Online and an Offline UPS Systems differences

There are differences between Online and Offline UPS Systems – the big question is – what are they and what are the biggest challenges and advantages that we could face by incorporating these devices to keep our electric up and running all the time. The power utility, Eskom, is constantly in the news and is obviously facing huge challenges to keep our lights switched on, but for most of us running homes and businesses, not having power could prove to be a huge issue. 

Investing in devices to protect our devices and keeping on the lights takes a little bit of creativity, and investigating the options could prove to be the solutions for many of us faced with a future with erratic power that could cause damage to our sensitive equipment whether this means blowing your TV and PC or simply keeping that necessary fan or stove up and running. 

Most of us are aware that there are two different types of UPS Systems (Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems); these include Online and Offline UPS Systems. 

The commonality between the two, is, naturally, to provide a reliable backup of power when the lights go out or when they dip or hike.  

Online UPS Explained 

  • Your Online UPS System is different to the Offline system in that the power is derived directly from powerconditioning components 
  • Your Online UPS System is not directly connected to the power utility 
  • The power is stored in a battery so that when the power goes off power is drawn from the battery 
  • This power is then converted into AC power to continue the operation of household and other electrical devices 
  • Online UPS is Double Conversion UPS 
  • The main applications for the use of your Online UPS system will usually be in critical care environments and production houses where the continuation of power is vital

Online UPS advantages

  • Online UPS can regulate the voltage correctly 
  • The mains and load are presented separately 
  • There are no fluctuations (dips and surges) in the voltage, which means that the quality of the voltage is stable 
  • The reason for this is that the inverter is always switched into the “on” position 
  • The conversion time from DC to AC is negligible (the same reason being that the inverter is never switched off) 
  • When the utility power goes down there will be a continuation of power and no imbalances will be noted 

Offline UPS Explained 

  • Your Offline UPS System is a straightforward, inexpensive option to keep the power on and is directed through the UPS bypassing the inverter to the device. 
  • There is a small amount of filter to protect against instability. 
  • If the utility is unstable or goes down your Offline UPS System will switch to the inverter’s output to provide constant and a continuous power supply 

Offline UPS Advantages 

  • Your Offline UPS System is user-friendly and straightforward to operate 
  • Offline UPS is less expensive than the Online UPS option

Advantages of offline UPS 

  1. The efficiency of this system is high. This is because the charger is not constantly on.
  2. These are affordably priced.
  3. The internal controller is simpler.
  4. The power handling capacity of the charger is greatly decreased.
  5. Applications using offline UPS include emergency power supplies, printers, computers, EPABX, scanners, etc.

Often households opt for offline UPS systems than their online counterparts because of the higher energy efficiency and economical nature of the former. However, households that use highly critical loads should opt for the latter so that sensitive electrical appliances and data are protected. 

Those who are looking to buy UPS, either online or offline systems, are invited to make their purchases from Glowship, India’s largest online platform selling home utility solutions. We offer wide selection of top products from the reputed brands at the best possible prices. There are also a lot of other products like water pumps, solar solutions, LED lights, dewatering pumps, water softeners, water heaters, water purifiers, inverters, batteries, security solutions, and many more available with us.

Lower Cost Offline UPS generally, when on inverter/battery backup, provide a square/pseudo sine wave output waveform. Given the nature in which switch-mode power supplies used in modern computer/office systems draw power this type of output power waveform is usually more than adequate. In situations where a square/pseudo sine output waveform is not acceptable then true sine wave more expensive Offline or Online UPS are recommended.

Online UPS’s take the incoming AC mains supply and convert it to DC which feeds the battery and the load via the inverter. If the mains supply fails, then the batteries feed the load via the inverter with no interruption to the output supply at all. An Online system, by nature of the dual conversion design (AC-DC/DC-AC), ensures a far higher degree of isolation of the load from the irregularities on the mains supply. In general, Plug N Play Online systems are more expensive than similar Offline solutions because the inverter has to be rated for continuous operation. 

DIFFERENT KINDS OF UPS SYSTEMS

THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF UPS SYSTEMS

For those not in the know, there are numerous UPS Systems that have been designed to keep electrical devices operating during power outages.

The many kinds of UPS offerings could cause much confusion among consumers; therefore, it is advisable to investigate all options these thoroughly to make the right choices.

Although it is widely thought that there are only two kinds of UPS systems, there are more systems on offer. There is a wide range of UPS types and their applications with each one having its very own unique characteristics.

There are five approaches to UPS systems

  • Basic Standby UPS
  • Standby-Ferro UPS
  • Double Conversion On-Line UPS
  • Delta Conversion On-Line UPS
  • Line Interactive UPS

Basic Standby UPS

Basic Standby UPS delivers battery-sourced, short-term power during power outages. The hardware receives power directly from the utility through an AC connection. The UPS will store the power until the backup power is required. The Basic Standby UPS is most often used in the application for the protection of computers, modems, and other sensitive electronic equipment and is the most cost-effective.

Standby-Ferro UPS

In the standby-Ferro design, the inverter is always in the standby mode and is put into motion when the input power fails when the transfer switch is opened.

Double Conversion On-Line UPS

The only difference between the Double Conversion On-Line UPS and Standby UPS is that the main source of power is the inverter instead of the AC mains.

Delta Conversion On-Line UPS

Delta Conversion Online UPS offers a more advanced innovation that eradicates the shortcomings of the outmoded Double Conversion Online UPS, with the improvements based on having a delta inverter and enabling bidirectional movement of power.

The variety of UPS Systems is vast – therefore, making the right choice will make a difference at the end of the day. For more information regarding the different UPS applications, contact your service provider to ensure you make the right choices.

INVERTER AND ONLINE UPS SYSTEM

An inverter and a UPS system both supply backup power to electrical devices; however, the primary difference between the two is that the UPS from the main supply to the battery is instantaneous, whereas the supply of power from the inverter to electrical devices will take a few seconds before the power will kick in.

Inverter

Your inverter will convert your DC power into AC power during unstable power situations. Power from an inverter is stored inside a battery. Depending on the configuration of the circuit and the design of the inverter, the output will put out pulse sine waves, sine waves or square waves.

UPS

UPS protects sensitive electrical devices from hikes and dips. The UPS converts AC power to DC power through a rectifier and converts the DC power into AC power through an inverter. Power is instantaneous.

Ten differences between an inverter and an Online UPS System

  • The Inverter will convert AC power into DC power. An Online UPS uses a rectifier to provide the backup power to an electrical device which is instantaneous
  • Inverters delay the conversion of power by a couple of seconds which means that the power is not instantaneous
  • A UPS System is connected directly to appliances; inverters are connected to a battery which will be attached to the electrical circuit (hence the delay of a couple of seconds)
  • An inverter is a more cost-effective option; a UPS System, on the other hand, is a more costly option
  • The configuration of the UPS System includes a battery and rectifier that are built in; the rectifier in the UPS System stores power which converts the power from AC to DC during outages
  • Inverters, on the other hand, have external batteries that store DC power
  • Inverters have the capacity to supply DC power for longer periods of time; more so than UPS Systems
  • An inverter’s power supply could fluctuate and is less stable than that of a UPS System
  • Applications for UPS systems are usually applied to functioning in office, home and industrial environments, whereas inverters are usually used in office environments

Inverters have a definite use in numerous environments as do UPS systems, whether they are Online systems or Offline.

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR UPS SYSTEM

When choosing your UPS System, bear in mind that it is not about how much it costs, as the cheapest is not always best. The most pressing need would be to match up the size of the UPS system required to that of the equipment you are planning to support and what needs to be powered when there are dips and surges, brownouts and blackouts.

The where, what and how of your UPS System

You need to ask yourself a couple of pertinent questions before investing in a UPS System

  • What type of UPS System will you need to keep your world powered? Will it be the less expensive Offline UPS option that is not as accurate as the Online version, or will it be the more accurate Online UPS version that could cost more but will be more stable?
  • The UPS System that you need to select will have to have enough power for all the devices you are planning on keeping running during power hikes and dips, brownouts and blackouts
  • Compiling a list of the most pressing electrical issues you need to address is the most practical method moving forward when shopping around for UPS backup systems
  • For your UPS System to run at its optimum you need to match like with like; in other words, the one that is large enough to keep everything going
  • It is important to find out the UPS capacity as this will determine exactly how large your UPS System should be
  • UPS Systems are measured in Watts – the higher the capacity the more electrical devices it will be able to power
  • Calculate the load to find out the UPS Capacity for accuracy
  • To determine the load, it is advisable to add up all the watts each device uses or contact the manufacturer; alternatively contact the manual

Medical institutions, production houses, schools, universities, libraries, restaurants, businesses both large and small simply cannot afford to have the power go off as this could prove to be detrimental to the business and will lead to loss of earnings.

When the power goes off and comes back on causing huge hikes, it could damage sensitive machinery and electrical devices beyond repair – invest in an accurate UPS System to ensure your devices are kept running and protected at all times.

ONLINE & OFFLINE UPS SYSTEMS

ONLINE AND OFFLINE UPS SYSTEMS

There are differences between Online and Offline Systems – the big question is  – what are they and what are the biggest challenges and advantages that we could face by incorporating these devices to keep our electric up and running all the time. The power utility, Eskom, is constantly in the news and is obviously facing huge challenges to keep our lights switched on, but for most of us running homes and businesses, not having power could prove to be a huge issue.

Investing in devices to protect our devices and keeping on the lights takes a little bit of creativity, and investigating the options could prove to be the solutions for many of us faced with a future with erratic power that could cause damage to our sensitive equipment whether this means blowing your TV and PC or simply keeping that necessary fan or stove up and running.

Most of us are aware that there are two different types of UPS Systems (Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems); these include Online and Offline UPS Systems.

The commonality between the two, is, naturally, to provide a reliable backup of power when the lights go out or when they dip or hike.

Online UPS Explained

  • Your Online UPS System is different to the Offline system in that the power is derived directly from power-conditioning components
  • Your Online UPS System is not directly connected to the power utility
  • The power is stored in a battery so that when the power goes off power is drawn from the battery
  • This power is then converted into AC power to continue the operation of household and other electrical devices
  • Online UPS is Double Conversion UPS
  • The main applications for the use of your Online UPS system will usually be in critical care environments and production houses where the continuation of power is vital

Online UPS advantages

  • Online UPS can regulate the voltage correctly
  • The mains and load are presented separately
  • There are no fluctuations (dips and surges) in the voltage, which means that the quality of the voltage is stable
  • The reason for this is that the inverter is always switched into the “on” position
  • The conversion time from DC to AC is negligible (the same reason being that the inverter is never switched off)
  • When the utility power goes down there will be a continuation of power and no imbalances will be noted

Offline UPS Explained

  • Your Offline UPS System is a straightforward, inexpensive option to keep the power on and is directed through the UPS bypassing the inverter to the device.
  • There is a small amount of filter to protect against instability.
  • If the utility is unstable or goes down your Offline UPS System will switch to the inverter’s output to provide constant and a continuous power supply

Offline UPS Advantages

  • Your Offline UPS System is user-friendly and straightforward to operate
  • Offline UPS is less expensive than the Online UPS option

Advantages of offline UPS

  1. The efficiency of this system is high. This is because the charger is not constantly on.
  2. These are affordably priced.
  3. Internal controller is simpler.
  4. The power handling capacity of the charger is greatly decreased.
  5. Applications using offline UPS include emergency power supplies, printers, computers, EPABX, scanners, etc.

Often households opt for offline UPS systems than their online counterparts because of the higher energy efficiency and economical nature of the former. However, households that use highly critical loads should opt for the latter so that sensitive electrical appliances and data are protected.

Those who are looking to buy UPS, either online or offline systems, are invited to make their purchases from Glowship, India’s largest online platform selling home utility solutions. We offer wide selection of top products from the reputed brands at the best possible prices. There are also a lot of other products like water pumps, solar solutions, LED lights, dewatering pumps, water softeners, water heaters, water purifiers, inverters, batteries, security solutions, and many more available with us. You are welcome!

Solar Power in South Africa

The future of power in South Africa is brilliant and bright, brimming with new possibilities where natural resources are being used to power our world. 

Power is now being made by converting sunlight into direct current electricity and it is a new and innovative way of thinking that turns invention into sustainable living. There is a definitive commitment to harnessing the power of renewable energy to transform the lives of millions of South Africans – it is time to say hello to affordable energy today. 

South Africa is the most southern country in Africa and the 25th largest by land area. At present, wind power is delivering in the region of 960 MW to the power grid and solar power has a total of 2 292 MW solar photovoltaic capacity. 

One of the biggest renewable energy projects in South Africa is a 12-billion-rand solar farm situated in the Northern Cape and is now live. 

Engie, the company responsible for this plant, claims that this solar farm is achieving a commercial operation of 100 MW solar in the Northern Cape – one of the largest renewable energy projects. The project which is situated in Kathu will provide clean and reliable energy to 179 000 homes in the local community of the John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality, to the Northern Cape and South Africa.   

Interesting facts 

  • R12 billion was secured to finance this project 
  • The project created 12000 jobs 
  • The Kathu Solar Park will save six million tons of CO2 over a twenty-year period 
  • Kathu’s Molten Salt storage design guarantees clean energy solutions and has been created to overcome the intermittency of renewable energy 
  • The solar plant covers 4.5 square kilometres with 384,000 mirrors 
  • It makes use of patented parabolic trough technology 
  • The curved solar panels track the movement of the sun 
  • It then stores the energy in a molten salt storage system that will allow the plant to keep producing electricity 4.5 hours steadily in the absence of solar radiation 

Some of the important solar farms found is SA: 

  • Coega Wind Farm in Coega situated near Port Elizabeth within the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality and was the very first wind farm built in SA 
  • Darling Wind Farm – one of the first two wind farms in SA which is located close to Cape Town 
  • Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm which can be found on the outskirts of the coastal town of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape 
  • Gouda Wind Facility in the Western Cape just outside the town of Gouda
  • Sere Wind Farm in the Western Cape 

Solar energy, as with all other renewable energies, is very safe and environmentally friendly. There are no emissions as the source of fuel is the sun, unlike coal-powered facilities. 

How does a UPS System Work

There are two main types of UPS systems that are used in today’s technologically advanced world. They are Standby Ups systems and Continuous UPS systems. 

Standby UPS systems 

A standby UPS system runs the computers and other electrical equipment off the usual utility power until an issue occurs. When this happens, it is fast (in the region of five milliseconds and sometimes even s=less). The UPS system turns on a power inverter and runs the electrical device off the UPS battery. 

The power inverter will convert the DC power from the battery into AC power. The battery charger continuously produces DC power, which the inverter continuously turns back into AC power – quite simply put, if the power fails, the battery provides power to the inverter. 

Your UPS system usually protects an electrical device, such as a computer, against four different power challenges 

  • Voltage hikes – this happens when the voltage on the line is greater than it should be 
  • Voltage sags - when the voltage on the line is less than it ought to be 
  • Complete power failure - when a line goes down or a fuse blows somewhere on the grid or in the building 
  • Frequency instability – when the power wavers 

Continuous UPS systems 

  • With a Continuous UPS system, the computer is continuously running off the battery power, plus the battery is unceasingly being recharged 
  • The battery power will provide power uninterruptedly to a converter with a Continuous UPS system  
  • There is no switch-over time in a continuous UPS 
  • This setup is brilliant as it provides a very stable source of power  

Standby UPS systems are far more common for domestic use and small to medium enterprises because they are easy on the pocket – more so than Continuous UPS systems, although Continuous systems deliver clean, stable power, so they tend to be used in server rooms and other critical applicationsthis is particularly important with the grid being as unstable as it has been for the past couple of years. 

  

Hydroelectricity South Africa

South Africa has moderate hydroelectric power – this is according to the experts. The establishment of small hydroelectric projects dotted around the country could in all probability assist in providing a sustainable energy supply in the future. 

There are in the region of about 6 000 to 8 000 potential sites for hydroelectricity in the country below 100 MegaWatts; KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape are the best options for these projects, though. 

  • The Drakensberg Pumped-Storage Facility is the largest hydroelectric plant within the borders of South Africa – water is brought from the Tugela River in the Vaal watershed to this power plant 
  • South Africa’s second-largest plant is situated on the Palmiet River which is just outside Cape Town 

At present, South Africa’s electricity supplier, Eskom, buys power from Mozambique’s Cahora Basa plant, jointly owned by the Mozambican and Portuguese governments which are situated in Mozambique’s western Tete province. 

Eskom is Cahora Basa’s chief customer; power bought from Cahora Basa supplements Eskom’s largely coal-driven electricity supply, which is resold to numerous countries across Africa. 

Hydroelectric plants in South Africa include: 

  • Tubatse Pumped Storage Scheme in the Limpopo Province (Roossenekal) – this project is on hold for now, and was referred to as Project Lima previously 
  • Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in Kwa-Zulu Natal 
  • Drakensberg Pumped Storage Scheme in the Free State province 
  • Gariep Dam in the Free State on the Eastern Cape border 
  • The Palmiet Pumped Storage Scheme in the Western Cape 
  • Steenbras Power Station (Pumped storage) – Western Cape 
  • Vanderkloof Dam – Northern Cape 
  • Colley Wobbles Power Station – Eastern Cape 
  • Ncora Dam – Ncora Power Station situated in the Eastern Cape 
  • Sol Plaatjie Power Station in Bethlehem in the Free State 
  • Merino Power Station in the Free State in Bethlehem 

All the above hydroelectricity plants are operational at present, bar Tubatse.  

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. 

Renewable Resources

Renewable energy sources can be found in sunlight (solar), in the air (wind power), deep underground, in our rivers and in our oceans. These are part of the structure of the planet which means that they are continuously being renewed naturally and cannot be depleted. 

There are five types of alternative energy which is being generated and harnessed naturally (good examples are the sun and waves) which are usually the most sustainable forms of energy. 

Solar Energy 

Sunlight is a renewable source of energy and its most direct use is achieved by capturing the energy of the sun. A wide range of solar energy technologies are being incorporated to convert the sun’s light and energy into heat, hot water, electricity and illumination as well as cooling systems for industries and businesses. Photovoltaic systems use solar cells to convert sunlight into energy. 

Wind power 

Since May 2009 eighty countries have agreed to use wind power commercial. South Africa’s first commercial wind farm was established in Darling close to Cape Town in 2008. Wind flow is captured by wind turbines and converted into electricity. On a much smaller scale, windmills are used to pump water on farms. Commercial-grade wind-powered generating systems can meet the renewable energy needs of numerous organisations. 

Geothermal power – power from the Earth 

Geothermal energy is derived from the Earth’s heat which can be sourced close to the surface or from heated rock and reserves of hot water beneath the Earth’s surface. Geothermal energy can form part of a commercial utility energy solution on a large scale or can form a portion of a sustainable practice on a local level. 

Hydroelectricity 

Hydropower has been in use throughout the ages by using waterwheels. The kinetic energy of flowing rivers is captured and converted into hydroelectricity. Probably the most familiar type of hydroelectric power is generated by a system where dams are constructed to store water in reservoirs which, when released, flows through turbines to produce electricity. 

Thermal Ocean Energy and Tidal and Wave Power 

The ocean produces two kinds of energy – these are thermal ocean energy which is energy from the sun’s heat and mechanical energy from the motion of tides and waves. 

Because of a shortage of non-renewable resources, we must consider using alternative sources of energy such as wind and solar power, geothermal power, hydroelectricity, thermal ocean energy and tidal and wave power.