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Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Mackenzie-Hoy is a consulting acoustics and electrical engineer –

Unlikely electrical devices

16th February 2018 Often, a layperson comes up with an idea that is totally not going to work and that sounds as if it will work. Then we electrical engineers have a problem since, no matter what you (we qualified engineers with 34 years experience) say to the layperson, the layperson (LP) produces increasingly... 

Western Cape water crisis

9th February 2018 I think that living by the sea and near Table Mountain has an effect on the local population of Cape Town. Do note that I was brought up in the then Transvaal and, thus, I was told how intelligent the Capetonians were; how civilised and how caring, compared with us carpet baggers who lived on the... 

Getting more efficient

2nd February 2018 About four years ago, I launched a project called the 400 W house. The house I proposed would use no more than an average of 400 W of electricity an hour over a 24 hour period. I specified a fridge that would use 180 W, a TV at 90 W, an induction cooker/hob at 900 W and an induction water heater... 

Back from the dead

26th January 2018 Of late, I have been telling various people about what it is like to be a DNA engineer – where, before you qualify or finish school, it is in your blood. I do not mean that the young  child built things out of stuff, thus indicating engineering traits; I mean that the child, from young, had... 

German fascination with SA wind power

19th January 2018 Germans seem to be very interested in wind power generation in South Africa. Don't know why. First we had German-born Dr Tobias Bischof-Niemz running the Energy Centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). In this position, he proposed a power generation model that was... 

Smoke and mirrors

15th December 2017 In September 2016, a '50-year-event' storm occurred in South Australia. Power system voltage transients caused nine wind farms to shut down, and two large wind farms – the Hornsdale wind farm and the Snowtown wind farm – reduced output by  86 MW and 106 MW respectively in the space of one second.... 

Phase angles

8th December 2017 I was in a courtroom the other day and the public prosecutor was asking questions . Unfortunately they were not engineering questions and I am an engineer. Thus, I did not understand the questions or why they were being asked. As a true engineer, I would say, "Ah, if you mean . . .", and I would... 

What should we ban?

1st December 2017 Edgar Allen Poe wrote that he took drugs, since "it has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom”. Chuck Palahniuk wrote :“I admire addicts. In a world where everybody is waiting for some... 

Justice confused

24th November 2017 In the State vs Oscar Pistorius case, we all know what may have happened. The trial can also aspire to a record – the worst forensic evidence in South African legal history, ever. This does not relate to bloodstains and fingerprints, but simple scientific evidence that could have been tested on a... 

A little nuke never hurt nobody

17th November 2017 I recently told a group of people at a pub (a pub, can you believe?) that I thought Donald Trump was a "good idea".  There was the sort of silence that you get when the stage magician vanishes completely and then the sort of shouting that follows when Sandra Bullock asks who would like to go with... 

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