A generator is; a device that can supply electricity to your home during power outages, or power cut. It will allow you to use essential appliances; a generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
AC power generators; use mechanical energy produced by small engines.
A Genset; is an engine and alternator combination
How to choose between a
Portable generator or Standby (Stationary)
Fuels can be
- Natural Gas (NG)
- Liquefied Gas (LPG) known as propane
The least expensive option would be a small portable generator 4,000 W model; it would be adequate for occasional blackouts. It would certainly need refuelling several times a day and then if there was an incident of widespread blackout the pump may not work at all.
I would say that this type of generator would be more useful for camping or times when you are building an extension or outbuilding to run your cement mixer and other facilities.
With a standby generator there is no need to roll it out and fill it with fuel, as it is already hooked up to a fuel line, manually activated and connected to your loads.
A standby generator is already connected to the house wiring and fuel line. It can be started by the press of a button or even automatically depending on its settings. It is designed to automatically sense a power outage, isolate your electrical wiring and start up. When the electricity grid starts working again the generator will turn itself off.
You do not even have to be home when all this going on, carry on partying for as long as you can.
This type of generator will cope with a larger load and also increase your home’s value. You will need professional installation by a registered electrician.
N.B. To bear in mind that even with a genset you may need to change the oil every 50 to 100 hours, at which time you will lose power to computers. For this reason it may be worth installing UPS (to prevent data loss).
Most residential generators are bi-fuel. If you live on the grid for gas and LPG is available in your area then those two fuels as a bi-fuel genset would be the most obvious choice. It takes simple field adjustment for conversion between the two.
Of course we all hope that there are no unforeseen major emergency situations or disasters coming our way. However, being prepared with propane may put your mind at rest. After all if there was to be any shortage of natural gas, propane is usually available. Propane has virtually unlimited shelf life as well.
Propane is an excellent choice for portable generators.
Diesel is the most efficient fuel, however diesel operated gensets are more costly and more likely to be used for industrial purpose.
Tips for Installing
- The ground should be prepared and mounted on a cement pad
- You will need it to be level and close to fuel source
- A lift gate may be needed due to the weight
- Bribe your local heavy mob to assist you, at least four members!
The transfer switch (usually installed indoors) will; prevent backfeeding (dangerous and illegal)
For fuel installation you may need a permit
Construction and lay out must comply with NFPA ® 54 for natural gas and NFPA®58 for liquid propane
You may need certification for the installation later if you wish to sell your property
- Air pollution
- Engine maintenance
For all this you may wish to consider a battery operated system.
Take the advice of the experts and the laywoman;
Get a licensed electrician to help you, you can find some awesome deals online!
Get your certificate and stay safe.