Power Plant  
Home Power Plant products Purchase FAQ Contact us
 
*

Loadshedding Solutions

  FAQ  
Energy Information        
 
 

What does the Power Plant do and how does it work?
Soundless?
What was the inspiration that brought about the development of the Power Plant?
Which home appliances does it safeguard?
You get what you pay for
What power options are offered by Power Plant?
Reasons to buy a Power Plant unit
What type of batteries do the power plant units use?
Overload - what will happen?
Online/double-conversion UPS
What DC voltage is supplied to the Power Pod 1 unit?

 

Power Pos 1 Power Plant Power Plant Power Pod 10 Power Pod 1
*

What does the Power Plant do and how does it work?

The power plant unit is a backup power unit that will provide continuous, seamless electrical supply during (load shedding) power outages. The units can either be plugged into a wall socket or installed permanently (by an electrician) to run through your electrical distribution board in your home or office. Power Plant is super easy to use with no technical knowledge necessary.
The length of time that the unit will provide power while the national grid is unavailable will depend on
A. the size of the unit and battery capacity and
B. the number and type of appliances attached - dependant on the power each appliance draws.


Soundless?

"Soundless" is used as a relative term - all electrical appliances, including fridges, airconditioners, microwaves etc. will have a degree of noise when working.

The Power Plant unit has a fan which is necessary to keep the UPS and batteries cool so that it does not over heat and compromise / reduce the functionality of the components. The only audible noise will be the sound of the fan running - a big improvement from a generator!


What was the inspiration that brought about the development of the Power Plant?

The inspiration behind Power Plant was to solve the problem faced by all of us in South Africa (and, to a certain degree, a growing concern worldwide about alternate power supply) with the escallation of load shedding and the impact that outages are having on our businesses and domestic lives. The core focus of the product being to merge high quality and reliable power backup components with a creative, contemporary, design oriented housing.
The finished product being aesthetically pleasing, user friendly for the layman and offers reliable, seamless and silent power backup.
Power Plant is a collaboration between My iT Works and Obbligato.


Which home appliances does it safeguard?

Typically, electricity supplied by the national grid is not entirely spike or surge free. As the Power Plant units can be permanently connected without the need to be unplugged when the national grid (Eskom) is working, it will provide a continuous, clean, surge free, pure sine wave power supply to sensitive electronic devices such as computers, laptops, TV’s etc.


You get what you pay for

With the load shedding crisis, many cheap units are being imported and distributed which offer a temporary solution to an ongoing problem. Power Plant units comprise of high-quality components that have been tested in the marketplace, ensuring extended, reliable and long-term functionality by providing pure sine wave electrical output to safeguard sensitive electronic devices against energy surges and spikes.


What power options are offered by Power Plant?

Power plant has 3 power options available -
Power Pod 1 - 1000VA / 800W
Power Pod 3 - 3000VA / 2400W
Power Pod 10 - 10000VA / 8000W
along with various casing / finish options. The basic units are manufactured with powder coated metal casings on wheels to allow easy maneuverability. The various power options can be supplied in the form of a planter which acts as a decorative element while serving a vital function, specifically in a corporate environment.

Your choice of unit will depend on how often and how long your power goes out for and how many things you want to use during the outages – and on your budget.


Reasons to buy a Power Plant unit

• Can be used safely indoors for homes, offices and apartments
• Relatively silent (there will be a fan noise), continuous power
• Plug-and-play units are supplied with a surge protecting plug which will also test for faulty wiring of the wall socket being used.
• Seamless switch over to battery power when the national grid is off
• Environmentally friendly - emits zero carbon emissions
• Provides the lowest operating cost solution compared to generator or gas power
• Choice of power options depending on need


Online/double-conversion UPS

The Power Plant unit consists of an online UPS and backup batteries. The batteries are always connected to the UPS, so that no power transfer switches are necessary. When power loss occurs the batteries keep the power steady and unchanged. When power is restored, the rectifier resumes carrying most of the load and charges the batteries, though the charging current may be limited to prevent the high-power rectifier from overheating the batteries. The main advantage of an on-line UPS is its ability to provide an "electrical firewall" between the incoming utility power and sensitive electronic equipment.

The online UPS is ideal for environments where electrical isolation is necessary or for equipment that is very sensitive to power fluctuations. Although once previously reserved for very large installations of 10 kW or more, advances in technology have now permitted it to be available as a common consumer device, supplying 500 W or less. The initial cost of the online UPS may be higher, but its total cost of ownership is generally lower due to longer battery life. The online UPS may be necessary when the power environment is "noisy", when utility power sags, outages and other anomalies are frequent, when protection of sensitive IT equipment loads is required, or when operation from an extended-run backup generator is necessary.

The basic technology of the online UPS is the same as in a standby or line-interactive UPS. However it typically costs much more, due to it having a much greater current AC-to-DC battery-charger/rectifier, and with the rectifier and inverter designed to run continuously with improved cooling systems. It is called a double-conversion UPS due to the rectifier directly driving the inverter, even when powered from normal AC current. (https://en.wikipedia.org)


Overload - what will happen?

All units have been overload tested. Should your Power Plant unit be overloaded the system will automatically shut down.


What DC voltage is supplied to the Power Pod 1 unit?

The Power Pod 1 unit runs off of 36Volts DC, with 5 sets on batteries in parallel, bringing up the runtime. These units are capable of up to 11 sets of 36VDC


 
 
 
*
Pure Sine Wave
*

Pure Sine Wave vs. Modified or Square Sine Wave

A pure sine wave power source produces clean power - anything else is dirty.
A modified, or square, sine wave power source is usually less expensive and produces a distorted wave form that is not safe for some motors, induction applications or sensitive electronic devices.

Why use Pure Sine Wave power:
• The same current which you get from the power grid.
• Output voltage has very low harmonic distortion.
• Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
• Reduces audible & electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles and fax machines.
• Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, glitches and noise in monitors.

Equipment that needs pure sine wave for optimum fuction:
• sensitive electrical / electronic items including laptop computers, laser printers and photo copiers
• music / sound equipment
• some fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts
• specialized applications such as medical equipment
• digital clocks
• bread makers with multi-stage timers
• rechargeable, solid state or variable speed tools
• Some battery chargers for cordless tools

Modified sine wave power can have detrimental effects on many electrical loads:
• Reduced energy efficiency of motors and transformers by 10% to 20%.
• Wasted energy in the form of abnormal heat which reduces the reliability and longevity of motors and transformers and other devices - including some appliances and computers.
• The distorted waveform confuses some digital timing devices.
• About 5% of household appliances will not work on modified sine wave power.
• A buzz will be heard from the speakers of most audio devices, some fluorescent lights, ceiling fans and transformers.
• Some microwave ovens will be less efficient / produce less heat.
• TVs and computer monitors often show rolling lines on the screen.
• Surge protectors should not be used as they may overheat.

 
 
 
*
Batteries
*

What type of batteries do the Power plant units use?

The Power Plant units use SLA (sealed lead acid) /AGM - Absorbent Glass Mat - 12V 7.2Ah deep cycle batteries which are rechargeable, highly efficient, leak proof and maintenance free. These batteries have a design life of 5 years or more and are capable of lasting longer should they be managed well.

• Totally maintenance-free
• The batteries can be recycled repeatedly
• The seal allows the battery to be placed horizontally, vertically or sideways
• No dangerous gas is generated during use
• Long life, low self-discharge rate and high reliability
• Very low internal resistance so recharge is easy and energy output is more efficient
• Capable of delivering high currents on demand
• Offers a relatively long service life, even when deep-cycled
• Deep discharge recoverability
• Vibration resistant
• Provides good electrical reliability and is lighter than the flooded lead acid type Stands up well to low temperatures
• The leading advantages of SLA batteries are a charge that is up to five times faster than the flooded version and the ability to deep cycle

AGM technology is popular to reduce weight and improve reliability. The acid is absorbed by a very fine fiberglass mat, making the battery spill-proof. This enables shipment without hazardous material restrictions.

*

The advantage of using many small batteries over using one (or more) large battery/batteries

• More batteries can be packed in the available space, improving energy density
• The pack is hardly affected by one cell going bad, reducing the need for service - the failure of one cell in a large battery will completely disable the pack
• Temperatures are more evenly distributed and heat is more easily removed, which improves reliability

To ensure that you get the most out of the batteries do not overload or use them at maximum capacity for extended periods of time.

*

Advantages of AGM (Absorbed Glass Matt) batteries over the conventional wet cell deep cycle battery.

• Wet cell batteries give off hydrogen (explosive) gas as they are charging, AGM batteries as they are totally sealed and spill proof.

• If wet deep cycle batteries have been discharged fairly deeply, it can take 8-12 hours to achieve just 70-80% charge.

• All conventional deep cycle battery manufactures say that their batteries are designed to be cycled to 50% of their rated capacity.

Every time you take these batteries below this 50% you are shortening their lives, and if you do it regularly and deeply you will even more dramatically reduce their lives.

Most people discharge their batteries far too low, way down until their fridges cut out, or their lights start to dim which does serious damage to the batteries, and consequently won’t get anywhere near the life out of their batteries that they could and should normally expect if the batteries were cycled within their design perimeters.

Some advantages of AGM batteries.

AGM batteries:
• ‘transport’ classed as spill proof
• only need to be vented to atmosphere, they do not need to be in a sealed box vented to the outside like wet batteries
• can be mounted on their sides or ends if needed
• were originally developed for the military, they are very robust and will take a real pounding
• can occasionally be discharged much much deeper than conventional deep cycles without major damage

AGM batteries, when left unattended, only self discharge at the rate of up to 3% per month, and even after 12 months sitting idle can be recharged and put back into full service without any ill effects. A standard deep cycle battery, if treated the same way, will have destroyed it’s self, it will no longer hold a good charge.

 
 
 
         
         
 
*
 

www.powerplantsa.com | info@powerplantsa.com
T: +27 87 809 0736
PO Box 190, Pinetown 3600 South Africa

 

Environmentally friendly

*

Power Plant units are relatively soundless and emit zero carbon emissions therefore ideal for use in environmentally sensitive locations including office buildings, neighborhoods and housing complexes that prohibit generators.

 
*