One of the biggest challenges for companies during load shedding is the safety and security risk posed by a lack of power supply. UPS devices and inverters are able to keep security systems active and organisations protected.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) vs inverter
When it comes to back-up power solutions, both an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and inverter are great options for electrical systems in the event of a power failure. However, there are several differences between these two backups. The UPS is a no-break source of electric supply used mainly for commercial and industrial applications while the simple inverter is more suited to domestic installations. The UPS will immediately switch to battery power, the inverter will experience a very slight time delay.
A UPS is typically used to protect equipment from a sudden electricity surge or power outages as experienced during load shedding. The UPS will give you time to turn off your equipment properly so as to avoid it getting damaged. Although an inverter is similar, it has a larger battery bank, which means longer running of equipment during load shedding.
Why generators aren’t always an option
While generators are able to provide continuous power during load shedding, there is a time delay between the power outage and the generator taking over, which can negatively impact security equipment. Added to this is the noise created by both diesel or petrol-powered generators, making it difficult to continue working uninterrupted.
When there is a break in the main power supply, conventional security features – electric fences, garage doors, security equipment and gate motors – often become non-operational. This is particularly dangerous during load shedding, as criminals are able to work around the schedule and identify areas of weakness. Implementing a UPS or inverter solution is a reliable way to ensure continued operations of all security system features during load shedding.
The UPS solution
The modern UPS systems are much more environmentally- and economically-friendly, making them a really worthwhile investment. When the power is cut, a UPS will act as a surge protector, ensuring no damage to security equipment, and it is able to keep certain security features (such as a camera system) operational for the short-term. Extended battery back-up will provide longer power if needed.
Benefits of UPS:
- Automatic voltage regulation
- Surge protection when there’s a power outage
- Notification when power cuts for appropriate measures to be implemented
- Continuous and uninterrupted security camera monitoring
While there is power supply, the inverter batteries will be charged (or solar charged for solar inverters), and once the power cuts, the inverter will convert the power from AC to DC power, providing the necessary power to keep security features operational.
Benefits of inverters:
- Very quiet to operate
- Require little maintenance
- Can use solar or electric power to charge batteries
- Protects expensive safety and security equipment
Check with your supplier
Maintaining effective security features during load shedding is vital for any South African organisation, and while both UPS devices and inverters are effective, they do differ in size, capacity and functionality, so it’s worth consulting with experts in back-up solutions before making any investment.
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