LOADSHEDDING: An action to reduce the load on something, especially the interruption of an electricity supply to avoid excessive load on the generating plant.

The dreaded loadshedding, striking anxiety in the hearts of South African Buddies. It is a constant source of worry about teaching schedules and power.

It can be overcome however, there are quite a few ways to combat loadshedding and still be able to teach on time and for the duration of the day.

With stage 5 and 6 looming it is very important to have the correct back up in place. More and more people are buying a UPS with a battery backup system.

I recently had a major issue with my generator that started to sputter and shake during a lesson, I could hear the generator battling, and as I said goodbye to my Bready, the generator stopped. It was panic stations for me, I was scrambling to contact family so that I could teach at their houses, but alas, loadshedding was everywhere. I rushed my generator to a workshop who informed me that they have a six week backlog. I pleaded with the mechanic and explained that I need it back that same day because I work from home and I can’t cancel my Sunday sessions. He took pity on me but could only book my generator in on Monday. So with a heavy heart I had to wait until Monday.

I decided to look at an alternative and drove to 4 different stores and eventually found what I was looking for. I decided to buy an inverter with a battery backup system. It was the best decision for me. When I got home I plugged it in and I immediately had power. So my day of driving around saved my Sunday lessons.

I only run my fibre box, router, laptop and two lamps, and I’ve got 17 hours of silent power. It is bliss. Now loadshedding doesn’t affect me at all, it’s fantastic.

There are smaller and less expensive UPS with battery back-up available which I am told would yield quite a few hours if the load is kept to a minimum.

I did go over the top with mine because of “loadshedding and generator not working syndrome”.

I fetched my generator from the shop on Monday afternoon and the guy who repaired it said that the carburettor was blocked, so no biggie.
Now my backup has a backup.

I’m feeling a lot more relaxed in the knowledge that if the UPS runs out of juice, I can employ my noisy (and inducing anger in the neighbours) generator and I won’t have any upset visitors again.

If you do feel that you want a fool proof and silent backup system that is not dependent on dry weather (as I found out with the generator during a rainy week, a very Heath Robinson set up with the plastic canopy from the gazebo) that can run inside your house, then a UPS is a great option. We really only need maximum 6 hours per day (when stage 5 and 6 will be implemented) and currently 2.5 to 4 with the current schedule. It is more efficient than a generator as it uses electricity to charge and does not rely on fuel and oil to run and it does not produce the kind of noise that a generator produces.

Builders warehouse has stock of the Ellies UPS battery system, there is also a Mecer available but that can only be bought directly from Mecer as I was told by the sales staff at Builders Warehouse. The Mecer is a bit cheaper than the Ellies and it provides a solid 8 hours of power.

It is well worth investing in a good backup, not only for teaching but just peace of mind that darkness during loadshedding need not be quite so depressing.