Picture this, you’re in the middle of watching the season finale of your favourite show, there’s a major cliffhanger on the horizon, you’re on the edge of your seat, and the most unexpected thing happens…Your electricity goes out — talk about a powerful plot twist!
Or worse, imagine you’re in a super important zoom meeting, pitching an idea to a prospective client, and your power cuts, taking your internet connection with it. Not a great look…
These scenarios are pretty specific, we know, but we’ve all had a similar experience. While we’re powerless (literally) over loadshedding and unexpected power outages, we can take steps to ensure they don’t bring our businesses or households to a halt.
Given South Africa’s current electricity predicament, more and more people are opting to either get off the grid entirely, or install automatic switchover alternative backup power solutions for when load shedding or power outages hit. In order to cope with the ongoing energy problems — such as increases in electricity costs and power interruptions South Africans are facing — people have been searching for a power source that won’t let them down, or break the bank. That’s where UPS systems come in.
Benefits of UPS systems
Besides making sure you’re never caught unawares with power outages, UPS systems have various other benefits as well, including:
- Eco-friendly solution to loadshedding
- Doesn’t require regular maintenance
- Battery can be charged using grid power or solar power
- Automatically supplies power during outages without any startup delays
- Easy to use/install
- Quiet while running
- Many are portable/moveable
- Plug devices directly into the mobile power backup
Different types of UPS systems
There are three main types of UPS systems, each designed differently to meet a variety of different needs.
While standby UPS systems are generally the go-to for backup power solutions, when it comes to UPS systems; it’s a good idea to consider your options and get to know all three of the main types of UPS systems.
The Offline/Standby/Battery UPS
An offline/standby UPS is the most basic type of UPS system. This system relies on battery backup power to operate. The system will automatically transfer the power load when it senses a power outage or significant fluctuation. This system usually has a battery that’s used as a short-term power source during an outage/fluctuation, a charger to maintain the battery voltage, an inverter to provide power during normal operations, and a static switch that automatically transfers the load. This system converts AC (alternating current) to DC (direct current) power to work with the battery. This type of UPS system is designed for consumer electronics, such as laptops.
A line-interactive UPS system features autotransformers that are designed to regulate incoming voltage from the connected utility, should voltage fluctuations occur. A line-interactive UPS is extremely efficient from a battery usage point of view because it doesn’t automatically switch to battery usage when brown-outs occur. These UPS systems also provide protection from power surges, voltage fluctuations and power strikes. Line-interactive UPS systems are generally inexpensive and best suited for consumer electronics, and not mission-critical equipment.
Double conversion online UPS
A double-conversion online UPS system differs from standby and line-interactive UPS systems in a few ways. Where the other types of UPS systems direct current from the AC mains, the double conversion online UPS system’s primary power path is through the inverter. This means that a power outage (ie a lack of power supply from the AC mains doesn’t trigger the activation of the transfer switch. In other words, the input AC power is the backup source of power. To explain this in more technical terms, this type of UPS system converts the input AC power to DC, and then back to AC again. This UPS system is designed to provide consistent, clean, and reliable power regardless of input power, so power outages and power surges won’t affect the power supply to equipment connected to the UPS system. This system is used when you need to protect mission-critical equipment and in places when power outages are extremely frequent.
It goes without saying that installing backup power measures can balance out the cost scales by making sure your business/household is never without electricity. Having a backup UPS power system installed will be less expensive short term, and is a viable option for many businesses and homeowners. Ensure you’ll be left without power again when the grid decides to, well, go off-the-grid. We have a range of backup UPS power packages available now, with the various options being tailor-made to fit each type of budget.
For the best quality installation and management of UPS power systems, always contact a qualified, licenced electrician.
At Sunburst Electric, you are our main focus. Your safety, satisfaction, and needs are our top priority. Our service professionals are all fully licensed and qualified electricians.
Over and above the backup UPS packages available, we offer a range of installation services.
Contact us today for all your backup power needs and Expert Electrical Service.