City Power outages soon to be a thing of the past

The first mobile on-site testing to be conducted on high voltage power transformers in South Africa was launched at the Delta substation in Sandton on 13 June.

The MMC for Environmental and Infrastructure Services, Nico de Jager and the director for engineering services at City Power, Mdu Nzimande, cut the ceremonial ribbon where work was already being done.

Over the next two to five days, one of the R35 million transformers will be tested to establish what the causes of its recent outages are. This transformer, Nzimande said, is responsible for power going to half of Joburg’s northern suburbs.

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A first not only in South Africa, but the in the Southern hemisphere, Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen (MR) South Africa tested a transformer on site. Normally, transformers would, due to their size, be untanked and transported to a workshop,” mobile on-site testing,” de Jager said. This, he said, is also cost effective.

MR has since partnered with City Power and Eskom in an effort to perform specialised tests on high voltage power transformers.

De Jager explained that mobile on-site high voltage tests on transformers are increasingly considered a necessity due to the need for quick on-site repairs, running of diagnostics, installations and quality conformation.

“This type of testing will ensure that downtime is reduced as repairs will be done speedily, ensuring that residents do not spend long periods of time without electricity, especially during the upcoming winter months.”

Kobus de Villiers, the managing director of Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen South Africa said the testing system was set up on site in six hours.

Kobus de Villiers, the managing director of MR said the testing system was built in Dresden, Germany and set up on site within six hours.

“This is something South Africa desperately needs,” he said.

In light of the City’s R69 billion backlog in development and maintenance of electricity infrastructure, De Jager said the City of Johannesburg must be innovative and keep up with international trends, which have proven to be successful in addressing such infrastructure failure.

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Chantelle Fourie

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