Load Shedding Solution

We have been asked by numerous customers to source a solution to South Africa's load shedding problems. We’re glad to say that we have now partnered with Ellies and you can now purchase inverters from Cosoft. We've put together a list of commonly asked questions.

Q: What is an inverter?

A: It is a deep cycle battery connected to an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to 220v alternating current (AC) to power your computers.

Q: How long will the battery last?

A: We have found a solution that will power your computers for 4 hours or more.

Q: How do I charge the inverter?

A: It charges automatically while your store has power.

Q: How do I switch over to battery power?

A: The system is simple to set up because it is plug an play. You unplug the computer and monitor from the wall and plug it into the inverter. Then you plug the inverter into the wall socket. The inverter comes with standard SA three pin plugs.

Q: How big is the inverter?

A: We have two sizes. We recommend using one smaller inverter per computer that you want to power during load shedding. The server and it’s switch is the first computer that always needs to be on inverter power. If the server is on the counter, then this is all you may need if you only want one computer to be on during load shedding. You can of course buy more inverters depending on your needs during load shedding. If the server is in the office, you might want to get a second one for a till on the counter. We only recommend getting the larger 1200w inverter when you have a big power-hungry NEC server in a large combo store. You would power the server on the large inverter and use one smaller inverter for one till in each brand.

Large Inverter

Q: Can I plug two computers into one large inverter?

A: Technically yes, but take into account the wiring. You don’t want to have to run power cables all over the place because this can become messy and tangled. This is why we recommend purchasing one smaller inverter per computer instead of a large one for two computers.

Q: Can it power the printers?

A: It can only power thermal receipt printers and ink jet report printers. Do not ever plug a Lazer Jet printer into an inverter bcause it uses a lot of power.

Q: How will my kitchen printer print slips during load shedding?

A: Unfortunately it won’t unless you get a certified electrician to run a power cable from the inverter to the kitchen printer. It may be easier to print two slips and pass one to the kitchen.

Q: My store is closed during load shedding because the ovens are all electric. Why would I want an inverter?

A: If your store does deliveries or table orders, you need to wait for drivers to return to the store so that they can be cashed up. Table orders need to be settled. A simple UPS typically does not last long enough to complete these important transactions.

Q: What else can the inverter supply power to?

A: Only low power electrical devices such as phones, credit card machines and computers. It certainly will not power your chip fryer.

Q: What about my CCTV system?

A: Yes, the inverter can power this system and therefore you will always have video footage – particularly if the cameras use Power Over Ethernet to get their power. If your CCTV system and the Aura server are in the same office, then we recommend getting one inverter for the Aura system and another large inverter for the CCTV system.

Q: How much will this cost?

A: The smaller 1000va inverter is R6694.65 incl and the larger 2000va is R9162.86 incl.

Q: Is there a warranty?

A: Yes, the products have a 1 year warranty.

Q: I have a generator, do I still require an inverter solution?

A: You can simply use a typical UPS if you have a generator because you only need power for a few minutes while the generator comes to life. An inverter might be overkill, but it will still work. The good part is that the inverter will work, even if the generator fails to start or runs out of diesel. This could be seen as an additional layer of security. In this case, you will need a qualified electrician to install it so that it is not powering anything that might overload it.

Q: Can one inverter power the whole store?

A: Each site is different, so we will have to discuss your needs. If your store has provision for such a setup, then it might be feasable to connect an inverter into the power feed that runs to the computers, but even the big inverter will not be able to power 3 computers for 4 hours.

Q: What other features do these Ellies inverters have?

A: Overload protection, Automatic Transfer Switch, Easy to move as it is on wheels. Warning buzzer for low power. 

Q: What else should I know

A: Always remember that no matter whether you are using UPS's or Inverters, when they start to beep, they are about to loose power. When you hear the beeping sound, you need to manually shut down the computers before they suddenly loose power. Repeated failure to do this will eventually result in data loss and an expensive callout to re-install everything.

Q: How do I get one?

A: Contact our quotes department by emailing tarryn@cosoft.co.za or phoning 086 099 4155. 

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