The South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) is hosting 40 international delegates of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC’s) technical committee 88 (TC 88) at the SABS’s plenary meeting on May 6 and 7.
The IEC’s Renewable Energy Conformity Assessment will then meet on May 9 and 10 at the Groenkloof campus, in Pretoria.
According to SABS executive Dr Sadhvir Bissoon, the presence of the IEC TC 88 delegates in South Africa during National Energy Month is “a reminder that technology can play a crucial role in helping this country and the region find new sustainable solutions to [its] energy challenges”.
He added that wind energy, which is prescribed in the Integrated Resources Plan, forms a key part of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which was launched in 2011.
The TC 88’s main objective is to develop a set of global consensus standards, which, in turn, will form the basis for adoption by the SABS and promulgation as South African National Standards.
The standardisation of wind energy generation systems includes equipment such as wind turbines, onshore and offshore wind power plants and any interaction with the electrical system/s to which the energy is supplied.
The IEC standards address site suitability and resource assessment, design requirements, engineering integrity, modelling requirements, measurement techniques, test procedures, operation and maintenance.
The South African National Committee, a member of the IEC, will continue to proactively influence local and international wind energy standards in the various global standardisation forums, Bissoon added.
“The role that domestic households and businesses can play in reducing the demand on the
national electricity grid must be reemphasised. There are a number of actions that we can take to reduce energy consumption and, in most instances, through the SABS technical committees, we have promulgated national standards for things such as lightbulbs, insulation materials, solar water heating systems, gas equipment and chemical sealants.
“All of these are critical to the national energy conservation effort,” he explained.
He further highlighted that the SABS provides a diverse range of electrotechncial testing services, as well as training and certification services.
“The new ISO 50001: Energy Management System, which supports operational efficiencies in the electrotechnical sector and enhances a company’s competitiveness, has generated much excitement and we see this as the new focus area,” Bissoon said.