In the world of industrial generators, it’s easy to get lost in the kilowatts. We’ve put together some of the more frequently asked questions to help you discover how a commercial generator might be right for your small business or in industrial applications.
Here at Assurance Power Systems, we offer comprehensive service for standby generators of all sizes and uses. If you’re curious about residential generators to keep the lights on at home, check out our residential generator FAQ.
What are the benefits of a commercial generator?
Investing in back-up power for your business means you can protect the other capital investments in the face of the unexpected. Commercial generators are there to ensure your business is not affected by weather-related power losses or accidental outages. Many are designed to automatically detect when the power goes out, and then take up the load within 10 to 20 seconds. This ensures your vital electronics, equipment or inventory remain protected.
What are the different types of generators?
You can find industrial-rated generators in two main categories: portable and standby. For backup power in remote locations, portable commercial generators are designed to be towed and run on diesel fuel. They are ruggedly built and can manually transfer power in many different situations. Standby generators automatically restore power to your building once it detects a power outage. It will then automatically turn off when the power is restored. These commercial generators are connected directly to your building’s natural or liquid propane lines, which means no manual refueling required.
What is the difference between an air-cooled generator and a liquid-cooled generator?
For commercial generators, these are two different methods to cool down their engines. Air-cooled generators use fans to push air across the hot engine. Liquid-cooled generators have a radiator system like a car, and are usually found on units producing higher power output.
What is an automatic transfer switch?
This is the system that tells your commercial generator it’s time to power up. The transfer switch monitors the power being fed from your utility to your business, automatically sending power from your generator to the building if it detects an outage. It’s also what signals to the standby generator to turn off when utility power is restored, all automatically.
What size of commercial generator does my business need?
Consider what you want your generator to power, from lights, appliances and air conditioners to electrical devices and production equipment. Add up the wattages of the devices you want to cover or look at your building’s electrical service panel. Next, convert those watts to kilowatts, the measurement of industrial generators, to get a rough estimate of your power needs.
How much do commercial generators cost?
The total costs will depend on the size of your generator and the overall installation process. Just the unit cost for a standby generator can start around $8,000. Also consider extra costs like preparing the generator site with a fiberglass pad, installing a transfer switch to connect the generator to your main utility line, and adding the right fueling line.
What kind of maintenance do standby generators need?
Simple maintenance is required for all types of generators, with periodic oil and filter changes to make sure the engines are working properly. Many installation services offer annual maintenance contracts, making it easier to keep up with a commercial generator’s routine maintenance.
While stand-by generators are fully automatic, it is recommended to check on the generator during a longer power outage, to make sure oil levels are at an optimal level.
Can I install a standby generator myself?
While some brands of commercial generators offer self-installation kits, other brands require trained technicians to do the entire installation. Having your generator professionally installed might be required to maintain a valid warranty, as well as participation in an annual maintenance program.
Be sure to check with your local regulations and permits, as you are often required to have professionals with expertise in electrical and plumbing work to make the required connections to buildings.
Ready for a commercial generator?
At Assurance Power Systems, our trained technicians have experience installing generator systems that meet our customers’ needs. If you’re ready to install a standby commercial generator, reach out to us today by phone at (877) 499-9500, or online to request a free quote.