By Eric Guth
As we move into winter, the “Gush Effect” (a term that I coined for the unusual electric disburbances in Gush Etzion), the frequent power outages preceded by flickering, is taking its toll on our electronic devices that we use. This flickering is due to dirty insulators and contacts on electric company power towers that are now covered with summer dirt and dew late at night and early in the morning. Arcing and sparking can be observed on most of the power towers in Efrat in the late evening. To combat the Gush Effect we need to install time delay and surge protection devices on all of our expensive electric appliances and electronic gear so as not to shorten their lives.
Large inductive loads, such as refrigerators and other large appliances that use motors, pumps, compressors, and heaters should have 3-minute time delay modules installed. These devices plug into the wall outlet with the appliance plugged into it. Time delay modules are available from all of the hardware stores in the Gush.
Electronic home entertainment gear including televisions, stereos, DVD and tape machines, as well as play stations and other video games should be connected to the power through special 10 second time delay surge protection devices made for the Israeli market. These fast acting devices hold the power off during the flickering and outages and restore the power 10 seconds after the power returns. In all Efrat Network’s network installations, we use these time delays to also reset ADSL modems and routers so that all system come up properly after a power failure. While these devices seem expensive, they will reduce or eliminate your losses. A single 10-second time delay strip will operate your entire home entertainment center and are rated at 2200 Watts.
Your desktop computer is a different animal entirely. When your computer is running, a number of processes in both the hardware and software are also moving at full speed. The faster the speed of our computers, the more sensitive they are to interruptions. Power interruptions will damage both hardware and software and will require a technician’s expertise to restore the computer to operating condition.
Desktop computers, not laptops, require the use of battery back up power supplies, also called UPS or uninterruptible power supplies. These power supplies generate the electricity that a computer needs from an internal battery during the power failure. These power supplies also use a communications cable that connects to your computer’s USB or serial port to allow the power supply to shut down your computer properly if the power outage outlasts the battery supply. UPS power supplies are rated in VA (volt/amps). The larger the VA rating the longer the computer will operate on the backup battery during a power failure. Efrat Networks now specifies 650VA as the minimum size for all of our desktop clients. This is large enough to support the computer, two screens, as well as any other peripheral devices such as an ADSL modem, router, Vonage box, etc. We do have clients who are using much larger UPS supplies to give them up to two hours of uptime during a power failure before the battery runs out. If your computer is critical to your parnassa, consider investing in a larger UPS.
Finally, at Efrat Networks, we have experimented with a number of different UPS power supplies to insure reliability as well as protection during Gush Effect outages. Unfortunately, regular standby UPS power supplies will not withstand a nasty Gush Effect outage. The life of these supplies is severely shortened by the Gush Effect and potentially allows the destructive forces of the Gush Effect to take out the computer connected to it. I personally lost one of my desktop computers in last week’s outage
while it was connected to a standby UPS. (I know, the cobbler’s kids don’t have shoes)
We now recommend the use of “line interactive” UPS power supplies. These types of UPS are designed to isolate the computer during the transfer from electric company power to battery power during a power failure. Line interactive UPS also communicate with the computer through a USB or serial cable to save data and shut down the computer when its battery runs out during a power failure.
Efrat Networks has stock of both 10-second time delay power protection strips and line interactive UPS power supplies. Please call us at 930-9456 today if we can protect you from the Gush Effect.