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Pan Macmillan

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Sarah Wild Tells the Story of the CoroCAM, an Innovation that Saves Power Utilities Millions

InnovationInnovasieIn Innovation: Shaping South Africa through Science Sarah Wild investigates and celebrates science and innovation happening in South Africa right now.

pArticipate has featured an excerpt from the book, in which Wild tells the story of the development of the CoroCAM, a device that detects electrical current leaks in the transmission lines that traverse South Africa.

The device was developed by Roel Stolper at the CSIR after he was contacted by Wallace Vosloo from Eskom. He devised a way to make the ultraviolet light visible so that defective insulators can be fixed.

Read the excerpt:

Finding Fault

It all started with a phone call that was forwarded through to Roel Stolper by chance. It was 1992, an that conversation – between Stolper, a researcher at the CSIR, and Eskom’s Wallace Vosloo – and their subsequent research collaboration have saved the power utility millions of rands and created a multimillion-rand business.

Vosloo had a problem: he was completing his docyorate in the use of different insulators on transmission lines – they sometimes look like a collection of stacked side plate or an upside-down bell that connect the powerline to the pole or pylon – but he could not see the effects of the insulator, whether the current was leaking out, or determine how it was ageing.

Which is why Vosloo phoned the CSIR and was put through to Stolper.

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