Aug 07, 2009
Engineering firm completes test programmeBack
The results of the high-temperature test allow for the development of advanced simulation models of the reactor heat transfer and fluid flow phenomena, says M-Tech CEO Dr Pieter Rousseau.
He says that this allows for more detailed modelling of the plant’s performance under a wide range of operating conditions.
M-Tech has supplied a range of specialist thermal-fluid systems analysis, simulation and engineering design services to the PBMR Company for the PBMR project on a contract basis since 1999.
Rousseau says that the company’s initial involvement was through the original design and supply of the specialist thermal-fluid simulation and analysis software, Flownex, in a competitive bid to model the dynamic behaviour of the main power system of the PBMR as part of the design process. The success of this resulted in more contracts to provide a wider range of specialist engineering services.
M-Tech is also involved in the design of the fuel particle coater facility for the future fuel manufacturing plant and in developing the process heat applications for the PBMR reactor, which is now receiving increased attention.
He explains that Flownex soft- ware is used to model the dynamic behaviour of the reactor and the main power system of the PBMR plant. The company has also designed, constructed and oper- ated a number of nonnuclear facilities, situated on the Potchef-stroom campus of the North West University, to support the development of the PBMR plant.
Rousseau says that all the test facilities designed and built by M-Tech are situated on the campus and the training of undergraduate and postgraduate students is facilitated in parallel with the commercial project development.
“The PBMR is a distinctive project that could contribute to establishing South Africa in the world nuclear market as a strategic supplier of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor technology. The project has already contributed significantly to the development of local engi- neering expertise and manpower, and is set to continue to do so by its engagement of various tertiary education insti- tutions around the country,” says Rousseau.
“International interest in these plants is substantial and it has already been visited by more than 800 delegates from different companies and universities in the US, Europe, Singapore, Japan, China and South Africa,” says Rousseau.
Meanwhile, he notes that the company’s involvement in the project has facilitated the further development of Flownex. The in-house-developed software has a wider relevance not only for PBMR application. It is also successfully used in the design and increased efficiency of coal-fired power plants, water and gas reticulation networks, gas turbine power plants and heat exchanger networks.
M-Tech has released a new generation of the software, Flownex Simulator Environment. This includes extensive new-user interface improvements and integrated plant simulation and design features.
Rousseau points out that the expansion of the software’s capabilities has also resulted in the development of an internationally competitive industrial plant simulator platform funded by the Department of Science and Technology’s partner in facilitating technological innovation, the Innovation Fund.
Besides the company’s involvement in the PBMR project, it has ongoing projects in the energy efficiency and demand-side management (DSM) sector. It also has an established heat pump and air-cooling equipment range that is used in industrial and commercial applications for water heating, as well as mine cooling.
Rousseau says that M-Tech has developed three distinctive energy efficiency and DSM technologies. These projects were funded by State-owned power utility Eskom’s DSM initiative to alleviate the peak load on the national electricity supply grid. The first is in-line water heating technology which has been applied extensively in large DSM projects for sanitary water heating in mine residences.
The company reports that the second technology is a product range of hot water heat pumps that are also used for large-scale sanitary water heating, but with significantly improved energy efficiency benefits when compared with conventional technologies.
The air-cooling unit (ACU) is the third technology, and is a modular ACU used to cool the working environment in underground mining applications. The company says that ACU offers distinct advantages to energy efficiency and also power consumption.
He concludes that M-Tech will continue to supply the PBMR project with its Flownex software for reactor and plant design and increased efficiency, as well as associated engineering consultation services. It also continues to be involved in the development of the process heat applications of the PBMR reactor, such as seawater desalination and hydrogen production. It will also be involved in the detail design and development of the fuel particle coater facility for the future fuel manufacturing plant.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Electricity News
Significant energy savings can be achieved by replacing existing oversized air compressors with correctly sized units that use power more efficiently, says compressed air products distributor Goscor.
Recent Research Reports
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...