Dowding Reynard & Associates (Pty) Ltd (DRA), a leading electrical and instrumentation engineering solutions provider, and Rapha Pretorius Associates (RPA), a group of specialist consulting electrical engineers, have announced the formation of a new joint venture company that aims to provide specialised electrical engineering consulting services to heavy industry in Southern Africa.

The joint venture, called DRPA Consulting (Pty) Ltd, will offer a broad spectrum of services including design of reactive compensation systems and static VAr compensators (SVCs) as well as investigations of transients, switchgear systems, arc-furnace facilities, power-quality assessments, machine failure and more. The new company will be headed up by Dr. Ian Boake of DRA’s electrical engineering department and Rapha Pretorius of RPA.

Says Ian Boake, "DRPA Consulting (Pty) Ltd offers us an exciting opportunity to deliver specialised consulting services to industries such as manufacturing, steel and aluminium, food and beverage, electronics, mining and minerals processing etc in critical areas of power and electrical systems. DRA has already established an excellent track record in the mining industry for the design and implementation of electrical and instrumentation solutions from sub-station, reticulation and power factor correction to SCADA and PLC systems. By teaming up with Rapha Pretorius Associates we are able to take our expertise to a broader range of industrial clients who seek to maximise the use of their equipment and electrical systems, reduce energy bills and optimise their processes."

Boake is a professional engineer who has worked for Eskom as a senior power quality engineer in power quality research, investigations and customer supply contracts. Later, with a group of consulting engineers, he was involved in distribution network master-planning using a GIS database and load flow simulator. As a power systems engineer at DRA, he has been in charge of: harmonic impact studies, power quality investigations, tariff impact studies, load studies, design and installation of power factor correction equipment and load management systems for large mining groups.

Rapha Pretorius is one of the leading authorities on reactive power compensation and related fields not only in South Africa but also worldwide. His accomplishments include the design of the ZORC surge suppressor and the highest voltage complex C-type harmonic filters in the world as well as all of the industrial static VAr compensators used in South Africa. He has won several SABS design awards for surge suppression devices, variable output harmonic filters and a capacitor filter protection relay.

Adds Boake, "South African industry is experiencing unprecedented growth at present with new ventures and projects being undertaken. As a result companies are actively seeking new ways in which to enhance the performance of their equipment while at the same time reducing their overall operating costs. A logical place to start is the power system which, if properly designed and implemented, can realise considerable savings to the bottom-line. DRPA has access to considerable expertise and technical resources which will ensure that customers seeking solutions to their electrical engineering problems will receive the highest quality recommendations and solutions based on real world experience."