North America has more than its fair share of extreme and unpredictable weather events. It’s also safe to say that we have a problematic and aging power grid. However, factories and other industrial enterprises still need to fill their quotas.
That’s why there has been an acceleration in demand for diesel standby generators or even natural gas standby generators. Fortunately, the market has several viable options that match industry-scale demands. Let’s go over a few considerations to make before acquiring an industry-grade standby generator.
Form-Factor and Design Considerations
Standby generators come in all shapes and sizes. So, you have more liberty in finding an option that fits your company’s scale and premise’s architecture.
Such considerations are vital since you’ll need to carry out regular maintenance to ensure consistency. And that your organization meets safety and other regulatory standards.
Types of Industrial-Scale Standby Generators
The ideal Industrial standby generator complies with regulatory standards and derives power from mechanical energy to ensure consistent power supply. Here are the 2 main classes of diesel standby generators.
- Alternators also referred to as AC (alternating current) generators
- Dynamos DC (Direct Current)
Advantages of Industrial-Scale Standby Generators
- They maximize your company’s energy efficiency within greenhouse emission standards.
- Such generators jolt to a start as soon as the power grid fails, guaranteeing continuous business operations.
- They are consistent and efficient even over long distances. This is especially ideal for companies with large industrial complexes.
Power failures are detrimental to productivity levels across the industrial and allied sectors. A power surge could also damage your costly and sophisticated machinery and other business systems that your employees depend on to make an income.
Therefore, a diesel-powered generator is your best ally in ensuring that you have a consistent current and supply of electricity.
Why Should You Prefer Diesel Standby Generators to Other Option?
A diesel-powered standby generator revs into whenever there’s a blackout or power surge. Such generators offer more fuel economy and run at significantly lower RPMs than other options. It’s also handy to note that they can handle a greater workload and consume less fuel than gas or gasoline-powered standby generators.
Why are Diesel Standby Generators Considered More Efficient Than Other Options?
Diesel costs way less than gasoline and burns slower. You’d need up to half the amount of diesel to power your standby generator in comparison.
Diesel standby generators will provide you with consistent and continuous service in a blackout.
- Longer Service Life
Diesel standby generators bare the same design and constructional marks of truck engines. And, if you ask anyone that owns a truck, they’ll tell you how rarely they need to shut their operations for an overhaul.
- Easier Maintenance
Diesel engines are more rudimentary, so they can run without as much need for overhauls. Gas-powered standby generators have components such as carburetors and spark plugs that need constant maintenance or replacement.
- Rapid Ignition/Start Time
Diesel standby generators are your best bet in complying with federal disaster and emergency regulations. Other fuel options may need up to 2 minutes, which isn’t ideal in an emergency. Diesel standby generators can rev to a full start in less than 10 seconds.
How Do Diesel Standby Generators Compare To Gas Powered Option?
LPG and diesel standby generators can add or detract value to your operations. It all depends on your goals as an organization, costs, and the regulatory emission standards that you’re compelled to follow in your particular industry.
Let’s compare and contrast both options to get a clearer picture:
Diesel Standby Generators
- Highly portable
- Easier access to fuel
- Lower maintenance cost even with continuous usage
- The fuel is less flammable
- Diesel standby generators have higher emission levels, so you’d need to consider adding a filtration system to comply with federal laws on gas emissions.
LPG Standby Generators
- LPG is one of the most abundant non-renewable fuels. So, you can run LPG Standby Generators continuously without worrying about running out of fuel.
- Significantly lower emissions
- Suitable for cogeneration systems since it’s easily cycled back as steam, heated water, or other forms of energy.
- Highly combustible if not stored safely
- LPG Standby Generators need more detailed care and maintenance
- Only works in locations with an abundance of natural gas
- Ineffective in the case of a natural disaster that wipes out gas mains.
Handy Buyer Tips for Used Standby Commercial Generators
Many companies purchase pre-owned standby generators to cut on acquisition costs. It’s also a great way to access high-end industrial appliances and assets. But, there are several things you need to look keep a keen eye on to ensure you get a higher value for money.
Such factors apply whether you’re buying a diesel, LPG, or gasoline-powered stand by generator. They include:
- Brand Purity
The model and make doesn’t matter as much as the reputation and history of the manufacture. This is a vital consideration because you’ll need to know that you can rely on the brand for spare parts, customer support, etc. Some of the most trusted brands include Caterpillar diesel standby generators, Kohler diesel standby generators, and Cummins diesel standby generators
You can check the standby generator’s odometer to see how many hours it’s been in use. This can also help you see if it can be effective for continuous usage.
- Maintenance History
Finding accurate records of a generator’s maintenance history can be challenging. But, you could gauge the owner’s knowledge of maintenance procedures to get an idea of how well the machine is serviced. This may include asking if they have a certified electrician or technician on contract, testing out the dynamo, and so on.
- Signs of Wear and Tear
You need to perform a visual inspection of the used standby generator to ascertain it’s condition. Here are a few things to keep an eye on;
- General signs of fatigue such as; chipped paint, cracks, dents, the buildup of grease, or corrosion
- Components that are not from the original manufacture
- The integrity of welds and wiring
- Replaced bushings, bolts, and bearings
- The Standby Generator’s Performance in a Load Test
A load test is vital to establishing whether the standby generator can deliver consistent output. You can perform such a test up to 3 times with varying loads to see how well it can operate under the stressful conditions that emergencies present.