Full Solar Eclipse Reminds Businesses About Power Protection

August 21, 2017

By Erik Linask - Group Editorial Director

With the highly anticipated only a full solar eclipse some of us will see in our lifetimes just hours away, countless questions and rumors have been circulating, ranging from the realistic to the completely outlandish.  But one situation that bears watching is how well the country’s power grids can cope with a significant swing in renewable energy.  Currently, about 5 percent of the nation’s peak power consumption is supplied by solar power.  By the time the next eclipse takes place in 2024, that number is projected to climb to about 14 percent.

For utilities and solar farms, the test will come in two phases – with the drop in solar energy when the eclipse starts, then again with a significant surge when the sun reappears.  While there are no expectations of power outages, utilities remain alert and have asked residents and businesses to notify them if they do experience an outage.

So, while this should be merely a live test of power management capabilities, the eclipse takes place in the middle of a work day when business operations are in full swing across the nation, including those locations with major solar facilities and provides a reminder that businesses should be prepared at all times for an outage and the impact it can have.

The most obvious, of course, is business disruption, which at the heart of a busy work day is nothing less than extremely frustrating.  But, in most cases, the outages are short-lived and business can resume relatively quickly.  The greater risk is exposure of technology to powerful surges that can permanently damage expensive equipment and result in lost or corrupted data.  In fact, even if equipment appears to be operating normally following an outage, there is a likelihood some of the sensitive circuitry was damaged and weakened, making it more susceptible to permanent failure in the future.

Installing an appropriate power protection and UPS system to protect equipment ensures installed technology, including network servers, switches, and storage devices, will be safe, and will eliminate the need for costly repairs or replacement of damaged elements.

So, while you’re out watching the eclipse with your eclipse glasses to protect your eyes, take a few moments to consider whether you’ve also protected your network, not only today, but for any future outages.

Edited by Erik Linask

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