Combating both COVID-19 & Eskom Load-shedding through Portable Back-up Power Units
In between the team’s busy projects schedule in January 2021, the Zero Point Energy engineering team made some time for R&D to combat the dual crisis of COVID-19 and Eskom load-shedding, and the disastrous impact both have on home-based patients dependent on oxygen concentrator devices that need to run 24-7.
The ZPE portable power supply under demonstration
Helping to Save COVID-19 Lives through our Backup Power Experience
In trying to address the multiple concerns with current backup-up power solutions in the market that were raised by home-based medical practitioners & community care-givers, the team spent time refining a design to come up with a solution that was both practical and innovative.
All that is needed is to plug the unit into a normal wall plug, then plug the medical device into the socket outlet on the front door of the unit, and flick the switch for uninterrupted power even during load shedding!
Product Features & Advantages
The resulting outcome of tinkering on our workbench was the portable backup power supply shown below. Some of its nifty features include:
1.) 1.4kWhr battery energy storage & 430W inverter capacity i.e. sufficient battery storage & inverter capacity for a 5L home oxygen concentrator to work at full capacity for up to 5 hours of load shedding, and factoring in any start-up surges and switching
2.) Total system weight of under 25kg making it easily portable and transportable (compared to existing battery trolleys in the market weighing 63kg for equivalent power & storage capacity!)
3.) No noise, no fuel emissions and no cumbersome start-up, storage and safety concerns as associated with diesel, petrol and gas generators
4.) Designed & assembled to be easily maneuvered in & out of cars, and even up & down stairs using a small hand-truck
5.) Use of modern lithium-ion battery technology and a high-spec’d battery charger, providing up to 5x longer lifespan (up to 10 years) and 2x faster charging to get from 5% back up to 100% charge (2 hours), compared to lead-acid batteries that would require 4 hours which is a concern if load shedding happens multiple times in a day
6.) Integrated the system with a Raspberry Pi processor and customised software so that the system can be remotely monitored and configured via the Victron online portal to provide warning notifications to care-givers on a mobile device e.g. when battery level reaches a minimum threshold or when load shedding starts or stops.
Remote monitoring screen accessible via mobile app or desktop
7.) Use of top tier equipment & components such as Victron inverter/charger, Blue Nova lithium-ion battery, Hager electrical protection components and designed & installed in a manner that is safe, electrically compliant and plug & play for anyone to use.
8.) Other functional benefits are the ability to charge cellphone/tablet devices from the system at the same time as medical devices are in use. The enclosure is also lockable and sturdy enough to be used as a temporary side table. There’s no noise nor emissions that would need to be a concern, so the unit can be located directly in the same room as patients requiring the medical device
We intend to roll-out a few of these units to care-givers in first quarter of 2021 who constantly need to transport oxygen concentrators between different COVID-19 patient locations.
They now have a reliable, convenient and easy to transport back-up power supply that can give them peace of mind that their critical patients will always have constant power for their life-saving medical devices even during Eskom load shedding.
Feel free to contact us to see to learn more or request quotes:
Established in 2015, Zero Point Energy (Pt) Ltd is a proudly South African 100% black-owned & 41% female-owned sustainable energy company providing bespoke design, consulting engineering, turn-key Engineering, Procurement & Construction (EPC) solutions as well as Operational & Maintenance (O&M) services in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, off-grid and backup power in the Southern African commercial, industrial, residential, agricultural and public sectors.
Learn more about the company’s team here