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Inverters and Batteries: A Paradox in Load-Shedding

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Inverters and Batteries: A Paradox in Load-Shedding

Researchers have uncovered a paradox concerning the use of backup power systems during load-shedding in South Africa. Contrary to their intended purpose of providing electricity during power outages, these systems, especially those without solar power generation, actually exacerbate the electricity demand.

Inverters and Batteries: A Paradox in Load-Shedding

Inverter and Battery Systems’ Impact on Load-Shedding

Without the support of solar generation, inverter and battery systems draw additional electricity from the grid to recharge after a power outage. This counteracts the load-shedding measures implemented to reduce electricity consumption.

Stored Electricity Usage

University of Johannesburg physics professor Hartmut Winkler explained that batteries primarily store electricity when it’s available, subsequently consuming that stored electricity during power cuts. Consequently, the overall electricity usage remains the same, despite load-shedding efforts.

Increased Demand for Recharging

The power required to recharge a battery after a power outage is significantly higher than what the system would draw without such a setup. When the grid’s power is restored, the system demands additional electricity to replenish the battery.

Solar Systems and Their Drawbacks

While solar setups are considered more ideal, many still draw power from the grid for recharging. Setting inverters to charge exclusively via solar generation may risk power shortages during the night or cloudy periods, pushing users to rely partially on grid charging.

Impact on Load Shedding

Research conducted by Stellenbosch University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Industrial Engineering departments revealed that these systems contribute to increased energy demand on the grid, undermining the effectiveness of load shedding.

Simulated Testing and Findings

To assess the problem’s extent, researchers simulated a community of 12,000 residential households with inverter and battery setups. Their findings indicated that, with a mere 15% penetration of inverters, load-shedding’s intended effects were diminished by around 60% in summer and 70% in winter.

Peak Power Draw Challenges

The research highlighted a critical issue wherein all inverters simultaneously charge when power is restored following load shedding, causing a peak power draw that surpasses or matches the load-shedding draw. The level of inverter penetration and charging rate had a direct impact on this phenomenon.

This revelation suggests a complex challenge in balancing backup power solutions with load shedding, particularly when those systems do not incorporate solar generation.

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Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

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Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

Until 05:00 on Tuesday, stage 4 loadshedding will continue. Until further notice, Stage 2 and 4 loadshedding will take place.

Eskom Loadshedding will continue until 5:00 on Tuesday, as previously announced

Monday, 10 July 2023: Stage 4 loadshedding is being implemented until 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday due to increased demand. On Wednesday, Stage 4 loadshedding will be implemented from 14:00 until 05:00, followed by Stage 2 loadshedding from 05:00 to 14:00.

Eskom Loadshedding Today

There will be a daily implementation of this pattern until further notice. A new update will be published if any significant changes are made.

As of now, 14 252MW of generating capacity has been damaged by breakdowns, while 4 118MW of generating capacity has been out of service for planned maintenance.

As of today, Duvha, Hendrina, Kendal, Kriel, Matimba and Medupi power stations have each reactivated a generating unit.

The Arnot and Tutuka power stations each had a generation unit out of service due to a breakdown during the same period.

Tutuka Power Station’s current capacity constraints are due to the delay in resuming two generating units. In order to restore service to the generating units, Eskom teams are working around the clock.

Members of the public are being encouraged to use electricity sparingly and efficiently, and we want to thank the people who do heed the call. During the period between 17:00 and 21:00, please turn off your geysers and pool pumps as this reduces demand, alleviates pressure on the power system, and contributes to fewer stages of load-shedding.

For Further Notice Visit Official Site 

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