For companies in the United States, power outages are a rare occurrence and, typically, not long lasting. However, more and more companies, and households for that matter, in the United States are now reevaluating their emergency responses to a variety of situations, and backup, standby power generators are their first line of defense to a potential power outage.
TYPES OF GENERATORS
Generators are sources of electricity for facilities that continue to maintain power during outages. While they prevent disruption of important capabilities, choosing the right generator is as important as deciding to get one in the first place. Generac makes some of the most reliable and dependable generators on the market today. There are two main types of standby generators: portable, and stationary.
Portable generators are the easiest and most convenient way to provide temporary electricity. Powered by either gasoline or diesel fuel, portable generators are ideal for remote locations and are perfect for small appliances. The second generator type is known as stationary, which is perfect for large companies. The generator automatically switches on when power is lost by using natural gas or diesel fuel. These standby stationary generators are ideal for commercial use as they can run for weeks. But while this is the best option, it is also the most expensive one available.
DETERMINING YOUR GENERATOR SIZE
When choosing a standby generator it is vital to calculate the full load capacity to understand how much power the generator needs to produce. It is best to estimate the required generator capacity by taking full-load current measurements during peak usage at the service panel. Here is an easy-to-follow way to figure it out:
- Use a clamp-on ammeter on each leg of the electrical service and add the measurements together. This provides the total amps used by the facility.
- Divide the total amps by three for three-phase current, and by two for single-phase current, then multiply the result by the supply voltage, and again by 1,000 for Kilowatts (kW) required.
- Add the power in kilowatts used by each emergency safety system according to articles 700, 701, 702 and 708 of the NEC to the kilowatts required to obtain Full Load Kilowatts.
To determine the Full Load Kilowatts, simply multiply the Total Amps by the Supply Voltage and divide that answer by 1,000. The Reserve Capacity is simply the Full Load Kilowatts multiplied by 0.25. To find out a 100 percent power, generator size simply add the Full Load Kilowatts and Reserve Capacity together.
DETERMINING DIESEL OR NATURAL GAS
Two of the most common ways Generac generators run today are on diesel fuel or natural gas. Many believe that diesel generators are not only cheaper, but they are quieter and more efficient than similar models powered by natural gas. However, technological advancements have closed the gap between the two options.
Diesel generators are mainly used to provide power to places that are not on a power utility grid or as a backup source in case there is some kind of power outage or failure. For this reason, they are the most common choice for back-up emergency power. They are flexible to power medium to large businesses, but also efficient enough for homes and small offices. While diesel generators are less expensive to operate, the upfront cost of purchasing, as well as the louder noise that emanate from them as they operate are disadvantages to natural gas options.
Natural gas generators are an alternative to the diesel solution. Many feel they are a better alternative as they are a cleaner burning option when compared to their diesel counterparts. However, if you are in an urban setting, have other activities/individuals living around your company, or you require a quieter atmosphere to work, the natural gas generators are significantly quieter than diesel.
Whether it is caring for patients, protecting and securing information in data centers, or being able to continue to provide the services your customers and employees need in their daily lives, Generac standby generators are a dependable investment, but require some thoughtful decision making to ensure your company has the power to keep going. To learn more about Generac generators or for assistance on how Dearing Compressor and Pump can help your business choose the right standby generator, CLICK HERE and let us help you today.