The Buyer’s Guide to Choosing a Generator

Posted in: Business Continuity Diesel Generators Performance Power Outages

Investing in an industrial generator is a significant decision for any business. With the increasing reliance on electricity to power critical operations, having a backup power source is essential to ensure business continuity during unexpected outages or to provide a reliable source of electricity to run a business or facility. However, with numerous types of commercial generators available in the market, choosing the right industrial generator can be overwhelming. 

In this in-depth buying guide, we’ll discuss how to choose a generator, including some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a generator for your business needs. From power capacity and fuel type to portability and maintenance, we’ll provide you with the information you and your business need to make an informed decision and find the best commercial generators to meet your requirements. 

Determining Your Power Capacity Needs When Choosing an Industrial Generator

One of the first factors to keep in mind when choosing an industrial generator is the power capacity or wattage that your business requires. Industrial-size generators come in a wide range of power capacities, from small generators capable of powering a few essential loads to large generators capable of powering an entire facility. Understanding your power needs is crucial to ensure that the generator you choose can provide adequate power for your business operations. 

To determine your power requirements, it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment of your business’s power usage. This assessment should be conducted by a certified electrician. The electrician will consider the types of equipment and machinery that need to be powered during an outage, including their power ratings. He or she will also take into account any potential power surges or spikes that may occur during startup or operation. It’s also essential to plan for future growth and expansion to ensure that the generator you choose can accommodate your business’s changing power needs. 

Fuel Type: Diesel vs. Gas Generators

Another key factor to look at when choosing an industrial generator is the fuel type. Industrial generators typically run on diesel, with smaller sizes also available in gasoline. When you are considering diesel vs gas generators, each type has its advantages and disadvantages. 

Diesel generators are known for their fuel efficiency and durability. They are highly reliable and can provide continuous power for extended periods, making them ideal for businesses that require an uninterrupted power supply for critical operations. Diesel generators are a more cost-effective option in the long run with their long lifespan and low maintenance requirements. However, diesel generators tend to have higher upfront costs compared to gas generators. 

On the other hand, gas generators are generally more affordable upfront and are suitable for businesses with a lower budget. Gas generators are typically smaller and more portable, making them a good option for businesses that require mobility. Because gas generators are usually available in smaller wattages, they might not be able to power an entire business. In addition, gas generators may have higher fuel costs in the long run, and their power output may be limited compared to diesel generators. 

When choosing between diesel and gas generators, it’s essential to consider your business’s specific needs, including the required power capacity, expected runtime, and budget. Consulting with a reputable generator provider can help you make a decision based on your unique requirements. 

Portability: Mobility for Your Business

The portability of an industrial generator is another crucial factor to consider, depending on your business’s mobility needs. Some businesses may require generators that can be easily transported to different locations, such as construction sites or remote areas. In such cases, portable generators that are mounted on trailers may be the best option. These generators are designed for easy transportation, typically come with built-in fuel tanks, and may include features such as voltage selector switches or distribution panels. 

On the other hand, some businesses may not require mobility and may prefer stationary generators that are permanently installed in a designated location. Stationary generators are typically larger and require professional installation and connection to the building’s electrical system. Depending on city, county or state codes, they may require additional certifications like being UL2200 Listed or CSA certified. 

Maintenance: Ensuring Reliability

Proper maintenance is crucial for the reliable and efficient operation of an industrial generator. Regular maintenance helps identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems, ensuring that the generator performs optimally and has a longer lifespan. 

When choosing an industrial generator, consider the maintenance requirements and costs associated with the generator model you are considering. Diesel generators typically require regular maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, fuel system cleaning and periodic testing, to ensure smooth operation. Gas generators may also require maintenance, although they generally have fewer maintenance requirements compared to diesel generators.  

It’s also essential to consider the availability of replacement parts and service providers for the generator brand and model you’re considering. Opt for generators from reputable manufacturers that have a widespread service network and readily available spare parts to ensure that maintenance and repairs can be promptly addressed, minimizing downtime during emergencies. 

Types of Commercial Generators

There are several types of commercial generators available for you to choose from, each with its unique features and advantages. Understanding the different types of generators can help you choose the one that best suits your business needs. 

  • Standby Generators: Standby generators are designed to automatically detect a power outage and kick in to provide backup power to your facility. They are typically permanently installed and connected to your facility’s electrical system, and with the assistance of an automatic transfer switch, can start within seconds of a power outage. Standby generators are ideal for businesses that require uninterrupted power supply to critical operations and can provide power for extended periods.
  • Prime Generators: Prime generators are designed to provide continuous power for extended periods and are suitable for businesses that require a reliable source of power for prolonged operations. They are typically larger and more robust compared to standby generators and may have additional features such as larger fuel tanks and enhanced cooling systems. Prime generators are ideal for businesses that operate in remote areas or have unreliable utility power.
  • Portable Generators: Portable generators are typically smaller and more mobile compared to standby and prime generators. They are usually mounted on trailers and are designed for easy transportation to different locations. Portable generators are suitable for businesses that require temporary or mobile power, such as construction sites or events. While portable generators tend to be on the 10kW to 500kW range, custom equipment can be found at 2000kW or more.

Emission for Commercial Generators

Diesel generators are known to emit pollutants that can harm the environment and human health. To regulate these emissions, different tiers of emissions standards have been established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 

  • Tier 1 Generators: Mostly known as Export Generators. This standard was implemented in 2004 and at the time applied to engines up to 560kW. As the lowest standard, new generators within this tier range cannot be installed in the United States, but can be exported to several parts of the world including South America and the Caribbean. 
  • Tier 2 Generators: Tier 2 standards were introduced in 2006 and produce about 50% less gasses than their Tier 1 counterparts. Certain areas of the United States currently allow these engines on generators over 500kW 
  • Tier 3 Generators: The Tier 3 standards became effective in 2013 and applies to generators up to 750kW. Specifically, the Tier 3 regulations require a 20-40% reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions and a 40% reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions compared to the Tier 2 standards. 
  • Tier 4 Generators: Tier 4 generators are designed to meet or exceed the stringiest emissions standards set by the EPA, making tier 4 generators a more environmentally friendly option than their lower tier counterparts. In some States, like California, these are the only generators permitted for new installations. They have the flexibility of being able to be utilized in Standby, Prime or Mobile applications. 

It is essential to note that the tiered emissions standards only apply to new engines and do not require older engines to be retrofitted. However, it is always recommended to use the latest generation of generators to achieve the best performance and the lowest environmental impact. 

Commercial Generator Prices: Budget Considerations

The cost of an industrial generator is an important consideration for any business. Commercial generator prices can vary significantly depending on the type, power capacity, fuel type and brand. It’s essential to establish a budget for your generator purchase and consider the long-term costs associated with maintenance, fuel, and potential repairs. 

Diesel generators generally have higher upfront costs compared to gas generators due to their durability and fuel efficiency. Standby and prime generators are typically more affordable compared to mobile generators, as you have to factor in the costs of the trailer and any other mobile accessories you may require. However, they also offer a reliable and continuous power supply for critical operations, with added mobility. 

It’s important to remember that investing in a high-quality generator from a reputable manufacturer may be more cost-effective in the long run, as it can ensure reliable performance, lower maintenance costs, and a longer lifespan. Comparing prices and features from different generator providers can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and business requirements. 

Best Commercial Generators: Research and Comparison

With a wide range of industrial generators available in the market, it’s crucial to research and compare different options to find the best commercial generators for your business needs. In addition to the previous considerations mentioned, here are some further tips to help you make an informed decision: 

1. Research Generator Providers

Look for reputable generator providers with a proven track record of delivering high-quality generators and reliable customer service. Read customer reviews and testimonials to gauge their reputation and reliability. And when you are ready to purchase an industrial generator, you want one that has generators in-stock. Americas Generators is the one and only generator provider that always has inventory ready for your business needs. 

2. Evaluate Features and Specifications

Compare the features and specifications of different industrial generator models to ensure they meet your business requirements. Consider factors such as fuel tank capacity, run time, noise level, emissions and safety features. For example, if your business is located in a noise-sensitive area, you may need a generator with low noise levels to comply with local regulations. 

3. Check Warranty and Support

Look for generators that come with a comprehensive warranty and reliable customer support. A good warranty can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in case of any issues. Additionally, consider the availability of spare parts and service providers for the generator brand and model you’re considering to ensure timely maintenance and repairs. 

Americas Generators: The One and Only Industrial Generator Supplier With In-Stock Generators 

Why should you choose Americas Generators for your industrial generators? One important reason is Americas Generators is the only generator supplier with in-stock industrial generators. That means faster turnaround times, so you don’t have to wait months to have your generator delivered. Just choose the right generator to meet your needs and we will ship it to you from our in-stock inventory. In addition we can fully customize your industrial generator to your specific requirements. 

Trust Americas Generators for All Your Industrial Generator Needs 

Ready to choose the right industrial generator for your business? Contact us at Americas Generators for a wide range of industrial generators for sale, expert guidance and reliable customer support. Our team of generator specialists can help you understand why you need an industrial generator and work with you to find the perfect generator that meets your power needs and budget. And don’t forget we are the only provider with in-stock generators, so you can always get your industrial generator when you need it. Don’t compromise on reliable power supply for your business. Contact us today! 

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