The lights do NOT go out!
Plug & Play UPS (uninterruptable Power Supply) systems are super useful little machines, making sure power is never interrupted to PC's, TV's, decoders, lamps and chargers. These units plug directly into a wall socket to receive power then deliver uninterrupted power through a plug socket housed on the unit itself. These units are commonly used as backup power units in a lounge or small office where the unit can supply power to appliances plugged into it. These units are generally sized to offer 6-8 hours' worth of backup power.
Plug & Play UPS units can be purchased in either true sine-wave, modified sine-wave or square-wave depending on what it is required to power. These units range from 600Va (480W) to 1500Va (1200w).
These systems are completely automated, no manual switching or maintenance required at all.
Residential back-up power systems are hard-wired through the DB (Distribution Board) to allow neat access to multiple lights and plug points.
A typical installation will include all house-hold lighting and plug points to allow for comfortable living. Heavy loads such as geysers and stoves are not typically included as they require a massive amount of power and drain batteries very quickly, here we rather suggest moving to a gas stove and solar geyser as they are cheaper to run and perform better than their electrical counterpart. Powering stoves and geysers is certainly possible, it just isn't cost effective.
These home/ office installations are typically designed to offer 8 hours' worth of back-up power but can be extended as the client requires.
A small to medium size home or office will require no smaller than a 3Kw system pricing at around R35000.00 Where a larger home will require between 6Kw-12Kw system pricing from R50000.00 to R85000.00 depending on battery quality and quantity. Unlike backup generators, these systems do not let the power go off at all, automatic switch-over is part and parcel of how it works.
Commercial UPS systems tend to require a slightly different setup. The use of sensitive electronics and 3-phase machinery depend on a more stable form of power, Either Double-conversion type UPS systems or 3-phase inverters will be required. Double-conversion UPS systems do not switch between mains and backup power as a normal switch-over type UPS would, it rather supplies power through its own inverter while constantly filling its batteries with the power it is using to supply the load. When the mains power fails, it simply stops charging the already filled batteries and carries on supplying power from its stored energy. When the mains power is restored, it will re-fill the battery bank. 3-phase inverters can supply steady power to any three-phase machinery for the duration of a power outage given the battery capacity is sufficient. Phase failure and surges will not affect the machinery as the inverters are designed to protect against such events. Considering that 3-phase machines are inherently inductive loads, transient currents will need to be assessed and inverter size adjusted accordingly. Track your tenants power usage by installing an energy logger, energy loggers are great for tracking power usage on a single line or DB (distribution board) accurately. Most energy loggers are even programmable to offer a Rand value of power used, total wattage, CO emissions and maximum power draw.
Farms and rural areas inherently incur massive power bills as they offer individual transformers and long-distance wiring. These areas are ideal for Solar grid-tie or off-grid applications as they offer large areas for solar panels and use a lot of energy that can be readily supplied by the sun and wind.
Drawing power cable to each section of a farm is no longer necessary, each section requiring power can be fed by its own array of panels and inverters, making the system more stable and independent.
Farms and rural areas such as plots can also benefit dramatically from automated Wi-Fi switching. These switches can power Bore-hole pumps, irrigation timers, lighting and staff management.