Load shedding is back and if you are not running on an off-grid power supply or have short-term access to stored power, then you are at the mercy of the blackouts.
Initially, you can work productively for some time after load shedding has started if your laptop is charged and your wifi has a battery backup.
But, with the power being turned on and off, your sensitive electronics are at risk from being damaged by the power surges. Despite having the latest load shedding schedule, you can't always rely on the timing and suddenly the power is cut before you have safely unplugged your sensitive electronics. Or you left your laptop on charge overnight and the load shedding schedule gets changed last minute, leaving your laptop to the mercy of a load shedding cycle.
The thing with essential electronics is that they seem fine until they suddenly stop working, locking away your data, ending your productivity and blowing your budget.
How to keep your electronics safe during load shedding
1. The safest way to ensure your sensitive electronics are safe from the ravages of load shedding is to run on your own power.
Off-grid solar systems will convert and store solar energy powering your grid completely autonomous from the municipal supply.
Grid-tied systems are more cost-effective than a complete off-grid solution as they do not use the batteries. They supply power while the sun shines and revert to the municipal grid at night. The attraction of a grid-tied system is that if you generate more power than you use during the day, you effectively run on a zero municipal balance over a 24 hour period.
Battery backup and inverter system can provide short-term power to your essential electronics keeping you productive during Eskom's downtime.
UPS systems can also keep you going during load shedding and also provide some surge protection.
2. Disconnect from the mains when load shedding is imminent. If you don't have an alternative power supply then it is essential to remain unplugged during load shedding. The highest risk of power surges occurs when the power is turned back on so stay unplugged until after the power is back on.
3. Don't use cheap plugs. Spend a little more and buy plugs with surge protectors. A plug with a surge protector has a fuse that trips when the power surges, saving your electronics from being damaged.
4. Make sure you are insured. If you are running more than a laptop and rely on servers, extensive networking equipment, then make sure you are covered so you are not left with an exorbitant replacement bill.