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“Which Generator Is Right For Me?”
Don’t Choose Just Any Generator!
The most important thing apart from choice is making the right one!
Our experienced staff can advise you in making the ever important right choice!
In most applications electric power is required out of necessity. Consequently a generator is required to power equipment for so many different applications. Of course the usages are wide ranging, being for camp sites, leisure areas, commercial, industrial and not forgetting the importance of generators for reliable standby to essential equipment. In recent years generators are vital as reliable backup powered for computers, solar or all forms of alternate energy.
Which generator is best for the application, is the question.
- Cost and or value will always be the primary consideration but other factors will determine choice, such as application, size in wattage, noise and dimension.
- Once you have established your usage or the application you have for the generator the size becomes the next consideration. Electric power is not unlike other elements of power such as water, air etc. and like most things has a form of measurement, that being in the term ‘wattage’. All generators produce amount of electrical power that is also measured in the ‘watts’. Just as a vessel which has a capacity or size and measured in ‘litres’ your electrical equipment needs a certain amount of wattage to run. The generator is limited to only produce power equal to the rating usually measured using the abbreviated term ‘kVA’ and stands for kilovolt-ampere. Ascertain what it is that you require in size. If you need a portable camping type generator for your application, or a large industrial building to power, the same calculation is required. All appliances are required to have ‘compliance plates’ these are to provide the user with information with regard size and other detail. Usually you are able to gauge what size each appliance will amount in total, thus making some allowance for starting loads where motorised equipment is used when making the choice.
- An example is a small generator is listed for sale as a 1 kVA = 1000 watts. Is this what you need? There is nothing complex in the answer particularly if you have the facts. In this case have the generator size and we are now provided with the appliance list to be powered. Required are the following:- Laptop = 460 watt 2×60 watt lamps a small caravan fridge 180 watts and a small TV = 200 watt Answer: Yes Load total = 960 watts Now the tricky part! The example does not change a great deal in an overall sense as far as relative sizes the larger the size the bigger the generator and so on! Other factors come into play where economy, noise and your requirements in that direction, particularly in getting the best unit for your application.
- Cost vs. Suitability! There is no doubt when it comes to ‘cost of operation’ the diesel powered generator is by far the most cost efficient! In fact significantly so (up to four times better) no argument! Is the diesel powered generator the right choice for you? Well yes it may well suit your needs however is it always suitable! Certainly not if you are requiring portable power for say, recreational use, camping, caravan or motorhomes. Since the introduction of the Honda Inverter range these have been favoured as their use on building sites, recreation, leisure and caravan use has grown. Particularly for their quietness and where daily use is below 4 hours or where a majority of low wattage appliances are being used. The economy serviceability is further enhanced with the range of Powerguard automatic options are fitted, these are excellent for use in conjunction with solar systems.
- Choosing a diesel powered generator to suit the application can save you money provided you ensure the selection is made knowing you have adequate after sales service and parts available. Buying a low cost diesel can be economical to use but may not provide you with longevity and often the air-cooled high speed diesels are so noisy they make a bad choice. Essentially, apart from a huge number of varying brand diesel powered units there is the low and high speed variety. A significant number of the cheaper variety are the high speed diesels and whilst economical to use they are often very noisy. Probably the purchase or choice of the correct generator needs to be made based on what is its expected usage, if indeed the expected load is of low wattage and not expected to run significant hours. On the other hand a quality low speed diesel (1500 rpm) can be relied upon to provide low cost power often load sharing with a solar install. This form of quieter water-cooled diesel are very easy to install, again having the Powerguard automatic control is a plus. Advantages of the low speed diesel! Certainly there are significant advantages as with most equipment designed to run at lower speed.
- Off grid power is becoming popular in all areas as the cost of providing power to homes is becoming increasingly expensive. Solar power is harvested through reflective photovoltaic (Solar) panels designed to capture the sun’s U.V energy for the purpose of charging storage batteries. A generator is often used in these renewable energy applications for backup charging & supplemental power supply. Depending on the size of the off grid system, amount of solar output from panels & the size of battery storage, your generator requirement (size & type) can differ greatly. A lot comes down to your ongoing power consumption on a daily basis compared to the size & efficiency of your solar array is in maintaining the necessary levels of battery charge. As the season’s change, so does your solar systems ability to maintain your battery banks charging requirement so you may well need to operate your generator more often in the colder months! Making the right choice in generator is paramount because of the potential cost’s involved with running and maintaining your generator. Your solar “specialist” will guide you in what size generator you may need for your system.
The purpose of choosing on any generator depends largely on application and therefore understanding is ever important. Scan-hi have been trading in the manufacture, sales & servicing of various types of generators and associated power products including engines, & water pumps for more than 58 years.
If you are unsure which machine is best for your application, please contact us for obligation free advice.
Telephone – 1300 264 286
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