When looking at backup power options there are basically 3 options: UPS, generator and solar.
Each of these systems have their own merits, and one should make an informed choice.
The most obvious benefit many would think of generators is that there are reasonably cheap options available. The question is; what are you getting for your money?
The first thing to know about generators is that petrol generators (which are more affordable) provide very unstable power which, over time, damage your electrical equipment. Quality diesel generators are reliable and provide good power - however they are much more expensive.
The long term costs of generators make them the most expensive option. An average 5kva petrol generator uses approximately 5 litres of fuel per hour and require regular maintenance and repairs.
While silent generators are available, the cheaper generators are noisy. Silent generators are not completely silent, but less noisy than their cheaper rivals.
UPS - uninteruptable power supply
Solar - photo-voltaic
The most obvious benefit of a UPS system is that it is virtually silent and doesn't require the user to switch on the unit when the mains fails. The change-over from mains to UPS power is fully automatic. The added benefit is that if you are not home when the power fails, your equipment will not switch off.
Once the UPS is installed it requires no maintenance or fuel, a once off cost will provide many years of trouble-free use, making the UPS the most economical solution.
Solar systems make sense in terms of the long term savings on your electricity bill.
The main problem is that the initial cost of a solar installation is beyond the financial means of most people - beware of cheap options. A reliable solar system with similar backup time as an equivalent UPS system will cost about 5 times as much.
Quality solar systems have a "pay-back" period of about 10-20 years. After this time many believe they will be getting free power - this is not entirely true, as batteries need to be replaced and the system may require some maintenance over the long term. Furthermore solar systems become less efficient over time.
Common uses for UPS systems:
UPS for home use:
Plug and play home UPS systems are very popular because they are easy to install and cost effective. Smaller home UPS systems are used mostly for TVs, computers, lights and light medical equipment like oxygen machines. To find out more about these UPS systems click here.
One can also connect a larger UPS to your home's distribution board (DB). Using a larger UPS system means you can choose as many plug or light circuits as you want to backup on UPS power. These UPS systems can also run stoves, airconditioners and other high current devices. To find out about larger UPS systems click here.
UPS for office use:
The SOHO (Small Office Home Office) range of UPS systems is ideally suited to the smaller office. If you're using one or two computers, a printer and a modem or router the SOHO 800VA UPS is an economical solution. The SOHO UPS range goes up to 4000VA and can run about 15 computers or equivalent load.
For larger office or business use, click here to view the Power range of UPS systems. These units can run any type of load.
UPS for Medical or laboratory use:
Specialised medical and laboratory equipment require very stable power. It's important to use a double conversion UPS with CPU power monitoring to ensure stable voltage, frequency and sinewave. To find out more about these UPS systems click here.
UPS for Industrial use:
Industrial equipment requires high start-up load. This often requires a 3 phase power supply. Single phase industrial equipment make use of capacitors to step up the current, a UPS for high current start-up must be transformer based. To find out more about industrial and 3 phase UPS systems click here.
UPS for servers:
For a UPS power supply for smaller servers click here.
For a UPS power supply for larger servers click here.
If you're not sure what UPS system you require, contact us. Let us know what you want to use the UPS for in the comments section and a consultant will get back to you.