By Irfan Aligi
KARACHI: The sale of electric generators and uninterrupted power supplies (UPS) has increased by 200 percent with the arrival of summer and the incessant load shedding being experienced in the city.
UPS sellers have increased the price of UPSs by an average of Rs 2,000, seeing the market trend, however their quality has gone down. Regal Chowk in Saddar Town is the largest UPS market with almost 100 UPS retail shops. Each UPS retailer in this market sells at least five sets a day. It is not only the sale that has increased but also the sale of wet batteries and voltage stabilizers – necessary accessories for a UPS.
The increased load shedding in the city has seen people spending large amounts of cash on devices to protect their electronic appliances, personal computers and the valuable data stored in them. Alleviating the pain of rising temperatures and bad ventilation, combined with a lack of electricity for running fans and air conditioners, is another reason for the increased sale of UPSs, various UPS vendors informed Daily Times.
The description of power output in terms of voltage (V) and Watts (W) does not match the actual incorporated capacity of the UPS. For example, if it says that the UPS manifests 500 W on the box, the device more than likely offers 300 W only. Likewise, a 1,250 W UPS probably has a capacity of 500 W, a 1,500 W UPS, 700 W and a 1,800W UPS 800 W, Daily Times learnt.
A UPS is sold and bought on the basis of its load bearing capacity. Normally, customers are unaware of which UPS will suffice their needs. They simply ask the vendor to sell them a UPS that will run a TV, tube lights and fans. Which brand to give a customer is up to the vendor, and most shopkeepers sell the brand with the highest profit margins.
UPSs with 300 VA, capable of running two tube lights and two fans, are the cheapest you can buy and are demanded the most, UPS vendor Rao Suhail Hameed told Daily Times.
Hameed said that the customer should always enquire about the transformers and transistors used in the UPS as most UPSs use Chinese transistors and transformers made from aluminum wire. UPSs with transformers made from pure copper wire and transistors made in Malaysia are more reliable.
The UPSs with Chinese transistors and aluminum wire are faulty and customers frequently bring them back to the vendors for repair a couple of times a month. Although most vendors offer free repair and services, the customers have to bear transport charges and not to mention the inconvenience. Thus a 5,000-rupee UPS easily ends up costing someone Rs 9,000 in a year, he said.
UPS users should ensure their house is earthed because the lack of earthing can damage the fuses and transistors in the UPS, he added.
Courtesy: Daily Times, 16/4/2008