Choosing The Right Generator Keeps Downtime At Bay

Posted on: 25 July 2022

Industrial generators must withstand heavy usage for long periods of time in challenging conditions. There are varying types of industrial generators, but many applications operate on 480 volts or 3-phase power. These types of generators include:

  • Diesel
  • Natural gas
  • Gas

You will need to consider how many kilowatts you need to power your industrial operations in order to choose the right type of generator. You will also need to take into account if your equipment runs with motors or compressors since they draw more power when starting them up than they do while in operation.

Keep your generator running smoothly and safely by choosing a generator that will give you an extra 20 percent wattage capacity. This will help prevent an automatic shutdown. Overloading your generator can at best cause intermittent power loss and at worst cause your operations to cease completely.

Below is a quick overview to help you get started in choosing the right generator for your needs.

Diesel Generators

Diesel engine generators are the industry standard for durability, low maintenance, and longevity. Diesel reduces heat by burning cooler so that the engine lasts longer. Diesel engine technology improvements allow diesel fuel to produce fewer emissions, creating a cleaner environmental footprint. An added bonus is that today's diesel generators can safely use up to a 20 percent biodiesel blend.

Natural Gas Generators

Propane or liquefied gas powers natural gas generators. Easily stored above or below ground, natural gas burns cleanly, creating even fewer emissions than diesel. One drawback is that the initial outlay for natural gas generators can be pricier, but keep in mind that they are durable. Natural gas also must be trucked to the generator's location which can add to overall operating costs. Many industrial facilities use natural gas generators as a backup power source.

Gas Generators

The third alternative is a petroleum or gas generator. Gas generators are less expensive than diesel or natural gas generators. They can run for extended periods like diesel and natural gas, but they require more complex maintenance as the engine wears more quickly as components are prone to deterioration.

Storage is also more difficult. Gas has more fire and explosive potential. Gas will deteriorate over time, so long-term storage doesn't work well, either. Diesel and natural gas generators are usually chosen over gas generators by larger industrial companies because of these issues.

Downtime is expensive. Choosing the wrong generator for your industrial application won't give you the return-on-investment management likely expects. Choose the right generator type for the applications if you want to keep downtime at bay. 

For more information, contact a local company like Scott's Emergency Lighting & Power Generation Inc.