Installing a Generator: Things to Consider
Factors You Have to Consider Before Installing a Generator
Without a backup power solution, an unexpected power outage can lead to lost productivity, missed deadlines, and a poor customer experience. These can quickly damage your company’s reputation as well as your bottom line. Every business should consider an alternative source of power for emergency situations to keep operations running and, in turn, their customers happy.
A new generator is a significant investment, and the installation should be handled carefully. Here are some of the most important factors to consider before installing a generator.
What Size Do You Need?
Your power requirements must be the first thing you consider before installing a commercial generator at your facility. When there is a power outage, do you need a generator that is capable of running the entire building or just a few vital pieces of equipment? Maybe you just want to ensure you can keep your lighting and security systems active. The generator you purchase must be able to handle these power needs whenever the grid goes down. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a generator that won’t be able to keep up, so you should carefully consider generator size.
To find the right sized system, you will need to consider the generator’s capacity. Generators are rated by the number of watts they can produce. One thousand watts are referred to as kilowatt (kW). This means a 10kW generator will have 10,000 watts. The more devices that you will need to power using the system, the more watts the generator should produce to ensure it can meet your requirements.
If a generator is too small, it will struggle to maintain current levels of operations. The power output may become unreliable and potentially cause damage to your equipment and other electronic systems. Overworking a generator also increases the risk of it getting worn out much faster than expected. It could become damaged beyond repair, and you’ve just spent money on a generator you can’t use. On the other hand, you also have to be careful not to select a generator that’s too large. If the power load is consistently too small for the generator, it can cause something known as wet stacking. This happens when carbon builds up in the engine, which can reduce the overall effectiveness of the unit.
To find the right generator for you, start by calculating your total power requirements in kilowatts. The manufacturer should provide this information on a label for your equipment, but if you’re uncertain, Valley Power Systems can help. Our professionals are experts at proper generator sizing.
Will You Use Diesel or Natural Gas Fuel?
The type of fuel a generator uses will be a significant factor that influences your purchase decision. Commercial generators mainly use diesel or natural gas. Diesel is popular because these units are extremely durable and low maintenance, and they usually come at a lower price point compared to similar gas models. However, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel that’s easily available via the pipeline, so you won’t have to worry about fuel storage. Provided there are no interruptions to the utility line, you’ll have unlimited access to fuel during an emergency. There are clear advantages to both types of power systems. At Valley Power Systems, we can review your options and help you choose a generator from our wide selection of premium quality products.
Where Will You Place the Generator?
The location of your generator is especially important. First of all, it should be installed in an area that is easy to access for your Valley Power Systems maintenance professional. It should also be a good distance — at least 15 feet — away from any windows, doors, or vents to protect against carbon monoxide emissions. Additionally, there are other factors you should keep in mind, including:
- The space should have plenty of clearance to allow for sufficient airflow to prevent overheating, which can lead to needing substantial repairs, or even full generator replacement.
- For natural gas generators, you will need to place the generator somewhere that has easy access to the pipeline.
- Consider sound-minimizing enclosures to protect any staff who might be working near the generator against any excessive noise made by the unit.
- Install a waterproof generator canopy to keep moisture from damaging the unit. Moisture exposure can lead to rust and corrosion, which can have a detrimental impact on the efficiency and lifespan of your system.
- Keep wind patterns in mind to avoid placing the system in an area where debris might accumulate quickly. Be sure to check the filters frequently during windy times of the year.
What Technological Features Do You Want?
Last but not least, you should think about the features you want on your selected generator. There are many makes and models available, and while some features are common among generators, the more high-end models will have state-of-the-art technology that could benefit your business. Consider a generator with an automatic transfer switch to ensure immediate access to power. You might also enjoy the convenience of remote monitoring, which allows you to control and track your generator’s status from anywhere. Other features to consider include a low oil sensor, noise-reducing technology, and integrated carbon monoxide detectors. These are just a few of the updated features that could come with your new power system. Be sure to ask the Valley Power Systems staff about all of your options.
Work With Our Professional Team When Installing a Generator
Installing a backup generator will help prevent unexpected downtime due to a total power failure. Are you ready to consider your options? At Valley Power Systems, our highly experienced team is happy to answer any of your questions, help you select the best unit, and handle the installation of your new commercial generator. We’re proud to serve businesses across California, and we look forward to meeting all of your power needs.
Contact us today to find out more about our products and services.
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