PacB Group // A Few Simple Guidelines on Choosing the Right Generator


A Few Simple Guidelines on Choosing the Right Generator

Whereas the need for an auxiliary source of electricity was once largely restricted to industry and to those living on farms or in remote rural areas, despite the intensive efforts to extend electrification in South Africa, that need has actually been increasing. The question is no longer whether or not one may need an alternative power source but how one goes about choosing the right generator. The correct choice will depend upon a number of factors and the following guidelines are intended to help with the selection process.

The first requirement is to decide precisely for what use you are intending to employ the newly acquired machine, as this will determine just how much power will be needed and the output capacity of the equipment that will be required to provide it. Naturally, that figure will vary between the average domestic, commercial, and industrial user. Establishing it is essential for choosing the right generator and the process of doing so is basically the same in each case.

To ensure that the maximum load demand of a home, a small business, or a factory never exceeds the capacity of a genset to meet it, the wattage of every device to be powered, both at startup and during operation, will need to be summed. The total figure obtained from this exercise will serve as a measure of the output capacity required. To allow a margin of safety and avoid any overloading that might damage the machine or cause it to fail, when choosing the right generator, it is advisable to select a model with an output a bit higher than the established maximum start-up load. Clearly, this task can be crucial and, as such, it is one that is probably best conducted by an electrical engineer.

Although a matter of primary concern, output capacity is not the only important consideration when making this choice. One of the other factors to be considered is the operational cost. For a home user, for instance, while a petrol-driven unit may be cheaper, its inflammable fuel may pose a fire risk and, when choosing the right generator, if it is required to power the entire home as normal, a diesel unit, though more expensive, will be the better choice.

Running costs will also need to be considered. Diesel-driven units are the main choice for industrial purposes, but are also a good all-round choice, as diesel fuel is able to generate substantially more power per litre than most other fuels. Furthermore, diesel fuel is not inflammable under normal conditions.

Other possible options are propane and natural gas. Propane has the advantage of being supplied in a cylinder under pressure, and so, it does not require a means to mix liquid fuel with air. Though choosing propane may provide the right generator for home use, because of its safety and convenience, propane-fired machines consume more fuel and deliver less power in return.

Currently, the most efficient of the available options overall is definitely natural gas. Not only is it the least expensive choice when compared with the alternatives, but a given volume of natural gas is able to generate far more heat than the same volume of any of the competing fuels. In areas where it is available via a piped supply, it eliminates the need for storage tanks and the task of refilling them – a point that is worth considering for anyone who may be choosing the right generator for use in the home. In addition, natural gas is a clean-burning fuel, which means that it is also an eco-friendly choice.

Ultimately, the selection process requires careful attention, and several important factors must be considered before reaching a decision. For a thorough evaluation of your needs and the guarantee, not just of choosing the right generator but also of professional installation and after-sales service, talk to us at PacB Group.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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