PacB Group // The Nature of Commercial Generators and Their Common Uses


The Nature of Commercial Generators and Their Common Uses

Similar to those commonly used in the home to provide a source of emergency power when the domestic electricity supply fails or is subject to load shedding, commercial generators are essentially just bigger and tougher versions of these. Also, while the smaller domestic machines tend to be petrol-driven, their larger cousins will generally be powered by diesel oil, propane, or natural gas. Whatever their fuel source may be, their primary function is to convert kinetic energy into electricity. To do so, in turn, requires an internal combustion engine to transform the chemical energy in that fuel into movement. In this case, the rotation of a magnetic field that is required to induce an electric current in a copper coil.

The power output of commercial generators is determined by the size of the engine and the maximum speed of rotation it is able to achieve. Because of their far greater horsepower, these machines generate far more heat than the smaller domestic models, which can normally depend upon the surrounding air to keep them cool. Consequently, provision must be made to prevent them from becoming overheated and malfunctioning. While some machines may employ a radiator to dissipate the excess heat, others employ a heat exchanger, which circulates cold water from an external source in order to conduct it away.

The business part of a commercial generator is the alternator, and this consists of two components known as the stator and the rotor. As its name implies, the stator is the stationary component of the alternator and consists of coils of copper wire wound about an iron core. The rotor, or armature, is the rotating component and is responsible for the moving magnetic field, which in turn, induces the movement of electrons in the stator to create the required flow of electric current.

The uses for these machines are manifold, especially within the retail and hospitality sectors. The nation’s shopping malls could not afford to be plunged into darkness whenever a rolling blackout occurs, but thanks to their reliance on commercial generators to provide emergency power when required, they are able to avoid the financial losses, health, safety, and security issues that might otherwise threaten store owners and shoppers alike.

Imagine the chaos in a multi-storey hotel where even the door locks are operated electrically, and the comfort and safety of guests is paramount. Without an adequate emergency power source, the consequences of a mains outage could be more than a little serious. On the high street, restaurants and convenience stores are dependent on electricity for cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning, and lighting, and without it, they could not earn a living.

More crucial than any of these examples, however, is the crucial role played by commercial generators in the healthcare sector. Operating theatres depend on power for lighting, ventilation, cardiac bypass equipment, and other forms of electrically powered instrumentation, while the lives of patients in intensive care units are frequently reliant on the continuous operation of mechanical respirators or dialysis machines. The ability to instantly switch to an adequate source of emergency power is clearly vital in these life-or-death situations.

As long as the national service provider continues to struggle to meet the increasing demand for electricity from business and domestic consumers in South Africa, the need for emergency and backup options will continue. While residents and some businesses are now turning to solar energy as their solution of choice, the output from a solar panel array cannot compare with that from large commercial generators, and so, the demand for the latter appears destined to grow.

Where electricity is crucial, so is a reliable backup source. Cummins, Perkins, and Volvo are household names in this field, and feature among the leading brands handled by PacB Group, which offers tailored power solutions to meet any contingency, backed by an expert support team.

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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