Just last month loadshedding again reared its head, placing many homes and small businesses at risk, as many of these do not have contingency plans for sudden stoppages due to power outages.
“It is critical that certain aspects of one’s home or business are protected against sudden loss of power or surges. Whether it is for your personal use or business, a UPS can safeguard your computers and data against power outages, making it a valuable asset during loadshedding,” explains George Senzere Pre Sales Manager Anglophone ITD Global at Schneider Electric South Africa.
Senzere points out that: “The electronic devices you rely on every day for communication, security and entertainment are at risk for damage and failure because of unexpected blackouts, voltage fluctuations or other power disruptions. Proper backup solutions ensure productivity, comfort and the safety of valuable electronics in the event of a power outage.”
Eskom recently announced in a statement that while generating plant performance has improved, an unexpected shift such as an increase in unplanned breakdowns could result in loadshedding at short notice.
Small to medium-sized businesses may be most at risk from loadshedding because of their limited ability to generate revenue during downtime and maintain security.
A UPS not only protects and saves the replacement or repair costs for electronic equipment but they are also scalable according to your needs and allow electrical and electronic equipment to continue working through a utility power outage.
The benefits of UPS during loadshedding
“A UPS offers guaranteed power protection for connected electronics. When power is interrupted, or fluctuates outside safe levels, a UPS will instantly provide clean battery backup power and surge protection for plugged-in, sensitive equipment, giving you the necessary time to safely power down non-essential devices and keep critical business operations up and running,” says Senzere.
When it comes to home use, their worth extends far beyond keeping your desktop computer online for at least a few minutes in a power outage. The same UPS that works for your desktops will also work for your networking gear.
“Keeping Wi-Fi available rather than having to fall back to cellular data during loadshedding means you and your family have a better chance of staying online cost effectively. A UPS will also provide battery backup power and protection for electronic devices, including televisions, security systems, gaming consoles and even allows for emergency recharging of mobile devices like cellphones and tablets,” he says.
In choosing a UPS solution, users should consider that a UPS should be connected to an input power supply point with a capacity of 20-25% higher than the size of the UPS. In addition, runtime is important, giving an indication as to how long a UPS will be able to power its attached equipment in the event of a power disruption.
“The more equipment you have plugged-in to your UPS, the less runtime you will have, so it is important to make sure your UPS is only providing backup power to your most critical equipment.
“How many devices do you want to safeguard? How does your family use these devices? Perhaps pairing devices for both your home networking equipment and electronic devices is best for your home, or maybe just using a couple of small UPSs for your home office will suffice,” says Senzere.
“Finally, test the equipment you have by unplugging your UPS periodically to make sure all the attached equipment stays powered.”