Load shedding and security systems are importantly connected.
Load shedding is a pain in the proverbial for all of those who have not yet gone solar; there are two strong suggestions that I would add to the excellent article by Byrone Athman in the Witness last Saturday.
First whenever there is load shedding, immediately drop the mains-breaker and do not flip it up again for perhaps five-minutes by which time the voltage should have stabilised. It’s in that short period that a huge amount of damage can be done to your electrical appliances; be patient and just wait for a few moments.
Brown-outs when the voltage drops as everyone starts drawing power can do as much damage as a surge.
Secondly do away with those horrible little gel-cell batteries for ever; they are expensive and they simply do not last if there is extended and frequent load shedding, as Athman reports.
True they are neat and fit nicely in to the little electrical-box, but that’s where their advantage begins and ends.
Go to your favoured supplier and buy a roughly 40Ah lead-cell battery of the sealed type used in golf carts and motorcycles, requiring no maintenance and giving off no evil smelling gases. A good secondhand one would be fine. Ask your service supplier to fit it; it will last for years and even if the grid fails for days, you can be assured your alarm will be working properly.
These days a lithium battery may have become affordable.
Power cuts are here to stay
alas, whether because of Eskom or municipal incompetence, and the
vagaries of wind and storm. The potential damage to your security
system, and the possibility of a break-in, are just two more reasons to
consider going solar.
There already is a second utility supplier, the one of choice, in fact; his name is Mr Golden Sun. He is a giant nuclear power-station directing a massive amount of free energy towards your roof, with none of the worries of radioactive waste that Koeberg has to contend with. It’s true, that grid can fail too when the mists sweep in, for perhaps a dozen days in the year, so you can revert to Eskom for your backup if you have a prepaid electricity account.
Sell your gennie and log in to the big guy in the sky; we’ve been doing it for ten years, and not regretted the decision for one day. Go as big as you can afford from the start; upgrading is needlessly expensive.
Load shedding and security systems demand a larger than normal gel-cell battery, and general vigilance when street lights are off.
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