PacB Group // Some Points to Consider Before and During Generator Installations


Some Points to Consider Before and During Generator Installations

It may be that you have a need to conduct an operation in an area that is remote from the national network of power lines or perhaps, even though you do have access to mains power, you find that it is not always adequate or sufficiently reliable to meet the needs of your operation. Whether your objective is to provide a primary supply of electricity on-site, to augment the available mains power during peak load times or purely to ensure you have an emergency backup option in the event of a power outage, one or more generator installations will be the obvious solution.

While, on the surface, this appears to be an option that is straightforward, implementing your decision is likely to prove less so. This is because there are a number of critical factors that will need to be considered both before and during the implementation stage. At the top of the list, of course, will be the need to determine just how much power the planned operation will actually require. In doing so, keep in mind that all electrical equipment, from light bulbs to heavy machinery, consume more power at start-up than when running normally.

So, before proceeding to buy generators and planning installations, the start-up and operating power consumption of every electrical item that they will be required to support, must first be noted and summed to calculate the overall demand requirements. This is a critical step in the selection process as only when armed with this information, will it be possible to determine correctly how many units and of what capacity these should be in order to cope with the calculated maximum load. It will also be necessary to establish the appropriate voltage and phase requirements.

Having determined the power requirements, before proceeding with any generator installations, you will need to decide upon their fuel type. Because petrol is highly inflammable and is unsuitable for powering heavy-duty units, the choice is normally between diesel and propane, of which the former is generally cheaper. Whichever of these options one may choose, a suitably large and, in the case of propane, a suitably safe, on-site storage facility will be necessary in order to ensure uninterrupted operation. Both the cost and availability of these alternative fuels will need to be considered.

The next consideration will be the location for the generator installation. All units will need to be readily accessible, but also as close as possible to the transfer switch and fuel supply. They should occupy a sufficiently elevated position to ensure that any rising water will be unable to reach them. When located outdoors, there are regulations regarding the permissible distance from entrances and combustible structures, such as any adjacent walls. In addition, to comply with noise regulations, a canopy may be necessary. Where a unit is to be installed indoors, it will then be essential to ensure that there are adequate ventilation and exhaust venting.

Not the least of the preliminaries prior to generator installations is to decide on the installer and, quite clearly, it should be a company that specialises in this field and that has a reputation for quality work.  With a lengthy list of satisfied clients that includes vehicle manufacturers, government water services, cold storage facilities and hospitals, few companies in South Africa are as well-qualified to undertake the task then the PacB Group.

Once we have performed a thorough assessment of a client’s particular requirements, our engineers will then proceed to design and assemble a custom-built genset to cover those pre-determined needs. All gensets employ equipment only from world-class brands such as Perkins, Cummins, Volvo and John Deere. This ensures that all turnkey generator installations from the PacB Group fully meet our client’s needs and are guaranteed to operate reliably and within the required safety parameters.

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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