Electric plugs on an adapter

DB Board Surge Protection

It is vital to choose the right surge arrester and surge protection devices and circuit breaker configuration for your DB Board, and carry out in-depth risk assessment. 

Here are three things to do when looking for DB Surge Protection: 

  • Get familiar with the various types of DB Board Surge Protectors. Education is key and being armed with enough knowledge will set you on the right track 
  • It is vital to assess the risk of lightning strikes 
  • Use devices that will protect the Surge Protector itself 

The most debilitating surges are those that are caused by lightning strikes to buildings which can be calculated using methods supplied by the SABS. Risks are elevated if buildings are exposed – for example, buildings that are situated in high positions such as those on mountains or hills. Other surges such as those that are caused by the switching on and off by the utility power are also harmful. These are surges that occur more often. 

To protect a distribution board a Type 2 arrester is mostly required. 

Risk Assessment 

Assessing risk is usually a complicated process – start by pinpointing the areas that are at greatest risk and those that are not at much risk at all. Once risk assessment has been carried out you can then shop around for the right DB Board Surge Protection. 

It is a known scientific fact that lightning strikes 90% of the earth with some parts far more prone to being struck than others. Lightning density is measured per kilometer per year (ng). A good example is that in South Africa lightning density is 150 ng, and Belgium a mere 1 ng! 

Always install a Type 2 Surge Arrester and if the distance between the arrester and the equipment is ten metres and more add a Type 2 or a Type 3 Arrester. 

In certain territories Surge Protectors are compulsory when protecting large facilities and sensitive environments such as medical facilities, data centres and hospitals, among other. 

DB Board Surge Protection plays a vital part in the profitability of any business which depends on high-tech, sensitive electronic systems and devices. 

Hand holding touch lighting power switches

The Load Shedding Survival Guide

Load shedding is here to stay and has become a fact of life for all South Africans – the smart thing to do is to ensure you are prepared for this eventuality as and when it happens. It need not be all doom and gloom when it happens; instead, get creative and come up with some fun things to handle the problem. 

Here are ten things to do when the lights go out: 

  • Invest in gas in the kitchen – cooking on gas is fun and inexpensive and a novel way to whip up excellent dishes. Gas braais are also fun when the weather is warm and balmy – what better way to spend a night with your loved ones than in the garden or on the patio braaiing meat over excellent conversation? 
  • Candles are still a great option for lighting up rooms. They are romantic and can add an element of relaxation while soaking in a hot bath. 
  • LED is the way to go – LED lights come equipped with USB outlets, too, so that you can always keep your phone charged  
  • Always keep those LED lights charged – when the lights go out, they switch on automatically 
  • LED lights that miners use strapped around your forehead is a brilliant way to read or sew during blackouts 
  • UPS systems will keep your computer or other important stuff going long enough for you to save your work or to switch down any tools you are busy using 
  • Generators are also useful for running electrical appliances and keeping some of the power going in the home, office or small business until the power comes back on 
  • Pack your deepfreeze with ice to ensure your food stays fresh and nothing is spoiled. This is especially important during very hot summer spells 
  • A good book is a great alternative to watching TV – but if the silence kills there is always data one can use to watch YouTube movies and listen to some good sounds 

There are many ways to keep frustration at bay during load shedding – all it takes is a little imagination and plenty of patience. 

Electric plugs on an adaptor

When to Use a Surge Protector

Power surges are a regular occurrence and are here to stay. We need to think smart and out of the box – if power surges are going to be a major part of our daily lives. It is imperative that we protect all sensitive electronics against these instabilities, whether they are due to power surges from the utility, or whether they are a direct result of lightning strikes that seem to be part of the lives of South Africans across all our provinces. Lightning strikes in SA are high, according to statistics – more so than many countries (Belgium for one). We need to arm ourselves appropriately and with the right tools to ensure we don’t suffer expensive and unnecessary costs and damages to our sensitive items both in the office and home environments. 

Today we have a multitude of electronic devices which include sensitive PCs, laptops, microwaves and other machines that are made from delicate components. Microprocessors form part of the make-up of many of these delicate electronics – not only are they the bones of many expensive computers – they are also found in other equipment and electronics in the home. 

 The main function of having a surge protector might seem unnecessary, but if you would like to protect your machinery from being damaged during dips and hikes, blackouts and brownouts you should start changing the way you think. Many sensitive electronics are only able to function at their peak when they have a constant current to keep them running – a thought to ponder. 

Surge protectors are used for sophisticated electronics as these are prone to being damage. If devices are not damaged, they would more than likely have a shorter life span.  

Although PCs are your obvious electronic equipment that need protecting, numerous other electronics need protection in the work environment as well as the home environment.  

There is no point in getting a surge protector without an indicator light – these are essential as you need to assess whether your surge protector is in good working condition or not. Your equipment can still be exposed and could be damaged even if you connect all your devices to surge protectors. 

Computers that are connected to a modem need surge protection too as do phone lines and cables leading into buildings. 

Money-Saving Tips For Electricity in the Office

Money-Saving Tips For Electricity in the Office

SMEs need to find ways to save every penny they can find, and what better place to start than by saving on electricity and utility bills? You would be pleasantly surprised at how smart-saving tips for electricity can put money back into your pocket ( or that of the business). 

Be aware of which appliances are Vampire guzzlers. Vampire guzzlers are those appliances and devices that consume energy even when they are switched off but are still plugged into the wall socket. Get your team to pull the plug – literally – out of kettles, TV screens, modems, computers and anything else electrical when they lock up to go home at night, or when not in use. 

Computers are also power guzzlers – we are not aware of how much power computers consume when we leave them running unattended, and how much heat they generate. 

If the power is out when you leave at night, remember electrical appliances will come back on once the power comes back on. 

The air-conditioning unit and lights do not need to be switched on in the boardroom or other rooms when not in use. Switch the lights and air-conditioner off to save on electricity, as it all adds up unnecessarily. 

At the end of the day, remind everyone in the office to switch the lights off because this will save thousands in the long term. It is unnecessary to pay for lights that are not being used. 

Switching to laptops will save money; not only are they more mobile than desktop computers, but they use less energy and power. 

For businesses keen on using desktop computers, investing in newer, energy-efficient models will save money on power at the end of the day. 

If you are in the market for any other electrical equipment such as all-in-one devices, switching to energy-efficient machines will save energy and are eco-friendly, too. 

LED lights are also great for energy-efficient savings. Bear in mind that every little bit will help when it comes to saving on electricity bills, and the more money saved will result in more money to spend on growing the business. If everyone does their bit, everyone benefits.

These energy-saving tips are easy to put into practice and can make a huge difference to the bottom line of any size business. 



Three Important Things You Need To Know About UPS

Three Important Things You Need To Know About UPS

It is important to determine how many devices you need to have plugged into your UPS when running a small business or medium enterprise. 

Most SMEs cannot afford to have downtime and loss of revenue, and if this can be avoided altogether, even better. Damage to your computers, modems, phones and other electrical devices puts pressure on the revenue of businesses that are reliant on their electrics. 

Always buy more than you actually need – most burgeoning businesses employ more staff members and need more devices to work on as they expand and grow. 

Here are three important things you need to know about investing in your UPS 

  • Most UPS systems provide protection on some ports only. In many instances, the outlets that are actually powered by the battery will be less than the maximum amount of ports 


  • A much less expensive UPS System can cut expenses by providing power (battery backup power) by supplying between four and six outlets with power; the remaining outlets are left without power. It is best to be aware of the configuration of a cheaper UPS especially when caught unaware when the power goes out. Being forewarned is being forearmed 


  • You need to find out how much power the devices connected to your UPS unit will use. Should the collective amount of power add up to more than the UPS can deliver, they will not work. In most instances, the amount of power that is being supplied is usually stated before the letters “VA” which stands for Voltage Amps. It is advisable to ask your UPS supplier for assistance if you are unsure of the amount of power needed 

Once voltage and wattage have been configured – you should think in terms of how long your office electrics will need to run when the power goes out. Many businesses require UPS systems to save work after the power goes out; then again, other entrepreneurs and small business owners invest in UPS systems to carry on work when the power goes out, which could be in the region of an hour. Many small business owners are thinking smart and doing everything in the cloud, resulting in work being retrieved when needed. 


UPS Supply Brands

UPS Supply Brands

There are numerous UPS Supply Brands to choose from – the big question is – which one suits your business needs best, and which one will you invest in for your specific business applications? 

PHDs three Line Interactive UPS Systems are all excellent choices; the difference lies in what your individual requirements are and how many devices you will need to keep running when the power goes out. Line-interactive UPS systems are not that different to Reserve UPS systems although they come equipped with a multi-tap variable-voltage autotransformer. 

Line Interactive UPS systems have been designed to equip electrical devices with battery power that is reliable and to keep computers up and running long enough to save work and to protect electrical devices from being damaged when the power goes out or when lightning strikes – protection against dips, surges, hikes and black-outs and brown-outs. 

The three main UPS supply brands that we present to businesses are: 

  • The T1X Series (Line Interactive UPS System (650 VA – 2KVA) 

There are a couple of obvious advantages to investing in this system, which includes reliability, cost-effectiveness, plus it comes equipped with surge and overload protection. The T1X Series has USB communication facilities and is micro compressor controlled. 

Transfer time, typically, is between 1 – 6 minutes, with a maximum time of 10 minutes. Backup time ranges from 10 minutes to 42 minutes, depending on what devices are plugged into the UPS system. Typical recharge time is between four to six hours with a recovery of 90%. 

This brand offers full protection overload, discharge and overcharge protection. There is also an alarm that sounds every ten seconds when the battery runs low; the alarm sounds every couple of seconds when there is an overload on the system. There is also a battery replacement alarm. 

This UPS system is noiseless and can operate in high humidity. 

  •  The AEC T1 Series – Line Interactive UPS System (700VA – 1KVA) 

This Line Interactive UPS System offers excellent performance and dependability, plus it comes equipped with maximum surge and overload protection. 

It has advanced MCU control technology, is compact and stylish which is perfect for small office use. 

The AEC T1 Series Line Interactive UPS is well-priced and offers enhanced efficiency, plus it is sufficiently powerful for desktops, conforming to all the essential safety precautions. It is noiseless offering fast, low voltage protection. 


  • The AEC T2 Series Line Interactive UPS System (1KVA – 3 KVA) 

The AEC T2 Series presents the latest in MCU technology and gives you more bang for your buck. The UPS system is dependable, offering enhanced surge protection. 

The T2 targets users that need protection from unstable power from the utility. This is a reliable system with constant voltage storage. 

Which UPS suits your needs best? The first step in the right direction is to calculate how many devices need protecting from unstable power. 

Nine Things You Need To Know About Surge Protection in the Office

Nine Things You Need To Know About Surge Protection in the Office

Think smart and think out of the box by getting surge protection for your business – this is especially useful if you run a small to medium enterprise. 

Before you start shopping around, there are a couple of great tips you might find useful when investing in surge protection in the workplace. Surge protectors are great for adding a couple of extra electrical outlets and for protecting the sensitive equipment that you don’t necessarily want to replace as a result of damage caused by unstable power. 

Choosing surge protection for your business can be confusing with the wide range of offerings – in other words, it is confusing what you can get for your money, what is not worth the money spend etc. 


  • Bear in mind that surge suppressors and power strips and surge protectors differ from one another – they are not the same devices – power strips are multi-outlet products that are cheap and assist in giving users more plug outlets for their devices and do not offer any protection whatsoever from unstable power 
  • Surge protectors are cost-effective and unlike power strips, they protect your sensitive electrical appliances against dips, hikes and surges 
  • You will soon discover that your surge protector will protect your electrics in joules. The more joules you have the better the protection (if there is a mammoth surge, your appliances will then be protected against this) 
  • When surge protection has many joules, it can also protect multiple devices against surges 
  • Your surge protection will diminish over time and therefore will lose its effectiveness in protecting your office equipment 
  • Keep an eye out for surge protectors that offer a guarantee on the devices that are connected to the surge protection device – it might be worth your while if your equipment is damaged even though it is connected to a surge protector 
  • It’s a smart move to invest in more outlets than you need – as your business grows and you hire more staff, there will in all probability be more devices to plug in. This will prevent you from having to invest in more surge protection gear 
  • Your phones can also be affected by power surges – get surge protectors that have phone cable outlets to protect your phones from lightning strikes or any other power surges that could damage your electric equipment 
  • If your surge protector has USB outlets it might be a smart move to check the output amp rating for speedy charging 

It is a wise option to invest in a surge protector for your small to medium business but how much you need will vary from one situation to the next; most surge protectors are inexpensive, therefore worth getting. 

front view of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

When do We Use a UPS

Loadshedding is here to stay and is part of our lives whether we like it or not. To overcome loadshedding issues it is a smart idea to think a little out of the box, conjure some clever ways to safeguard equipment, keep staff and workers safe in factories and mines, and in general bear in mind that we can and will overcome the inconveniences that go hand in glove with an unstable utility. 

UPS is one way to make a difference in the way we overcome the inconveniences and damage that can and will occur when the power continuously goes out. 

UPS will protect critical loads when the mains experience problems whether they include complete blackouts or simply spike and dip. A UPS uses a battery which will fill the gap while a generator kicks in – it’s the difference between having enough time to switch off your delicate electronics or machinery in manufacturing plants or other emergencies, thus preventing accidents and at times, fatalities. 

A UPS is one of the most critical investments when buying computer equipment as it protects the hardware and loss of data, although it is wise to switch your systems to the cloud to ensure your data is safe and secure, especially as the power has become something we simply cannot rely on. 

About your UPS and what it does 

  • A UPS provides reliable backup power during unpredictable power issues which will protect both data and the computer equipment connected to it; in turn, it stabilises the electric current when power from the grid is unstable 
  •  A UPS comes in a wide range of sizes and representations that target a variety of electrical devices such as PCs, telescopes, hospital equip, mining equipment and more 
  • Knowing the right one to use is essential for the protection of the equipment you use 

Lighting strikes, particularly in the Highveld during the summer months, could be detrimental to your equipment and usually the biggest threat to your electronics. Surges as a result of lightning strikes or hikes in the grid travel through the wiring into your office or home and moves to your electric equipment damaging your equipment. 

Complete surge suppression will filter out any unreliable voltage that would usually damage equipment. 


Back view of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

What Size UPS Do I Need?

UPS is a device that guarantees that there will be no lapse of continuous AC power to the electrical devices connected to the grid when power is interrupted or unstableSome UPS systems integrate surge protection to protect the attached device from current fluctuations or lightning strikes to guarantee a perfected current that is noise-free and free from voltage instability. 

Once you have decided to invest in a UPS the next thing to ask yourself is what size UPS will you need and where do you find one? 

It is best to find a company well-versed in UPS Systems with a good track record. There are, however, certain methods you will be able to put into place prior to shopping for your UPS so that you can choose the right size UPS for your needs. Knowledge is key and the more you know the better equipped you will be in finding the perfect size UPS for your equipment. 

  • List all the equipment that requires protection from dips and surges, brown-outs and blackouts 
  • It is important to include items such as monitors, external hard drives and routers as these also need protecting from unstable grid power 
  • The next step is to list the amps and volts of each device  
  • Most amps and volts ratings are found at the back of your electrical devices  
  • Multiply your Amps by Volts to get your VA (VoltsAmps) reading 
  • Some electronics list their power in Watts only 
  • These need to be converted into VA readings  
  • Divide the Watts by the power factor – an example is – Servers have a power factor of around .9 
  • Multiply the VA by the number of electronic devices to get the VA subtotals 
  • Add all the VA subtotals together 
  • Multiply the total by 1.2 to get the grand total (this step is important if you need to increase your UPS at a later stage) 
  • Use your grand total to choose the right UPS 
  • When investing in a UPS device remember to check the total VA requirement as this should never be more than your VA rating on the UPS of choice 

Use the grand total to select a UPS. Perhaps one of the most important points to consider when selecting UPS devices, be sure that the total VA requirement of maintained equipment does not surpass the VA rating of the UPS. 

Front side view of an Uninterruptible Power Supply

How Does UPS Work?

The reality of dips and peaks, brownouts and blackouts and load shedding is once again staring us in the eye. 

South Africans are becoming adept at discovering smart ways to outwit our power and water woes, and UPS is certainly one such device that will, at worst, protect our sensitive, expensive computer equipment from being damaged during instability of the grid, and give us sufficient time to save any important work from being lost. Most UPS Power systems are relatively short – somewhere in the region of 15 minutes. 

A UPS system is different from other emergency power systems such as a standby generator in that it protects your equipment and affords you time to save your work using one or more batteries and other electronic circuitry for low power users and generators and flywheels for power users that are higher. 

UPS – Uninterruptible Power Supply is also referred to as battery back-up systems provide enough back-up power when the power goes down or when voltage drops to low levels.  

The UPS offers backup power that will give you enough time to shut down your PC and other important equipment and any other connecting power devices. 

The size and the configuration of your UPS device will be the deciding factor of how much power you can get from your back-up system. 

There are numerous UPS topologies provide varying levels of protection against power interruptions. CyberPower UPS offers three topologies – these include line-interactive, double-conversion, and standby. 

  • Standby UPS 

Perhaps the most basic UPS relying on battery back-up power when the voltage dips or surges and when the power goes out. The UPS automatically switches to DC power when the utility dips below the norm, then inverts it back into AC power to devices that are connected.  

Standby UPS is most commonly used to protect computers, POS systems, security systems, automatic gates, among others 


  • Line Interactive UPS  


Line Interactive UPS uses technology to readjust and correct slight power instabilities without switching over to a battery back-up; this UPS system is equipped with an autotransformer that assists in the regulation of voltages that dip and corrects over voltages without switching over to battery backup. This UPS System is great for gaming, home theatre, and entry and mid-range servers 


  • Double Conversion UPS  

A double-conversion UPS delivers reliable, clean power, irrespective of the state of power from the grid. This UPS converts incoming AC power to DC, and once again it converts the DC power back to AC. UPS systems with this technology operate on isolated DC power continuously with a zero-transfer time. 

A UPS is used to protect computers, data centres, telecommunication equipment or other electrical equipment to prevent losses or injuries.