STAYING POWER

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Updated : September 25, 2013 03:09  pm,Dubai
By Editor
8Unreliable power costs businesses dearly in East Africa; With Tripp Lite back up solutions, relief is at hand.

Ideally, data centres, desktops and other office equipment need constant power supply for normal business operations. In reality, businesses in much of Africa have to do with a few hours of power each day, while remote locations mean many are completely off-grid. To cope, businesses have come to rely on power back up systems with Tripp Lite among the top solution providers.

Africa is a very strategic growth-oriented market for Tripp Lite with markets such as Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and Rwanda registering strong growth the company, according to Bill DeCicco, Executive VP at Tripp Lite. The company has been in these markets for over a decade now.

Tripp Lite focuses on two key segments that include IT solutions and electrical equipment. For the former, distribution partners in East Africa are Redington and Mitsumi. The electrical solutions go to Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) and MEP contractors and consultants. Partners for the electrical equipment include Sang Yung in Kenya and Systems 2000 in Tanzania as well as Copy Cat in Uganda. “We have independent service centres related to our partners that take care of the warranties in support of our products in each country,” said DeCicco.

The need for power back-up is very clear in the underserved East African market, with major target segments being banking healthcare, education, telecom and the government. “We supply a complete range of solutions from 20 kilowatts single-phase UPSs to 500 kilo three-phase UPSs powering different IT equipment. We also have modified inverters for long term back up,” said DeCicco. Tripp Lite’s infrastructure solutions in data centres include racks, KVMs, PDUs, infrastructure software: the complete gamut of power and cooling for the data centre, according to DeCicco. “We have different vertical focus and then horizontal focus on each different product.”

In the telecom sector, cell site towers pose an important challenge to Tripp Lite because they are located all over the country including in some very remote areas. Some towers are fed by mainstream electrical supply while some use generator sets as there’s no grid power available. Yet, these towers have to be running continuously. “We have installations in some of these remote areas that use DC-AC converter systems backed by battery banks that provide 24-48 hours battery life back-up time to the towers,” explained DeCicco.

And technology advancement means these power equipment, despite being completely off the beaten path, can be monitored and managed remotely. With an IP address integrated within Tripp Lite power equipment, telecom operators with a central point for managing all the cell sites has the ability to see what is happening with the temperature, battery status, inverter conditions, etc. in all the locations. “A lot of telecom carriers are employing hybrid power solutions by installing solar panels for back up. Solar panels will kick in to charge up the inverters when grid power goes out,” said DeCicco.