Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 10

Search results for: Christo Pienaar

10 Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Cloud Movement in a Basic Off-Grid Photovoltaic System: Case Study Using Transient Response of DC-DC Converters

Authors: Asowata Osamede, Christo Pienaar, Johan Bekker


Mismatch in electrical energy (power) or outage from commercial providers, in general, does not promote development to the public and private sector, these basically limit the development of industries. The necessity for a well-structured photovoltaic (PV) system is of importance for an efficient and cost-effective monitoring system. The major renewable energy potential on earth is provided from solar radiation and solar photovoltaics (PV) are considered a promising technological solution to support the global transformation to a low-carbon economy and reduction on the dependence on fossil fuels. Solar arrays which consist of various PV module should be operated at the maximum power point in order to reduce the overall cost of the system. So power regulation and conditioning circuits should be incorporated in the set-up of a PV system. Power regulation circuits used in PV systems include maximum power point trackers, DC-DC converters and solar chargers. Inappropriate choice of power conditioning device in a basic off-grid PV system can attribute to power loss, hence the need for a right choice of power conditioning device to be coupled with the system of the essence. This paper presents the design and implementation of a power conditioning devices in order to improve the overall yield from the availability of solar energy and the system’s total efficiency. The power conditioning devices taken into consideration in the project includes the Buck and Boost DC-DC converters as well as solar chargers with MPPT. A logging interface circuit (LIC) is designed and employed into the system. The LIC is designed on a printed circuit board. It basically has DC current signalling sensors, specifically the LTS 6-NP. The LIC is consequently required to program the voltages in the system (these include the PV voltage and the power conditioning device voltage). The voltage is structured in such a way that it can be accommodated by the data logger. Preliminary results which include availability of power as well as power loss in the system and efficiency will be presented and this would be used to draw the final conclusion.

Keywords: tilt and orientation angles, solar chargers, PV panels, storage devices, direct solar radiation

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9 Switching of Series-Parallel Connected Modules in an Array for Partially Shaded Conditions in a Pollution Intensive Area Using High Powered MOSFETs

Authors: Osamede Asowata, Christo Pienaar, Johan Bekker


Photovoltaic (PV) modules may become a trend for future PV systems because of their greater flexibility in distributed system expansion, easier installation due to their nature, and higher system-level energy harnessing capabilities under shaded or PV manufacturing mismatch conditions. This is as compared to the single or multi-string inverters. Novel residential scale PV arrays are commonly connected to the grid by a single DC–AC inverter connected to a series, parallel or series-parallel string of PV panels, or many small DC–AC inverters which connect one or two panels directly to the AC grid. With an increasing worldwide interest in sustainable energy production and use, there is renewed focus on the power electronic converter interface for DC energy sources. Three specific examples of such DC energy sources that will have a role in distributed generation and sustainable energy systems are the photovoltaic (PV) panel, the fuel cell stack, and batteries of various chemistries. A high-efficiency inverter using Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) for all active switches is presented for a non-isolated photovoltaic and AC-module applications. The proposed configuration features a high efficiency over a wide load range, low ground leakage current and low-output AC-current distortion with no need for split capacitors. The detailed power stage operating principles, pulse width modulation scheme, multilevel bootstrap power supply, and integrated gate drivers for the proposed inverter is described. Experimental results of a hardware prototype, show that not only are MOSFET efficient in the system, it also shows that the ground leakage current issues are alleviated in the proposed inverter and also a 98 % maximum associated driver circuit is achieved. This, in turn, provides the need for a possible photovoltaic panel switching technique. This will help to reduce the effect of cloud movements as well as improve the overall efficiency of the system.

Keywords: grid connected photovoltaic (PV), Matlab efficiency simulation, maximum power point tracking (MPPT), module integrated converters (MICs), multilevel converter, series connected converter

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8 STC Parameters versus Real Time Measured Parameters to Determine Cost Effectiveness of PV Panels

Authors: V. E. Selaule, R. M. Schoeman H. C. Z. Pienaar


Research has shown that solar energy is a renewable energy resource with the most potential when compared to other renewable energy resources in South Africa. There are many makes of Photovoltaic (PV) panels on the market and it is difficult to assess which to use. PV panel manufacturers use Standard Test Conditions (STC) to rate their PV panels. STC conditions are different from the actual operating environmental conditions were the PV panels are used. This paper describes a practical method to determine the most cost effective available PV panel. The method shows that PV panel manufacturer STC ratings cannot be used to select a cost effective PV panel.

Keywords: PV orientation, PV panel, PV STC, Solar energy

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7 Risk Identification of Investment Feasibility in Indonesia’s Toll Road Infrastructure Investment

Authors: Christo Februanto Putra


This paper presents risk identification that affects investment feasibility on toll road infrastructure in Indonesia using qualitative methods survey based on the expert practitioner in investor, contractor, and state officials. The problems on infrastructure investment in Indonesia, especially on KPBU model contract, is many risk factors in the investment plan is not calculated in detail thoroughly. Risk factor is a value used to provide an overview of the risk level assessment of an event which is a function of the probability of the occurrence and the consequences of the risks that arise. As results of the survey which is to show which risk factors impacts directly to the investment feasibility and rank them by their impacts on the investment.

Keywords: risk identification, indonesia toll road, investment feasibility

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6 Bridging the Gap between M and E, and KM: Towards the Integration of Evidence-Based Information and Policy Decision-Making

Authors: Xueqing Ivy Chen, Christo De Coning


It is clear from practice that a gap exists between Result-Based Monitoring and Evaluation (RBME) as a discipline, and Knowledge Management (KM) on the other hand. Whereas various government departments have institutionalised these functions, KM and M&E has functioned in isolation from each other in a practical sense in the public sector. It’s therefore necessary to explore the relationship between KM and M&E and the necessity for integration, so that a convergence of these disciplines can be established. An integration of KM and M&E will lead to integration and improvement of evidence-based information and policy decision-making. M&E and KM process models are available but the complementarity between specific process steps of these process models are not exploited. A need exists to clarify the relationships between these functions in order to ensure evidence based information and policy decision-making. This paper will depart from the well-known policy process models, such as the generic model and consider recent on the interface between policy, M&E and KM.

Keywords: result-based monitoring and evaluation, RBME, knowledge management, KM, evident based decision making, public policy, information systems, institutional arrangement

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5 Smart Demand Response: A South African Pragmatic, Non-Destructive and Alternative Advanced Metering Infrastructure-Based Maximum Demand Reduction Methodology

Authors: Christo Nicholls


The National Electricity Grid (NEG) in South Africa has been under strain for the last five years. This overburden of the NEG led Eskom (the State-Owned Entity responsible for the NEG) to implement a blunt methodology to assist them in reducing the maximum demand (MD) on the NEG, when required, called Loadshedding. The challenge of this methodology is that not only does it lead to immense technical issues with the distribution network equipment, e.g., transformers, due to the frequent abrupt off and on switching, it also has a broader negative fiscal impact on the distributors, as their key consumers (commercial & industrial) are now grid defecting due to the lack of Electricity Security Provision (ESP). This paper provides a pragmatic alternative methodology utilizing specific functionalities embedded within direct-connect single and three-phase Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) Solutions deployed within the distribution network, in conjunction with a Multi-Agent Systems Based AI implementation focused on Automated Negotiation Peer-2-Peer trading. The results of this research clearly illustrate, not only does methodology provide a factual percentage contribution towards the NEG MD at the point of consideration, it also allows the distributor to leverage the real-time MD data from key consumers to activate complex, yet impact-measurable Demand Response (DR) programs.

Keywords: AI, AMI, demand response, multi-agent

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4 Post-Exercise Effects of Cold Water Immersion over a 48-Hour Recovery Period on the Physical and Haematological Parameters of Male University-Level Rugby Players

Authors: Adele Broodryk, Cindy Pienaar, Martinique Sparks, Ben Coetzee


Background: Cold water immersion (CWI) is a popular recovery modality utilised. However, discrepancies exist regarding the results over a 48 hour recovery period. Aim: To evaluate the effects of CWI and passive recovery (PAR) on a range of haematological and physical parameters over a 48-hour using a cross-sectional, pre-post-test design. Subjects and Methods: Both the and physical parameters were evaluated at baseline, after a 15-min fitness session, and at 0, 24 and 48 hours post-recovery in 23 male university rugby players. The CWI group sat in a cold water pool (8°C) for 20 min whereas the PAR group remained seated. Results: At 0 hours post-CWI, three (blood lactate (BLa-), Sodium (Na+) and haemoglobin) returned to baseline values, however Vertical Jump Test (VJT) height results decreased whereas after PAR it improved. From 0 to 24 and/or 48 h, four (Partial Oxygen (PO2) VJT-height, plasma glucose, and Na+) significantly increased (p ≤ 0.05) in either and/or both groups. Significant intergroup differences (p ≤ 0.05) were noticed in the physical tests. Conclusions: PAR is superior as an acute modality (0 hours) due to CWI cooling the body down. However, CWI demonstrates advantageous over a 24-hour period in a wide range of haematological variables.

Keywords: cryotherapy, recuperation, haematological, rugby

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3 Radar Cross Section Modelling of Lossy Dielectrics

Authors: Ciara Pienaar, J. W. Odendaal, J. Joubert, J. C. Smit


Radar cross section (RCS) of dielectric objects play an important role in many applications, such as low observability technology development, drone detection, and monitoring as well as coastal surveillance. Various materials are used to construct the targets of interest such as metal, wood, composite materials, radar absorbent materials, and other dielectrics. Since simulated datasets are increasingly being used to supplement infield measurements, as it is more cost effective and a larger variety of targets can be simulated, it is important to have a high level of confidence in the predicted results. Confidence can be attained through validation. Various computational electromagnetic (CEM) methods are capable of predicting the RCS of dielectric targets. This study will extend previous studies by validating full-wave and asymptotic RCS simulations of dielectric targets with measured data. The paper will provide measured RCS data of a number of canonical dielectric targets exhibiting different material properties. As stated previously, these measurements are used to validate numerous CEM methods. The dielectric properties are accurately characterized to reduce the uncertainties in the simulations. Finally, an analysis of the sensitivity of oblique and normal incidence scattering predictions to material characteristics is also presented. In this paper, the ability of several CEM methods, including method of moments (MoM), and physical optics (PO), to calculate the RCS of dielectrics were validated with measured data. A few dielectrics, exhibiting different material properties, were selected and several canonical targets, such as flat plates and cylinders, were manufactured. The RCS of these dielectric targets were measured in a compact range at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, over a frequency range of 2 to 18 GHz and a 360° azimuth angle sweep. This study also investigated the effect of slight variations in the material properties on the calculated RCS results, by varying the material properties within a realistic tolerance range and comparing the calculated RCS results. Interesting measured and simulated results have been obtained. Large discrepancies were observed between the different methods as well as the measured data. It was also observed that the accuracy of the RCS data of the dielectrics can be frequency and angle dependent. The simulated RCS for some of these materials also exhibit high sensitivity to variations in the material properties. Comparison graphs between the measured and simulation RCS datasets will be presented and the validation thereof will be discussed. Finally, the effect that small tolerances in the material properties have on the calculated RCS results will be shown. Thus the importance of accurate dielectric material properties for validation purposes will be discussed.

Keywords: asymptotic, CEM, dielectric scattering, full-wave, measurements, radar cross section, validation

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2 Servant Leadership and Organisational Climate in South African Private Schools: A Qualitative Study

Authors: Christo Swart, Lidia Pottas, David Maree


Background: It is a sine qua non that the South African educational system finds itself in a profound crisis and that traditional school leadership styles are outdated and hinder quality education. New thinking is mandatory to improve the status quo and school leadership has an immense role to play to improve the current situation. It is believed that the servant leadership paradigm, when practiced by school leadership, may have a significant influence on the school environment in totality. This study investigates the private school segment in search of constructive answers to assist with the educational crises in South Africa. It is assumed that where school leadership can augment a supportive and empowering environment for teachers to constructively engage in their teaching and learning activities - then many challenges facing by school system may be subjugated in a productive manner. Aim: The aim of this study is fourfold. To outline the constructs of servant leadership which are perceived by teachers of private schools as priorities to enhance a successful school environment. To describe the constructs of organizational climate which are observed by teachers of private schools as priorities to enhance a successful school environment. To investigate whether the participants perceived a link between the constructs of servant leadership and organizational climate. To consider the process to be followed to introduce the constructs of SL and OC the school system in general as perceived by participants. Method: This study utilized a qualitative approach to explore the mediation between school leadership and the organizational climate in private schools in the search for amicable answers. The participants were purposefully selected for the study. Focus group interviews were held with participants from primary and secondary schools and a focus group discussion was conducted with principals of both primary and secondary schools. The interview data were transcribed and analyzed and identical patterns of coded data were grouped together under emerging themes. Findings: It was found that the practice of servant leadership by school leadership indeed mediates a constructive and positive school climate. It was found that the constructs of empowerment, accountability, humility and courage – interlinking with one other - are prominent of servant leadership concepts that are perceived by teachers of private schools as priorities for school leadership to enhance a successful school environment. It was confirmed that the groupings of training and development, communication, trust and work environment are perceived by teachers of private schools as prominent features of organizational climate as practiced by school leadership to augment a successful school environment. It can be concluded that the participants perceived several links between the constructs of servant leadership and organizational climate that encourage a constructive school environment and that there is a definite positive consideration and motivation that the two concepts be introduced to the school system in general. It is recommended that school leadership mentors and guides teachers to take ownership of the constructs of servant leadership as well as organizational climate and that public schools be researched and consider to implement the two paradigms. The study suggests that aspirant teachers be exposed to leadership as well as organizational paradigms during their studies at university.

Keywords: empowering environment for teachers and learners, new thinking required, organizational climate, school leadership, servant leadership

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1 Validation of Asymptotic Techniques to Predict Bistatic Radar Cross Section

Authors: M. Pienaar, J. W. Odendaal, J. C. Smit, J. Joubert


Simulations are commonly used to predict the bistatic radar cross section (RCS) of military targets since characterization measurements can be expensive and time consuming. It is thus important to accurately predict the bistatic RCS of targets. Computational electromagnetic (CEM) methods can be used for bistatic RCS prediction. CEM methods are divided into full-wave and asymptotic methods. Full-wave methods are numerical approximations to the exact solution of Maxwell’s equations. These methods are very accurate but are computationally very intensive and time consuming. Asymptotic techniques make simplifying assumptions in solving Maxwell's equations and are thus less accurate but require less computational resources and time. Asymptotic techniques can thus be very valuable for the prediction of bistatic RCS of electrically large targets, due to the decreased computational requirements. This study extends previous work by validating the accuracy of asymptotic techniques to predict bistatic RCS through comparison with full-wave simulations as well as measurements. Validation is done with canonical structures as well as complex realistic aircraft models instead of only looking at a complex slicy structure. The slicy structure is a combination of canonical structures, including cylinders, corner reflectors and cubes. Validation is done over large bistatic angles and at different polarizations. Bistatic RCS measurements were conducted in a compact range, at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. The measurements were performed at different polarizations from 2 GHz to 6 GHz. Fixed bistatic angles of β = 30.8°, 45° and 90° were used. The measurements were calibrated with an active calibration target. The EM simulation tool FEKO was used to generate simulated results. The full-wave multi-level fast multipole method (MLFMM) simulated results together with the measured data were used as reference for validation. The accuracy of physical optics (PO) and geometrical optics (GO) was investigated. Differences relating to amplitude, lobing structure and null positions were observed between the asymptotic, full-wave and measured data. PO and GO were more accurate at angles close to the specular scattering directions and the accuracy seemed to decrease as the bistatic angle increased. At large bistatic angles PO did not perform well due to the shadow regions not being treated appropriately. PO also did not perform well for canonical structures where multi-bounce was the main scattering mechanism. PO and GO do not account for diffraction but these inaccuracies tended to decrease as the electrical size of objects increased. It was evident that both asymptotic techniques do not properly account for bistatic structural shadowing. Specular scattering was calculated accurately even if targets did not meet the electrically large criteria. It was evident that the bistatic RCS prediction performance of PO and GO depends on incident angle, frequency, target shape and observation angle. The improved computational efficiency of the asymptotic solvers yields a major advantage over full-wave solvers and measurements; however, there is still much room for improvement of the accuracy of these asymptotic techniques.

Keywords: asymptotic techniques, bistatic RCS, geometrical optics, physical optics

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