What is the Southern African Power Quality Initiative?
It is a service to users and suppliers of electrical energy in Southern Energy, presented by the Centre for Smart Power Systems of the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus. The main focus is training on various aspects of electrical power quality.
What is different in 2016?
SAPQI has been presenting training courses on mostly the fundamental aspects of Power Quality (PQ) to engineers and technicians all over Southern Africa for many years. It started as a RERA (Regional Electricity Regulators Association) initiative at the NWU, around 2008. Courses were mostly presented at the NWU, but sometimes also in other countries such as Kenia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Namibia. About 500 persons have been trained.
Discussions with Eskom personnel indicated that a new and different approach is needed in 2016. More focus on fewer topics per course and additional topics were identified as a need.
Three different PQ courses are now on offer. Much more detail and a wider field of topics resulted.
Those who have attended previous courses could therefore opt to attend for example only course 2 and 3. Energy regulators will probably be more interested in course 3 given they have a good idea of what PQ is about, albeit lacking the practical experience as the Energy Regulator could be more interested in benchmarking the network performance and analysing statistics over a longer period of time.
It was agreed that the recently published Eskom handbook on PQ is a good technical reference for regional-specific aspects of PQ. Where, and as needed, it is complimented by more general theoretical principles to support the appreciation of technical detail.
This document first set the background to why electrical power quality is important and then describes the detail of the 3 different courses on offer. The goal is that the courses follow on each other and if all was properly attended, the output is an engineer/technician equipped with sufficient knowledge to develop the skills needed to become a PQ expert. Experience comes with application of what these courses offer. We have done our best to cover the field of PQ as good as possible, in a Southern African context, with the 3 courses towards the greater goal of contributing to the sustainability of electrical power systems in our wonderful African continent.
About the Course Leader
Johan Rens was born in Tsumeb, Namibia. He holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus in South Africa where he is employed for the past 25 years and currently as a professor in Electrical Engineering.
He is a member of the International Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Consultation is focused on the quality of electrical energy and research done on various aspects of non-sinusoidal waveform conditions in modern power systems.
He promotes best practices in, and regularly education and training on, the quality of electrical energy through the Southern African Power Quality Initiative, www.SAPQI.com.
Johan Rens contributed to various international conferences and journals. He has written a chapter in a handbook published by Wiley in 2008 on the “Analysis of Waveforms in Modern Power Systems”.