- 1 Generator: The size of generator you’ll need depends on your electrical requirements. For, example if you need to power three computers, a kettle and lights, a 2KW generator (approx. R2000-R5000) should be sufficient. If you have a shop with fridges, air conditioning and a till, you’ll need at least a 5KW one (approx. R8000) and if you have a guesthouse with 10 rooms, you’ll need a 10KW (approx. R20 000). Generators can be mobile or fixed (like an air-conditioning unit). Mobile units can be bought at most home or building stores – just be sure to phone around ahead of time as demand might be high. Take an inventory of your most vital electrical appliances when you speak to an expert so that they can suggest the right option for your business.
- 2 UPS: An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) works both as a back-up battery for your computer and regulates the amount of power it receives. As soon as the power switches off, the UPS switches on. In short, it makes sure that your equipment performs a proper shutdown until you then connect to a generator, preventing, for example, data corruption.
- 3 Surge protection: There are various devices available to protect your electrical equipment from surges – when the supply voltage fluctuates. The most cost effective ones look like multi-plugs and let you plug multiple components into one power outlet. Look into this in particular if you live in a rural area where the quality of supply is unpredictable. As mentioned previously large fluctuations in supply voltage can damage electronic equipment.
- 4 Back up your data: If your business is computer-based, it’s crucial to back up your data often and to put measures in place to keep your data safe. The last thing you want is to lose files or work you’ve done during this time.
- 5 Back-up batteries: Be sure to keep your laptop and smartphone charged before the power goes off. Alternatively, invest in battery packs or even solar-powered charging solutions, which brings us to:
- 6 Solar-powered solutions: There are many solar-powered options to power your electrical gate, charge your cellphone and laptop or provide much-needed lighting.You could also go off the grid completely by swapping electrical power for solar power. However this can be a costly exercise and might not be suitable to all businesses.
Precautions to avoid damage to appliances:
– Have backup batteries for fences and gates to ensure electric fencing and gates still work during a blackout. It is imperative that backup batteries are installed and maintained;
– Install surge protectors which help to stop the massive sudden flow of energy into household appliances and electronics;
– Unplug appliances: In the event that the power goes out, it is a good idea to unplug any appliance or electronic device that may be vulnerable to the power surges when the electricity comes back on.