Generators are what backup power sources look like, after a blackout. The most obvious reason people can think of about having a generator at home is to have an alternate power source after a power outage. How important is a generator actually? What different kinds of generator options are available in the market? Let us take a look at all of these points. Knowing about various perspectives of generators will help you make an informed decision as to why your home might or might not need a generator.
What is a Generator?
Technically speaking, a generator consists of an engine and an alternator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Common generators normally produce alternating current, the type which is most suitable to power up lights and other house appliances.
Types of Generators:
Classified in terms of mobility, generators can be widely categorized into two: Standby and Portable.
- Portable Generators
This kind of generator can be transported from place to place and are not fixed at a certain place. A portable generator is a temporary solution to generate electricity for a certain period of time. For example, you may need a portable generator to host a party.
- Standby or Stationary Generators
These generators are permanently installed and fixed on concrete, and are able to generate power supply for days. These are connected directly to a house’s electrical panel, and are externally fueled by natural gas, diesel or liquid propane. A standby generator can be air-cooled or liquid-cooled. Generally air-cooled generators are smaller among the two, and used to power only a few circuits at a time. However these are larger than a portable generator. On the other hand, a liquid-cooled whole-house generator has a larger capacity and output, enough to run an entire house.
How do Generators Work?
Both categories of generators work on the principle of Michael Faraday’s Law of electromagnetic induction. Standby Generators need a transfer switch to provide power backup. As soon as the transfer switch detects an interruption in your usual power supply, it immediately disconnects you from the grid. Next the switch now starts up the standby generator you have installed in your premises, and then transfers its power to the home’s electrical panel. This transfer takes around 10-30 seconds. These generators have an internal combustion engine that works on local natural gas supply, or reserves of liquid propane or diesel.
Portable generators too are fueled by an external source like bio-diesel, gasoline, liquid propane or natural gas. These mostly provide a power backup of 12 hours, depending on their capacities.
Why do you need a Generator?
Power outages can be inconvenient, and more so when they are for a longer period of time. Here’s why you may need a generator.
- Power outages during natural calamities like storms, tornadoes and heavy rains, which can cut off your power supply for days. When you have a well-fueled standby generator installed, it can give power to your household for 2-3 days at a stretch, helping you lead a normal life.
- Power outages due to human errors, curious animals and automobile accidents.
- If you own a farm, a generator is of utmost importance. It not only powers irrigation techniques, threshing, and harvesting, but also helps in post-production techniques like sorting, grading and packing the farm produce. It is also useful for storage by maintaining a certain temperature so that the produce is not spoiled.
- To host a sporting activity, concert or even a small-scale party, a portable generator is what you need. Generators help in powering sound systems and lighting options.
- A construction site most importantly needs a portable generator to power all the machines.
- A stationary generator is again extremely important for an enterprise. No organization will function smoothly without a power backup. No one wants their businesses to slack down owing to power outages. Any enterprise, big or small, needs uninterrupted power supply for smooth operations.
- An industrial unit too, cannot function without a stationary generator. If the machines are stuck for more than certain time duration, it can lead to jeopardizing the entire unit that is being processed.
Predator generators are good options for power backups. You can look up online for predator 4000 generator reviews before ordering one.