backup battery

Battery Backup: What to know before you buy

Are you looking for peace of mind in your home? Do you live in South Africa and want to make sure that load shedding doesn’t leave your family stranded without electricity? Battery backup could be the answer. A quality battery backup system will allow your home to keep running during load shedding, ensuring that all essential appliances stay on no matter what happens at Eskom.

But before you buy one of these backup power solutions, there are a few things to know. Choosing the right battery backup system for your needs is critical. Many South Africans choose the wrong solution and are disappointed when they plug it in for the first time; or after a few months when their backup power solution no longer works.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the various types of battery backups available, how they work and their advantages and disadvantages. We’ll also provide some tips on choosing a reliable manufacturer and installer (if you need one) so you can ensure that getting battery backup at home is as worry-free as possible. Read on to find out more!


  1. Overview of Battery Backup and its Benefits 
  2. Understand The Different Types of Battery Backup Systems Available 
  3. Lead-Acid vs Lithium-Ion 
  4. Power and Load Requirements for Battery Backup 
  5. Choose the Right Capacity for Your Needs
  6. Pros and Cons of Utilising Battery Backup
  7. Should you connect to your DB board or not?
  8. Tips for Choosing the Best Battery Backup System For Your Home or Business

Overview of Battery Backup and its Benefits

Battery backup power provides temporary power during load shedding or an unplanned electrical outage. It can be used in homes, offices, and other buildings to keep essential equipment operating when the main power supply from Eskom is cut off.

With a battery backup system in place, you can rest assured that your home or business will stay up and running even when the power goes down. One of the major benefits of battery backup is that it can help prevent data loss and damage to electronic equipment.

Additionally, battery backup power can provide a sense of security and peace of mind, keeping essential lights and security systems running throughout the night.

Understand The Different Types of Battery Backup Systems Available

In a world where technology and load shedding both seem to be accelerating, it’s important to have a reliable backup system in case of power outages or surges. That’s where battery backup systems come in – specifically, UPS and inverters.

Both inverters and UPSs convert DC power from a battery into AC power, allowing users to power their devices without being connected to the grid. However, although they do the same thing – they are designed to fulfil different requirements.

Most people don’t know the difference between the two. So here it is.


UPS, or uninterruptible power supply, will keep appliances and devices running smoothly during a brief power outage. They are designed to keep appliances and devices running while power is interrupted. Interruptions can occur when you change over from Eskom to a generator and the power is out for a few seconds to a few minutes. They can also occur when power surges, or drops happen on the grid.

A UPS will also give you enough time to safely shut down sensitive electronic equipment before the power cuts entirely. It will also protect your equipment from power surges and drops.

Because they are designed to supplement your grid power, they generally have relatively small power capacity and hence are physically smaller. They easily fit under a work desk, or in a server cabinet.

UPSs are almost always powered with cheaper lead-acid batteries because the engineers only intend the UPS to supplement your grid power.


Inverters, on the other hand, are much larger and have the capacity to run your appliances and devices for far longer, 2 – 8 hours, depending on their capacity. These devices often have 2 x 100ah batteries. Although they can’t power your entire house, they can easily keep the TV, wifi router and a few energy-efficient lights (and even a fridge) running for many hours.

The backup power in an inverter can come from both large lead-acid batteries or Lithium-ion batteries.

Battery Backup Lifespan

Knowing the differences between these types of backup systems could make all the difference when the power goes out. UPSs don’t last long in our extreme South African load shedding environment.

This comes down to the type of battery used.

Lead-Acid vs Lithium-Ion

The decision of which type of battery to use in various applications has become increasingly important in recent years. When comparing lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries, there are several key differences to consider.


Lithium-ion batteries are used in cellular phones, laptops and electric vehicles. The reason for this is that Lithium-ion batteries have a higher number of discharge and recharge cycles before requiring replacement.

This is not precise, but most lithium-ion batteries can cope with at least 3000 cycles. So they can be charged and discharged 3000 times. That is close to 10 years of life if you run the battery down each day!

Additionally, you can run them flat (not recommended), and they will charge up 100% again.

Conversely, a lead-acid battery will only manage around 150 cycles, and if you discharge it to zero, your backup power lifespan will only be a few months

Capacity and power density

One of the most significant differences is capacity, with lithium-ion batteries boasting higher capacity. Another important factor is power density, with lithium-ion batteries having a higher power density than lead-acid batteries.

If you are going to choose a lead acid inverter – make sure it has significant capacity and that you don’t run it down past 25% ever.


When it comes to safety, both types of batteries have their strengths and weaknesses. While lead-acid batteries are less likely to explode or catch fire, they contain hazardous materials. In contrast, lithium-ion batteries are less dangerous to handle but can overheat and cause fires in rare cases.

Ultimately, deciding between these two batteries will depend on specific needs and preferences, weighing all of these factors carefully.

Power and Load Requirements for Battery Backup

When it comes to battery backup, power and load requirements are crucial to keep in mind. The voltage (V), amp hours (Ah), and watts (W) are essential factors to consider while choosing a battery backup system. It is important to assess which appliances you want to keep running during a power outage, such as the TV, fridge, air conditioner, and even water heating systems.

Having this knowledge beforehand will help you determine the right size of battery backup that can meet your power demands and keep you connected during extended power outages.

So take the time to calculate your power and load requirements carefully to make sure you remain comfortable and safe in the event of load shedding.

Choose the Right backup battery Capacity for Your Needs

When it comes to choosing the right backup battery capacity for your needs, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the ampere-hour (Ah) rating of the battery. This refers to the amount of electrical charge the battery can hold and deliver over time.

Another important factor is watts, which tells you how much power the battery can supply at any given moment.

And of course, you’ll need to make sure the battery’s voltage is compatible with the devices you plan to power.

Ultimately, selecting the right battery capacity is all about finding a balance between your current power needs and future requirements, so be sure to do your research and choose wisely.

Pros and Cons of Utilising Battery Backup

The biggest benefit of utilising battery backup is the ability to continue operating important devices and machinery during a power outage. The secondary is that a battery backup power will protect your appliances and devices. This is especially important if you rely on technology for your work or live in an area prone to power outages like South Africa.

However, there are also some downsides to battery backup. For one, the batteries require regular maintenance and may lose their charge over time, so you need to ensure they are properly maintained and replaced as necessary. Additionally, the initial investment in a battery backup system can be expensive, and ongoing costs for replacement batteries can add up over time.

Although solar panel prices are coming down every year, some homeowners might feel they don’t want to go the solar panel and solar battery route and only do battery backup systems.  

It’s important to weigh both the pros and cons before deciding whether battery backup is the right choice for your needs.

Should you connect to your battery backup to your DB board or not?

When it comes to connecting your battery backup to your DB board, many people have different opinions on what’s best. While some argue that it’s crucial to connect the two, others say it’s unnecessary and can even be dangerous.

Connecting to your DB board must be done by an electrician, which costs money. On the other hand, it is neat, and you don’t end up running extension cords across the house to power the TV and lights.

At the end of the day, it really comes down to personal preference and what you feel is most important for your home or business. However, it’s important to keep in mind that connecting your battery backup to your DB board can provide added peace of mind in case of planned power outages or grid failures.

So before making any decisions, take the time to weigh the pros and cons and decide what’s best for you.

Tips for Choosing the Best Battery Backup System For Your Home or Business

Choosing the best battery backup system for your home or business can be overwhelming, given the wide variety of options available in the market. However, with a few tips and tricks, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget. For starters, determine the power and frequency of power outages in your area. This will help you select a backup system with enough power capacity to sustain your home or business during outages. Additionally, consider the type of battery technology, backup time, installation requirements, maintenance needs, and cost. In summary, the best battery backup system is one that offers reliable, long-lasting, and efficient power backup, with minimal maintenance requirements and reasonable pricing.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, battery backup is an essential system for ensuring a reliable power supply in areas where electricity can be unreliable. It helps to protect your electrical equipment and devices from irreparable damage caused by power surges or outages. Additionally, consider the type of battery technology, backup time, installation requirements, maintenance needs, and cost.

Evaluating each element to ensure you select the right solution for your requirements could ultimately save you time, money and effort in years to come.