Load shedding isn’t going away for good – we know this. But, do you also know what alternative power supplies to use during these pesky power outages? We give a big thumbs-up for Back-Up Power!
In this quick article, we address some common questions about back-up power and other alternative power supplies...
What does a back-up system comprise of?
A back-up system typically consists of
- An inverter to convert the DC battery power into usable AC mains power
- A battery bank to store power for later use
- A battery charger to charge the batteries
Click HERE to learn more about batteries.
How do back-up systems work?
The unit is permanently connected to utility power. While utility power is present, the battery charger recharges the batteries and keeps them fully charged. The equipment you want to back up is also permanently connected via the system. When a power outage occurs, the back-up system automatically switches over via an extra fast transfer switch to the inverter, which will continue to provide power to the equipment within 15 msec. This is extremely fast, so much so that standard equipment like TVs, DSTV decoders, microwaves, fans, etc. are unaffected.
When utility power returns, the whole procedure is reversed and the unit will switch back to utility power and will automatically start re-charging the batteries. Your equipment remains connected to the system even when power is restored. The whole process is fully automatic.
How is a system sized?
Note that the size of the system will depend on the equipment to be powered during load shedding. It is also wise to consider the duration of power outages that you typically experience in your area.
When should a UPS be considered?
100% automatic back-up power is the desired solution for homes, guesthouses, farms, and small businesses where data capture/transfer is not critical. UPS systems are the ideal solution to protect servers and computers.
Click HERE to learn more about UPS systems.
What are some advantages of back-up power over a generator?
Back-up power systems can be installed virtually anywhere, unlike generators. Not only are generators noisy, they also typically require manual start-up. If you don’t mind the possibility of having to go outside in the dark to start your generator, perhaps you will mind the fact that generators require constant re-filling and maintenance…
What should be considered before investing in a back-up system?
- While fridges and freezers can be powered by backup power, is it really necessary to add these on to your system especially if the doors stay shut?
- Switch from incandescent or dichroic downlights to LEDs or CFLs – these lights can be added onto your back-up system
- Geysers consume a lot of power. It’s not worthwhile adding this on to your back-up system especially considering that you may only lose 2°C in water temperature during the 2-2.5 hours load shedding
- Air-conditioning units and underfloor heating can be powered by a backup system, but will drastically increase costs
Considering a back-up power solution for your home or business?
Are you looking to upgrade your existing back-up power solution?
Whether you want a battery, solar, generator or even all three... CHAT to us!
And remember to DOWNLOAD our back-up power catalogue to view our range and prices.