Ibn al-Nafis As a Philosopher, Encyclopedia of Islamic www.cialisgeneriquefr24.com cialis World). Ibn ul-Nafis has Dissected the Human Body, Encyclopedia of Islamic World). Leclerc (1876), Histoire de la médecine arabe, vol.

Published on MyRepublica News Daily on June 22, 2015

 

The receptionist at a hotel in Biratnagar I stayed at once told me why they think is not sensible to rely on the grid electricity for power. My immediate assumption was that she was talking about load-shedding. Then she said, “…even when there is electricity…”. A little puzzled, I asked for a more elaborate explanation. It so turned out that the power supply they received had such huge voltage fluctuations that either their appliances kept shutting down or suffered permanent damage, thereby causing huge pain and losses to the management.

Now the trend is also starting to set in many other parts of the country, including Kathmandu!

Nepalese consumers are somewhat used to occasional high voltages during the stormy seasons – most have learned to internalize any damages due to high voltage, as if it is a calamity beyond human control. Tens of thousands in damages on a regular basis – and people still assume it is just a part of life. However, some of the more sensitive consumers are starting to get a little too frustrated with the damages and the continuous hassle associated with them that they have decided to change their consumption patterns. A hotel in Chitwan decided to replace all its LEDs with CFLs because the former kept getting damaged due to their limited tolerance for voltage fluctuations. Apart from the regular financial losses, the need to constantly spend time and resources to replace the damaged bulbs and the increased risks of negative image in front of the public due to less-than-perfect hotel ambience led the owners to shift into the less energy-efficient solution.

On the flip side, regular low voltage in many parts of Kathmandu has created its own set of problems. Many residential consumers are now experiencing voltages going down to even 160 volts, way below the standard range of 220-240 volts. It is not uncommon for utilities to reduce voltage slightly to compensate for high demand during peak hours. Given the huge supply shortage, Nepal Electricity Authority is almost always in the state of “high demand”, so their decision to drop the voltage slightly is not illogical. But the range of voltage in which the sole utility is currently operating can cause significant damage to appliances. Typically, motor based appliances – such as refrigerators, ACs, dryers, and pumps, are considered among those at high risk due to low voltage. Continuous low voltage can cause overheating, which can then damage the motors and the cables.

But the problem of continuous low voltage for Nepal now goes beyond just safety of their appliances.

Due to worsening load-shedding conditions, Nepal in the last few years had seen a surge in the use of inverters and UPSs. But recently, many consumers are starting to complain about how their appliances continue to supply power from the backup systems even after the grid line is on. As a result, the batteries are empty when the power goes out, thus defeating the entire purpose of owning a backup system in the first place. Inverters and UPSs have a range that they operate within. If the incoming grid voltage above or below a certain level, they revert to a protective setting – to minimize damage to themselves, as well as to the appliances they power. This suggests that the very “go to” option for Nepalese consumers wanting backup power supply is now under threat!

What is it that consumers can do in such a case of unreliability? One thing is do that what the Biratnagar hotel wanted to do – go off-grid. Diesel is a quick and dirty solution to many larger consumers, but it is expensive and cannot be sustained for long. Going fully off-grid so is not an option for most due to its relatively high cost. Solar has gained quite a bit of popularity as an alternative to grid power in the past decade. Originally, the norm for regular consumers was to go with a near 50-50 grid/solar hybrid charging option, which means the grid and solar each cover 50% of the backup demand. Now, as the grid is less reliable, a solution would be to simply increase the share of solar’s contribution.

Lastly, in a country like Nepal where the range of quality of products and people selling them is wide, consumers themselves need to be a little smarter with their purchases. Instead of going with the cheapest or what they find first, they should really start zooming into whether their purchases can really solve their issues.

Or, people can start knocking on NEA’s doors and convince them to put in more efforts towards improving reliability and quality, and not just the amount of supply.