How to keep your PC on when Eskom cuts the power

While candles and a bicycle attached to a turbine may be a more eco-friendly alternative to conventional electricity production methods, wax burns on your hands and blisters on your feet do not react well to cold showers.

So when Eskom inevitably decides to implement load-shedding in your area, or surprises you with an unexpected blackout, rather have a generator, inverter, or UPS on hand.

For those of you without one of the aforementioned Eskom-alternatives, here is what you can expect pay to keep the lights on.

Generator

Using petrol or diesel, and making enough noise to keep the neighborhood awake at night, generators are a trusty source of power in the time of a blackout. Depending on the tank size, generators can provide your power needs for the entire blackout/load-shedding period.

Rising petrol prices and the incredible amount of noise pollution produced mean generators are not an ideal solution, though.

Ryobi 2.3KVA RG-2700 Generator – R3,399

  • Petrol – 12l tank
  • 2,500W run rating
  • Air cooled
Ryobi Generator
Ryobi Generator

Stramm 3.75KVA Generator – R3,500

  • Petrol – 15l tank
  • 3,000W run rating
Stram Generator
Stram Generator

Ryobi 5.0KW Generator – R6,500

  • Petrol – 21l tank
  • 5,500W run rating
  • Air cooled
Ryobi Generator
Ryobi Generator

Ellies 5KVA Generator – R11,699

  • Diesel – 16l tank
  • 5,000W run rating
  • Air cooled
Ellies Generator
Ellies Generator

Inverter

A power inverter takes DC power from a source, normally a battery, and converts it into AC electricity. The electricity can be set to the voltage required by your household, and, in turn, makes sure your PC, TV, and router all stay operational during a blackout. Depending on how many batteries you have, an inverter system will keep the lights on for the course of the blackout.

If you are serious about setting up an inverter in your house, a small cabinet to conceal the unsightly batteries would be advised.

Mecer 2400BK Inverter – R1,430

  • Capacity: 2400VA/1440W
  • Output voltage: 0 – 300V
  • Battery voltage: 12VDC/24VDC
Mecer Inverter
Mecer Inverter

Hawkin DPI 12100 Inverter – R2,350

  • Capacity: 1000W
  • Output voltage: 230V
  • Battery voltage: 12VDC
Hawkins Inverter
Hawkins Inverter

RCT Axpert 1K Inverter – R3,299

  • Capacity: 1000VA/800W
  • Output voltage: Selectable
  • Battery Voltage: 24VDC
Axpert Inverter
Axpert Inverter

Mecer BBONE-01 Inverter – R4,165

  • Capacity: 1000VA/600W
  • Output voltage: 220V
  • Battery voltage: 12VDC
  • Includes battery
Mecer Inverter
Mecer Inverter

UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

A UPS is used to instantly provide emergency power to a device when your electricity is cut, using a battery or batteries. Run time of a UPS is normally quite short, giving you enough time to save your data or complete a transaction.

Industrial UPSs, which are obviously much larger in size and power generating capacity, are used to keep data centres online in the event of a blackout. These units may be overkill for your house, though.

Meissner UPS XT 700VA – R599

  • Capacity: 650VA/360W
  • Battery type: 12V/7Ah x 1
  • Recharge time: 6 hours to 90%
Meissner UPS
Meissner UPS

Apex 1000VA UPS – R929

  • Capacity: 1kVA/600W
  • Battery type: 12V/7Ah x 2
  • Recharge: 8 hours to 90%
Apex UPS
Apex UPS

Eaton EDX1000H UPS – R3,299

  • Capacity: 1kVA/700W
  • Battery type: 12V/7.2Ah x 3
  • Recharge: 5 hours to 90%
Eaton UPS
Eaton UPS

Eaton EDX6000H UPS – R15,699

  • Capacity: 6kVA/4200W
  • Battery type: 12V/7Ah x 20
  • 7 hours to 90%
Eaton UPS
Eaton UPS

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How to keep your PC on when Eskom cuts the power