Generators need to be sufficiently large for your Business
The term “large”, as applied to electrical generators, whether used for business or domestic purposes, is not really intended as an indicator of their relative physical dimensions. In practice, it is a measure of the machine’s output capacity. On that basis, therefore, the larger the machine, the greater will be its output. In an average home, for instance, at any one time the minimum requirement may be to provide lighting, hot water, climate control, and power for the alarm system and various domestic appliances such as a kettle, oven and hob, and a refrigerator. For added convenience, one might also like to power a TV set, a PC, a router, and perhaps a charger for a mobile phone, to ensure as little disruption as possible in the event of a mains outage.
Output is measured in kilowatts and while a 15-kW unit might be enough for just the essentials, maintaining a fully functional home could need around double the power – comparable with that for a small business such as a convenience store. However, when calculating how large the generators may need to be for a major manufacturing business, for instance, the load demand will be far greater and, depending on how much heavy equipment may need to be powered, units of several 100 kW may be required and, on occasions, it will be necessary to install more than one unit.
Why then is the “size” of these machines so crucial? In a nutshell, if the unit lacks sufficient output wattage to meet the peak load demand, this can result in a voltage drop that can not only cause damage to the auxiliary power source itself but also to the various domestic appliances or heavy machinery that it is attempting to power. One needs to know the highest possible load that it will ever need to contend with and so it is important to note that certain items draw far more power when starting up than when running. When a domestic fridge/freezer, for instance, is starting up, it can draw twice the power that it does when it is running continuously. In the case of heavy machinery, the difference between startup and running requirements will be even more marked.
By contrast, overly large generators should present no problems for a business, since they can simply be run more slowly when catering for a lower load. Also, having some spare generating capacity could prove useful in the event of expansion plans. If the machine is to be used purely for backup purposes during load-shedding exercises or accidental outages due to storms, for example, it may be less important to purchase a reserve machine in case the other should fail. However, where used as the sole power source or to augment an inadequate mains supply, a reserve machine is a must.
Switching between machines, or between on-site and mains power, requires careful synchronisation and, ideally, these processes should be automated and programmed to maintain an uninterrupted supply consistent with the load demand. To ensure high-quality generators large enough for your business and total control over their performance, invite PacB Power Solutions to evaluate your needs and to design a tailored installation to meet them reliably and cost-effectively.
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