We understand that having a backup solution for power is not something people necessarily want to spend on, but with our national grid, it is one of the easier solutions to put into place to ensure that you can seamlessly transition from a no-power to a power situation.
This is especially important with more and more people realising that working remotely is possible, and many companies still employing their staff in a remote capacity. Your productivity can be directly affected by a lack of power. The solution lies in using a UPS or Inverter which can provide you with the capacity to power your computer, lights and maybe even your TV for a few hours, depending on the size of the solution you decide to use.
The unit is permanently connected to utility power so that while mains are present, the extra-large built-in battery charger recharges the batteries and keeps the batteries fully charged until a power failure occurs. In case of a power failure, the backup system automatically switches over.
When power returns to the grid, the whole procedure is reversed and the unit will switch back to utility power and will automatically start re-charging the batteries. Your equipment remains connected to the system even when power is restored. The whole process is fully automatic.
What do I use?
UPS is an uninterruptible power supply or uninterruptible power source (UPS). It is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source or mains power fails.
- A UPS differs from an auxiliary or emergency power system, or standby generator in that it will provide near-instantaneous protection from input power interruptions.
- It supplies energy stored in batteries, supercapacitors, or flywheels.
- A 2000va UPS will power a router for a 2 hour period of time.
An inverter is a device used to convert DC battery power to 230V AC mains power.
- This will be from a 12 or 24 Volt deep cycle battery or bank of batteries designed for use in backup power solutions.
- Inverters are available with output power ratings from as little as 100 watts to tens of thousands of Watts.
- Typical home inverters are rated from 500 Watts upwards.
- A 600/700w Inverter with 1 x 100ah deep cycle battery will power router and a light for 2-4 hours.
- A 1200/1400w Inverter with 2 x 100ah deep cycle batteries will power router, light and TV for 4-6 hours.
Inverter Power Rating
The inverter you choose will depend on the power in Watts (or current in Amps) of the equipment you need to run. You can check this by looking at the product specification label or in the manual of your equipment. You need to know both the continuous rating in Watts or Amps and the peak/surge rating in Watts or Amps. Without this information, any further calculation is not possible.
Continuous vs Peak or Surge Power
Some appliances such as fridges, air conditioners and electric motors require very high current to start, which is referred to as “inrush current” or “surge power”. This needs to be factored in when deciding on which inverter to use. The surge power required for these appliances can be as high as 7 or 8 times the continuous current required when they are running.
Inverters are rated in continuous power and peak/surge power. Continuous power is the total power the inverter can deliver continuously while peak/surge power is the amount of power that the inverter can deliver for a brief period, usually when the equipment/appliance starts up. Most low-cost inverters are not designed for loads with a high start-up current.
Items such as TV’s, modems, routers, LED lamps, computers and cellphone chargers require very little additional power when they are switched on, so we can use the actual power rating on the device to calculate total power of the inverter.
Batteries are critical components of any backup power solution. Batteries used for backup power solutions are different from regular batteries used in your car, as they have a different charge/discharge cycle profile. Vehicle start batteries should not be discharged below 90% of their full charge. Marine/solar deep cycle batteries can be discharged to around 50% of their full charge before their lifespan starts to suffer.
Increasing the number of batteries will increase the length of time your backup power solution can provide power, however, this will push up the cost of the backup solution.
If you are interested in fitting a backup power solution for your household to ensure that you are staying connected, contact us at https://bundunetworx.co.za.