Escom load shedding – frequently asked questions (faq) – dorpskoerant gas out game commercial


Load shedding is a measure of last resort to prevent the collapse of the power system country-wide. When there is insufficient power station capacity to supply the demand (load) from all the customers, the electricity system becomes unbalanced, which can cause it to trip out country-wide (a blackout), and which could take days to restore. electricity video ks2 When power is insufficient, Eskom can thus either increase supply or reduce demand to bring the system back into balance. As the difference between supply and demand becomes small, we refer to the system becoming “tight”. This implies that action has to be taken to prevent the system from becoming unstable.

Eskom normally takes a sequence of steps to keep the system stable and to avoid load shedding. The steps include first asking large customers to reduce load voluntarily. However, if several power station units trip suddenly and unexpectedly, we may have to skip those steps and go straight to load shedding to prevent the system from becoming unstable.

Load shedding schedules are drawn up in advance to describe the plan for switching off parts of the network in sequence during the days that load shedding is necessary. electricity definition science On days when load shedding is required, the networks are switched off according to the predetermined plan, to ensure that, as far as possible, customers experience load shedding in accordance with the published load shedding schedules.

Load shedding is aimed at removing load from the power system when there is an imbalance between the electricity available and the demand for electricity. If we did not shed load, then the whole national power system would switch off and no one would have electricity. Load shedding is therefore done to protect the national power system from collapsing.

Saving electricity (by using energy-efficient appliances, switching off equipment when not in use, using alternative sources of energy such as solar geysers) has benefits such as reduced cost, less pollution, the better use of natural resources (coal, water and fuel) and less wear and tear on the power stations, transmission and distribution systems – and it saves customers money.

In the past decade, South Africa has had a steady growth in the demand for electricity because of robust economic growth. The continued growth in the economy has exhausted Eskom’s surplus capacity for electricity generation and reduced its reserve margin progressively. electricity voltage used in usa We expect the reserve margin to continue on a downward trend for the next few years until substantial new base-load power plants comes on line**. In spite of new capacity coming on line, which included bringing back the mothballed power stations and building open-cycle gas turbines, the demand is still higher than the available capacity.

Load shedding schedules for Eskom areas are published on the Eskom website, Information is also available from the Eskom Contact Centre on 08 600 ESKOM (086 003 7566). electricity 4th grade powerpoint If you are a municipal customer you can access the schedule for your area by accessing the relevant municipal website or phoning their contact centre. This information is usually on your bill.

• on occasion, the power is off for longer than stated in the published schedules. The usual reason for this is that when the engineers attempt to switch the power back on, either the remote control switches do not operate, meaning that field staff members have to drive out to switch the power to customers back on manually, or sometimes network faults happen on re-energising because of a surge in the current. Then the field staff have to go out and physically fix the fault.

Most customers are switched off according to the published schedules because we generally use remote-controlled switches to control the network. However, some customers are switched off for longer than the period published in the schedules because, if the remote switching does not work because the switching equipment or the telecommunications links have failed, we have to send out technicians to do this switching manually, and in these cases we may over-run the scheduled times.

We have agreements with certain large customers that they will reduce a significant percentage of their load when we go into load shedding, but we still have to keep their power on during these times. Also, we do not cut off the critical entities that directly contribute to the continuity of power supply, e.g. coal mines, oil refineries and water supply pumps. It could be that other customers are connected to the same networks feeding these large or critical customers, and since we switch the load shedding by network (it is impossible to isolate individual customers), these other customers would benefit by not having their power cut.

In general, it cannot, since we cannot negotiate at an individual customer level. electricity and circuits test However, when compiling the schedules we have tried as far as possible to take into account factors such as peak periods, business hours, and the nature of life and work in the various areas and communities. The reality is, when necessary, we have to remove load from the system and we can never do this without inconveniencing somebody, somewhere.

Eskom has a short-term power supply shortage, while at the same time there is a higher-than-expected demand. From time to time this may result in power outages – what is called load shedding – for short periods across the country. The more electricity South African consumers can save by switching off non-essential appliances, or not switching them on at all, the fewer the power outages. Below are hints and tips to help you in case of power outages.

If the power goes off, it is safer to simply turn off (or even better, disconnect) any electrical appliances that you were using. Keep one light switched on to alert you to when the power returns. Clearly mark on/off switches with a piece of masking tape. When the power comes back on, it may do so with a momentary surge, which may damage electronically controlled appliances such as computers, television sets, VCRs, DVDs, etc.

• Most medication requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling. (To be sure about this, check with your doctor or pharmacist.) –Fill plastic containers with water (still leaving some space inside each container for expansion during freezing) in a deep freeze or the freezer compartment of your fridge. save electricity pictures This frozen bottled water will help keep food cold during a power outage.