South Africa’s biggest solar battery now online — with more power than an old Eskom coal power station

South Africa’s biggest solar battery storage system started feeding power into Eskom’s grid in mid-December 2023. Scatec ASA announced its Kenhardt hybrid solar and battery facility in the Northern Cape officially started producing and supplying electricity to the national grid on 11 December 2023. The facility boasts a combined installed solar capacity of 540MW from three plants, while its massive battery system can output up to 225MW of power. With a 1,140MWh capacity, the battery Continue Reading

New wind turbine design with ‘surprising twist’ could revolutionize energy production

A radical new wind turbine design due to test soon in Norway has the potential to turn offshore wind energy production upside down — or at least sideways, with an unusual twist. If successful, the “counter-rotating vertical-axis turbines” from Norwegian startup World Wide Wind (WWW) could, according to the company, reduce costs and double wind energy generation at sea by allowing builders to supersize floating wind turbines. More broadly, wind power technology improvements like this Continue Reading

Engineers are working on a revolutionary building material that can store energy

Scientists are testing breakthrough supercapacitor tech — that could transform how electric vehicles are powered — by building a miniature boat.  University of California San Diego engineers are proving a concept that EVs, boats, and even phones and devices can be built from materials that serve as supercapacitors, capable of storing enough power for their operation.  If the technology proves capable of scaled production, it could be a game-changing pivot in how we power our rides, eliminating Continue Reading

Harnessing Solar Lighting

Sustainability and security are of paramount importance to property owners these days, so it’s little surprise that solar light fixtures are gaining popularity. These versatile lighting solutions can significantly enhance security in a variety of settings, from residential properties to commercial facilities. Here are just some of the reasons why you may want to consider investing in solar fixtures of your own. They’re not reliant on the grid. Perhaps the most important benefit of all Continue Reading

Fluke enables engineers to prioritise arc flash safety

Fluke has developed a range of thermal imaging and wireless testing tools designed to ensure safety is the top priority for engineers working in potentially dangerous arc flash zones. Every company’s electrical safety strategy should be based on limiting workers’ exposure to such electrical hazards as arc flash and electrocution. Fluke says the best way to keep operators out of harm’s way is to give them access to the right non-contact tools that not only Continue Reading

Best practices for solar street lighting systems

Street lighting represents about 20% of global lighting energy usage. The legacy streetlight system entirely relies on the grid for power, imposing a burden on the network during peak hours. Simultaneously, many public areas are devoid of sufficient nighttime illumination in developing cities that lack funding for infrastructure, including that needed to meet street and area lighting requirements for visibility and safety. Solar street lighting can solve these problems. Grid-connected solar engines can feed existing streetlights Continue Reading

Free collection service to recycle e-waste safely

Old appliances and other electrical items that may be replaced with new devices at the end the year need to be disposed of properly so that they do not pose a threat to the environment. This warning is raised by the non-profit organisation Circular Energy. All electrical and electronic items that are no longer used should be recycled safely.  The organisation points out that anything that depends on an electrical current to work, or any Continue Reading

New grid allocation opens access to wheeled solar energy

SolarAfrica has announced the successful issuing of an Eskom budget quote (BQ) for the company’s utility-scale solar PV project in the Northern Cape. This marks a significant milestone for the company and a major leap towards making wheeled energy available to South African businesses that could not previously access it. The rules for grid capacity allocation have changed. A few months ago, Eskom levelled the playing field for projects participating in the Renewable Independent Power Continue Reading

Eskom opens first of its kind battery energy storage project

On 9 November 2023, Eskom officially opened the first of its kind and largest Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) project in South Africa and in Africa. The Hex BESS project in Worcester in the Western Cape is the first installation to be completed under Eskom’s flagship BESS project, announced in July 2022 and intended to help alleviate the pressure on the national electricity grid. The BESS project serves as a direct response to meet one Continue Reading

Understanding Nominal, Effective & Residual Lumens

What’s in the Box Matters. Have you ever bought a product, only to discover that what is promised on the packaging is not what you get inside? This is a common issue in the lighting industry, especially when it comes to the quoting of ‘nominal lumens’. In the real world, nominal lumens offer zero real-world value for the end user. But why is this so, and what is the difference between Nominal, Effective and Residual Continue Reading