PacB Group // What to Consider When Choosing an Emergency Backup Generator


What to Consider When Choosing an Emergency Backup Generator

Both residents and business owners rely heavily on an uninterrupted supply of electrical power to their premises. Consequently, when that supply becomes disrupted, whether due to accidental damage, infrastructure failure, or a planned outage, most businesses, together with a growing number of households, now rely on the power from an emergency backup generator.

While such disruptions to a domestic supply may result in a measure of inconvenience, the consequences of a power outage in a factory, a hospital, or a densely populated public building could be far more serious. Unfortunately, power outages have become increasingly frequent in recent years, and the seriously cash-strapped national service provider is fighting a losing battle in its attempts to maintain a reliable mains supply. While many homeowners might continue to cope with the help of candles and takeaways, industrial and commercial users have little option but to install an emergency backup generator in order to continue functioning safely and profitably. For those in either category who have yet to make this decision, there are a few points they will need to consider when selecting the machine that will best meet their needs.

For the home user, the first requirement is to determine just what needs to be powered and what can be safely left inoperable until mains power is restored. Typically, refrigeration, television, hot water, and some lighting will be the main concerns during an outage, and so, a relatively small generator should suffice for emergency backup purposes. This could be a portable petrol-driven machine, and could be housed in a garage, where the carbon monoxide exhaust fumes present no threat. Adding some extension cords is all that is needed to power the required devices. When an outage occurs, someone will need to start it by hand, but power can be made available with only a relatively brief loss of continuity.

A more powerful machine, such as a diesel or propane-driven unit, similar to those used in commercial and industrial installations, could also power an entire home. Switching to the emergency backup generator can then be automated by means of a power transfer switch. The installation must be undertaken by a qualified electrician. but once set up, when mains power fails, the transition to the alternative source will be completed in just a few seconds with no need for manual intervention.

Although these units are more powerful than their petrol-driven counterparts, it is important to match their output capacity to the anticipated load requirements. This requires performing a full inventory of the running and start-up wattages for every item that is to be powered, and whatever emergency backup generator is chosen should be designed to meet that demand with a little reserve power to spare.

In crucial industrial applications, rather than relying on a simple power transfer switch, it might be important to avoid even a relatively short breach of continuity. In such circumstances, a programmable control panel offers a more efficient option. The times and duration of rolling blackouts are announced in advance, and the panel can be adjusted to bring an emergency backup generator online a few minutes before the start of a planned outage, allowing it to sync its output with that of the mains and complete the transition without any downtime at all. Once the mains power is restored, the panel detects the change and, when synced with that of the genset, reverses the process.

In an office or data processing centre, the main concern is invariably to keep computers online and prevent any loss or corruption of data. To do so, it is often unnecessary to install an emergency backup generator. Instead, a suitable uninterruptible power supply could be all that is actually required, and can also perform a seamless transition to battery power. For affordable and innovative power solutions for every possible eventuality, talk to 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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