Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Generators
At Valley Power Systems, we’re proud to sell a wide array of commercial power systems to meet your individual needs. We partner with the industry’s top brands to offer our clients products that they can trust. When clients come to us looking for a new generator, they often have many questions they need answered before they can finalize their purchase. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of FAQs about commercial generators to help you make the best decision for your business.
Q: What size generator do I need?
Since every business has different power requirements, proper sizing is important. You will need to factor in the running wattage and the starting wattage of each device that you will need powered by the generator. This information can usually be found on a label on the equipment or located in the actual manufacturer’s instructions. You will need to add the running wattage to the starting wattage together to determine the total wattage that’s required for each item. Your generator will need to be able to produce enough watts to cover all of your electronic devices. Check out our blog here for more information on sizing your generator.
Q: Is natural gas or diesel better?
As you’re exploring generators, you will find that most commercial units use natural gas or diesel fuel. Each fuel source offers distinct advantages, and the right one will simply depend on your individual preferences, budget, and power requirements.
Diesel generators provide a lot of value for your budget. They are generally more affordable than other kinds of generators, yet they offer powerful performance and system longevity. The engine has fewer parts to maintain, so you’ll also spend less time and money on upkeep costs.
If you care for it properly, you can expect a diesel model to last for many years without needing any major repair work. You should always use high-quality fuel and complete preventative maintenance at regular intervals. It’s also important not to exceed the load capacity. Overworking the unit can result in increased wear and tear, which can have a big impact on the unit’s overall lifespan.
Many businesses appreciate the convenience found in having a natural gas generator. Your generator is installed directly to the pipeline. Unless there is an interruption in the gas supply, this means you will always have readily available fuel for your unit. During an emergency situation, you won’t have to worry about experiencing downtime as you refuel. Natural gas is also environmentally friendly–it burns clean and produces much less polluting chemicals than other types of generator fuels.
Additionally, power systems that use natural gas tend to make less noise than those that utilize diesel fuel. This may be an important consideration if excess noise is an issue for your facility. To further minimize noise, you can also install a sound-attenuating generator enclosure for the generator.
Q: Should I rent or buy a generator?
Clients often wonder if renting is a better option than purchasing a new generator. In general, renting is a good option if you need a generator for a short-term project, such as during construction at a remote site. Renting is definitely more affordable at the outset, but these costs can quickly add up over a prolonged period of time. If you plan to rely on a generator regularly, or you want to make sure that you always have a backup power solution on hand, you might want to consider purchasing a power system of your very own. While the initial cost is more substantial, the benefits of owning your own generator can’t be overstated.
Not sure if a generator rental is right for you? Don’t hesitate to speak to one of our specialists. Valley Power Systems is a full-service generator supplier that can help you with your commercial rental or purchase needs.
Q: How often should I maintain my generator?
Just like a car engine, a generator engine must be maintained regularly to keep it in prime condition. While every manufacturer is a little different, it’s a good rule of thumb to have your generator serviced at least once a year. However, if you’ve relied on the generator frequently, you will need to have it serviced more often. Regular maintenance offers innumerable benefits, such as:
- Prevents breakdowns: Generator malfunctions are inconvenient and can cost your business a lot of money in lost production during a power failure. Having your generator maintained in regular intervals will greatly reduce the risk of a sudden breakdown, saving you time and money.
- Increases generator lifespan: A generator is subject to much wear and tear over the years. If it doesn’t receive the regular maintenance that it needs, it will deteriorate at a much faster rate than intended. A generator that has been well cared for can last for 10 to 20 years or more! Periodical oil and filter changes are a must for optimal generator performance.
- Saves money: A generator that has been well maintained will require fewer repairs over time. You’ll be able to catch minor issues before they progress into bigger–and more expensive–problems. Regular maintenance is the best way to maximize your investment and prevent major repairs.
Q: How does an automatic transfer switch work?
Today’s modern generators often use an automatic transfer switch. This device recognizes when there is a power loss and immediately turns on the generator to provide backup power to your facility. When the main power is restored, the generator will automatically turn off. With an automatic transfer switch, you can ensure that your business always has convenient access to power, even when you’re off-site.
Contact a Generator Expert Today
Have more questions about generators? Valley Power Systems can help! We work with most makes and models, and our staff is extremely knowledgeable on commercial power systems. Serving all of California, we’re proud to offer generator installation, repair, and maintenance services from highly qualified technicians. Give us a call today to speak with a representative.