Campaigns encouraging consumers to switch off and unplug or face the consequences of load-shedding this winter often overlook how much South Africa's ageing and poorly maintained electricity supply network is contributing to power loss, ESI Africa portal reports.
Major cities, like Johannesburg, have by far the greatest concentration of cables, connection and transmission points, all areas of potential resistance and loss.
Marsh Africa's Thermographer Wernher Le Hanie says that using infrared technology - with an observable spike in temperature indicating an abnormality in the flow of electricity - to identify and prevent electricity loss could contribute significantly to the amount of electricity available for consumption. Le Hanie and his team have used infrared cameras to identify areas of resistance. "While using thermo graphic surveys to investigate electricity loss [...] it became evident that municipal grids were also losing significant amounts of power from their network of faulty connections and points of resistance, even before any breakdowns occurred," he says.
According to ESI Africa portal, even when a city's electricity supply network appears to be operating smoothly, vast amounts of power are being lost and wasted. "There is a dire need to start applying modern predictive infrared risk assessment to our electricity grid, especially in our major cities," Le Hanie says.
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