Determining What Commercial Generator Size You Need
Generators come in so many sizes and capacities that it can be challenging to select the best power system for your business’s needs. However, choosing the right size unit is very important to your operation’s success. Under-sizing a commercial generator means it won’t be able to effectively provide the power you need to continue production during a blackout. Over-sizing also has some dangers to consider.
When you get a too-large generator for your business, you risk dealing with electrical system damages, inefficient production of power, and wasted operational expenses. When the commercial generator is too small, you may experience unreliable power output and equipment failure. A stressed-out generator may overheat, which can also lead to further damage. Purchasing a low-capacity commercial power system is a common mistake made by buyers. But how exactly do you get the right size generator? Use the following guide to help.
The first thing you have to do is calculate your overall power requirements. To do this, you should compile a list of the equipment, lighting, and other electrical devices that you will need to power with the backup generator should an outage happen. The list will vary widely depending on the industry.
● Office Building
An office may need to power computer networks, telephones, and other telecommunication systems. You will also need to consider lighting, security, and elevators, among other electrical systems you might have in place.
● Restaurant Establishment
If you own a restaurant, you may need a backup power source for refrigeration, HVAC units, commercial appliances, computers, and the POS system network, along with your essential lighting and security considerations.
● Retail Business
For retail, your list might include checkout terminals, security systems, basic lighting, office computers, and data servers. You should factor in any other crucial systems that are necessary in the everyday operation of your business.
Buildings used for manufacturing products will usually require heavy-duty equipment, computers, lighting, security, and a variety of other electrical systems to run effectively.
By knowing which systems will have to rely on backup generator, you can estimate how much power you will need. Each piece of equipment has a starting wattage and running wattage that you can usually find in the owner’s manual. Add these numbers together to determine your total power requirements. This should give you a good idea of the capacity you need. Involving an experienced generator specialist like the professionals from Valley Power Systems can also help you calculate your exact power requirements.
Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Commercial Generator Size?
When shopping for a commercial generator, it may be tempting to skimp on the size of your unit. Going for a smaller one can save you money in the beginning, but as your business grows, the power system will have a hard time keeping up with demand. By overworking the unit, you’ll risk damaging appliances and devices, as well as the generator itself. Going with a larger system from the outset can help you prepare for the future of your company and maximize your generator investment.
Here are some other benefits of choosing a high-capacity generator:
- Increase usable life of the system
- Reduce capacity overloads and overheating
- Consistent equipment performance
- Reduce maintenance frequency and costs
- Increase employee safety
- Lower risk of asset damage and system failures
Making Your Generator Last
Now that you know what to consider when choosing the right generator size, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of maintaining the generator regularly. While industrial generators are designed to last for many years, maintenance is key to getting the most usage out of your system. The manufacturer will recommend maintenance at regular intervals, such as after so many months or continuous running hours. Maintenance may be required more often, depending on the frequency of use and environmental conditions. When maintaining the unit, the generator professional may:
- Change the filter: Filters ensure that dust and dirt stay away from your critical generator parts. These small particles can have a huge impact on how your generator runs, so it’s important to make sure the filters are consistently cleaned and changed out as needed.
- Test the engine: Running the engine periodically will help keep the battery charged. It will also help your maintenance technician identify any issues with the generator’s operation. Often, minor issues can progress quickly, so it’s best to address any repairs your unit may need as soon as possible.
- Perform an oil change: Oil keeps the generator engine running smoothly. If oil sits for too long, it begins to degrade and becomes less effective. This can cause undue wear and tear.
- Clean the exterior: Keeping the exterior of your genset clean will help prevent the filter clogging and debris from entering your generator system. When cleaning a generator, it should be turned off and completely cooled down. Using a slightly dampened cloth is best for wiping it down–never spray water directly on a generator’s surface as moisture exposure can rust and damage the system.
- Inspect fuel and coolant levels: Checking these levels consistently will ensure your generator will be able to operate successfully when you need it most.
Serving California Businesses
A commercial generator is a significant investment, so you’ll want to ensure the one you select will last your business for years to come. Purchasing one that’s too small will put unnecessary stress on the unit when you find yourself without power and needing to continue operations. This can greatly reduce its usable lifespan and cause problems for your other equipment. However, it can be challenging to know exactly which generator system is best for your facility’s needs.
To avoid buying the wrong size commercial generator, consider getting help from a generator specialist. Our experts at Valley Power Systems will help you find the best generator for your California business. We offer a wide array of high-quality systems from manufacturers our customers have come to trust for reliable power. Our factory-trained technicians also install, repair, and service all makes and models of power systems.