What Caused Load Shedding & Using UPS Power as a Fix

What Caused Load Shedding & Using UPS Power as a Fix

Load shedding has become a frequent, unwelcome guest in the lives of South Africans, disrupting daily routines and business operations. While the Rugby World Cup gave us a bit of a reprieve, as soon as the confetti had fallen on the celebratory field, so to speak, the darkness returned.

But why is load shedding such a big problem in our country. Why is it happening, and how can UPS make a difference for your day-today? This blog aims to unpack the causes of load shedding and introduce Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems as a viable solution to mitigate its impact.

What is Load Shedding?

Load shedding is the act of lessening the load on something—in this context, it’s about reducing the electricity supply need by enacting intentional electricity outages. In a South African context, load shedding is Eskom’s National Control Centre instructing municipalities to reduce need for energy from the grid according to prescribed stages. The length of a shed depends on the stage and the municipality/location.

The goal of this practise is to lessen the load, or the electricity supply need and demand, on the national grid.

What Are the Stages of Load Shedding?

There are essentially eight stages of load shedding (although the idea of more has been bandied about). Each one aligns with the number of megawatts (MW) that need to be shed. Stage 1 sheds 1000MW, stage 2 sheds 2000MW, stage 3 sheds 3000MW—and so on. The higher the stage, the more frequent and longer the power outages are.

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Why is Load Shedding Happening?

There are a wide range of contributing factors, but at the core of South Africa’s load shedding problem is the state of Eskom, the main power utility. It comes down to the fact that there simply isn’t enough supply of energy nationally to meet the demand. Eskom’s challenges are multi-layered, stemming from ageing infrastructure, maintenance neglect, and unfortunately, deliberate acts of sabotage that compound the utility’s ability to provide a stable energy supply.

For instance, a simple act of unscrewing a small component at a coal-fired power station led to a turbine halting abruptly. This event is a snapshot of the broader issues plaguing the power utility, ranging from internal corruption to extensive damage of energy infrastructure, all contributing to the unstable power conditions that result in load shedding.

Contributors to the Load Shedding Problem

  • Unplanned Maintenance on Old Stations

Due to their age and a lack of prior maintenance, some of Eskom’s coal-fired power plants undergo unplanned maintenance regularly.

  • New Stations Have Issues

There are two newish power stations that have been built in recent years—Medupi and Kusile—but these have faced challenges in bringing units online.

  • Wet Coal

When it rains, wet coal is often the reason provided for load shedding at higher stages.

The Cost of Corruption and Sabotage

The situation is further exacerbated by criminal activities and political dynamics that directly interfere with Eskom’s operations. The country’s energy utility is not just battling operational inefficiencies but is also contending with theft and corruption, which siphon off funds and resources, crippling its capacity to provide continuous electricity. Such activities not only threaten the provision of electricity, but also hinder the country’s progress toward cleaner, renewable energy sources.

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Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems for Load-shedding

The UPS Solution

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems are like lifeboats for your electrical equipment during power outages. They give you emergency power so that your important devices can keep running even when the electricity supply is cut off. A UPS provides emergency power when the main supply fails, ensuring that connected devices continue to operate for at least a short period. For businesses and critical applications, this means the difference between operational continuity and costly downtime.

Essential Energy Protection with UPS

A UPS system offers essential power protection, safeguarding sensitive electrical equipment from the harshest power conditions caused by load shedding. It’s not just about keeping the lights on when the incoming utility power drops, but also protecting your electronic devices from potential damage due to surges or outages.

The Benefits of Battery Backup Power

Incorporating battery backups within UPS systems extends the resilience of your electricity supply. With advancements in battery life and technology, such as lithium-ion batteries, UPS systems can offer longer backup times, ensuring your operations can continue even during extended periods of load shedding. So, you get voltage stabilization that protects the longevity of your electronic devices, but you also get uninterrupted electricity to enable the continuity of your operations.

Why Choose PHD?

We specialise in providing industry-leading solutions tailored to South Africa’s unique energy challenges. We can help you find UPS systems designed to offer robust protection for your electronic equipment, efficient supply, and flexible operating modes to suit various requirements, from home offices to large industrial applications.

Our offerings include highly efficient 3-phase power protection for large-scale needs and single-phase solutions for smaller setups. With features like scalable runtime options and sophisticated energy storage solutions, we can help ensure that your power supply is safeguarded against even the most unstable power conditions.

How to Get Energy Security

We understand that uninterrupted power is not just a convenience but a necessity for maintaining business critical operations and ensuring business continuity. Don’t let load shedding put a damper on your productivity and peace of mind. With us, load shedding doesn’t have to mean lights out for your business or home.

Explore PHD Powerhouse’s wide range of UPS systems and find the perfect match for your needs. Get in touch with us for a tailored solution that keeps you powered through the darkest of times.

Why is My Inverter Battery Draining Quickly and How Can I Fix It?

Why is My Inverter Battery Draining Quickly and How Can I Fix It?

When you invest in an inverter battery for backup power, load shedding becomes less of a nightmare. But what happens when it starts losing its charge too quickly? Understanding the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of rapid battery drainage can save you from unexpected darkness and ensure the longevity and efficiency of your power sources.

Inverter Battery Basics

An inverter battery is like the heart of your backup power system. It stores electrical energy and discharges it when your primary power sources fail. But when the battery bank starts draining faster than usual, it’s often a sign that something’s not quite right.

The Role of Battery Type in Drainage

Different types of inverter batteries—like tubular, lead-acid and deep cycle (or lithium) batteries have varied lifespans and discharge rates. Lithium-ion batteries are known for their efficiency, but even they can succumb to quick drainage if they are not maintained properly.

What Causes Quick Inverter Battery Drainage?

1. Excessive Load

Is your inverter working overtime to power up too many essential appliances? Overloading the inverter with a power load beyond its capacity can lead to rapid drainage. It’s like expecting a sprinter to run a marathon at full speed—eventually, they’ll run out of steam.

2. Inadequate Charging

Just as your body needs a full night’s sleep, your inverter battery needs a full charge cycle. Incomplete charging or irregular electricity supply can lead to an inadequate charge, affecting its performance and battery life.

3. Age of the Battery

Every battery has a lifespan, and with each charge cycle, it inches closer to retirement. An old or aging battery may not hold the charge as efficiently as it once did, leading to quicker drainage. A deep cycle battery also typically has a longer life than some other types.

4. Poor Maintenance

Neglecting regular maintenance can be one of the biggest battery killers. Simple acts like regular cleaning of terminals and ensuring the battery is at the correct electrolyte level can significantly impact battery health.

5. Grounding & Insulation

The placement of your inverter battery, especially if it’s a lead-acid one, can significantly influence its discharge rate. If it’s positioned directly on the ground, this can lead to grounding, where the charge leaks away into the earth, much like water seeping away into the soil. This speeds up battery drainage and can also lead to corrosion.

How to Fix Rapid Battery Drainage

1. Right-Sizing Your Battery Bank

To ensure that you’re not putting undue strain on your inverter battery, calculate the total power requirement of your home or office and compare it to the battery’s capacity. This will help you determine if you need to upgrade to a larger one or even a full battery bank that can handle your needs.

2. Ensuring Proper Charging

Use a 3-stage battery charger to ensure your battery is charged correctly and completely. This helps in maintaining the battery capacity and lifespan. It’s also a great idea not to let your lead-acid battery discharge below 30% so that it can last longer.

3. Regular Battery Health Checks

Regular health checks and maintenance of your inverter battery are essential. Checking for corrosion, topping up distilled water in lead-acid batteries, and ensuring the battery bank is free from dust and grime can go a long way to protecting the lifespan of this equipment.

4. Upgrade to a More Efficient Battery

If your battery is on its last legs, it might be time to consider an upgrade. Modern lithium battery options provide greater efficiency and longer lifespans. Talk to one of our experts today about the best solution for you.

5. Protect Your Battery from Grounding Discharges

To prevent your inverter battery from draining quickly, ensure it’s placed on an insulated surface. Elevate the battery with a non-conductive stand, like a rubber mat or a wooden block, to avoid grounding and energy leakage. This simple step also helps protect the battery from moisture and extends its lifespan. Keep the battery in a stable, temperature-controlled environment to maximize its efficiency.

How to Maximise Battery Performance and Longevity

1. Select the Right Inverter and Battery Combination

Pairing the right inverter battery with a compatible inverter is crucial. A hybrid inverter can offer more flexibility and efficiency, especially if paired with a lithium battery.

2. Consider an Battery Inverter Kit

An inverter battery kit usually comes with all the necessary battery accessories you need for installation and operation. Ensure you’re using all components as intended to prevent any mishaps or inefficiencies.

3. Implement Energy-Saving Practices

Reducing the load on your inverter by switching to energy-efficient appliances or turning off non-essential devices can significantly improve battery performance.

4. Check Warranty Options and Energy Ratings

Different equipment companies offer differing warranties, and the storage device and inverter combo options out there also differ in their energy ratings, surge ratings, and performance. If you want the best possible option, it is a good idea to look at all these factors before choosing yours. Or you can speak to PHD, and we’ll help you find the best option for your needs and budget.


PHD Powerhouse: Your Partner in Efficient Energy Solutions

At PHD Powerhouse, we understand the frustrations that come with load shedding and inverter battery issues. Our solutions and accessories are designed to provide continuous power without the headache of frequent battery drainage.

  • Professional Assessment and Support

Our team can assess your current setup, identify any battery bank or power sources issues, and recommend the best battery backup solution for your needs.

  • Quality Products for South African Needs

We cater to South Africa’s unique energy requirements, offering a range of products from solar inverters to batteries and inverters, ensuring you have the right solution for your load shedding woes.

  • Accessible Expertise and Installation Costs

With PHD Powerhouse, you get not only top-quality products but also expert advice on managing installation costs and regular maintenance to keep your systems running smoothly.

Let Us Empower Your Energy Independence

A rapidly draining inverter battery can be a source of stress, but with the right knowledge and support, it’s a fixable issue. By understanding the causes, implementing solutions, and investing in quality products, you can enjoy uninterrupted power and the peace of mind that comes with it.

Don’t let load shedding or battery issues disrupt your life. Contact PHD Powerhouse today to find the ideal inverter battery kit and battery backup solution to keep your lights on and your world energized.

The Essential Checklist: What to Look for in UPS for Sale in Pretoria Ads

UPS for Sale in Pretoria

The Essential Checklist: What to Look for in UPS for Sale in Pretoria Ads

In South Africa, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems are not just a luxury; they’re a necessity, especially in regions like Pretoria where power outages can be a common occurrence. Whether you’re safeguarding your home office or ensuring your commercial business doesn’t miss a beat, finding the right UPS is crucial. This blog serves as your essential guide to navigating UPS for sale ads in Pretoria, ensuring you make an informed decision for your backup power needs.

1. Understand Your Power Requirements

Before diving into the sea of options available, it’s important to assess your energy needs. Do you need a UPS for your home office to keep your PC and Wi-Fi router running during load shedding? Or are you a commercial business looking for a robust solution to keep critical systems operational? Understanding your power requirements will help you filter out options that are either overkill or insufficient for your needs in the range of devices for sale in Pretoria.

2. Types of UPS Systems

When browsing through UPS ads, you’ll encounter various types, mainly standby, line-interactive, and double conversion systems. Standby UPS is suitable for smaller devices and offers basic protection. Line-interactive UPS, with its voltage stabilization feature, is ideal for areas with frequent voltage fluctuations. For sensitive electrical equipment, a double conversion UPS offers the most comprehensive protection by isolating the input power source from the output.

3. Battery Life and Backup Times

One of the most crucial factors in selecting a UPS is its battery backup times. How long do you need your systems to run during a blackout? Different models offer varying backup times, so look for specifications like ‘6-8 hours’ of backup to align with your requirements. Also, consider models with overcharge protection and cold start functions, which ensure longevity and reliability.


Scalability and Flexibility

4. Scalability and Flexibility

Business needs evolve, and so do power requirements. Opt for a UPS with scalability options – meaning, it can grow with your increasing power needs. Modular UPS systems are particularly advantageous for commercial businesses as they allow for load growth without the need for a complete system overhaul.

5. Compatibility and Connectivity

In our digitally-driven society, compatibility with your existing setup is non-negotiable. Check if the UPS can seamlessly integrate with your current electrical apparatus and devices. Additionally, features like power over Ethernet (PoE) are beneficial for supporting devices like VoIP phones and wireless networks without needing additional power sources.

6. Additional Features

Today’s UPS systems come with an array of additional features. Look for advanced options like excellent microprocessor control for precise operations, email alerts for monitoring UPS status, and automatic voltage regulation for added stability. These features not only enhance performance but also bring peace of mind.

7. Brand Reputation and Warranty

Investing in a UPS from a reputable brand ensures reliability and quality. Choose brands known for their robust design and dependable performance. Additionally, check for warranty terms and after-sales support—these are indicators of the manufacturer’s confidence in their product.

8. Cost vs. Quality

While budget is an important consideration, it should not be the sole deciding factor. A cheaper UPS might save you money upfront but could cost more in the long run due to lower efficiency and higher maintenance costs. Balance your budget with the quality and features offered.

Read Customer Reviews and Feedback

9. Read Customer Reviews and Feedback

Before making a final decision, it’s wise to look at customer reviews and feedback, especially for insights into real-world performance and reliability. It helps in understanding how the UPS performs under different circumstances and its longevity.

10. Energy Efficiency and Environmental Considerations

In today’s world, energy efficiency isn’t just about reducing electricity bills; it’s also about minimizing environmental impact. When looking for a UPS, check its energy efficiency ratings. High-efficiency models consume less power and, consequently, generate less heat, which also means lower cooling costs. Additionally, some UPS systems come with eco-friendly features like automatic power off function, which help in reducing energy wastage. This aspect is not only beneficial for cost-saving but also aligns with the growing global emphasis on sustainability.

11. Installation and Maintenance Requirements

Understanding the installation and maintenance requirements of a UPS system is crucial. Some systems might require professional installation, especially those that are intended for commercial use or have complex power management setups. Regular maintenance is vital to ensure your UPS system operates optimally and enjoys a longer lifespan. Look for models that offer easy access for battery replacement and check whether the supplier provides maintenance services. Remember, a UPS with complex maintenance requirements might lead to higher long-term costs and inconvenience.

12. Evaluating After-Sales Support and Service Agreements

The quality of after-sales support is a critical aspect often overlooked. Ensure that the UPS provider offers reliable customer service and technical support. It’s advisable to opt for suppliers who provide comprehensive service agreements, including regular maintenance and prompt support in case of system failures or technical issues. A service agreement can be a lifesaver, especially for businesses where any downtime can lead to significant financial losses. Additionally, assess the responsiveness of their customer support team—a quick response time can make a significant difference in emergency situations.

Choosing the right UPS system in Pretoria requires careful consideration of your specific power needs, the type of UPS, battery life, scalability, and additional features. Always opt for quality and reliability over cost, and don’t forget to check customer reviews for real-world insights.

At PHD, we understand the importance of uninterrupted power in keeping your business activities or home running smoothly and efficiently. Explore our wide range of UPS systems and find the perfect match for your needs. For more information and to get the right UPS for your needs, contact us directly. Don’t let power outages disrupt your flow—secure your backup power solution with PHD today!

Is South Africa’s Power Grid Going to Collapse? A Total Blackout Survival Guide

Is South Africa’s Power Grid Going to Collapse? A Total Blackout Survival Guide

With South Africa grappling with the current electricity crisis, the question of a total grid collapse haunts the country’s businesses, households, and industry specialists. As alternative energy solutions providers at PHD Powerhouse, we’re on the case – just like a grid-detective who’s traded his trench coat for a lab coat.

Unravelling the Mystery: The Power Grid Dilemma

South Africa is no stranger to power blackouts and load shedding. Thanks to an increasing frequency of power outages and an energy mix still heavily reliant on coal-fired power stations, the spotlight is firmly on the stability of South Africa’s power grid. And the only advantage of load shedding from South Africans’ perspective would be to safeguard against a national grid collapse.

The power utility, Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., has seen more than half of its generation capacity regularly unavailable. Unable to meet the demand for electricity, South African gets to up to 12 hours of daily blackouts. Businesses are spending millions of rand on batteries, solar panels, and generators to safeguard their operations. A rather electrifying version of ‘Do-It-Yourself’, don’t you think?

How Could a Power Grid Collapse Happen?

At the moment, Eskom implements rotational power cuts to prevent a total system shutdown. However, a massive unexpected breakdown of generation units or wide-scale transmission faults could drop the electricity frequency on the grid below minimum required levels, causing the system to shut down completely. The ensuing fallout could be quite like a crime drama, with potential looting, vandalism, and public unrest.

It’s crucial to remember that a total grid collapse, while not highly probable, isn’t impossible. Preparing for such a scenario is akin to holding an umbrella on a sunny day – you’d rather have it and not need it than the other way around.

Coping with a Total Blackout: What to Expect and How to Prepare

A grid collapse could result in severe infrastructure damage, leading to supply chain instability, potential fuel shortages, and failing telecommunication networks. Like the plot of a disaster movie, it’s chaotic and requires a solid survival guide. And the chances are it could take weeks to restore it to peak power. Here are some things you can pay attention to prepare.

Get Emergency Power Supplies

As the ghost of power shortages continues to haunt South Africa, diesel generators and solar-powered systems emerge as the silent protectors against darkness. They stand firm, resilient and unwavering, ensuring that the machinery of life continues to hum even when the rest of the world stands still. Diesel generators, robust and reliable, provide instant power and become a beacon of reliability amidst uncertainty.

Solar-powered systems, on the other hand, are the embodiments of sustainability. Harnessing the boundless energy of the sun, they supply electricity that is not just reliable but also environmentally friendly. They stand testament to the fact that in an energy crisis, one does not need to choose between power and the planet to supply your own electricity demand.

Get Data Backups and Data Protection

In the digital era, data is the lifeblood of our existence, fuelling everything from daily business operations to personal memories. Regular data backups serve as the safeguards, the vaults that keep this lifeblood flowing unabated even when the lights go out. They ensure that the digital heartbeat of your life never misses a beat, providing a reassuring sense of continuity.

Backing up your data is more than a protective measure; it is a pledge to the resilience of your digital existence. When power disruptions knock at your door, you can rest assured knowing that your data stands secure and undamaged. It ensures that when the lights flicker back to life, your digital world springs back into action, unhindered and intact.

Set Up Disaster Management Plans

A sound disaster management plan is a beacon in the storm, guiding businesses and households alike through the tempest of emergencies. It’s a meticulously laid out roadmap that navigates through the chaos, outlining necessary procedures, assigning critical responsibilities, and ensuring optimal resource allocation. In essence, it is your strategy to not just survive, but triumph over any crisis.

However, a disaster management plan is not static; it must be revisited and revised to match the shifting landscape of challenges. Regular revisions ensure that the plan stays relevant, providing a reliable compass that points towards safety, no matter how the winds of uncertainty blow. Does your plan consider electricity outages and the possible looming grid collapse?

Insurance and Financial Protection

When it comes to preparing for grid failures, financial preparedness takes centre stage. Having a comprehensive conversation with your insurance advisor sets up a sturdy safety net, cushioning you from the financial shocks of power disruptions. An appropriate insurance plan can be the bulwark against the financial dominos that power shortages can trigger.

With the right coverage in place, you’re not just preparing for a grid failure but creating a financial fortress that can weather the storm. The insurance policy works as your economic shield, offering protection that can keep you financially stable even when the grid is under siege.

Adapting to Alternative Energy Sources

In the face of a possible energy crisis, alternative energy sources shine as beacons of hope. They offer a bridge to the future, a chance to rewrite the narrative of South Africa’s energy landscape. From harnessing the energy of the wind and sun to tapping into the power of tides, these renewable technologies offer a myriad of solutions.

But embracing alternative energy sources is more than an act of survival; it’s a stride towards a sustainable future. Each solar panel installed, each wind turbine erected, not only eases the pressure on our strained grid but also reduces our reliance on fossil fuels. In this transition, we are not just moving towards a more reliable power source, but also paving the way for a greener, cleaner South Africa.

Beyond Survival: Shaping a Resilient Energy Future

To build a resilient energy future, South Africa must diversify its energy mix and invest in renewable energy sources. Businesses can play a significant role by shifting towards independent power production and supporting the energy sector’s evolution.

While a total blackout remains unlikely, the consequences could be catastrophic. So, while the government reassures us that South Africa’s power grid won’t collapse, the best action for South Africans is to stay informed, stay prepared, and consider alternative energy sources. Because sometimes, the best way to avoid being in the dark is to create your own light. And remember, we at PHD Powerhouse are always here, ready to provide expert power solutions to keep South Africa energised!

How to Extend the Life of Lithium Ion Batteries

How to Maximise the Lifespan of Lithium Ion Batteries

To energy enthusiasts and savvy tech adopters, the switch from conventional lead-acid batteries to lithium-ion batteries can feel like hopping off a rickety ox-wagon and climbing aboard the sleek Gautrain. Lithium-Ion batteries, or “the Gautrains of the battery world”, provide higher energy density, power density, and a nominal voltage that makes them the power choice for devices from cell phones to power tools. They’re lighter in weight, akin to carrying a bag of biltong, rather than a whole springbok. But just like the Gautrain’s timetable, the battery life of lithium ion cells needs careful management to ensure peak performance and longevity.

You can imagine your lithium-ion battery as the hard-working heart of your power system. The number of life cycles – or ‘heartbeats’ – depends on how you use and care for it. Here’s how to keep that heart healthy and ticking for as long as possible.

  1. Avoid ‘Extreme Sports’: High discharge voltages and elevated temperatures can increase the risk of thermal runaway – an unfortunate event where the battery cells generate internal pressures akin to a Highveld storm, leading to potential failure. Keep batteries in a cool, stable environment and avoid high-current applications to extend their life cycle durability.
  2. Take It Easy on the Depth of Discharge (DOD): Try not to drain your battery to zero every time. A lower DOD (like a gentle stroll along the Cape Wine Route, rather than a Comrades Marathon) leads to more charge cycles, stretching out the battery’s lifespan and cycle times.
  3. The Right Charge is Key: Overcharging or undercharging can harm cell voltage, like going to a braai and being fed too many boerewors rolls (or not enough). A good battery management system (BMS) will regulate the charge voltage, ensuring your battery stays in the ‘Goldilocks zone’ – not too high, not too low, but just right. This can help reduce your loss per cycle, so you get thousands of cycles and steady performance from your battery.
  4. Quality Matters: When considering Lithium ion battery options, don’t be swayed by the lure of a cheap deal. Batteries from reputable suppliers ensure quality and often come with built-in battery management systems. These batteries may cost a bit more upfront, akin to buying a World Cup rugby ticket, but their superior performance and longevity will save you more in the long run. For expertise in choosing the best, you can talk to one of the PHD power experts today!
  5. Storage is Key: If you’re not using your batteries for a while, don’t leave them lying around like forgotten gemsbok biltong. Store them at a 50% charge in a cool and dry environment to maintain their health. For extra protection, ensure they are not grounded while being stored to preserve their energy content.
  6. Keep an Eye on Health: Using a BMS can also help you monitor battery health by detecting changes in the battery’s capacity fade, or its ability to hold charge over time. This is like your regular check-up at the GP to make sure everything is running as it should. Often, a BMS can mean a display showing the charge capacity or percent capacity as a number. Some BMS systems can notify you if there is suddenly a sharp capacity drop, for example caused by surge damage.
  1. Battery Maintenance: Remember, it’s not just the big game that matters, but the routine training sessions, too. Regular battery maintenance is crucial in extending its lifespan. Keep an eye out for any physical deformations, swelling, or excessive heat during operation. These could signal problems that need immediate attention. Use an effective battery management circuitry to keep things in check.
  2. Choosing the Right Battery: Consider the energy needs of your home or workplace. Not every player is suited to every position on the rugby field. Similarly, not all lithium-ion batteries are made equal. Variations exist, for example, some batteries trade some energy density for increased stability and safety. It’s about matching the right battery to the right role. And for commercial applications, lithium battery packs made to withstand the higher demand of corporations, with built-in battery management systems and cooling systems to keep temperatures within a safe range would be ideal.
  3. Alternate Materials: Recent advancements in battery technology have introduced alternative materials in the construction of battery cells, such as graphite anodes or batteries with titanate anodes. These innovations can offer different charge/discharge characteristics, enhancing lifespan and reducing safety risks. It’s like upgrading your braai from a simple charcoal grill to a high-tech gas model.
  4. Recycle Your Batteries: When it comes to battery life, it’s not just about duration, but also what happens at the end of it. Proper disposal and recycling of batteries is crucial to reduce environmental impact. It’s about passing the baton and ensuring the next race can be run.

To fully leverage the benefits of lithium-ion batteries in overcoming our energy challenges, we need to view them as part of a broader energy ecosystem. Alongside innovations like solar power and wind energy, Li-ion batteries can play a crucial role in providing energy storage solutions, which are particularly valuable during peak load periods or power outages.

How to Use Lithium Batteries at Home?

Consider how batteries can fit into your energy setup at home. A lithium battery wall mount, such as the Hubble Lithium Battery Wall Mount, can be an efficient way to store power and ensure you’re never left in the dark when the power goes out. These backup power solutions are becoming increasingly important as our energy grid struggles with increased demand and infrastructure challenges.

Where to Get Started with Lithium Ion Batteries?

So, as we power ahead into a future filled with promising energy solutions, it’s clear that Li-ion batteries will play an important role in our energy toolkit. But remember, just like a well-kept cricket pitch, proper care and maintenance are critical to keep these batteries performing optimally for as long as possible. With these lithium-ion batting tips, you’re sure to hit energy savings right out of the park!

If you’re looking for insights, advice, and tips and tricks for your unique power needs, you can talk to PHD Powerhouse today. We’re experts in power solutions customised to your situation and can help you find the solutions you need to help your business or home with backup power that won’t falter. Even if load shedding hits. We’re ready to take your energy game to the next level!

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint with Renewable Energy Solutions

A Climate Crisis Beckons: Your Carbon Footprint Matters

You might not see it in your morning toast, but your daily energy usage – from toasting bread to taking a hot shower – contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. These are a major driving force behind the current climate crisis. So how does this relate to your carbon footprint? The more energy you consume, especially from fossil fuels, the larger your carbon footprint. In essence, this is the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases like nitrous oxide that result from your daily activities.

Understanding South Africa’s Energy Mix and the Rise of Renewable Energy Sources

Traditionally, South Africa’s energy mix has been dominated by fossil fuels, a leading contributor to climate change. But as the energy crisis deepens and the climate crisis escalates, South Africa is gradually shifting towards renewable energy solutions. Solar power, wind farms, and other natural sources of energy are transforming the country’s energy landscape, bringing a ray of hope in our fight against climate change.

1. Harnessing Solar Power: The Sunny Side of Energy Consumption

South Africa is blessed with abundant sunshine, making solar power a viable and sustainable source of energy. Solar energy can be harvested through solar panels and can significantly reduce your carbon emissions. Whether it’s powering your air conditioners or heating your hot water, solar energy can provide a clean energy alternative. Moreover, implementing solar projects can help you cut down on your energy bills and drive down electricity consumption.


2. The Power of the Wind: Turbines for a Sustainable Future

Another renewable energy solution that South Africa is harnessing is wind power. With strategically located wind turbines, we can convert wind energy into electricity, effectively reducing carbon emissions. Wind farms are becoming more common across the country, promising a sustainable future for South Africa.

3. Revolutionizing Thermal Energy: A Hot Topic in South Africa’s Energy Scene

Beyond solar power and wind energy, there’s another renewable source of energy gaining momentum in South Africa: thermal energy. The country’s geographical landscape provides an ideal environment for harnessing this type of renewable energy. Thermal energy is an efficient way of converting the heat of the earth into electricity, and with it, we can significantly reduce our dependency on fossil fuels, the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.

Furthermore, thermal energy not only brings diversity to our renewable energy mix, but it also offers an environmentally friendly solution to meeting energy demand, especially during peak hours. It provides constant power regardless of the weather, unlike solar and wind power, which are dependent on sunny and windy conditions. Thus, with the incorporation of thermal energy, we have a more stable and reliable power supply while maintaining a focus on clean, green energy solutions.


3 Energy Efficiency Measures to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Beyond switching to renewable energy sources, another key step is improving energy efficiency and taking other steps to reduce your impact.

1. Reducing Consumption, Maximising Savings

Consider simple changes like using cold water for washing clothes or upgrading to energy-efficient appliances. Even adjusting your water heater settings can make a considerable difference in your energy costs, and subsequently, your environmental impact.

2. Utilizing a Carbon Footprint Calculator and Carbon Offsets

To understand and track your progress in reducing carbon emissions, using a carbon footprint calculator can be helpful. It provides an estimate of your average carbon footprint, helping you identify areas for improvement. Additionally, you can explore carbon offsets, which compensate for your emissions by financing carbon reduction projects elsewhere.

3. Food Waste: The Unsuspected Contributor to Carbon Emissions

Did you know that food waste is a significant source of greenhouse gases? By reducing food waste, you can curtail the production of these gases, which contribute to climate change. Remember, every piece of food saved is a win in reducing your carbon impact.

From Energy Crisis to Energy Revolution: Towards a Sustainable South Africa

Reducing your carbon footprint is not just about making your home energy efficient. It involves transforming the country’s energy landscape and moving towards renewable energy solutions. The use of solar power, wind turbines, and other sustainable sources of energy are vital steps in South Africa’s journey to tackle the climate crisis.

With a deeper understanding of your carbon footprint and a clear direction towards renewable energy, you’re now equipped to contribute to the fight against climate change and drive South Africa towards a more sustainable future. So, get excited. You’re about to become a major player in this game.

Contact PHD Powerhouse Today

Our future depends on our choices today. Ready to make a difference? Contact PHD Powerhouse, your trusted partner in renewable energy solutions, to learn more about how you can help reduce carbon emissions and secure a sustainable future for South Africa. Because at the end of the day, you’re not just saving energy, you’re saving the world, one step at a time.

surge protection for homes and businesses

The Importance of Grounding and Surge Protection in South African Homes and Businesses

If you’re a South African homeowner or business owner, grounding and surge protection should matter to you. Yes, we’re talking about a topic that might not be the most glamorous, but it’s crucial to the safety and functionality of your electronic devices. Let’s learn about what grounding and surge protection is and why it is so important for South African homes and businesses.

What is Grounding and Why is it Important?

Let’s start with grounding. This is all about creating a direct physical connection between your electrical system and the earth. Why is that important, you might ask? Well, it’s all about safety. If there’s a fault in your electrical system and an electrical current escapes from its intended path, grounding gives it a direct path to the earth, where it can safely dissipate.

But grounding isn’t just about safety. It’s also important for the proper functioning of your electrical devices. Without a proper ground, static electricity can build up and cause damage to your devices. Think of it as a protective device that is essential for every building.

What is Surge Protection and Why is it Important?

Now, let’s talk about surge protection. A power surge happens when there’s a sudden, brief increase in voltage in an electrical circuit. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as lightning strikes, power outages, or even just turning on a high-powered appliance.

These power surges can be extremely damaging to your electronic devices, causing them to malfunction or even completely break down. This is especially relevant now that regular load shedding occurs, where the sudden cut or sudden return of electricity can often be accompanied by a burst of power. Surge protection is all about preventing these surge events from causing damage.

How Surge Protection Works

Surge protectors work by diverting the excess voltage from a power surge away from your electronic devices and into the ground. This is achieved through the use of surge arrester devices, which are designed to handle high-voltage currents.

There are a wide variety of surge protectors available, each with different features and capabilities. Some surge protectors are designed to protect a single device, while others can protect an entire home or business. Surge protection power strips are common for domestic use, while larger surge protective devices may be installed for commercial applications.

surge protection device type

The Importance of Surge Protection in South Africa

South Africa is a country that experiences a high frequency of lightning strikes, which can cause direct and indirect power surges that can damage electronic equipment. Additionally, South Africa has an unreliable power grid, which can cause power outages and voltage fluctuations that can also cause surges. We are all familiar with frequent load shedding, and unfortunately, the electrical energy surges that come with switching power plants on and off so frequently are likely to be causing damage to your electronics already.

For these reasons, surge protection is especially important in South Africa. It can help prevent damage to your electronic devices and keep them running smoothly, even in the face of direct lightning strikes or power outages. You won’t need to worry about the initial surges of power when your load shedding ends, and with the right grounding, you can also leave things plugged into your wall outlets without concern.

Choosing the Right Surge Protection Device

When it comes to surge protection, it’s important to choose the right device for your needs. The most important factor to consider is the surge protection device type and its current ratings.

It’s also important to consider the circuit path that your connected equipment takes, as well as the protected load that the surge protector is designed to handle. Digital systems panels and electrical systems that are sensitive to transient voltages require specialised surge protectors to prevent unwanted surge energy from damaging the equipment.

surge protection for electronic devices

Don’t Forget About Grounding

While surge protection is important, it’s also crucial to ensure that your electrical systems are properly grounded. This means ensuring that all electrical devices are connected to conductive systems that provide a direct path to the earth.

Grounding and surge protection work together to keep your electronic devices safe and functioning properly, even in the face of direct lightning strikes or other electrical disturbances.

Speak to Our Experts for a Solution

If you’re unsure about the best way to protect your electronic devices from power surges and ensure proper grounding, don’t hesitate to speak to one of our experts. Our team of qualified professionals can provide you with a personalised solution to meet your specific needs.

We understand that every home or business has unique electrical requirements, and we’re committed to helping you find the best solution to protect your electronic equipment and connected devices. Our range of surge protection and grounding solutions includes surge protectors, surge arresters, and circuit breakers designed to limit surge currents and unwanted surge energy.

Our surge protection devices also come in different types and current ratings to meet the diverse needs of homes and businesses. We believe that a well-designed electrical system is essential to the efficient operation of any home or business.

Do I Need to Worry About Grounding & Surge Protection at My Home or Business?

Grounding and surge protection are essential components of any electrical system, and they play a crucial role in protecting your electronic devices from damage caused by electrical disturbances. By installing the right surge protection and grounding solutions, you can ensure that your electronic devices and other equipment remain safe and function properly. The only time you will need to worry is if you have not already ensured grounding and surge protection are in place.

At PHD Powerhouse, we’re committed to providing high-quality surge protection and grounding solutions for homes and businesses in South Africa. Our experts can provide you with personalised solutions tailored to your specific needs. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Contact us today to speak to our experts and find out how we can help protect your electronic devices and ensure proper grounding for your home or business.

renewable energy solar batteries

Harnessing the Power of the Sun with Solar Batteries

In an age of darkness, at least for South Africa, the sun-loving population does what it can to reduce the burden of load shedding and carry on with their lives as normally as possible. How are people doing this? By installing home solar systems to avoid black-outs as much as possible.

Enter the solar battery. This nifty technology is becoming a norm in South African houses. Find out how it works and why you should consider them for your home or business.

home solar power system


How Home Solar Systems Work

To understand how solar batteries work, let’s start by looking at how harnessing solar energy works. There are two types of solar power that you’ll find: photovoltaics (PV), which are common in the home, and concentrating solar power (CSP), which are more likely to be found in power plants.


The sun shines onto the solar panel and its energy is absorbed by the PV cells within the panel. This energy then creates a reaction within the panel where electrical charges move in response to an internal electrical field, which leads to a flow of electricity. This flow can be stored in a battery bank designed specifically for PV solar storage use or used immediately.

CSP Systems

CSP systems, on the other hand, use mirrors to reflect concentrated sunlight onto receivers that collect the energy from the sunlight and convert it to heat. This is then converted into electricity or stored for use later on for electricity supply when it’s needed.

Integrating These Solar Power Options into Homes

The latter system is the one that stores energy for later use, but we can achieve this with the PV solar batteries that we use for domestic applications. These help you store excess energy so you can power your home when the electricity goes off or when your solar panels aren’t generating enough energy, such as on a cloudy or rainy day, or at night.

What is a Solar Battery?

As mentioned, it’s an add-on to your solar system that can help you harness even more of the energy you generate from solar power. There are two main types of batteries you can choose from to help power your home.

  • Lithium-ion batteries: A chemical reaction takes place where lithium ions release free electrons that flow from the negatively charged anode to the positively charged cathode. Chemical energy is created and stored prior to converting it to electrical energy. At home, you’d combine multiple lithium-ion batteries with technology that ensures the safety and operation of the whole solar system. These batteries have a good discharge rate and life span.
  • Lead-acid batteries: This uses the same tech as your car battery and is the more affordable option of the two. However, it’s not nearly as effective at storing and holding a charge, so lithium-ion batteries are better suited to modern home solar systems.

Why Lithium-Ion Batteries?

In addition to storing more energy, lithium-ion batteries also have a greater depth of discharge (DoD). The depth of discharge refers to the percentage of the total capacity of the battery. For example, if a battery has a DoD of 90%, that means it can safely use 90% of its capacity before it needs to be charged. Not going beyond the DoD prolongs the battery life by ensuring its used in a way that doesn’t damage it.

Lead-acid batteries have a DoD of 50%, which is much lower than the 90% Lithium-ion solar batteries can handle.

Why an Inverter?

The electrical energy produced by the solar panels is direct current (DC), which we can’t use to power our homes—for this, we need alternating current (AC). An inverter converts the DC that is received from the solar panels or the batteries into usable AC. This AC can either then go straight into the home, powering our lights and electronics directly, or it can be used to charge the solar batteries.

How it All Connects

Now that you know about some of the basics of how home solar power batteries work, let’s look at how the system operates as a whole.

First, the sun shines down onto the solar panel, mounted to the roof of your home—usually in the location where it’ll receive the most amount of sunshine. The produced DC energy flows into the inverter, which converts it into AC energy. This then either goes directly into the home or into the solar batteries.

In the diagram above, we see that excess power is being fed back into the grid, which is possible in some other countries, but is not yet available in South Africa.

Sun-powered charging solar panel

Now that you know how solar batteries work, you’re ready to get started with them. At PHD Powerhouse, we have a range of solar batteries for sale that provide adequate solar storage for your home or business. Keep the load shedding blues away with a solar solution from us. Get in touch today!

Home Inverter

What Are the Benefits of Installing an Inverter in Your Home?

South Africans are no strangers to stage 6 load shedding, and many people are searching for ways to power their homes without the help of the national grid. If you enjoy lots of direct sunlight, you could use solar battery power and a solar inverter to generate and store your own electricity off-grid.

Installing an inverter is a popular way to avoid the effects of load shedding in South Africa. They’re relatively affordable, depending on how you look at it, and they can provide hours of power to small electronics while homes go without electricity.

What is an Inverter?

Before we go further, let’s quickly catch up on what an inverter actually is. It’s an electrical device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC). It can also be a battery-based system used to run household appliances through conventional wiring.

You can find two types of inverters in South Africa: modified sine wave, and sine wave. Sine wave inverters are the more expensive option but perform more optimally. But there’s something to be said for a more affordable modified sine wave, especially when you’re desperate to have a little normalcy during hours of load shedding.

An inverter doesn’t produce energy on its own but rather stores it in an inverter battery for future use. Now that we’ve got that out the way, let’s look at the benefits of having an inverter in your home.

Grid Tie Inverter
Solar Inverter

What Are the Benefits of Using an Inverter?

Uninterrupted power supply

The best part of installing an inverter is the power! Having lights on, running the TV, enjoying the Wi-Fi; these are all wonderful benefits to have when you’re living in South Africa. They take away the load shedding blues that we all feel whenever our power gets cut. Depending on the size of the batteries you get, an inverter could easily last you through the longest load shedding stint—four hours. It might not be full electricity capacity, but it’s enough to power the basics.


Compared to other alternative energy devices, such as generators, they’re sleek and modern. They hardly make a noise—just a mild hum, which is a huge bonus compared to the din that generators produce.

They also don’t create fumes like generators do, which is better for your immediate environment. This means you can also keep them indoors.

No Maintenance

Because they’re powered by an inverter battery or two, inverters don’t need any routine maintenance, such as cleaning. Much like a car battery, they just get on with the job and only need to be considered again when they start to deteriorate.

For an inverter, this would mean not holding a charge for as long as it used to. This is different to a generator, which does need routine maintenance, sort of like a car engine does.

Automatic Start-Up

There’s no time between when load shedding starts and the inverter kicks in, providing continuous power. This means you can carry on watching whatever TV show you’re bingeing without missing a beat, or keep working without having to wait for the internet to start up again.

No Running Costs

Because there is no maintenance required, it means that there are no running costs associated with having an inverter if it is connected to a renewable source of energy like solar. There is an initial cost for the system, and costs further down the line when the batteries need replacing.

If there is any running cost, it will be the cost of charging the batteries with power from the grid, if your system is set up this way. This is still much better than the more expensive costs associated with running a generator, which requires you to keep buying fuel to keep it running.

Tips to Keep in Mind for Your Inverter

To make the most of the benefits of these electronic devices, here are some things we recommend you keep in mind:

  • Go for quality. You want an inverter that produces the ‘purest’ or ‘truest’ current wave as possible—but you do want to balance this with affordability.
  • Understand your power requirements and get the right size inverter. An inverter without enough juice to power what you want is a waste of money. Inverters can have capacity from 100W to 4000W; it really all depends on what you want to do with it.
  • Try not to let the batteries go flat. This can damage them and significantly and reduce the amount of time they last.
  • Try not to overload the system. It’s recommended to aim to use 75% of the inverter’s capacity to keep it in good condition for as long as possible.
  • Don’t buy refurbished batteries. They’re never quite the same as they were in their original condition.
  • Talk to the experts in inverters. If you’re looking at a larger system, it’s a good idea to call in the experts to design and install it for you. You wouldn’t want to spend a fortune on larger inverters if they’re not going to work optimally. Experts will also know where to find the best vertical surface for installation.

Looking to reduce the time during load shedding that gives you the blues? At PHD Powerhouse, we specialise in alternative power supply solutions that can keep you sane during grey-outs. We have offices throughout South Africa—in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. Send us a message from wherever you are, and we’ll get back to you.

UPS Benefits

Why Use a UPS? Find Out the Benefits

An uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is an essential piece of equipment for any business or home that relies on computers, servers, or other electronic equipment to function. It provides a safe, reliable source of power to keep your equipment running in the event of a power outage or surge. A UPS will protect your equipment from damage, keep your data safe, and maintain your productivity.

Why You Need an Uninterruptible Power Supply

In South Africa, despite load-shedding schedules, you never know when the power is going to go out. That’s when a UPS is absolutely vital if you want to protect your electrical equipment and electronic devices with voltage regulation, as well as keep your home and business running smoothly.

What to Look for in a UPS?

Power Capacity

To find out the power capacity you need, you must first determine the load you use at home or the office. You can do this by assessing which devices need a UPS and finding out what the power output of each is.

If you buy a UPS that cannot handle the output of your connected devices, you’ll simply have wasted your money.

Voltage Regulation

Irregular voltage supplies are a common problem in South Africa, and they can damage or destroy equipment and devices if the incoming power is too high. A UPS that maintains a stable voltage will save your appliances and your money at the same time.

Battery Backup Capabilities

The first consideration is whether or not lithium-ion batteries are used in the UPS. These are becoming increasingly popular as they last longer than lead-acid batteries and are therefore more affordable over a longer period of time.

Your backup batteries should also be user replaceable. You don’t want to have to replace the entire UPS when the batteries do reach the end of their life, but rather replace only the batteries.

You can also look at a UPS that supports extended runtime with external battery packs that can work in conjunction with the internal batteries.

Surge Protection

Power protection is an essential part of a UPS’s function. Because the power supply is never interrupted, it means that you’re not dealing with power surges in input power from the grid due to power failures.


Many modern UPSs come standard with network ports or support for network management cards. These enable owners to monitor and manage them remotely. This is particularly useful if you need one in your office but you’re not there all the time—you can still check how the UPS is performing.

Where to Find an Affordable UPS?

If you’re looking for an affordable UPS power supply service, you’ve come to the right place. At PHD Powerhouse, we offer various line-interactive UPS systems, which come equipped with a multi-tap variable-voltage autotransformer, and online UPS systems.

The former is also known as buck-boost transformers, while the latter supply 100% of the load all the time from an inverter. There’s no interruption when a power outage occurs—it happens seamlessly, and it provides clean energy at all times.