RTS AFRICA ENGINEERING PROVIDES ACCURATE, RELIABLE HYDROGEN DETECTION SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASED SAFETY IN MINE BATTERY-CHARGING STATIONS Increasingly, mines are using battery-powered electric vehicles underground as they help eliminate the problem of air pollution from diesel exhaust emissions. However, there is also an inherent risk in having large multi-battery charging bays underground. The charging process generates hydrogen, which escapes from the banks of batteries on charge to form a potentially explosive mix. This could result in a potentially catastrophic hydrogen gas explosion – constituting a very real health and safety risk in the process. The H2Scan HY-ALERTA 500 brings the versatility of hand-held portability to hydrogen detection. In addition, in a ‘fiery’ mine such as a colliery for example, hydrogen combustion may potentially trigger a more serious secondary coal-dust explosion. RTS Africa Engineering, based in Tshwane, specialises in innovative technologies, which provide solutions to industrial challenges. Among other things, the company has been involved in supplying hydrogen production and analysis equipment for many years. “Importantly, we also offer hydrogen detection instruments – the Hy-Alerta 500 and the Hy-Alerta 600B/610B from our international California-based principal H2Scan – for use with many potential industrial applications - including the mining sector. For example, these products serve as a valuable safety aid in hydrogen gas detection within battery charging stations in underground mines,” explains Managing Director of RTS Africa Engineering, Ian Fraser. The Hy-Alerta 500 instrument is a highly versatile handheld detection device. It is able to detect the widest range of hydrogen gas concentrations without the need for any peripheral equipment. The Hy-Alerta 500’s versatile hydrogen sensor probe has a unique visual LED array that will effectively help navigate to the source of a hydrogen leak where hydrogen gas is produced, used, transported, or stored. “With two sensing elements on the same semiconductor die, the Hy-Alerta 500 can detect hydrogen leaks as low as 15 ppm and will not saturate or be destroyed when detecting high concentrations of hydrogen up to 100%,” Fraser explains. H2scan’s Hy-Alerta 600B/610B fixed area hydrogen monitors are better suited for area monitoring; and will provide hydrogen-specific leak detection and measurement for hydrogen concentrations as low as 4000 ppm. They can furthermore be scaled to any concentration up to 5% hydrogen by volume, a range representing 10% to 125% of hydrogen’s low flammability limit. “This instrument can be connected to a flashing light or an alarm siren and, if need be, can communicate with a mine’s existing SCADA-type control system,” Fraser points out. Both the Hy-Alerta 600B and 610B models have been designed for either ceiling or wall mount; and have RS422 capability that extends the interface from the sensor to the controller to several hundred feet. “In addition, H2scan’s hydrogen-specific sensor technology has no cross-sensitivity to any other combustible gases, thus eliminating false-positive alarms and increasing system reliability,” Fraser says. He points out that hydrogen is the only gas for which RTS Africa’s principal H2Scan makes analysers. The company’s industryleading hydrogen analysers and leak detectors are based on patented, solid-state core hydrogen sensor technology exclusively licensed from the U.S. Department of Energy; and are supported by 15 years of research and development, and field verification work. In terms of occupational health and safety certification, H2Scan’s instruments conform to the highest international standards. For the past ten years, RTS Africa has been the sole agent - locally and pan-Africa - for H2Scan. Many Hy-Alerta instruments are currently being used to detect hydrogen leaks around power station generators. “Ultimately, with the improved measurement capability provided by these solutions, industries such as mining and the petrochemical industry will be able to operate with the added peace of mind that the risk of hydrogen combustion has been eliminated,” concludes Fraser. H2Scan’s HY- ALERTA 600B/610B fixed area hydrogen detectors provide an effective solution to area monitoring. 25
SEW-EURODRIVE CONFIRMS ITS PRESENCE AT BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA 2018 23 November 2017: SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa has confirmed its presence at bauma CONEXPO Africa 2018 from 13 to 16 March 2018 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre in Hall 5, Stand D30. THE NEW AGE OF DIGITISATION AND THE IMPACT ON THE AFRICAN ENERGY SECTOR The role of digitisation within the African energy sector is growing rapidly and will result in demand for innovation, adaptation to new market technologies as well as the development of a new skill set within companies. African countries can add a value of R4 trillion (0billion) to the continent’s economy by 2026 by adopting digitisation.* *Source: Africa Digitisation Maturity Report, 2017 26 SEW-EURODRIVE National Sales Manager Norman Maleka Attending this premier exhibition for the mining and construction industry in Africa is part and parcel of the company’s strategy to maximise its brand awareness. “However, we continue to be selective. We target exhibitions that give us the greatest exposure. We feel that this event will allow us to showcase our products, as well as our competence,” SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa National Sales Manager Norman Maleka comments. “Our expectations are generally addressed by customer feedback, which gives us a good idea of how our customers are experiencing the market. Any potential projects, as well as future investments, require information and planning. The networking that such exhibitions afford us enables us to plan and prepare for future projects,” Maleka elaborates. Commenting on the current state of the mining industry, Maleka notes that while the market in general has not been favourable, SEW- EURODRIVE has forged ahead with major investment in both stock and personnel, as well as streamlining its service offering, especially in terms of technical and aftermarket support. “Despite the negative outlook, we continue to increase our sales of industrial gears, as well as pushing our IEC motor range. This has been our main strategy, and we have carried it through with positive results. We have a comprehensive and diverse product portfolio that enables us to tap into different markets, ranging from mechatronics to servo technology and controls,” Maleka highlights. A major trend for the mining industry in 2018 will be the advent of mechatronic drives. This essentially combines all elements of a powerpack into a complete drive solution, with the particular arrangement of motors, gearbox and intelligence ensuring optimal efficiency. “This is still in trial phase, with test units deployed in various locations at present. We continue to challenge and change traditional mindsets with such innovative solutions,” Maleka concludes. Connect with SEW-EURODRIVE on Facebook to receive the company’s latest news: www.facebook.com/SEWEurodriveSA Digitisation and the implementation of Industry 4.0 will feature prominently at the upcoming Africa Energy Indaba in February 2018, where a leading discussion will be featured with a focus on the new age of digitisation and its impact on the African energy sector. As South Africa is supported by a macro-economic environment, it is relatively more digitally advanced than its African neighbours. It is noted that industry players operating in South Africa demonstrate established levels of digital readiness in an area such as digital operations, which is fuelled by an established culture of innovation. However, African countries that are moving up the digital maturity curve still have unique challenges to enable the distribution of energy. In Nigeria for example, many businesses make use of the national grid as a secondary (back-up) source of energy. Innovative entrepreneurs are already developing solutions, such as portable solar-powered mobile charging stations to support the digital economy. The digital maturity in Africa is extremely diverse, and as a developing continent, it has great socio-economic needs of which many can be solved through digitalisation. However, emphasis should be placed on creating an African lens and implementing disruptive technologies in a different way. Electricity supply networks that use digital communications technology, such as Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) or Power-Line Communication (PLC), to analyse, detect and react to local changes, are increasingly being incorporated into the African power utilities’ action plans. The progress each country is making differs, with Kenya and Ethiopia having already developed good systems, according to industry professionals. However, South Africa remains ahead, advancing in line with other developed countries. At the Africa Energy Indaba 2018, a panel of industry experts will discuss this issue and engage with the audience to explore the implementation of digitisation and the benefits attached to the adaption of this newwave of industry technology in the conference.