It was 2006 when I bought my first UPS. It was a basic model 700 VA thingy with a 12 V, 100 AHC battery attached to it. It was good enough contraption to power my small house with three bulbs and a fan. That was the time load-shedding had reared its ugly head. I needed the power to put my small family at ease during those long hours of darkness. This happened in Kashmir. Then things became worse in 2008 when I moved to Lahore. There was eight to twelve hours of unannounced load shedding in the provincial capital, in those days. No UPS could work in such circumstances as the darned devices need electricity to charge the battery first and then use that juice. I couldn’t afford a generator and so a solution had to be found. It came in the shape of Hyperstar at Fortress Lahore, where I would go along with my family to kill those long hours of boredom. Off course one couldn’t go there daily, but we did go there at least two days a week as the place was centrally air conditioned backed by huge generators.
An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) is a standby power arrangement system. UPS can be used for providing backup power to any electrical equipment, but mostly they are used as a standby power arrangement for PCs. In places where power outages are frequent and supply is not guaranteed UPS can also be used for running electrical equipment like fans, lights, TV sets etc. A UPS is also used in medical and telecommunication equipment or places in the industry where power outages can result in loss of life or can cause financial losses. A UPS comprises of battery system which stores electric charge. It also has a charging system to charge these batteries and means of converting the stored Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Modern UPS are intelligent devices and can manage the charging system, that is they shut off the electric power to the batteries when they are fully charged and turn off the UPS when the batteries are close to being discharged completely, thus preventing permanent damage to the batteries.
SOS for Pakistan – The KAYABEY Power Ship
Pakistan is facing the worst ever electricity crisis in its history. Thanks to years of mismanagement, shortsightedness and corruption; a country bestowed with rivers, enough wind to generate 50,000 MW and a Solar belt that can also generate an additional thousands of Mega Watts of electricity, not to mention the world’s biggest coal reserves. The city of Karachi, the industrial hub of Pakistan and a city which generates almost 65 % of the country’s revenue was the worst hit. Karachiites suffered, and are still experiencing up to 12 hours of load shedding. Now a Turkish Power Ship, perhaps the only of its kind has set sail from Istanbul to Karachi which will give the city a relief of some 230 MW. This agreement has been signed for a period of 60 months, or 5 years. This may sound as good news, but the point to note here is that this is again a short term solution, it will run on fossil fuel and it is not going to be cheap, not at all.
Our daily newspapers carried this story along with a photograph of the ship which words like “ To end the power problems of Pakistani brothers and sisters”. Well, I have no qualms at admitting that I wept on seeing this picture. Not because it carried an emotional message, but because despite being bestowed with so much we are still waiting for God knows who to help us and alleviate our problems. That perhaps is the most painful thing. The leadership will never understand this, there are suffering from acute shortsightedness I guess.