Congo power (or lack thereof)

The Congo has very inconsistent power. As a result, most people who have or use power also have a back-up generator. Every store in Lubumbashi has a back-up generator to turn on when the power goes off. In addition to the power coming and going, the power itself  goes up and down, leading everyone to buy a voltage regulator to try to keep a steady flow of the correct power flowing to expensive electrical equipment–and to prevent power surges from totally destroying equipment!

Congo power (6)

We have both a power regulator and a power converter in most office and apartments. The regulator (to the left) prevents overloads and brings in consistent power. The converter (to the right) is used to convert 220 volt to the back-up batteries and vise versa.

Congo power (5)

The two large back-up batteries gives us some power in-between power outages (so if you are working on a computer it does not die in the middle of your work, etc.).

I had heard from our couple in Likasi that they had power surges that were so strong it now only blew out light bulbs, but make them blow-up! I was skeptical, as I had never seen something like that happen…until last night.

Congo power (2)

Terri and I were in the living room watching a video on her Mac. I had commented on how the lights in the living room were slowly going out (there are 8 lights in the ceiling fixture). We had replaced all of them just a month or so ago, and every week or so we would notice another light had burnt out. Now there were only 3-4 left working.

Congo power (3)

All of a sudden the lights went bright, then completely dark, with one bulb actually bursting, throwing glass all over the room! Wow!

Congo power (4)

Now we have no lights in the living room, had to carefully find out shoes to get the broom and dustpan to sweep up all the glass. Tomorrow we will replace all the bulbs–again–and hope for the best.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s