How to Select the Right Generator for Your Home
The use of electrical appliances like the HVAC system, kitchen gadgets and communication devices is important in our daily life. Breakdowns in power plants can result in interrupted power supply causing problems in your homes and businesses. During hurricanes and floods, electricity may go out for days or even weeks causing inconveniences like frozen pipes and spoiled groceries. Moreover, harsh temperatures can make every minute uncomfortable, especially for children, elderly and pets. It is always a smart idea to have a generator as a backup power source. You can choose one from a wide range of products in different types, sizes and costs at DTR Services.
- As a prime power source in construction sites, agricultural setting and disaster-affected areas
- To power a new industrial plant before it secures grid supply
- In event management activities
But, you should analyze the certain critical aspects of a generator before buying it. Wrong selection of the product can result in a loss of money.
Consider Your Needs
At first, find out the various critical components in your facility that needs to work even during a power outage. You may want your central heating system, computers, or pumps for well and sump to work. Also, consider whether you want to manually start the machine or want an automatic start. You will need a more powerful generator if the outage stays for a longer period of time.
Think About Voltage Requirements
The electrical power consumption of appliances is measured in Watts. Your generator will have a sustained wattage level. So, you should calculate the total number of watts needed to power your home or office. For instance, a refrigerator consumes around 800 watts; you will need extra power to run lights, fans and chargers together. Product manuals are a great source to understand the power consumption of electronics. You can also hire a professional to conduct load measurements of every appliance on your list.
Some generators have different counts for ‘rated watts’ and ‘surged watt’. This is because some appliances consume more power in moments after they are turned on and later decrease it. Generators can support higher electrical loads only for a short amount of time. ‘Surge watt’ defines the limit of this ability. You can avoid overloading your generator with surges by turning on appliances one at a time.
Generators can be powered by either diesel or fuel or natural gas. Find out which one is readily available in your area and determine the cost of keeping the machine running.
Diesel powered engines work for both small and larger complexes. They can handle the electrical loads in commercial buildings like hospital and industrial plants. Natural gas is best for portable generators. They act as a mobile power source and are best when you need a backup for a lesser amount of time. Dual-fuel systems run on either gas or propane.
Inverter generators work by producing high-frequency AC current which is converted into DC current by an alternator. They use deep-cycle batteries or can be fuel powered. You can use them while camping or in an RV as they are lightweight and make much lesser noise.
Size Is Important
Generators come with different size engines, from small to very large (industrial size). You can use a small one if the power requirement is between five kW to 30 kW. For larger buildings, 30 kW to more than six Megawatts can be sufficient.
Run Time and Outlets
You will have to refuel your generator less often if it runs for a longer time. You can then sleep peacefully at night without the need to get up in between and refuel the engine. The number of outlets in a generator is also important. In some, you can plug-in heavy-duty extension cords and run them directly to the equipment. Or, install a power transfer switch to direct the power to specific circuits.
Lastly, you will need a location for your generator on the property. Think about the noise implications, ventilation and accessibility for routine maintenance when planning to place it indoors or outdoors.