Climate change seems apparent, as evidenced by extremes of temperature, heavy snowfalls, high winds and an increased risk of flooding that the UK experiences every year at the moment. When the weather takes a turn for the worse people tend to take shelter in their homes for warmth and protection – but what happens when the power goes out?
Just think for a few moments about all the ways in which electricity is used in the home. Apart from providing light and heat, we rely on our fridges and freezers to preserve food, whilst electric cookers, microwaves and kettles are just some of the kitchen appliances required to prepare meals.
Laptops, notebooks and mobile devices such as smartphones have built-in batteries, but when their power is exhausted we need electricity to power them up again. Where homes have a private water supply drawn from a well, a power outage can mean a loss of water too. Meanwhile, home security systems usually have battery back-up, but these are usually designed to provide emergency power for a short time before the system goes down completely, leaving your home unprotected.
Power cuts are an unpleasant fact of life, but in some instances they can be life threatening, for example, in a hospital where power is literally keeping some patients alive. At the very least power cuts are a nuisance, leaving people in the dark and cold, sometimes for many hours.
A generator really comes into its own when loss of power is likely to be an issue. Generators can be programmed to start up as soon as they sense an interruption to the power supply, keeping loss of electricity to a minimum.
Now, however, it’s possible to improve on the service provided by a generator with a fast-acting system that keeps the power running continuously, even when the main power supply goes down. This is thanks to a clever device known as a UPS, short for Uninterrupted Power Supply. In essence this is a battery back-up that is constantly primed for action. As the electricity supply dwindles, the UPS automatically maintains power while the generator starts up, meaning no power is lost.
Formerly available as small battery packs that could be attached to computers, for example, to enable users to save data and shut down safely in the case of a power cut, the UPS has grown up to become an essential piece of equipment in hospitals, data centres and other business environments where sudden loss of power can cause catastrophe.
Now companies such as kohler power can provide tailor-made solutions for large multi-national companies down to small family homes, thanks to a catalogue of products designed to appeal to every type of potential user.
It may seem like an avoidable expense when the electricity supply is working, but when the power goes down the homeowners with a UPS system will be congratulating themselves on their forethought as they continue to cook, read and use their computers while the rest of the neighbours huddle around a candle!
Ted Williams is a freelance writer who specialises in home maintenance and security. He believes companies such as kohler power will see sales increase as the weather continues to become more unpredictable.