PacB Group // Some Reasons You Might Need an Uninterrupted Power Supply


Some Reasons You Might Need an Uninterrupted Power Supply

Many may still recall the heydays of Eskom when, barring the effects of some unforeseen accident or a particularly heavy thunderstorm, we could pretty much guarantee that the power supply to our homes and our businesses would remain uninterrupted. However, more than a decade of steadily escalating load shedding have long since put an end to any such guarantee. As the demand for electricity is increasing and the ability of the national service provider to meet that demand is decreasing in reverse proportion, the need for South Africa’s consumers to provide solutions of their own with which to combat this growing crisis has never been greater.

The nation’s industries were the first to respond to this need, closely followed by the commercial sector, all of which are heavily dependent upon electricity for their continued existence. In both sectors, diesel generators have served as the lifeline that has enabled them to continue operating, generating their own electricity, so that production remains uninterrupted despite the frequent failure of the mains power supply.

On the residential scene too, many homeowners have decided to install generators, so that they can retain, at least, the more basic domestic facilities, such as lighting, hot water, and refrigeration, while some have gone to the extent of units that are powerful enough to maintain a fully functional home during an outage. Generators, however, tend to be fairly noisy, can be expensive to run, and most burn fossil fuels to produce toxic exhaust fumes, which could pose a health risk without suitable precautions.

To overcome the problem of outages, however, it is not always necessary to actively generate your own electricity. As an alternative, many businesses and individuals are now choosing to invest in a device, appropriately known as an uninterrupted or, more precisely, uninterruptible power supply or simply a UPS. In simple terms, rather than generating electricity, these devices act to store some while a source is available and then use the stored current to provide a backup power source in the event of an outage.

The most common application for a UPS is in the field of computing. A bank’s computers, for example, never cease their activities, but continue to process and store transaction data around the clock. A sudden outage would not merely stop these processes, but could result in the loss or corruption of crucial financial information. Accordingly, the nation’s financial institutions must be able to guarantee an uninterrupted power supply, and installing a UPS is the obvious solution.

There are three types of UPSs, and each is designed to satisfy a slightly different set of requirements. The standby or backup type, technically known as an offline UPS is the least expensive and is a popular choice for home and small business use. It draws A/C power from the mains to charge a battery and uses an inverter to convert the stored direct current to A/C and outputting it to the computers when the incoming A/C voltage drops or rises significantly. With a typical switching time of about 25 milliseconds, for a smaller network, the offline UPS is quite sufficient to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.

The line-interactive UPS includes a variable voltage autotransformer, which enables it to compensate for brownouts and surges only resorting to battery power in the event of an outage. The third type is known as an online double conversion UPS in which the battery is permanently connected to the inverter, so no transfer switches are required and transition from mains to backup power is totally seamless as is its ability to smooth mains fluctuations to provide continuous clean power.

Whether a home user or a banker, an uninterrupted power supply is important and could provide the vital minutes needed to power down systems safely. To ensure the correct choice for your needs, PacB Group offers professional advice and world-class power solutions.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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