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NETFA - Overview

SABS NETFA is a testing facility within the Electrotechnical Cluster of SABS Commercial. This facility consists of three (3) specialized Laboratories, Short Circuit, High Voltage and Materials Installations accredited to ISO 17025:2005 by SANAS.

Short Circuit Laboratory

The Short Circuit Laboratory is capable of testing the short-circuit and switching performance of a very wide range of medium voltage power control and electrical distribution equipment. Among other features, the laboratory is equipped with two short circuit generators at the High Power plant, having low impedances that can produce very high currents for short durations. The laboratory has the following tests capabilities:-

  • Short circuit tests up to 12kV/31,5kA/1sec. (HP Plant)
  • Short circuit tests up to 100kA at 500V (HC Plant)
  • Determination of temperature rise up to 10kA. (Temperature Rise Plant)

High Voltage Laboratory

The High Voltage Laboratory is capable of testing a wide range of high voltage electrical distribution equipment. It is also used as a research facility mainly for ESKOM new development projects. This Laboratory is situated at an altitude of 1 540m, and offers an opportunity of testing at high altitude.

This Laboratory the following major resources:-

  • Fully screened indoor laboratory with a height of 30m and with a floor area of 30m x 50m.
  • Switching and lightning impulse voltages of up to 2.5MV and 3.2MV respectively and discharge free a.c. voltages of up to 650kV can be generated.
  • This Laboratory is particularly suitable for partial discharge measurements down to the levels as low as 1pC at 650kV.
  • An outdoor extra high voltage (EHV) test facility that is capable of producing switching and lightning impulse voltages of up to 3.2MV and 4.0MV respectively and discharge free a.c. voltages of up to 1.3MV.
  • Phase to phase impulse withstand can also be conducted in this area.

Materials Installations Laboratory

The Materials Installations Laboratory is capable of testing various types of electrical materials and accessories such as cables, conductors, phasing sticks, joints and terminations, portable earthing gear, plugs, switches, connectors, adaptors, etc. A full spectrum of tests to international, national and private specification can be conducted in this laboratory including partial discharge, and properties of materials at very low temperatures.