4IR Energy Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions


4IR Energy Solutions has a completely risk free solution whereby you only pay from actual savings made:

This happens as follows:

  • Once the average base amount is agreed, this amount is used to calculate savings amount per month.
  • 4IR Energy Solutions does initial calibration at no charge and full 100% of savings made in 1st month is fee to 4IR Energy Solutions.
  • For a maximum of 12 months (assuming internal network does not require any remedial work)  or until parity is reached, the client and 4IR split the savings, the client gets the benefit of full 50% which if they ringfence will pay for not only the PLC but often other work required on internal electrical network to ensure maximum efficiency. 4IR will still need to deduct their costs from their 50% invoiced on savings made.

On this basis, it means that the client does not need to budget for additional capex expenditure, they simply need to ringfence the savings made which they would have paid over to the relevant authority during this period. Once the PLC is designed and quotation accepted it will be installed with 80% deposit upon acceptance and remainder due upon commissioning. A COC for the PLC will be issued once final payment has been made.

Thereafter, the client will enter into a monitoring contract with 4IR Energy Solutions and they will continue to enjoy full savings benefit with only nominal monthly monitoring fee due to 4IR Energy Solutions.

Dirty Electricity or Dirty Power is an umbrella term for a wide range of abnormalities in the electrical power that runs your facility. This wide range of power problems is also caused by an equally diverse range of power issues. Regardless, the power issues and problems are disruptive, inconvenient, and costly.

On the other hand, there is clean power. Clean power is any electrical power that is free from spikes and voltage drops, known as voltage ripple. Dirty voltage is mostly caused when electrical devices such as smart meters —linked to a circuit manipulate the current in any way which causes a spike and surges of higher frequencies that radiate out of the wiring and into your internal electrical network.

Power Factor Correction is a technique which uses capacitors to reduce the reactive power component of an AC circuit in order to improve its efficiency and reduce current usage, ultimately saving you money.

In an electric power system, a harmonic of a voltage or current waveform is a sinusoidal wave whose frequency is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. Harmonic frequencies are produced by the action of non-linear loads such as rectifiers, discharge lighting, or saturated electric machines.

Load balancing can be a tricky and confusing procedure to understand. As its name suggests, load balancing focuses on evenly distributing current draw throughout the entire energy demand network in your facility. The goal is to achieve perfect balance so that more total current can be supplied to each branch circuit. 

What is a Programmable Logic Control System? (PLC)

PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller. It is a digital computer-based control system commonly used in industrial automation to monitor and control machinery or processes. A PLC is designed to withstand harsh industrial environments and is typically used to automate tasks that require precision, reliability, and flexibility. It consists of a programmable microprocessor, input and output modules, and various communication interfaces.

PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) work by executing a program or set of instructions to control and automate electrical and industrial processes.

  • Input Acquisition
  • Program Execution
  • Program Logic
  • Decision Making
  • Output Control
  • Communication
  • Monitoring and Diagnostics

1. Flexibility: Provides a high degree of flexibility in terms of programming. They allow for easy modification and adaptation of control logic to accommodate changes in the process or system requirements without requiring hardware modifications.

2. Reliability: Designed for reliable operation in harsh commercial and industrial environments. They are built to withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, electrical noise, and other challenging conditions. PLCs are known for their robustness and durability which is invaluable with the current national grid status.

3. Real-time Operation: Offer real-time control, enabling precise and timely response to inputs and events. This is crucial in applications that require fast and accurate control, such as high-speed manufacturing processes or critical safety systems.

4. Diagnostics and Troubleshooting: PLCs provide built-in diagnostics and monitoring capabilities, allowing operators to detect faults, analyse performance, and troubleshoot issues quickly. This facilitates preventative maintenance and minimises downtime.

5. Safety Features: Many PLCs offer safety-oriented functionality, including specialised programming languages and certified safety modules. Safety PLCs ensure compliance with industry safety standards and provide features such as safety interlocks, emergency stop functions, and fault detection.

6. Multi-Tasking: Designed to do multi-level tasking, gathering information and numerous other tasks as pre-requested from clients.

A PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) will enable you to automatically manage and monitor your internal electrical system. Our programme will constantly make necessary adjustments to ensure maximum efficiency and is also able to alert you via sms or email if there are any issues detected on the internal network so that you can attend to them before it becomes a major cost and time equation. It will allow you to stay informed in real time as to status of your network which means no nasty surprises weeks or months after an incident takes place.

The power grid delivers electricity from power plants to homes and businesses across the nation. Its vast network of power generation, transmission, and consistent delivery ensures we can function in the modern world.

Department of Labour – Code of Practice for Electricity Metering Calibration according to the South-African National standard as described by –

  • SANS 474 : 2006
  • NRS 057 : 2005

Traditional calibration requires an expert to perform with the qualified skill set.

Nowadays, most digital instruments and virtual instruments provide communication interfaces that make it possible to perform a remote calibration based on computer hardware with network interconnection capabilities. In addition, with the rapid development of Internet and bus technology, making full use of the worldwide Internet of Things for remote calibration, engineers designed a number of AI (Artificial Intelligence) using Internet of Things and further developed a smart meter IoT framework for the analysis that can provide power factor improvement, harmonics, remote monitoring, and data logging.

In view of the above problem-solving cases, a remote calibration device was designed and incorporates edge intelligence.

Definition of Parity - If there is parity between two or more things, they are equal. Which means in the measured world of “dirty power” the mission will be to create a sound balance between harmonics, power factor and load balancing and as soon as parity is reached the sinusoidal is a perfect periodic wave whose waveform (shape) is the trigonometric sine as it corresponds to uniform circular motion. Essentially maximum savings will be reached when parity is reached.

Yes, as this will allow the electrical maintenance team to be aware of any irregularities. 4IR engineers will, through the PLC reports allocate and report errors in the network, which can be addressed without any visual inspection and this will allow the PLC to send you sms`s, email alerts directly if it detects any issues on the internet network that require attention.

Tasks of metering-responsible companies are to provide and install a meter that measures energy consumption, confirms main meter figures or collect the data remotely to determine and validate the energy consumption based on the measured data. The issue with this is that if the main meter is affected, all other factors monitored is in fact a false positive.


A simple analogy would be to say that when you weigh yourself you always ensure that the scale is on 0 before stepping on to determine weight. If the scale is always at -5 the reading is incorrect but because you have not checked to see it is at 0 you assume that it is correct.


4IR sole responsibility is to diagnose the 360-degree input electrical current (determine how dirty the power is), evaluate and design a solution for the problems the electrical current creates within the internal electrical grid (Post the main electrical meter) and calibrate all the irregularities, to create the almost perfect periodic wave for equipment drawing energy from the internal grid performing at its designed optimal. This procedure leads to a direct monetary savings, which makes 4IR a profit centre in any business.

4IR primary responsibility is to determine the costly effect “dirty electricity” has on the main meter. In many cases, the sinusoidal wave, or sinusoid (symbol: ∿) becomes extremely distorted and irregular, which creates a non-perfect functional measuring device (electricity meters and pre-paid meters). If any other electricity meters downstream are also exposed to the same sinusoidal wave it will have the same effect. Precision metering or reading, becomes impossible.

By law and as described in the Government Gazette – 35180 – notice 258 of 2012 indicates clearly, if any replacement, alteration, service, or upgrade within the electrical network of a registered property a Certificate of Competence (COC) must be issued. This COC is only issued for the actual device or equipment that the work takes place on and not for the entire internal electrical network.

4IR has determined and proven on various sites that check meters are ill-calibrated, especially pre-paid meters. Thus, the importance of ensuring efficiency by determining an internal grid investigation and pointing out the inefficiency of certain equipment. 4IR is a company focused on solving problems and not mediating the symptoms. Also, refer to “What is the difference between 4IR and a metering company?”

4IR uses external contractors using advanced technology on the Internet of Things to allocate electrical meters connected to the grid. Alternatively, 4IR makes use of the services of ESKOM and/or local municipalities.

4IR developed software to calculate the initial errors program, allowing us to draft an approximate report on our findings. This is achieved by ensuring that we are working on the correct property, with the correct meter as indicated on the utility invoice/report. The 6 month period gives 4IR sufficient history, which in turn provides a more accurate report and sets a baseline upon which the savings amount is calculated from and contractually agreed to between parties.

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