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Let the sun take charge

Updated April 08, 2018

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A one-box solution to your power woes.
A one-box solution to your power woes.

KARACHI: As the mercury level rises and the power utility continues to disappoint no matter the reason, people are constantly on the lookout for other practicable and cheaper options.

Earlier, it was generators and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems that brought people some respite. But with power gone for hours without warning and fuel being so expensive, it was a pricey option. UPS systems, too, could only provide power till there battery ran. Then they had to be recharged.

Thankfully there is also alternative or renewable energy to think about. More and more people are switching to it. Though installing the system, be it solar or wind, may initially seem expensive, it is looked upon as an investment as the utility bill turns to minimum as the sun or wind provides free power. Of these, wind power can be tricky as it depends on, well, wind. But the sun is there, bright as ever every day, without fault. It is more dependable.

Having connections with the sun. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Having connections with the sun. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

It is what has also prompted improvements and advancements in the area. The latest in this is a new development in UPS technology. Known as solar UPS it is fast becoming a craze with consumers looking for practical options here.

So what is a solar UPS? “It is basically an inverter, which now has a solar charge controller within it. It is also referred to as a solar hybrid convertor,” explains Mohammad Shakir at Karachi’s Regal Chowk, where many shops are selling solar UPS. “It’s all built in. Now instead of waiting for electricity to charge your UPS battery, you have it connected to your solar panel up there on your terrace, which will keep its battery charged,” he adds.

A separate solar charge controller, which the solar UPS now has built-in. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
A separate solar charge controller, which the solar UPS now has built-in. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

Abrar, another UPS systems dealer, says that this is the latest in solar power systems from China. “There are many solar UPS brands available in our markets now. Some are well-known foreign brands that are being assembled in China, some are their copies and some original Chinese brands,” he says.

“The price of a solar UPS depends on one’s load needs,” he says. “It can cost you from Rs14,500 up,” he points out. “And connected to even one solar panel can keep your battery charged to run fans and lights on.”

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2018