Alternate power sources during load shedding - What are the options?

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Andre Reinhardt, owner of UPS Technologies, about the options for alternate power sources available to South Africans during load shedding.

South Africans are on the lookout for alternative power solutions now more than ever as electricity supply issues compound by the day.

However, the mention of uninterruptable power supply (UPS), generators and inverters can be mind boggling – where does one even begin?

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Andre Reinhardt, owner of UPS Technologies, about the options for alternate power sources available to South Africans during load shedding.

The purpose of a UPS is to provide emergency power, usually by a lead/acid battery, to a load when it senses that the input power source has failed.

They are different from emergency power systems or standby generators because they provide near-instantaneous protection from power interruption by using a battery.

Reinhardt says because of reoccurring load shedding, UPS batteries often do not have enough recovery time.

He explains that the battery is a chemical storage device that needs to be afforded that time to recover before it can give protection against load shedding.

That is the problem. Because of the intermittent presence of Eskom, your battery doesn’t have a chance to rejuvenate or recover.

Andre Reinhardt, Owner - UPS Technologies

While generators often come in three types - portable, inverter and standby - all these generators should undergo similar generator maintenance to ensure long-term usability.

Reinhardt advises individuals to use their alternative power solutions sparingly as costs can ramp very quickly – adding that every watt used costs approximately R25.

So, if you want work on a 5-kilowatt system, you are probably going to fork out R60,000 to R75,000 for a good system that would really stand the test of time.

Andre Reinhardt, Owner - UPS Technologies

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