Alternate power sources during load shedding

Keamogetswe Mosepele

| Refilwe Moloto speaks with Andre Reinhardt, owner of UPS Technologies, about the alternative power source options available to South Africans during load shedding.

South Africans are more than ever in search of alternative energy solutions as electricity supply problems worsen by the day.

However, the mention of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), generators and inverters can be mind-boggling – where to start?

Refilwe Moloto speaks with Andre Reinhardt, owner of UPS Technologies, about the alternative power source options available to South Africans during load shedding.

The purpose of an inverter is to provide backup power, usually by a lead/acid battery, to a load when it detects that the input power source has failed.

They are different from backup power systems or backup generators because they provide near instantaneous protection against power outages through the use of a battery.

Reinhardt explains that due to recurring load shedding, UPS batteries often don’t have enough recovery time.

He explains that the battery is a chemical storage device that needs this recovery time before it can provide protection against load shedding.

This is the problem. Due to Eskom’s intermittent presence, your battery has no chance to rejuvenate or recover.

André Reinhardt, owner – UPS Technologies

Although generators are often of three types – portable, inverter and standby – all of these generators must undergo similar maintenance to ensure long term use.

Reinhardt advises individuals to use their alternative power solutions sparingly as costs can add up very quickly – adding that each watt used costs around R25.

So if you want to work on a 5 kilowatt system, you’re probably going to shell out R60,000-75,000 for a good system that would really stand the test of time.

André Reinhardt, owner – UPS Technologies

Scroll up for the full conversation.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk: Alternative power sources during load shedding – What are the options?

Rosemary C. Kearney