AFTER almost eight years of loadshedding disruptions, the Border-Kei Chamber of Business took action and installed alternative power solutions.
The chamber made this decision after struggling businesses approached them for strategies to help mitigate their losses from loadshedding, without the need to purchase generators.
They became the country’s first green business chamber, going off-the-grid in 2016, except for their air-conditioner, which demands high energy.
After an audit of their energy demands and efficiencies, the chamber installed LED lighting and passive motion sensors. Although this helped them reduced their electricity demand, they were still affected by loadshedding.
So, the chamber decided to install a backup system of grid-tied solar photo voltaic panels. This system is powered by two Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) converters and battery banks.
Using this new electricity system saves the chamber thousands of rands in annual electricity bills and keeps their lights on even during a power outage.
Generous donations from several companies, including battery banks from manufacturer First National Battery, made renewable energy for the chamber possible.
The chambers’ UPS converters are powered by gel-filled battery banks that ensures continuous power to the building even during loadshedding.
First National Battery Managing Director Murray Long said businesses and industries looking to power their off-grid applications should look for reliable and robust batteries high performance due to the low self-discharge rate; long service life due to grid design and technology, maintenance-free, with no topping up required, and recyclable.
“At the end of its long battery life, it is important to recycle the battery. Recycling batteries will prevent harmful elements from polluting landfills and contaminating water which is detrimental to people, the environment and animals,” Long said.
“As the first green business chamber in the country, the Border-Kei Chamber of Business is the blueprint for businesses and industries to go off-the-grid. The chamber found a way to bring light into their darkness, and found a solution to supply their neighbours with a stable supply of power.”