Skip to Content
African Utility Week 2010 (AUW 2010) takes place from 22-25 February 2010 in Durban, South Africa. It’s the largest utility event hosted on the continent, making it a must for top industry players. It’s therefore no surprise that Siemens Power Distribution will be exhibiting its portfolio of medium voltage switchgear, protection and automation equipment and service solutions at the event.
Business unit manager, Derek Phillips believes AUW 2010 provides an excellent opportunity for the company to showcase its products and services. “Municipalities and utilities in South Africa and southern Africa are key customers and of great importance for Siemens. Our product mix fits the profile to support them. We hope to build product awareness, as well as to engage with current and potential customers,” he informs.
While Siemens Energy Distribution factories are situated worldwide, it is the primary focus of the South African, Centurion based factory to manufacture medium voltage switchgear. “The main product manufactured is the Simoprime Switchgear Panel, which is designed for primary distribution and is fully type tested to IEC62271-200 specifications,” Phillips states.
The Simoprime vacuum circuit breaker switchgear panel comprises 85% local content. The circuit breaker itself is imported from the Siemens factory in Germany. “All circuit breakers are manufactured in Germany, in order to maintain consistency and a high level of quality control across the board.”
The Simoprime range was launched on the South African market four years ago. Similar to all other Siemens products, it is designed to ensure maximum operator safety. The Simoprime panel is designed so that all operations can take place behind closed doors, a factor which enhances operator safety.
Phillips provides a broader overview of the medium voltage switchgear range. “Essentially, we can offer two types of switchgear equipment. The Simoprime range, like most of the equipment available in South Africa, is air insulated.
Siemens also manufactures gas insulated switchgear, whereby the live parts within the chamber are insulated with gas. The Siemens NXPLUS C panel is a fixed pattern gas insulated switchgear panel. The design uses vacuum interrupters enclosed in a hermetically sealed SF6 chamber. “Of course, the advantage of this is that no gas work is required on site. Installation is quick and easy,” comments Phillips.
The Siemens Energy Distribution division is looking forward to some exciting times ahead. Although the company relocated from Kyalami to its present factory in Centurion only a year ago, they are already looking to move into a larger space and diversify factory activity. “We’re going to introduce pre-production to the manufacturing process by way of steelwork for the punching, bending and welding required for our panel and VCB manufacture,” reports Phillips.
The division is looking forward to the launch of several new products, utilising cutting edge technology to ensure reliable grid operation, which will position it to serve client needs even more efficiently.
Ray Neale, Business Unit Manager of the Energy Distribution Division’s Power Transmission & Distribution Services, reveals AUW provides an ideal platform for exhibiting three of these products.
The first of these relates to Transformer Lifecycle Management, an area where Siemens has recently regrouped its resources for greater focus. The result is a cradle to grave solution that is able to manage the installed base of transformers, not only for Siemens branded products, but – thanks to the organisation’s broad expertise – also for other OEMs products in the generation, transmission and distribution networks of Eskom and other utilities and municipal networks.
Siemens will also be exhibiting two circuit breakers, Neale informs. The first of these, the Sion Vacuum Circuit Breaker, has been introduced to replace Reyrolle LMT2 oil insulated medium voltage circuit breakers, as oil may carry implications for health and safety over the long term. The second, also a Sion circuit breaker, replaces the Siemens 8BD low oil volume circuit breaker. Both models are rated for 11 000 volts. Neale explains that, in both cases, the more recent circuit breakers can be retrofitted for clients with minimum disruption to circuits, thanks to the fact that they can rack in and out with ease and with minimal modifications to the panels.
Finally, the Siemens Gas Guard will also be on display. This condition monitor for power transformers is able to effectively monitor the nature and amount of dissolved gas in transformer oil at regular intervals, and relay results, via GPRS, to clients’ mobile phones or laptops in real time. This product is also part of Siemens’ Transformer Lifecycle Management offering.
Neale is extremely excited about the new innovations, commenting that they will do much to drive efficiency and safety for clients.
About Siemens Southern Africa:
Siemens has had a presence in South Africa since 1860 when the company installed the first telegraph line linking Cape Town and Simon’s Town. Today, Siemens offers a balanced portfolio of technologies focusing on the Industry, Energy and Healthcare sectors, together with the cross-sector business of Siemens IT Solutions and Services. The unique ability to offer horizontal, customised, end-to-end technology solutions enables Siemens to keep its customers one-step ahead. As a committed corporate citizen, Siemens has active corporate social investment programmes as well as a comprehensive approach to local content, manpower development, skills and training. Further information is available on the Internet at www.siemens.co.za
About Siemens Energy:
The Siemens Energy Sector is the world’s leading supplier of a complete spectrum of products, services and solutions for the generation, transmission and distribution of power and for the extraction, conversion and transport of oil and gas. In fiscal 2008 (ended September 30), the Energy Sector had revenues of approximately EUR22.6 billion and received new orders totaling approximately EUR33.4 billion and posted a profit of EUR1.4 billion. On September 30, 2008, the Energy Sector had a work force of approximately 83,500. Further information is available at: www.siemens.com/energy
Energy Sector – Communications
011 652 2285