As the old saying goes – a little bit of something can do you good. Some level of preparation for a power outage is better than none and can cost considerably less than you might think. People making preparations for power outages often decide to back up their whole electrical load, but is this really necessary?
I’ll argue it’s not a firm requirement. Like many things’ situation determines the best response and a thorough and thoughtful analysis can often lead to better outcomes. Deciding on the requirement to backup the whole load can be a much more expensive job; large power-hungry systems can hugely increase the size of any back up solutions, such as a diesel generator.
Charlie Farrow, MD of Welland Power UK, the fastest growing UK exporter of such equipment recommends thinking about your application first and the potential impact. “You need to access the likelihood of the power outage and its length – be aware it could be considerably longer than the average at any point, Potentially lasting days or weeks. You don’t want a solution that damages your business should the worst happen you need to strike a balance. The costs of installation, commissioning and transport may be very similar, so there comes a point where cutting corners is highly detrimental to the overall solution. Typically, customers may decide not to cover some of the air conditioning load, or lighting, but to achieve this it these loads would need to be separated out if its all on one circuit – that cost could prove higher than just buying a bigger machine.”
For large and complex installations, you will need some advice – not just from the equipment supplier, but an independent electrician that can assist you in making sure the plan is fit for purposes. That may be your current on site electrical team – which you will almost certainly have if you have this sort of power requirement.
Its also important to note the differences in machines – petrol machines are made to run for short periods, often at standby duty – limited warranties are common. For anyone concerned about power cuts of more than a few hours a month diesel is the solution – petrol just isn’t robust enough. For home use, petrol is cheaper and offers a better potential cost – inverter generators are another technology only really available on petrol units that give a great power supply to sensitive equipment.
Whatever solution you decide is best for your own needs, what is clear that some power, even if limited is better than none. In this instance you will have to make choices about the equipment you utilise during the power outage, but at least you have a choice to make.