In this highly technologically advanced society, where every aspect of our lives involves an electrical appliance or smart technology, we cannot think of even a moment without electricity power supply.
Yet, unfortunately, we often have to experience unexpected power outages. Power outages can be costly for businesses and productivity.
In developing countries with emerging economies, this problem is even more serious and every year small industries around the world face unturned and damaged inventory, decrease in employee productivity, and damage to equipment resulting in loss of customers and revenue.
To minimize this loss, we have tried to compile some very important points here.
- Get Equipped with Backups:
The best way to protect yourself from power failure related issues is to acquire a smart and adequate backup system. There are basically two types that you can go for:
- a) A Generator:
Even with some inevitable little mechanical drawbacks, this is one of the most useful tools that can save you from any loss caused by power cuts. We will have a short but important discussion on usage of a generator later in this article.
For assistance in buying a generator you could visit www.krugerpower.com.au/. This might help you decide which one to buy.
Advantages: Generators can be more durable than other options, useful for long power outages, and can supply a heavier power load – such as an entire supermarket. .
Disadvantages: Generators don’t offer a seamless transition from the main power grid to generator supply since you will need to manually power up the generator for it to work. They are noisy, have an extra cost of fuel, produce unpleasant exhaust fumes that are not good for the environment, and can sometimes fail to supply voltage stability when power fluctuations occur.
- b) IPS and UPS:
IPS stands for Instant Power Supply and UPS stands for Uninterrupted Power Supply. These systems are similar with only one major difference: the UPS takes over the load quicker than IPS which you need only for the desktop computer systems.
You use UPS for a constant power supply for the PC. This will allow you to be able to save your important files and shut the PC down systematically with no data loss. Other electric appliances do fine with the IPS which is a bit cheaper than UPS.
Advantages: IPS and UPS systems start up automatically that provide for a seamless transition from the main power grid, they require no extra fuel costs as they charge the batteries when the regular power supply is available. They are also very quiet and don’t create any noise.
Disadvantages: These systems have a limited backup time making them only good for a small number of appliances and smaller power load. Since they are run on batteries, there is always a part of the battery going down and thus reducing the backup time even more.
The system’s battery is made of lead which is harmful for the environment, and the system is not the most efficient as it wastes energy during storage and conversion.
- Training and Maintenance for the Backups
- a) While some are more automatic than others, all power backup systems will require human supervision and operation. For a business, an employee will need to be trained on how to operate these systems. .
- c) When there is a power outage, the first step for the operator is to check out and make sure if the problem is with internal facilities like circuit breaker or fuse. If they find them okay, they can confirm the outage is from the main grid..
- d) When it comes to generators, they will need to be checked for engine oils and be frequently fueled up. Ignoring these areas will result in the backup failure.
- e) In case the power restoration fails or takes longer than expected there should be old-time backups like flash lights.
- The Generator: Usage Essentials
The use of IPS and UPS is very simple. But the generator, which most of the business industries use, needs some essentials to know.
Put in simple, they are as follows:
- a) There are numerous types, sizes and brands of generator produced for different purposes. Consult with the technician before buying one. They will prescribe the best one for you.
- b) Keep the generator outdoors. It can produce lots of smoke, mostly carbon monoxide. Thus keeping it inside will be a hazard.
- c) Let it cool before you refuel it.
- d) Check your cable from the generator to the feed port. Users often are caught by surprise to find a what appears to be a well functioning generator not giving power. The issue is the wiring.
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- Power Outage Emergency Precautions
- a) There must be Emergency precaution instructions written and known to all the staff of the organization clearly saying what to do in case of a power failure. Panic spreads quickly in places like elevators and escalators. These are the places where staff and customers should have instructions visible.
- b) Some appliances are not connected with the backup system, and they will need to be switched off when a power failure happens and the backup takes over. This is a very crucial step as there is a chance of sudden voltage surge when the power comes back. Turning them off can prevent damage, injury and fire.
- c) Always keep your cell phone, UPS and IPS fully charged in case the outage is longer than you expect.
Here is a detailed checklist you can follow
- Surge Protection
Equipment and appliances can be seriously damaged in case of a power surge. You can protect these valuable units by using a surge protector.
It takes charge when there is sudden upsurge of power and saves you from replacing a damaged computer or a refrigeration unit for example.. Even the UPS that has a pretty reliable power stabilizer fails to handle some high power upsurge. In some cases the IPS and UPS have been reportedly to get damaged themselves along with the PCs connected with them.
- The Toolkit
- a) Flashlights are an old but useful kit when all the lights connected to the line are out of reach.
- b) Waterproof matches and candles are the last hope when your flashlight battery also dies down.
- c) Spare fuses are really helpful when you know you don’t have to do anything but replace the cut fuse.
- d) Water bottles and non perishable snack foods are some other essentials to keep around for long outages of power.
- e) For countries where winters are terribly cold, blankets and warm clothing are other necessary things to keep since the heater is off for a long time.
What We’ve Focused on
Power outages are something we must always prepare for. Whether it is for a few minutes, hours or days, our modern lives and means of business cannot go without power for a second. We didn’t focus on what to do when the power goes out in your cabin with old fashioned tips.
We have discussed how to create your own backup supply and how to care for and protect the system. Hope these tips and pointers help you prepare for a power outage. Stay safe!