How to I Stay Online During Load-Shedding?
Some of our users asked:
Is there is still connection during loadshedding using a UPS or inverter?
Do the Wireless Network infrastructure stay connected during Loadshedding?
What do I need to just keep the ONT and router ONLINE IN LOADSHEDDING?
Can I still have access to Fibre during Loadshedding?
We are here to answer YOUR QUESTIONS :
THE CORRECT UPS to keep your FIBRE OR WIRELESS going during LOADSHEDDING!
The short answer is YES. If you have backup power and nothing goes wrong with the backup power on the Fibre networks you can enjoy uninterrupted internet during loadshedding.
In most cases there are two main UPS types:
- The new Lithium-Ion DC UPS which plug directly into your ONT and Router like a battery pack, and can stay permanently plugged in to ensure you stay online. This is the easiest and most practical option.
2. Lead Acid batteries connected to regular wall plug sockets can damage quickly. Get at least 2x7Ah batteries. Some 1000VA UPSs have 2x7Ah batteries, most 2000VA UPSs do as well.
Types of backup power
Not all backup power is equal.
Here’s a simple overview
Prices are for context only and are roughly correct as of mid-2020
– Lithium-Ion DC to DC “Mini UPSs” – Similar to a power bank. ~R600-R1500
– Traditional Lead Acid Battery UPS – The big black box kind that beeps. ~R600-4,000
– Power Packs – Think if a huge power bank with a wall plug socket. ~R10,000
– Batteries (of your choice) + Inverters – These tend to be big systems. Upwards of R10,000
For the purpose of this article we’re exploring home and small office solutions. There are many other forms of backup power including generators, solar, Tesla Power Walls and many more. These and the Batteries + Inverters require an expert to design a system to suit your needs.
How to choose a UPS
For the purpose of this post the assumption is you will only be powering two devices:
Fibre ONT and a WiFi router.
If you go with a DC Mini UPS then you just need to make sure can recharge it, it has the right cables come with it and you match up the voltage correctly. If you’re choosing a traditional Lead Acid UPS, just make sure you get one with enough batteries, at least 2x7Ah batteries (most 2000VA UPSs will have these) and don’t get tempted to plug in more devices.
Mini UPSs that supply a DC current (DC->DC)via an adapter directly to your device doesn’t have this issue and as a result, are 30x smaller, last 2x longer and the batteries last many more cycles. They have deep cycle batteries, like your mobile phone, so won’t get damaged if Loadshedding lasts longer than expected.
Traditional UPSs supply electricity to a device via a wall socket plug (DC to AC power) will lose significant storage capacity due to the inefficiencies of changing stored DC electricity (usually 12V) to AC (220-230V). They are also not designed for deep cycling the battery, so using them below 50% will start to damage them and as Loadshedding lasts 2:30, most small UPSs won’t last 10-20 full cycles of the batteries.
All the cool kids use DC->DC systems because they last much much longer.
(The Best Option In Most Cases)
Lithium Ion DC to DC
These devices use Lithium Ion batteries (like in your cellphone, laptop, power bank) so have a high energy density and discharging all the way doesn’t damage them like Lead-Acid batteries.
The other advantage is they power your devices directly with DC power which means they are more efficient and you can get away with a smaller capacity battery.
The below products should power a fibre ONT and WiFi router for ~4 hours and recharge quickly enough for multiple loadshedding periods per day.
Which to buy?
If you would like to buy a DC UPS to power your fibre during loadshedding, these DC UPS power banks will power two devices with the provided splitter cable, or you can even power an AirCube WiFi Router via PoE. It will do 24V passive POE, as well as has a DC jack to power 9/12V and can power two 9/12V devices with the inclined splitter cable. Because of its flexibility and various voltages it will work for most fibre setups.
What to buy and accessories:
- We stock and supply these to our customers, but if you want to go and get your own…
- Geewiz –
- The splitter cable is quite short (10cm) so if you need a larger distance between your ONT and WiFi router, you can get an extension cable too, they come in various sizes: https://www.geewiz.co.za/accessories/140141-2622-dc-extension-cable-for-cctv-12v-power-55mm-x-25mm.html#/206-size-15m
Out of stock? If the above link is out of stock, please let us know
Instructions for Ubiquiti AirCube owners:
Before you start, using the correct voltage is very important and you can break your equipment.
Proceed with caution and ask for help.
The cable to power the AirCube is not included with that kit, you need an additional ethernet (LAN) cable. A different colour LAN cable will be handy, like red or yellow. To set up the UPS correctly you need to set the voltage toggles on the device.
- Buy an extra LAN Cable
- Vinet can supply you with these as well or try your local computer shop.
- Power on the UPS so you see the lights which highlight which setting you have selected.
- The PoE toggle needs to be on 24V and the other one needs to be 12V.
- Unplug the standard power adapter from your airCube
- Plug your new ethernet cable into the POE port on the UPS and the POE In port (top left) on the back of the airCube (Leave the WAN cable plugged into your ONT)
- Plug one of the included cables from the “Output” port into the power port of your ONT
The ultimate DC UPS?
If you want the crème de la crème of DC UPSs, take a look at the Acconet POE Smart PowerBank (pictured). It comes with a 94.5Wh battery, can can supply 24V passive POE or 48V Gigabit POE + 5V USB + 12V DC output. It even has a battery monitor display.
What to buy and accessories:
- Geewiz (Ask us how to get a 5% discount): https://www.geewiz.co.za/ups/124927-acconet-poe-smart-powerbank-mini-ups.html
- If you want to power 2 DC devices, get this splitter cable: https://www.geewiz.co.za/cctv-accessories/121027-cctv-connecter-1-2-way-dc-splitter.html
Proceed with caution: If you are powering your devices with POE, check if it is 24V or 48V. Powering your device with the wrong voltage will break it.
Traditional Lead-Acid UPSs
(Only Choose If You NEED A Wall Plug Socket)
Lead Acid UPS in a nutshell
As simple as these UPSs are to buy and install the most important thing to get right is the batteries. Do not think of a traditional UPS as anything like your USB Power Bank or Cellphone/Laptop battery. These batteries get damaged quicker than Luke Skywalker pulling out his light sabre if you don’t treat them with care (discharge them fully).
The reason for this is that traditional UPSs are designed to supply a short power backup e.g. to save work and shut down a computer. They are also used in applications where the UPS batteries are less critical than the equipment they are protecting. In other words, traditional UPSs are designed for short backup power and a short lifespan of batteries.
Deep Cycling: Discharging a Lead-Acid battery all the way will damage it very quickly (as little as 1-10 times).
Using the battery for a long period of time will also shorten the lifespan of the battery.
The cheap UPSs don’t have any cool features like internet connections, apps to monitor the device and they beep by default – it will drive you crazy (but you can turn it off. See below).
Having a wall plug is super convenient, but can be tempting to plug in more devices.
Which to buy?
The very cheapest Lead Acid UPSs are 1000VA but have 2x7Ah batteries. These two are generally the lowest priced.
If the above links are out of stock, please Google “1000VA line interactive UPS” and just check it has 2 x 7Ah batteries.
VAs and Ahs
Don’t worry, KVA ratings don’t mean a heck of a lot when choosing a UPS for running fibre through Loadshedding so you can pretty much ignore them. Even the tiniest UPS will be able to produce power enough for a WiFi router and ONT, but will run out of power quickly. Even the smallest of UPSs, a 600VA device, can produce 30x more than you need.
It’s all about the batteries. More retailers make it very difficult to find, but the thing to look out for is the batteries Ah rating if you want the power to last throughout Loadshedding and to not damage the batteries by discharging them too much (that’s called deep cycling).
Make sure the UPS you choose has at least 2 x 7Ah batteries in, some 1000VA and 2000VA and above should be fine.
Pro tips for UPSs with lead-acid batteries
The batteries in most UPSs are not like your cellphone, laptop or power bank, so they need to be handled differently
Do not discharge your UPS battery fully or else you will damage the batteries
Try keep the UPS cool when it’s recharging (well ventilated, near a fan will help)
Let it charge to 100% between discharges – this can take as much as 24 hours with Lead Acid Batteries.
Power packs are like USB power banks with the convenience of being able to use a regular wall plug. Suitable for sensitive electronics including power tools, mixers, laptops, TV.
Batteries + Inverters
R10,000 and up.
This us where things get industrial and modular so our advice is limited. If you have a business or want to think about going off-grid this is the option for you. Options start at an inverter and high / deep cycle battery and go upwards from there.
if you need any help or are unsure about your power needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will assist with the best solution to keep you connected during load-shedding