Are You Prepared for Stage 8 Load Shedding?
Energy experts expect load shedding to be a new normal for the next five years, but more than that, we might be looking at Stage 6 to Stage 8 as a huge possibility in the future.
If you haven't yet kitted out your home with a generator, generator-inverter or UPS-inverter, you might want to do so before demand exceeds supply. Energy experts are predicting that load shedding is with us for at least the next 5 years and that we might also be looking at Stage 6 to Stage 8 protocols. As somewhat of a 'prepper', I have been gearing up for power outages for quite some time. It started with the first inverter-generator that I purchased for the occasional load-shedding to full-on preparedness with the purchase of an additional (larger) generator-inverter and UPS-inverter. When the power goes off - mine goes on!
It's not really something to laugh about, but if you don't what then? Ted Blom, an independent energy expert, predicts a crisis the future due to drastic measures being taken and these measures aren't going to be something we will enjoy. You can watch the video below for what was discussed during a recent interview with Chris Hattingh of Channel FMF.
With Eskom sitting at zero reserves, as soon as the power entity exceeds 11 000 megawatts load shedding comes into immediate effect but the problem is further exacerbated by power stations going offline for repairs and maintenance at Koeberg Power Station be planned due to a leak. Taking all these factors into consideration and the ongoing maintenance, load shedding is no longer a possibility - it is inevitable.
A conventional generator is ideal for running power tools and non-sensitive appliances or electrics.
GENERATOR, GENERATOR-INVERTER OR UPS?
While we have previously looked at the difference between a generator and generator-inverter, the main difference is that you can only run sensitive electronics on a generator-inverter. Why? To put it simply, the out from a conventional generator is not smooth and will damage electronic equipment. A generator-inverter stores the energy generated in a battery and it is from the battery that you take the power to run appliances. The outage from the battery is safe for electronic appliances and sensitive electronics such as computers and laptops.
Where you need to power sensitive electronic equipment or appliances, choose a generator-inverter.
A UPS uses a principle similar to that of a generator-inverter - it is connected to your home electrical via a plug socket and this charges the battery inside the UPS that stores energy. When the power switches off, the UPS immediately kicks in and provides energy via the battery.
Various types of UPS Inverters are available depending on the output required to run sensitive electronics or equipment.
You can buy a UPS that has a single battery, a series of batteries, or you can add on more batteries over time. The more battery power you have, the more appliances you can run OR the longer the battery output will last.
Before you rush out and buy a generator, generator-inverter or UPS, you need to calculate the total wattage of the appliances you want to run on the system. As an example, I have an electric kettle that requires 1800 Watts to operate. When the power goes out I have another kettle that requires 1200 Watts. I use the latter whenever there is load shedding as it uses less Watts to heat the water and thereby conserves and extends the period of battery life.
Check the Wattage for all your appliances and add up the total amount, taking into consideration that it should only be those appliances you could not do without. I'm sure many will agree that you can't live without your Wi-Fi connection, perhaps the TV and DSAT, but don't forget other items. I have a low wattage pedestal fan than can be used in the evenings to keep cool and keep mozzies at bay. You also need to power a couple of lights in the house and a few strips CFLs are great for this. They are very low wattage and can be plugged into an extension cord to go where you need them.
Then it comes to larger appliances such as a fridge or freezer and these will have a high wattage output, so if we are looking at Stage 6 and over, it might be a good idea to consider these into the calculation for just in case. And keep in mind that anything that uses a compressor or heating element is going to require A LOT of power, so you might want to think about fitting a small gas hob to your kitchen. That way, you can cook meals and boil water for drinks.