If your internet router just disconnected and your screen just died —again— you may be looking for a solution to frequent power cuts. Is a UPS the answer you’ve been looking for? What does a UPS do, and how does it work? We answer all your questions below.
10 Answers to the Top Questions About Uninterruptible Power Supply
1. What is a UPS?
UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is an electrical device used to provide uninterrupted power to sensitive electronic equipment. We also know it as an uninterruptible power source (UPS). This device can help South Africans to keep working, stay connected, cook food, and watch their favourite shows when load shedding kicks in.
The UPS is not a long-term solution for power loss or “alternative power”. But it can power your internet router and a wide range of devices for shorter periods of time. Connected equipment will also benefit from reliable power protection.
2. What Categories of UPS Are There?
We can classify UPS systems into two categories: battery backup and generator backup. Battery backup systems use batteries to store energy during normal operation. Generator backup systems use generators to generate electricity during power outages.
3. What Does a UPS Do?
They are designed to protect sensitive equipment from power surges that can occur during a power outage. You can use it for computers, servers, telecommunications equipment, medical devices, industrial control systems, and other similar types of equipment.
Even though these devices are primarily intended to protect your sensitive tech from surges and unstable power conditions, we can use them for other applications. Many South Africans have bought their own UPS systems to keep the lights on at home during a power failure.
Others use it to keep vital medical equipment going, for peace of mind. Some businesses use them to delay business interruptions due to load shedding.
4. Who Needs a UPS?
UPS systems are typically used in critical applications, such as hospitals, data centers, financial institutions, manufacturing plants, and military bases. They are also ideal for your business and home. Unstable power conditions can lead to an increase in insurance claims for electronics that frequent power surges have damaged.
For this reason, many companies install uninterruptible power supply units for each laptop, computer, and essential electronic device in their business. These devices kick in if there is a surge, power cut, or loss of power for any other reason and give your device a continued stable supply of power.
UPS are a cost-effective and reliable protection method. They can also prevent data loss where sensitive information is processed and stored by keeping devices on long enough to allow the user to save and store the data.
5. Can a UPS Power My Kettle?
Technically, a UPS with a high enough battery capacity could power your kettle. That said, a battery large enough will probably not be a cost-effective option. A generator or other alternative power supply system could offer a better solution for powering your kettle.
That’s because your kettle is one of the biggest energy guzzlers in your home and office. A kettle needs between 1,200 and 3000kw! That means that even with an inverter, it could fully drain your battery with ease.
The easiest solution to your lack of warm water when the power goes off is to pre-boil water and store it in a heated flask. Otherwise, you can boil it in the microwave if you have a backup power supply system.
6. Which UPS is Best for a Gaming PC?
To figure out which UPS is best for your setup, start by working out how much VA you will need, and for how long you will need the UPS to supply you with power. Let’s say you have a PC, Standard-size screen, and a speaker system in your setup. Each device needs a certain amount of power supply.
Simply add these together, then get a device that supplies more VA than your calculated amount. Next, choose the size uninterrupted power supply that will suit your needs. Typically, available sizes are 1-hour, 2-hour, and 4-hour. The UPS will give you protection against power outages, but it can also protect your rig from bad power quality on the grid.
7. How Much Will a UPS Cost in South Africa?
Prices vary based on the battery power capacity. For example, a 1500VA-rated battery can offer continuous output power for a standard PC for just under an hour. The bigger the battery, the more costly the UPS device will be.
8. Why is My UPS Beeping?
1. Power Outage.
Often, a UPS starts beeping when the power goes out and it starts providing backup power to your devices. While the ups is discharging its load, it beeps more and more frequently to let you know how much power is left.
If your UPS is beeping but you aren’t experiencing load shedding, you can check your mains power switch or your DV Board. Your electricity might have tripped, or there may be another issue in your area.
2. Battery Low.
If you hear a constant beep, it usually means that the UPS is low on battery power. In this case, you should shut down your electronic devices immediately to protect them.
3. Failed Self-Test.
If you still hear beeping, but your UPS is plugged in to charge and the electricity in your home is on, it might be because your UPS failed a self-test. This either means it needs to be replaced or that a device that is plugged in is draining it of power too quickly.
Before you visit the UPS shop, first try to unplug the devices currently plugged into the UPS. If it stops beeping, that means the device you plugged in needs a stronger flow of power than the UPS can provide. This could be problematic if all that’s plugged in is a laptop, but if you plugged in a kettle, that makes more sense.
The beeping is to let you know the UPS can’t handle the connected loads. If you have only plugged in one device (that isn’t a kettle) and are experiencing this issue, your UPS may need to be replaced. You can find a UPS at an affordable price from us.
Should I Keep My UPS Plugged in at All Times?
Yes, your UPS devices should always remain connected to grid power. If you experience bad power quality or a power outage, it can happen so suddenly that you may not have time to plug the ups in and switch it on. The devices you want to protect should remain plugged into the UPS and the UPS should stay plugged in at the wall.
Can a UPS Get Me Emergency Power During Load Shedding?
Yes, it can, although the supply will be limited by the capacity of the device. It probably won’t power your whole house. Load shedding is a common problem in South Africa. The uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is designed to provide uninterrupted power to sensitive electronic equipment during periods of power failure.
If you live in South Africa, you may experience frequent power outages. These outages can cause problems with your computer, phone, internet router, and other electronics. Get yourself a UPS at Virtual Sense today and beat load shedding.