‘Load limitation’ in Goudstad ‘works well’

Henry

Eskom is in the process of introducing so-called load limiting across Gauteng so that residents can use some of their essential electrical appliances – such as lights, television sets and refrigerators – during phase 1 to phase 4 load shedding.

The national power supplier says it initially tested load limiting on the residents of Fourways in Johannesburg and it was well received.

Smart meters will now be installed in Buccleuch, Kelvin, Paulshof, Marlboro, Sunninghill and Waterfall to also implement load limiting in these areas.

Load limiting forms part of an initiative called Demand Side Management (DSM) during which electricity consumption is managed and optimized in order to better balance the demand and supply of electricity on the power grid during phase 1 to phase 4 load shedding.

This initiative, explains Eskom, focuses on selected customers with smart meters as these smart meters have a technical functionality that must be controlled remotely.

That’s how it works

Eskom explains that the electricity capacity of willing customers (with smart meters) is reduced by means of so-called load limiting from 60/80 amps to 10 amps during phase 1 to phase 4 of load shedding.

This then enables these customers to continue with the minimal use of electricity for essential devices such as lights, TVs, Wi-Fi transmitters, refrigerators and security systems during load shedding.

Eskom explains that about an hour before load shedding, it sends a message to the customer in which he or she is encouraged to reduce their power consumption to 10 amps.

“The system will provide the customer with four opportunities to reduce their consumption. If the load is not reduced, the meter will automatically switch off the electricity supply for 30 minutes before restoring the supply again.

The power supplier is now calling on all its customers with compatible meters where load limiting will be implemented to support the initiative which will ensure that they have electricity for the duration of load shedding.

“The success of the project depends on the partnership between Eskom and the cooperation of customers, and their willingness to reduce their electricity consumption to less than 10 amps.”