Every time Eskom announces a bout of load shedding there is a renewed vigour among businesses and households to investigate how to become less dependent on the grid – at least during these electricity outages. This makes sense, because at the very least, businesses and individuals can continue their vital operations and are not at the mercy of load shedding or unplanned power cuts.
REVOV, the leader in 2nd LiFe lithium-iron storage batteries for UPS systems and renewable energy sources, proactively promotes the philosophy of “freedom from dependence”.
This means that businesses are able to operate uninterrupted despite an unstable electricity grid and it means remote workers are able to do their jobs while families can continue with household essentials.
Lance Dickerson, REVOV MD, has outlined five practical steps all businesses and households can take if they wish to develop some degree of freedom from dependence on the electricity grid:
Decide what you need in terms of high priority and low priority loads
Run the high priority loads such as lights and plugs on your 2nd LiFe battery backup and only allow your low priority loads to run while the Eskom connection is live. For example, it is not practical to run geysers and stoves on a battery backup and these would typically be considered low priority. If they are high priority, then with planning they can be accounted for with back-up.
Determine the time you will be without power during Load-shedding
You need to decide how long you need to be able to power those different priority loads on average. Planned electricity outages can be up to four and a half hours. Some grids are allowing two-and-a-half hour blocks with no electricity, making 2nd LiFe batteries back up even more viable to cover an outage, as an average they can provide between four to six hours.
Find a reputable UPS or solar installer
Look at the list of accredited installers on REVOVs website, and select an accredited installer that is nearby. If this installation is not done properly, this could result in your solution being as painful as the problem.
Look at your emergency energy requirements and determine baseline energy requirements
The simplest way to do this is to install a simple energy meter, which will log peak and average usage for a period of a week, at least. Any reputable installer will have these available to install temporarily. This will show how the system needs to be dimensioned to provide uninterrupted electricity during load shedding, and can be used to determine the system design to take the customer off grid partially or totally.