How Various Energy Options might Mitigate Load Shedding – IT Information Africa

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How Alternative Power Solutions could Mitigate Load Shedding - IT News Africa

Obtained from the South African.

South Africa continues to feel the effects of load shedding, which leads to reduced productivity and disruption to business operations. Eskom announced earlier this year that load shedding is expected to continue through 2021 as electricity demand exceeds supply and more downtime is required for overdue system maintenance.

Some of the effects of load shedding are:

  1. Damage to the electronics: The power surge when returning power disrupts the steady flow of voltage in the electrical system.
  2. Production loss: Where most businesses use electricity for machines, technology, and lights to do the day’s work, the loss of electrical energy means the daily goal cannot be met.
  3. Data loss: Power outages can cause data loss and corruption. This means that transactions may be missing or, in the worst case, your data may become unusable.

While smaller businesses can go several hours without power, many large businesses lose thousands, and in some cases millions, of rand. More than ever, South Africa needs reliable, high-end technology to mitigate the effects of power outages.

One challenge for businesses is that a large proportion of their workforce is working remotely due to COVID-19 and social distancing regulations. However, to stay productive, they need to access data from alternative locations and create an environment that is always available even during load shedding.

Switching between load shedding phases has made it almost impossible for companies to plan ahead and ultimately impact their productivity. It is important for businesses to investigate alternative power solutions such as solar, inverters and UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems to ensure business continuity and mitigate the adverse effects of load shedding.

Alternative power solutions

UPS are powerful devices that can be connected directly to your equipment and electrical systems. UPSs are suitable for industries, offices, and homes that require constant power and cannot afford to turn off their devices.

UPSs come in a variety of sizes and capacities so you can run some of your basic electronic devices like ADSL / fiber optic network routers, cell phone chargers, point of sale equipment, computers, cash registers, and more.

UPS solutions are ideal for data centers, where they can be installed on servers and connected to the company via the network. This gives organizations the ability to monitor power consumption and battery performance during load shedding and to ensure that no data is lost if there is a load shedding while networks and websites remain active.

An alternative option that minimizes the effects of load shedding is inverters. The role of an inverter is not to provide electricity, but rather to convert electricity into compatible forms. It converts the direct current, which comes from off-grid sources, into alternating current.

Because the time it takes for an inverter to restore power is not as fast as a UPS system, they are suitable for households and industries where data loss is not an issue. When examining inverter systems, it is important to consider how many electronic devices you plan to run at the same time, rather than how big or small your home or business is.

As a backup or conversion to a network-independent solution with a solar power storage and a photovoltaic system, valuable solar power can be stored and used during times of load shedding.

The size of the inverter systems, the photovoltaic system and the batteries determine how long they last during load shedding. Depending on how many devices you use, you should have three to four hours.

Once these hardware solutions are installed in an office or home, the adverse effects of load shedding can be bypassed entirely to ensure that you or your employees remain productive and business disruptions are minimized.

By Matthew Hall, Rectron Product Director

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