What happens when there is a power outage? You simply tell your kids to avoid hanging with the refrigerator open. And what happens if the power goes off in the hospital? The lives of people depending on important medical equipment powered by electrical power become at risk.
This is where backup generators come into play. They kick on when there is a power outage, so you can continue getting power in the building or house.
Apparently, hospitals and homes aren’t the only places where you need generators. Places like construction sites, restaurants, logistics & supply centers, and stadiums need them, too. If you have either of these, click here to choose one for your needs.
What a Backup Power System Is and Why You Need It
When there is a power outage in your home, all the appliances and devices will stop working. However, with a backup generator put in place, you will be able to weather the storm.
Backup generators provide enough power to keep on the lights and appliances, like the refrigerator, running.
You will find different kinds of backup power systems in the market, but the most common ones are battery backup systems. These systems use batteries to store enough energy and release it during a power outage.
However, some homes use a generator to generate electricity. These generators can either be solar or gas-powered systems. Compared to a gas generator, a solar-powered generator is a great option for sustainability and safety since it has no harmful emissions.
How Generators Work
Before diving deeper into best practices and specs for backup generators, knowing that not every generator works the same way would be vital.
In general, generators kick on automatically when the main power source stops supplying electricity to your property. It converts mechanical into electricity, mostly depending on gas or diesel to kickstart that process. It depends on components, like outlets, a fuel tanker, an alternator, an ICE, and an air compressor. You can buy from here if you need to replace yours.
You can track your backup generator on your computer, tablet, or smartphone through Wi-Fi abilities. Once you are connected, your system will notify you when the time for maintenance reaches through those devices, too.
Some generators’ lines come with an all-weather aluminum enclosure, which resists corrosion and protects your unit from all kinds of elements. This also enables the system to withstand 150mph winds. Apart from these two, other features may include:
- Precision Power
- 5-year warranty
Commercial or typical institutional facilities use one or several backup generators to provide power when electricity goes off. In typical configurations, a backup generator connects to your electrical system using an automated switchgear application or ATS (automatic transfer switches), monitoring the incoming power supply constantly.
If the power supply deviates or an outage happens, your generator will automatically start and restore power to your system once transferred back.
Many data facilities use backup generators to provide them with power continuously. Based on the fuel costs, running and stockpiling your generator comes with considerable cost impacts, though the industry has accepted the cost because of generators’ capabilities.
Standby vs. Portable Generators
Two major types of generators provide backup power. These include standby generators and portable generators.
These keep the home running when there is a power outage. Like AC units, you install a standby generator outside the house on a pad, and it automatically comes on when it first senses power interruption, whether you are away or at home. ATS transfers your house’s selected appliances and circuits within a few seconds to provide backup power.
ATS, in this case, is also a safety mechanism. It helps to prevent back-feeding electrical power to the main source, potentially a dangerous practice that may start a fire and risk the lives of utility workers looking to restore power in your neighborhood.
Installing one may cost you up to around $15k. Plus, you need a permit and an experienced HVAC company during installation.
These generators provide electrical power by running gas-powered engines that turn onboard alternators to produce electricity. Power outlets, usually on the unit, enable you to plug in appliances, electric-powered tools, and extension cords. Generally, the more powerful your generator is, the more combinations of outlets are readily available.
You don’t need installation for this, and a high-watt generator goes for around $3k. Their cost depends on the power amount they generate in terms of watts. The size suitable for you heavily depends on the power amount you need in the case of an outage. They are mostly suitable for camping, job sites, and tailgating.
Choosing a Backup Generator
Choosing the best backup generator is vital to ensure a reliable power supply during outages and emergencies. Finding a perfect generator, however, requires you to be careful.
For instance, you will need to determine your need for power. To do that, list all the equipment and appliances that should continue running during a power outage. Calculate the wattage amount required to power those appliances simultaneously.
You can use online resources or a manufacturer’s guide to know the exact wattage amount you need. Include important appliances, such as medical equipment, lights, communication devices, refrigerators, and air conditioners.
How to Maintain Your Generator
Like trucks, cars, or motorized equipment, you need to service and maintain your generator regularly so that it can run more efficiently. A power outage may happen anytime for a reason.
If you heavily depend on a backup generator, ensure the generator provides power to keep your operations running as usual. Although most people think servicing generators must only be done if something wrong happens, it is important to do the basics like:
- Watching out for common alarms
- Maintaining batteries
In summary, standby and portable generators are two primary systems that provide backup power. Both are perfect options, but it is important to note the differences, including where to use them especially in unique situations. If you want a generator just temporarily, go for a portable one, but opt for a standby generator if it is permanent.