As the nation's power grid changes from coal power to renewable energies, it has highlighted issues in the reliability of current energy infrastructure. In a Reliability Panel report prepared by the Australian Energy Market Commission, it was found that the east coast energy network could become unstable as it makes the transition from coal to more gas and renewable energy generation unless action is taken to change how the grid functioned.
The good news: There's enough generation and demand response capacity in the power system over the short term.
The bad news: Until changes are made to the way the power systems are managed there will be issues and blackouts.
The main issue the grid is facing is maintaining stable power at times of unexpected breakdowns - when the wind isn't blowing or the sun isn't shining. In 2016-17 alone the system saw an increase in power dropouts, one of which was the South Australian state-wide blackout. This dropout rate has been increasing year-on-year. Source (20/03/2018)
With this in mind, it's worth looking into alternatives to secure yourself, your home, or your business during times of power shortages and blackouts.
So, what can I do?
The only option besides completely disconnecting and becoming a prehistoric explorer (see image A) is to get yourself a backup power generator.
There are many different options for backup power, dependent on your budget, application, and usage requirements. Here's a few general recommendations (but for a more specific recommendation, have a chat with one of our sales or hire staff):
Home Backup Essentials Only: The 3kW Cromtech Brumby
This generator is built like a suitcase, making it easy to move and store. It's an inverter generator with multiple power options like 230V AC, USB, and 12V power. For the purpose of home power backup it'll keep your essentials operating including your microwave, kettle, fridge, laptop, or hair dryer if you've got somewhere to be! This generator must be used outside though, so an extension lead will be needed.
Permanent Home Connection: Pramac P9000
This generator is an 8.8kVA home backup generator, designed to be connected to your home as a permanent installation. They're a cost effective solution and ideal in areas where there are more frequent blackouts. The P9000 can also have automatic start functionality, which is great for when the power goes out and you're not home - saving your fridges, freezers, security systems, and other permanent power applications.
Small and Large Business Backup: The Cummins 30kVA+ Range (Common sizes include 55kVA and 110kVA)
Power outages are a huge issue for businesses; business turnover stops and employees must still be paid, resulting in a huge financial loss. Investing in a backup generator will pay off when a power outage hits. The Cummins Power Generator range are the best value generators available. They're reliable, strong, environmentally conscious and super quiet. They'll start in almost any weather with ease (even down to -5°C), have a National support network with dealers and service personnel in every state, and come with a standard 2 year warranty on standby applications. A great perk is that you can monitor your generator remotely through ethernet, 4G, LAN, PC and more! Another bonus - Macfarlane Generators can refuel or service your generator for you, keeping it in top notch condition.
Please keep in mind these are only general recommendations, and the best set for you may be completely different if you have more unique applications. It's best to have a chat with one of our staff to better understand what you'll require at your home or business. Give us a call or submit an enquiry form!