Common Questions About Backup Power Generators

It’s no secret that power outages can be very disruptive. From the inconvenience of not using your phone to charge to losing refrigerated food and other necessary items, you need to have a backup generator in case of an emergency. So what are some common questions people ask about backup generators? Read this blog post for answers!

What is a Generator?

Many people wonder what a generator is. In its simplest form, a generator is a small self-contained power station, and as such, has many of the same components as a grid level power station, albeit on a much smaller scale. All generators consist of two district sections, an engine, be this gas-powered or diesel and an electric alternator, which converts the rotational energy from the engine into electricity that we can use. It is important to remember that generators come in all shapes, sizes and power output.

How Do I Choose the Right Size of Generator for my Space and Energy Needs?

Choosing the right generator is very important; it can have a substantial upfront cost and ensuring you understand your needs is essential. If you plan to use a generator, be that rented or privately owned, you must understand what you will be using the generator for. The size of your generator will be determined by the power output you require, not only now but in the future. We would suggest discussing your current power usage with an expert to ensure you choose the right generator for you and your needs.

Can all Homes Run on a Single, Small Diesel-Powered Generator?

Theoretically, any home or business can run from a generator; however, several factors will determine how practical this will be. Backup power for blackouts is one of the main reasons people look at generators, and for a good reason; however, you need to detain how much energy you will need. If you only plan to use the generator for essential power such as a heater, phone, and microwave, a small gasoline generator will work brilliantly. However, if you have a large family, want tv or laptops, or have medical equipment, you may require a more significant generator.

Are there Other Emergency Power Sources Besides Generators that work in an Emergency or Disaster Scenario?

There are many options for power sources during an emergency, and having the right one to have can change how you handle the emergency. A portable phone charger could be sufficient; however, these must be charged before the emergency occurs. For others, you may require power for more equipment. Additionally, consider the type of disaster scenario you are likely to encounter. If you live in an area prone to blackouts or extreme weather, a larger power supply may be needed; if you live in an area with generally reliable power, you may only need a power source to get you through a couple of hours.

Is it Possible to Connect Multiple Generators to Create more Electricity Output than one would have Separately?

In general, two generators cannot simply be connected to provide more power. This is twofold; firstly, combining two generators must have the same voltage, and secondly, both must have their phases synchronised. If you require more power than one generator can provide, then you are best to look for a more significant generator. Alternatively, you could use two generators on two different circuits. For example, each floor in a building could have a generator.

Does Noise matter when Considering what type of Generator you Purchase for your Home or Business Office Building during Emergencies or Natural Disasters?

Any large machinery will create noise; this is simply unavoidable. That being said, consider why you will be using the generators. If you use the generator for emergency purposes, then the noise becomes almost a known issue. In comparison, if you are planning to use the generator continually, you must consider the noise this will cause and the effect on your neighbours.

Will Solar Panels Provide enough Electricity if we Lose our Grid Connection due to Storms/Hurricanes?

In theory, solar power can provide a large amount of electricity and is an excellent source of clean energy. However, during an emergency, when power can be essential, solar power is not ideal. This is simply down to the limitations of solar power. They can only work in direct sunlight, meaning you will be without electricity during the night or a storm. Additionally, as solar panels must be outdoors, they can easily be damaged during extreme weather. It is for this reason that we would always recommend a self-contained generator for emergencies.

What is the Typical Lifespan of a Generator?

Most generators have surprisingly long life spans. For example, a good quality backup generator can run for between 1000 and 2000 hours meaning. They could run for 10-20 years based on 100 a year. Generators designed for continual use will have a far longer life span; however, they will come with more significant upfront costs due to their additional complexity.

When you’re preparing your home for natural disasters or power outages, one of the most important things to consider is how you will be able to stay safe and warm. One way to do this is by using a backup generator. But with so many different types of generators on the market, from diesel-powered ones that can run off propane tanks up to solar panels, it can be challenging to know which option is best suited for your needs. Today’s blog post breaks down eight common questions about backup generators to help make this decision process more manageable. If you have any more questions about specific models or want some personalised advice feel free to contact us today.