy usage as well as lowering the costs. With Power-Star’s real time metering in place and your specific tariff applied to the data, we are able to see how your operations impact your electricity costs. Our meter was specifically designed with these kinds of operations in mind and we will be happy to assist you. Step 2: Ensuring your bill is correct Billing authorities get it wrong from time to time, and as we have seen with numerous customers, having independent measurement to verify the bill is a priority. Like an independent tax auditor is mandatory for any business, so too is the independent verification of your energy bill. The Power-Star web interface has a user-friendly bill verification tool that should be used on a monthly basis to ensure the numbers are correct. In Image 1 below, it is apparent that this particular customer had been over-billed by the municipality. Our data shows the...
Time travel optimised

Time travel optimised

Could Marty and the DeLorean have benefited from Power-Star’s expertise? Most of us have seen the movie Back to the Future (or am I just giving away my age?). The protagonist, Marty Mcfly (played by Michael J. Fox) accidentally travels back in time and is faced with various challenges in order to get back to 1985. The star of the show is undoubtedly the DeLorean DMC-12. The car was converted by Doc Brown into a time machine, which would then be used to gain insight into history and the future. As you could well imagine, the energy that will be needed to power such a device would be immense. This specific time machine, in order to operate effectively, requires roughly about 1.21 gigawatts. Yup that is correct, one billion watts! A simple solar panel is not going to generate that amount of power (approximately 4 million panels will be required). The doctor first uses plutonium and later Mr. Fusion (the reactor unit of the machine) to power the device, enabling it to travel anywhere in the past or the future. The DeLorean had to reach 88mph (141.6 km/h) in order for the Flux capacitor to activate and send them to the specific time period that they have entered. As you can guess, with the amount of power and complexity of the Flux capacitor, something is bound to go wrong, and it does. Power-Star to the rescue (if we existed at the time, of course) Fortunately for us, the good doctor travels to the year 2015 and we hope that the article reaches him in time (pardon the pun). We...
We love craft beer!

We love craft beer!

The Cape Brewing Company (CBC) is a brewery in the finest craft tradition. Nestled amidst old oak trees in the Paarl mountains, its doors first opened to the public in 2012 and its reputation for quality craft beer spread quickly. CBC firmly believe in making beer the way it should be made: in true craft style using only the finest of ingredients and local spring water. As part of their sustainable ethos the brewery was designed around energy efficiency and process optimisation, with the lowest impact on their surrounding environment. Power-star came on board to assist in this regard, providing a live system to monitor and manage the site, while the brewery continues to deliver their renowned craft to the market. According to Plant Manager, Quintin Rossouw, the existing measurement infrastructure was not able to compete with the functionality and efficiency of the Power-Star solution. In order for CBC to take advantage of Drakenstein’s complex time-of-use (TOU) tariff structure, they a needed an online meter that could measure every 60 seconds that can be viewed online in real-time, providing a precise insight into when energy is used. The brewery will be able to target the energy intense parts of the manufacturing process, and where possible shift the loads to periods in the day with lower consumption charges. They will also make use of the bill verification platform for their utility bills which is being fed through the proprietors main incomer. The benchmark tool will enable the brewery to calculate the energy use per day relative to quantities of beer produced and bottled. A deep understanding of this relationship assists with managing...
What does the M&V process entail?

What does the M&V process entail?

The Measurement & Verification process followed at Power-Star adheres to IPMVP (International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol). This is the internationally accepted standard in M&V and allows for accurate, conservative and repeatable results. Key aspects include the definition of a measurement boundary, determination of the static factors and interactive factors influencing the measurement, and appropriate baseline conditions and measurement. The M&V process would thus follow this typical path: Initial inspection of site including the area where the ECM (Energy Conservation Measure) will be deployed Determination of the M&V plan, including expected accuracy Installation of required measurement equipment Gathering of baseline information (The IPMVP does allow for M&V where no baseline data is available, but this is typically avoided where possible) Deployment of ECM by the client Post-deployment measurement Preparation of M&V report Post-project discussion with client detailing the results of the investigation   ACCREDITATION The Power-Star proprietary meter conforms to IEC safety standards which mean it has been tested and verified for intrinsic safety in industrial measurement. The meter is a Class 1 data logger and is therefore tested and calibrated to the appropriate levels. The company employs 2 Certified Measurement and Verification professionals (CMVP). The CMVP process provides certification for the professional to engage in M&V processes using IPMVP (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol). COST STRUCTURE The cost structure for Power-Star main meters is well defined and available by contacting Power-Star directly. The reason is that the cost will depend greatly on the complexity of the installation and so a proposal is custom designed for each client’s needs. In terms of M&V for official purposes, typical costs are 5-10%...