The recent implementation of load shedding came without warning, leaving many businesses scrambling to continue operations. In addition, the uncertainty around the load shedding period has left businesses and individuals hurrying to implement systems that will enable them to survive rolling blackouts.

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Voltex experts have compiled these Survival Tips for Load shedding categorised between Day Time Usage and Night Time Usage:

 

Day Time Usage

Some simple suggestions to help businesses operate during load shedding include:

  • Switch to laptops – Laptops have built-in batteries so users are able to continue working during load shedding. Although there are some applications where a desktop is required, the majority of the workforce can operate on laptops.

  • Use a UPS for the server only – Most companies have UPSs for the server and desktop computers. By switching to laptops, there will be more backup time on the UPS as the laptops will run on their own batteries and not draw power from the UPS.

  • Service the UPS regularly – Most UPSs units are not maintained and the user only realises the UPS is not working when it’s too late. Batteries need to be checked and replaced to ensure the UPS is fully functional during load shedding.

  • Install a generator - When deciding on a generator, it is essential that an energy audit be done by an expert in order to properly assess your requirements. It is also prudent to cater only for essential loads rather than the whole operation as there is a substantial difference in cost between larger and smaller generator units. It is also critical that your generator be serviced regularly.

  • Convert to LEDs – Reducing the load from traditional or CFL lights to LED lights, reduces the amount of fuel consumed by a generator.

  • Solar solutions – When considering a solar system as a viable substitute during load shedding it is necessary to provide for sufficient battery capacity, otherwise it will not operate off the grid.

  • In addition to the benefits of placing less reliance on power producers, the tax benefits introduced by solar further encourage the investment.

 

Night time Usage

The following tips will assist homeowners and individuals to survive power outages at night:

  • Switch to a gas hob – An investment in a gas hob will reap long-term cost savings and keep the food cooking during load shedding. When calculating the cost saving, take into consideration the electricity used to boil a kettle. Using a gas hob to boil water will save you approximately 2000 watts of electricity each time, not to mention being able to enjoy a cup of tea anytime you wish.

  • Install a battery back-up – Voltex has several battery back-up systems that provide power when load shedding takes place. Running non-essential equipment during load shedding can reduce the overall run-time of the battery back-up which means that, within minutes, you could be back in the dark.

  • Solar solutions – All Voltex battery back-up systems have options to add solar at a later stage. The batteries will be recharged through solar technology rather than drawing electrical power which adds to your utility bill.

 

Some of the above suggestions are fairly quick and easy to implement, with the products readily available at your nearest Voltex branch. The more sustainable solutions may require an upfront investment but considering the rising costs of electricity and the uncertainty around the power utilities electricity supply, the cost versus benefit ratio will undoubtedly tip the scale.

Enquiries: www.voltex.co.za

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Gregg Cocking
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