Surge Protection When Power is back

It is important to install surge protection devices in your place of business or in your home. Electric surges are one of the main causes of damage caused to equipment during power outages. 

Power cuts cause surges which could potentially damage any devices that are connected to your plugs at home or at work. Load shedding increases the risk of power surges, particularly when the power is switched back on. These surges can potentially fry anything and everything from your PC to your cell phone if they are strong enough; desktop PCs are especially vulnerable to these spikes. 

Furthermore, motherboards, power supplies, and other desktop devices have been reported to be damaged beyond repair due to power surged when the power comes back on.  

Although many modern devices have advanced charging circuits that can protect them, routers and modems are vulnerable to power hikes and are often casualties of power load shedding bouts. 

Protecting all those electronics at work and at home 

  • The best thing to do once the power is off is to turn off all your electronic devices and plugs to which your expensive hardware is connected, and to remove the plugs from the sockets to prevent damage 
  • This is especially the case with your desktop PC 
  • As far as your smartphone is concerned, it is wise to charge your smartphone from a power bank during load-shedding switches, eliminating potential exposure to damaging surges 
  • Investing in a UPS is a good idea for those unpleasant and unexpected surges 
  • A UPS will allow you to protect the plugs of your PCs, TVs, and other smart devices 
  • At the very least you should invest in a surge-protected adapter  

to keep important hardware safe 

  • There are numerous multi-plugs and extension cords that come with built-in surge protection 

The power utility suggests that users always prepare for load-shedding by keeping their cell phones fully charged and backing up their data to the cloud. 


15 No-cost Ideas to Save Power

Electricity is expensive – make no bones about it. The secret is to save wherever you can without it costing you anything. It is time to think smart and to think out of the box so that you can put money back into your bank account instead of forking out more each month. 

Here are fifteen smart (and small), inexpensive ways to save on your power bill 

  • Turn off those unnecessary lights – switching off lights an extra couple of hours a day can save you over the long haul – it is time to switch to LED lighting 
  • Use task lighting – using side and table lamps, track lighting and under-counter lights instead of ceiling lights will go a long way to saving power 
  • Hot water costs money – cutting shower and bath time will save you substantially 
  • Always switch off taps when brushing teeth, washing hands or shaving – by reducing your hot water usage you can cut costs  
  • Always unplug unused electrical devices – did you know that standby power can account for up to 10% of an average household’s annual electricity use? Always unplug unused electronics  
  • You don’t need the air conditioner to run while you are not in the room or not at home. Switch this off always 
  • Recycle or donate your old desktop computer and invest in a more energy-efficient laptop model 
  • It is time to declutter – start off by getting rid of your old TV a huge energy consumer 
  • Switch off your geyser when you are not using it and only switch in on an hour before you need to bath or shower, and by lowering your thermostat by as little as two degrees you will save up to 5% on your electricity bill 
  • Block the sun from windows during the hot summer months – choose sun-filtered blinds in very hot climates 
  • During the hot summer months choose to make a barbeque (braai), salads and other fresh meals. Not only will you be a lot healthier, but will save you considerably in power bills 
  • Ensure your washing machine loads are always full and washed in cold water 
  • Using a tumble dryer is a huge energy devourer – not only will your clothes smell delightful when hung out in the sunshine, it will save you plenty of electricity. A tumble dryer is one of the biggest energy eaters in the home 
  • Your fridge and freezer should always be at the right temperature. During very hot spells try not to open the fridge unnecessarily 
  • Instead of using the oven, choose to use a griller, electric frying pan, toaster, rotisserie and microwave; a microwave takes 15 minutes to do the same job as 1 hour in an oven. Use a microwave instead of your oven at least four times a week 

There are many ways to save money in the home – the small things will save big in the long haul. 

Solar Systems and Low-cost Housing

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges that South Africa faces is the backlog in the building and distribution of excellent, lowcost housing to the masses. Suffice to say, solar technology is a cost-effective resolution for providing energy to lowcost houses as it assists in the supply of electricity which is vital for both lighting and the delivery of hot water to thousands of these homes.  

The cost of a solar power system should not cost in excess of R1000; furthermore, these systems would benefit from superior solar batteries and battery regulators to ensure longevity. 

The installation of solar systems in lowcost houses will depend largely on the installation company that connects the systems. The end-result is a basic, user-friendly, cost-effective green and sustainable source of energy supply which can be used just about everywhere – especially in remote locations. 

Why solar? 

  • Because solar technology uses renewable energy, it is both green and sustainable and is one of the most well-liked methods of renewable energy in South Africa – a country which boasts having abundant sunlight 
  • Most areas in South Africa enjoy having an average of more than 2500 hours of sunshine per year 
  • Solar radiation levels range between 4,5 and 6,5 kWh/m2 in a single day 

The continent of Africa enjoys many days of sunshine throughout the year, with an annual 24-hour solar radiation average in the region of about 220 W/m2 for South Africa, compared with about 150 W/m2 for certain areas of the USA, and about 100 W/m2 for Europe and the United Kingdom. This means that South Africa’s solar resource is one of the highest in the world. 

About solar panels 

Solar panels are undoubtedly one of the most sought-after renewable energy solutions – this is primarily due to their consistency and reliability. Electricity is produced from photons which are found in light radiation; this means that even on cloudy days electricity will still be produced although they will not produce as much power during overcast conditions as they would during sunny conditions. 

The South African government is making huge inroads in finding solutions to our power woes – perhaps installing solar panels in low-cost housing is a further, positive step in the right direction.

Is Surge Protection Neccessary

Electricity moves from areas of high electric potential to areas of low electric potential, travelling from one end of a wire to the opposite end. 

There is one vital job that a surge protector needs to perform, and that is to detect any excess voltage and to then divert the excess electricity into a grounding wire; the very reason why all surge protectors are equipped with a grounding pin (the third prong on an electrical plug). Additionally, all surge protectors must be plugged into a properly grounded outlet for them to work. 

The main culprit of electrical surges are electrical devices that require plenty of power to operate, and all depending on the wiring of your home or office, you may notice at times that the lights flicker when powerful devices are turned on and off such as air conditioning units. 

If these devices are switched on, they demand plenty of power which puts a strain on the grid and can cause surges. 

Why use a surge protector and why surge protection is necessary 

  • A surge protector should be used all the time 
  • What matters most is which types of devices should be connected to a surge protector – these include costly electrical devices such as computers, music systems, computers and media centres 
  • It is often difficult to find good quality surge protection for your individual requirements, but shopping around and asking professional advice will put you in good stead 

It is important to know that surge protectors only have a limited lifespan depending on how often they are put to work. Even when the surge protector diverts a surge correctly to prevent damage to your electrical devices, the protector itself can be damaged when this process takes place. 

One of the most important features of a surge protector is an indicator light; an indicator light will let you know that your surge protector is in good working condition and if the light no longer works, then it is time to replace your surge protector. 

Surge protection is vital when it comes to protecting electrical devices as it could save your expensive equipment from damage in the long run.