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. 

The Function of Silicon in Solar Systems

Without silicon solar just doesn’t happen – this is primarily because solar cells are made up of silicon that is 100% pure.  

Silicon has been an important component of electricity for aeons, with solar technology being created in the 1950s. At present almost all solar cells are made from pure silicon. 

What you should know about silicon and its role in solar 

  • Pure silicon is a rather poor conductor of electricity. This is because the material is a semi-conductor  
  • To circumvent this issue, the silicon in solar cells contains impurities to improve conductivity, with atoms deliberately combined with the silicon atoms to improve the function of capturing the sun’s energy, thus transforming it into electricity 
  • Electron-rich layers are created by placing arsenic atoms between silicon atoms ensuring that there is a surplus of electrons in solar cells 
  • When gallium atoms are used in silicon cells there will be too few electrons – therefore, in solar cells, the cells are placed alongside each other (the cells with gallium and the cells with arsenic) to form an electric field 
  • As sunlight hits solar cells, the field is energised thus generating electricity  

There are three main types of silicon solar cells 

Monocrystalline solar cells which are also referred to as singlecrystalline cells 

These are easily identifiable as they are black in colour and comprise pure silicon which results in an efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity 

Additionally, monocrystalline solar cells enjoy longevity and are spaceefficient 

Monocrystalline cells are the most expensive solar option 

Polycrystalline solar cells 

Polycrystalline solar cells are often referred to as multi-silicon cells 

Polycrystalline cells were the first solar cells introduced into the solar industry in the early 1980s 

These solar cells do not undergo the same intense process of cutting (as the monocrystalline cells do), thus making them a lot less expensive 

During the manufacturing process, the silicon is melted down and poured into square moulds 

The polycrystalline cells are far less efficient and require plenty of space  

Polycrystalline do not function as efficiently as monocrystalline cells 

Amorphous solar cells 

Amorphous silicon cells have no shape – they are neither crystallised nor structured in any way whatsoever 

Amorphous cells have been used for smaller applications such as solar clocks, torches and calculators as their power is extremely low in relation to other types of solar cells 

When numerous amorphous solar sells are stacked one on top of the other, they can perform surprisingly well 

Solar and silicon are like a horse and carriage – the one without the other simply cannot function properly. 

 

Deep Cycle Batteries & How They Work

Deep cycle batteries: what role do they play in solar systems? In today’s world of renewable energy deep cycle batteries are synonymous with solar. 

These batteries store energy, and this is where chemical reactions occur resulting in electricity. Deep cycle batteries are made to recharge and discharge numerous times, therefore, are not disposable, unlike singleuse batteries.  

Battery backup is connected to the photovoltaic solar panels – these need single batteries or groups of deep cycle batteries to store solar energy (energy from the sun). The group of deep cycle batteries is referred to as a battery bank. 

During sunlight hours deep cycle batteries are recharged so that there is stored energy when there is low sunlight, on cloudy days and during nighttime hours. This is the main reason why batteries are essential to solar power; they are vital for stand-alone as well as alternative energy tied to the grid, thus determining the DC power of a photovoltaic solar arrangement. 

Because deep cycle batteries can be charged and discharged, they are often referred to as being “secondary batteries”. Additionally, these batteries are called “secondary” because chemical reactions that produce and store electrical power on the lead plates are reversible (this is different to the way that standardised batteries operate that are disposable once the energy is depleted). 

A good example is a car that requires short bursts of energy; a deep cycle battery provides a continuous supply of power over a longer period. 

There are numerous deep cycle batteries such as gel batteries, lithium-ion batteries, flooded batteries and AGM batteries, although flood batteries are the most commonly used type. Gel batteries have a gel substance and the AGM batteries contain acid suspended in a glass mat separator. 

There has been an upsurge in the amount of lithium-ion batteries being installed in households that are opting for solar, although AGM and flood batteries are most often used for those wanting to go off the grid. 

These different types of deep cycle batteries are used in a variety of applications and are manufactured differently. 

Battery Backup Systems

Battery backup goes by numerous names – these are UPSUninterruptible Power Source, Standby UPS and On-line UPS 

When selecting your backup power systems, whether they are generators (either diesel or petrol), an Uninterruptible Power Supply, alternative power sources such as solar or wind power, or an inverter, backup battery and charger configuration which lasts longer than the average UPS system, each one has a positive and a negative component. Naturally individual needs will gauge what kind of battery backup systems you would need to invest in. 

Most of the world out there – commercial, industrial and domestic – is plugged directly into the AC power grid, which could prove to be problematic if you live and work in a DC environment where electricity is often unavailable. In a DC situation where most devices and electrical appliances use DC, inverters are used and generate power. 

A good example is ambulances and the military. Medical equipment can be used directly from the hospital if the ambulance has an adequate inverter, for example, which usually has 1 000 Watts capacity. Heart monitors and incubators for babies are other applications where inverters are required when not plugged into the grid. 

Inverters and battery backup systems have revolutionised how we live in a technologically advanced world. We are now able to enjoy mobile power systems that provide AC electricity that is clean and silent anywhere, anytime. The inverter changes the DC electricity that is stored in backup batteries into standard AC power. The best part of all is that you no longer need to rely on finding DC appliances that are powered by DC or generators that are noisy. 

You can enjoy the convenience of being powered in ambulances, out in the field, on a boat or anywhere else where power is required. Battery backup systems that power inverters are effectual and dependable devices that come in a plethora of sizes, offering a broad spectrum of power ranges to meet all power needs 

Whether you need backup systems to power your television and fridge or high powered hardwire units that provide electricity for large vehicles and boats – battery backup has you covered.