Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Out With the Old and In With the New

The old electrical switch gear.
Up until recently, the high voltage electrical switchgear at Bulembu which dated back to the 1940 and 50’s regularly would fail plunging the village into darkness.

However, as a result of a generous donation by the Jim Pattison Foundation towards the upgrade of the electrical, sewage and water infrastructures, all of the old switch gear has been replaced with the latest high-tech equipment. Furthermore, the old underground high voltage cables that criss-crossed the village and blew regularly, have been replaced with a network of new overhead lines and transformers.

The Bulembu team of electricians under the guidance of the Resident Electrical Engineer, Colin Meier, worked relentlessly in rain and sun to effect the replacement of the antiquated equipment. 
 The installation process for the new switch gear.
“We were living for a long time with aging infrastructure in our power network,” says Meier. “The new equipment we have installed allows us to do phase balancing power factor correction. This is basically a fancy way of saying that Swaziland Electric Company has hours when their tariffs are extremely high. So this equipment allows us for better moderation of power consumption during those peak hours so that we’re not touching on the high tariffs. We use the same amount of power but because of this load management we are able to save money. It’s simply a part of the process of becoming more efficient in our power usage.”


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