Presented by Netshield

How to manage unstable power supply due to load-shedding

Earlier this year Eskom introduced stage 4 load-shedding due to continued pressure on the grid.

This increases financial and operational pressure on businesses, as servers and other expensive equipment housed in datacentres take a hit.

This is because Eskom’s ever fluctuating and unstable power supply causes damage to businesses’ most critical assets in their server rooms.

This is not because of the initial power outage, but rather due to surges or power spikes when the power comes back on.

For that reason, many come up with theories about whether it would be better to switch off electronic equipment before the power goes off, or switch the power switches off before the power comes back on again.

However, trying to keep up with Eskom’s constant rolling blackouts would be a bootless errand.

According to Netshield South Africa CEO Inus Dreckmeyr businesses must rather plan power management and monitoring in their business, consider a holistic approach, and deploy multiple devices.

Businesses must also consider the nature of power surges or spikes, as they are never identical in nature. They can differ in terms of voltage and can last either for a long or short period of time –impacting the severity of damage caused.

Managing the impact of strikes, spikes and surges

While there are many solutions in the market available at retail outlets, managing these strikes, spikes and surges requires a myriad of components to ensure that all the energy is dissipated. These components are a combination of fast reacting and bulk absorption devices.

Fast reacting devices at the leading edge as well as the bulk absorption and slower reacting components will ensure that the bulk energy is consumed by the protection devices. It is important to use the appropriate monitorable device that ensures prompt alerting on failures.

Mountable surge protection from Netshield

To address this need, Netshield provides businesses with world-class equipment and solutions which offer end-to-end power management and monitoring from the Distribution Board (DB board) to the server room, preventing damage to their most critical assets.

Their self-contained cabinet, for example, is a data centre in a box that protects everything inside the cabinet against spikes from the start.

It reports on and monitors other environmental factors such as the building up of humidity, whether the temperature is too high or too low, and whether the power is on or off.

Improved datacentre and distribution board management

Additionally, Netshield stocks rack-mountable products that provide surge protection in the datacentre through its NLMain devices, which can be installed in existing data cabinets.

To assist with the better management of the distribution board, Netshield also provides mountable monitored surge protection through its NLFC1S350 and NLFC3S350 devices that cater for both single- and three-phase power environments.

These units come with a fixed wired base that can be wired directly into your distribution board with the actual unit being pluggable for ease of maintenance. They come in a lightning current and surge arrester combination, covering you for both high and low voltage situations.

These are integrated, ensuring fully managed and monitored environments in your server room, and are perfect for equipment stage surges and lightning protection and come complete with Electrical VAC power measurement and monitoring protection.

Smart metered intelligent gateway based PDUs

Another power management device from Netshield that can be used within the cabinet in the server room is its cloud or network managed Smart Zero U Power Distribution Units (PDUs). This device offers users the ability to remotely monitor current, voltage, power, energy usage, and environmental conditions.

Furthermore, these Smart PDUs are able to alert an administrator of potential circuit overloads and nominal consumption increases, allows for remote power switching for emergency shutdowns and can via and/or a Web interface, SNMP or MQTT, relay user configurable alarms with real-time alerts when power has been compromised.

Additionally, these PDUs’ features extend past just power management, also including option to add temperature, humidity and flooding monitoring sensors as part of an overall IoT solution.

Best-in-class power management solutions

According to Dreckmeyr, Netshield’s power management solutions can either be installed in your distribution board or close to the equipment.

They don’t just manage the behaviour of your power system in the case of surges, spikes or lightning, but they also have onboard indicators and are able to relay information to your monitoring environment via an extensive range of Netshield IoT Gateways and monitoring devices so that your administrators are alerted of whether or not the equipment has been damaged.

To deploy these best-in-class solutions, or to find out more, visit the Netshield South Africa website.

This article was published in partnership with Netshield.

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How to manage unstable power supply due to load-shedding