A standby generator is a machine which serves as a power backup in the case of power shortage or a failure in the power grid system supplying an area, household or a company. Its circuitry runs parallel to that of the main grid supply so that the transfer switch turns the generator on in the case of utility shortage. A transfer switch is a component which switches the main supply circuit and the standby generator circuit. A standby machine is required to be reliable because it is normally installed for emergency purposes in most cases. It would therefore be inconvenient for a standby machine to be off when it is needed. It therefore runs some self-tests on a weekly basis to ensure it is ready any time it is required.
Standby generators are normally essential in places where critical matters are involved. Think of a hospital, what would happen if the main supply goes off and the entire hospital power goes off? There are many processes that depend on electricity and it would be out of order for some areas such as ICU’s where the life support machines would then go offline. You are likely to find standby generators in hospitals, buildings with elevators, fire protection systems and server rooms. There is also a case of standby generators for residential. One would ask, why have a standby generator in a residential area? Is it of great importance? Installation is being done in residential areas to help in powering monitoring systems and machines such as refrigerators.
When the thought of a new installation strikes the mind, cost is always of importance. Standby generators can be quite expensive, yes, but can be quite cheap also. The impact the price will have on you depends on the status you want to put yourself in, generally, backup generators are very affordable. Also, the price differs from one type of generator to another. For example, the amount of energy required to run a manufacturing company would not be the same as that required in most homes. When the requirements differ it also means the prices are also different.
Standby generators can either be automatic or manually controlled. Why would one require a manual standby generator or automatic generator? The main difference between a manual and automatic standby generator is the mode of operation. While an automatic generator will turn itself on in the case of utility shortage, a manual standby generator will remain offline when the power goes off until somebody turns it on. Which machine would therefore be better to choose? As the standards of operation of a machine go higher so does the cost. An automatic machine would require special units such as detectors to establish when the system is needed to be on or off. On the other hand, a manual machine does not require an automation system and thus the cost of production would be lower than of an automatic one. That means automatic and manual standby generator of equal capacities have different prices.
Advantages of Standby Generators
- Standby generators operate automatically, without being manually controlled. Even though there is a blackout, a standby generator is directly triggered and within a span of a minute, it is on. Nobody needs to be inconvenienced to walk into the dark just to start it.
- Its internal combustion engine ensures a clean environment because it does not emit harmful gasses to the environment.
- It runs a self-test mechanism on a weekly basis. How fantastic is that? Running a self-analysis to ensure its functionality and convenience is really overwhelming. What other machine does that?
- This generator does not require any special source of powering as it can function with any natural gas or propane available on the premises it is needed.
Writing down the advantages of this standby generator is more or less than writing about a whole topic because they cannot be exhausted.
Factors to Consider When Buying and Installing Backup Generators
- One of the main factors to consider would be the amount of energy required in the facility. A facility that has high energy requirements would mean a more powerful standby generator. The energy demands will therefore, guide one in selecting the type of standby generator.
- Another factor would be the location of the system. There are systems that will work better in open areas while others will work best in closed rooms. Think of a system that runs on diesel. Such a system will mean that the gaseous emissions from such a system will be high and is therefore convenient to locate such a system in outdoors also for health matters. Location would also come with matters such as security. Most of these machines are very expensive and one would not be forgiven for risking the security of a million-dollar project.
- Fuel type will be another factor to consider especially on its availability, cost and effect. Most generators use gasoline, natural gas or diesel. When you move around you will realize that most of these standby generators use diesel. This is because diesel is one of the most popular fuels to get. This probably makes it the most suitable fuel.
Standby generators will continue to act as power backups until an alternative of diesel such as solar energy is put into consideration. Nobody likes to stay in darkness or have their businesses interrupted. The only way to ensure this does not happen is to have a standby generator nearby.