Which Generator Will Be Best For Your Requirements?

by Thor Sundstrom

When the time comes to choose a generator, there are quite a number of possibilities for both the home owner and the business operator: so many, in fact, that it can be quite problematic to those who do not possess the necessary information. What source of fuel would you rather use – diesel or petrol? Do you need a small “emergency” generator for use in the home, or one with plenty of power to act as a back up when the mains electricity fails in your business? If you don’t have much of an understanding of how generators work, it could be very hard for you to choose the best one for your needs.

How then, do you make this necessary choice? Firstly, you should decide for what precise role you will need the generator, as this is a good method of determining the capacity. If you need a generator for home use, it would not make sense to choose a heavy duty industrial generator, as it would provide much more power than you need. Similarly, if you need to operate machinery, a small generator will not be sufficient as it is likely to fail when you need it most.

Diesel and petrol generators operate in a similar way. Diesel electrical generators are quite often found in agricultural environments, on construction sites and in factories and warehouses: in fact, wherever you may need a portable and reliable source of energy. This is usually because there is no mains power (for example construction sites) or the mains power is unreliable (agricultural areas and factories).

In determining your generator requirements, you need to choose the most efficient model. The size of the new petrol generator is indicated by the output and speed as given by the manufacturer: generally speaking, a more powerful generator has a higher output and speed. Most generators can be categorised between an output of 5KVA (kilovolt-ampere units) and 2500KVA. The generators with lower KVAs are suitable for home use, whereas the higher ones are more than ample for most industrial applications.

The model’s efficiency rating is the initial step: however, you will also have to calculate the load you have to supply. To do this, you just have to work out the power demand, whether this is for home or business use, during normal operating conditions. The amount of power that the generator is able to provide will tell you whether it is sufficient to meet the requirements of your home or business: the capacity of the fuel tank only determines how long the generator will operate between refueling.You should always choose a generator that can supply a little more power than you really need, thus minimising the chances of overloading.

Another important aspect you may have to consider is the noise level of the portable generators. Does the generator need to be run during the night in the home? If so, you should select a silent diesel generator as the noise level of these is considerably less than traditional diesel generators. It is also a good idea to opt for a silent diesel generator with a large fuel tank, to guarantee that it runs overnight, thereby avoiding refueling in the middle of the night. The decibel level is not such an important aspect if it is used in an industrial situation, or during the day.

If the generator is to be used only occasionally, it makes sense to look for a good quality used generator, as this will save you a good deal of money.

Having a generator available for emergency situations, such as natural disasters or power outages, or even when there is no actual mains electricity (camping is one such example) is an excellent idea. However, it pays to do your research and carefully choose a generator that best suits your individual requirements.

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