The sudden implementation of load shedding came without warning and has left many businesses scrambling to continue operations. The uncertainty around the load shedding period has left businesses and individuals hurrying to implement systems that will enable them to survive rolling blackouts.
Using the expertise and services offered by Voltex leaves a number of viable solutions that can be employed to sustain operations and keep businesses productive, albeit at potentially lower levels. For the individual, there are also tools that you can utilise to help you manage your day-to-day life. 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 compared to desktop computers, so the user would be able to continue work during load shedding. Although there are some applications where a desktop is required, the majority of the workforce could operate on laptops.
• Only use a UPS for the server – Most companies have UPS’ for the server and desktop computers. By switching to laptops, the backup time on an existing UPS will be longer as the laptops will run on their own batteries rather than drawing power from the UPS.
• Service the UPS regularly – Most UPS’ 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 is done by an expert in order to properly assess your requirements. It is also prudent to only cater to 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 is serviced on a regular basis.
• Convert to LED lights – Reducing the load from traditional lights or even 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 also 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 in solar.
Night time Usage
The following tips will assist homeowners and individuals to survive lights out during the evenings:
• 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 these 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 not to mention uncertainty around the power utilities electricity supply, the cost versus benefit ratio will undoubtedly tip the scale.