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Winter is coming – time to upgrade and service your UPS

In South Africa, winter is usually characterised by power supply issues. Couple this fact with a power grid that for multiple reasons, is not performing, and questions abound. Will power supply utility companies cope? How bad will the rolling blackouts be? An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems with a reliable battery backup are essential to any business or enterprise with a need to remain productive.”

By Jack Ward, CEO, Powermode

In South Africa, winter is usually characterised by power supply issues. Couple this fact with a power grid that for multiple reasons, is not performing, and questions abound. Will power supply utility companies cope?

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems with a reliable battery backup are essential to any business or enterprise with a need to remain productive. The key is the selection of an appropriate UPS system capable of delivering around two to three hours of reliable off-line power. This is usually enough to ride out an outage.

When selecting a UPS system, it’s important to note that power outages are not all caused by a failure of the utility company to meet peak consumption demands. They come in other forms, including power surges, spikes and ‘brownouts’ or unexplained drops in voltage. Together with blackouts, they can all be the cause of costly failures of electronic equipment or components and loss of productivity.

The first step in choosing a UPS system is to calculate the total volt-amps (VA) consumption of each piece of equipment being plugged into the UPS and then opting for a system that will meet this requirement, plus around 10 or 20 percent to allow for growth.

It’s important to purchase a UPS system with a separate battery pack, capable of being renewed without unplugging the entire system. This will stand you in good stead in the event of a power emergency, although you can expect the battery pack to last between three to five years.

Equally important is installing some form of UPS monitoring.  This will provide peace of mind that the UPS is on-line and ready to perform when (not if) the grid fails you.

After listing the appliances you need to protect, ensure that the UPS has enough outlets and ports to link to them all. Remember that damaging power spikes often caused by lightning strikes or grid surges can damage an unprotected device.

Prevention is, as always, better than cure.

Are you ready to take the first step in protecting your business from the unreliability of the national power grid?

If so, contact us on power@powermode.co.za