Atlas Security’s power solution can help ease load-shedding woes
Backup batteries take strain with rolling blackouts, but Atlas's intelligent charging circuit ensures an optimal fast-charge after a power failure
During these dark times of load-shedding, South Africans have had no choice but to adapt to a new way of life, with no real solution on the horizon.
Taking our homes off the grid and securing our own reliable power sources has become a regular conversation around the braai, with many people particularly concerned about security alarm system activations.
In times of power outages, your backup battery is the heartbeat to your alarm system, but these batteries were never designed to sustain the frequency at which they are discharging and recharging during load-shedding.
This means the issue is not that the battery cannot handle the two hours of load-shedding; the problem is trying to get it recharged before the next round of load-shedding hits.
How much can your battery handle?
After supplying power to your system for a long period of time, it can take up to 24 hours for your battery to completely recharge — this time frame can vary as different units and set-ups have different power requirements. The issue with the current energy supply is that these batteries are not getting sufficient power to recharge. It’s taking more out of the battery than giving back.
The constant starvation of power is also causing damage to the cells within the battery, and when a battery is close to failing, the alarm system will start generating multiple emergency signals as a form of “crying for help”.
If your home is in Gqeberha, these emergency signals are received by the Atlas Security control room and, according to the standard protocol, need to be dealt with and responded to like any other alarm activation.
However, when these volumes of signals come flooding into the control room, the team tries to prioritise different signals to notice emergencies over false alarms. Panic signals are prioritised during load-shedding periods.
What can you do?
The volume of failing batteries is increasing daily due to the extended period of load-shedding. Atlas Security advises you to consider additional backup power options to complement your existing alarm backup battery, one option being the Atlas supplementary power supply.
Atlas Security has developed a battery system that copes better with the load-shedding scenario. Together with a local technology company, Atlas Security created a supplementary power supply that eases the load on the alarm battery, ensures your alarm stays operational during load-shedding, and extends the life of your alarm battery.
The Atlas supplementary power supply incorporates an intelligent charging circuit that ensures the battery is optimally charged after a power failure. The charger will go into a fast-charge mode (within the battery manufacturer’s specifications) to boost the charge and replenish the battery as fast as possible without putting stress on the battery.
This allows 80% of the charge to be replenished within four hours as opposed to the normal alarm charger, which takes 16 hours. Once the battery is fully charged, the intelligent charger will go into a “float” charge mode, which ensures the battery is not overcharged and is kept at ideal standby voltage levels.
The supplementary power supply can be retrofitted to most alarm systems and requires installation by a qualified Atlas technician to ensure conformity to high standards.
Dangers to consider
It is a concern that many people are using vehicle batteries to power their alarm system, which can have devastating consequences, including the following:
- The alarm panel charging circuit is not designed to charge a car battery.
- The external electric charging circuit from a car battery can blow your alarm panel.
- The SA Intruder Detection Services Association bylaws specifically state “the use of electrolyte lead-acid type or car batteries is not permitted”.
- Lead-acid batteries give off hydrogen sulphide gas while charging, which is explosive and corrosive and which could ignite if any spark or open flame is close by.
- If you get broken into and it is found that a car battery is being used to charge your system, your insurance claim may be rejected.
- The set-up of a car battery will leave connections exposed and open to possible tampering or disconnections.
- Alarm systems being powered by any unapproved power source will lose their warranty.
For more information on how to correctly power your alarm system, please contact Atlas Security on 086-158-5585 or email email@example.com.
This article was paid for by Atlas Security.