Keeping the lights on in your smart building

By M Da Silva, Power Solutions, The Jasco Group


Published in:

Electricity+Control, August 2015 (page 30)

Enquiries: Marco Da Silva. Power Solutions, The Jasco Group. Tel. 011 746 6800 or email


Download the full article on Keeping the lights on in your smart building in PDF format.


As the power crisis in South Africa continues, retail outlets and businesses are seeing significant loss of revenue, being unable to operate when the lights (and other systems) go out. For some businesses, such as supermarkets selling fresh and frozen goods, the impact of power outages with no back-up power are greater than just the loss of foot traffic. Spoiled perishable goods could cost these retailers potentially hundreds of thousands of Rands a year. For other enterprises such as banks, no power means no transactions can be processed and poor customer service, resulting in significant loss of revenue. Even in instances where generators are installed, providing power assurance and backup electricity in the event of outages, this only addresses half of the problem – the power assurance side.

When it comes to implementing power solutions, it is beneficial to partner with an expert service provider, as there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account. These include correct sizing of generators and identification of essential services to run off generator power, as well as the actual installation of the generator. This is often a complex process when generators are retrofitted, as the placement, environment and cable reticulation need to be taken into account. It is also essential to ensure adequate ventilation for the generator fumes, while ensuring it does not exhaust into a populated area, and if the generator will cause high levels of noise, soundproofing should also be included. In addition, access control for the generator area is essential.


Take note

  • Smart solutions rely on having available electricity in order to run.
  • Smart buildings need to have a UPS that interfaces with building management in place
  • Intelligent, connected technology is a growing trend.