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Blackout, selective load shedding: no impact on the BRIC’s services

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Blackout and selective load shedding

There was talk in the press about the possibility of an electrical blackout during November. IT is by definition dependent on the supply of electricity. The activities of the BRIC could therefore be affected. What exactly is the situation?

Blackout, selective load shedding, what are they?

Selective load shedding is a measure taken by the federal government to prevent blackouts. It involves interrupting the electricity supply at times when demand is highest (mainly between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.).
Selective load shedding is announced 24 hours in advance by press.

A blackout is a collapse of the entire power grid. It may be caused by a power shortage or an unforeseen technical problem.

In order to avoid this blackout selective load shedding may be implemented.

The Brussels-Capital Region is a densely populated area with a high level of economic activity. No selective load shedding is therefore planned, except for a few streets in Uccle (Fort-Jaco/Prince d'Orange district).

A power failure may occur regardless of the current situation. We have of course put in place procedures to overcome these interruptions and thus ensure continuity of services and backup of stored data.
What are they?

  • First, in the event that some or all of our servers are unavailable, other machines take over.
    All data centre elements have a dual power supply: one on city power and another protected.
  • Secondly, in the event of power outages, a device (called UPS for Uninterruptible Power Supply) takes over the power supply until the diesel generator starts up. In reality, this operation only lasts a few seconds.
  • Our diesel tank allows the emergency unit to run autonomously for 48 hours. It is always maintained at its maximum level. The diesel generator is tested every month
    The tank will be refilled if necessary to extend the operation of the diesel generator for the time needed to deal with the outage.
  • Once the electricity is back on, the diesel generator remains active for another ten minutes or so, until we can ensure that the power supply is stabilised.

As the end customer of our tools and applications, you will not see any difference (slow operation or inaccessibility). Data backup is also ensured by this device.

The BRIC also provides evening, night and weekend watch in the event of a power failure or interruption outside office hours.

Being solidary

As part of our Ecodynamic Company label, we are already making our employees aware of energy savings. But in the context of possible selective load shedding, the BRIC has also responded to the authorities’ call for public services in the region to reduce their electricity consumption.

We therefore encourage our employees to turn off all devices left in standby (computer, smartphone charger, coffee maker, etc.) and to use the stairs instead of the lift. Similarly, we ask them to turn off the lights when they leave a room, a meeting room, the toilets. In all cases, all BRIC lights are switched off centrally from 8.30 p.m. and every weekend.

By being solidary, we can prevent other parts of the country from suffering selective load shedding.

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