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Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Terry Mackenzie-hoy

Mackenzie-Hoy is a consulting acoustics and electrical engineer –

Electrical Power Generation 101

18th August 2017 A few things we should possibly all know if we wish to talk about energy. The national grid is not a energy storage dam. What goes into the grid comes out of the grid very shortly, almost instantaneously. Thus, the amount of power generated matches the amount of power used, apart of losses due to... 

The costs of safety

11th August 2017 A well known South African electrical cable manufacturer will not hold it against me when I say that, at one time, about 25 years ago, the manufacturer ran the most unsafe cable making operation that I had seen. To the accompaniment of whistles and shouts, a group of men dragged wires, PVC... 

Electrical surgery

4th August 2017 It has long been clear to me that it is about time that State-owned power utility Eskom was sliced up and sold. You have to understand that I am a great supporter of Eskom; I worked for the utility and I greatly admire some of its systems, in particular, the distribution maintenance systems.... 

The limits of communication

28th July 2017 Communications on the planet began when the world was at a stage where messages from one tribe of people to another did not involve the messenger being executed on arrival. The top speed of communication was the speed of a galloping horse or, in rough terrain, the speed of a running person.... 

Hold my hand, you silly girl

21st July 2017 On the November 26, 2011, I wrote: "After a recent tour, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba has said the December 2013 deadline for the Medupi power station, in Lephalale, Limpopo, to start delivering power still stands. 'I have no intention of allowing any delays to the target of December... 

Inventions and developments and war

14th July 2017 We all know that Charles H Duell, the commissioner of the US patent office in 1899. His most famous attributed utterance is that "everything that can be invented has been invented". In point of fact, he said nothing of the kind. The myth of him saying this is very unfortunate because it suggests... 

A good disaster

7th July 2017 Do they still have, one wonders, the good old engineering Friday afternoon braai? For the sake of moral, it used to be that, at the end of every month, on a site, they would have a braai, usually starting at 15:00. The beers would be floating in a water-and-ice mixture in a galvanised bath (know... 

A long, relaxed look at wind farms

30th June 2017 About two years ago, I was travelling on a train from London to York. On the way I passed the Drax power station. Drax was built to fire coal but at the time it was burning imported wood chips, which, by some logic of a green fanatic, was better for the planet than burning coal. The fact that... 

Disaster on different continents

23rd June 2017 It is storms and rain in Cape Town. I have been in countries where natural disasters have occurred and have been reported on the television (okay, clever clogs, they have been reported on radio, newspaper, the Internet and by word-of-mouth at the local pub but, in this column . . . television). 

Oh, for the good old days of no email

16th June 2017 At the time of the first free elections, in 1994, I shared an office with Alan Campbell. His nickname is Camel, since many people spell his surname without a 'p'. Camel is eccentric, and so am I. On the door to our office, we had the Latin quote: AP Campbell & T Mackenzie Hoy: Caput archimagirus... 

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