The Vibration Research & Testing Centre (VRTC) is the first established building on the Science & Technology Innovation  Park.It was launched in December 2000 by the University of KwaZulu-Natal in collaboration with Eskom and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Technology Human Resources and Industry Programme (THRIP), as well as Eskom's Tertiary Education Support Programme (TESP). A R6.8 million investment resulted in a world-class facility which consists of a 95-metre long temperature regulated laboratory. The laboratory is one of only four in the world and it is the only facility of its kind in the Southern hemisphere.

The VRTC provides the basis for the performance of high-level applied research that addresses the key issues relating to the operation of overhead transmission & distribution lines (conductors, clamps and other equipment). It is an ideal facility to carry out strategic research on mathematical & experimental modeling of overhead transmission & distribution lines relating to wind induced Aeolian vibrations.

The overall vision of this portfolio is that the investigations into the vibration damper testing on the overhead transmission lines, will contribute to the improved distribution of electricity, in terms of optimised costs in structure life-span, reliability and safety.

The following research developments allow for the solution findings in:

Analytical assessment of the conductor vibration, specifically with the mathematical modelling of the physical model based on:

1)finite element method

2)boundary element method

3)finite difference method                     

4)boundary integral method

5)numerical methods, etc


The analytical approach would quantify/qualify/support the experimental testing to allow cost effective project research and ideal solution findings.

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The VRTC is a specialised laboratory on the Westville campus equipped to do vibration testing on powerlines and vibration dampers. The Centre was initially established with funding from UKZN, Eskom and the National Research Foundation through the Technology Human Resource Innovation Programme (THRIP).
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