Virginia Commercial Generator Guide

Importance of a Commercial Generator for A Business

As a businessman, you will know well that you can’t afford to gamble on your company’s success. This is why we recommend you invest in a commercial backup generator. Once you do this, you can rest assured that this was an intelligent investment you have made because it will pay for itself even if you have to face only a few power outages in the current financial year.

This is because, short or long, a power loss may rapidly cause chaos in the workplace. Even though the meter has stopped running, the company still has to pay for ongoing operating costs. In other words, reliable power backup is essential to the successful operation of any organization.

Every business dealing with food knows how devastating it can be to lose power, refrigeration, or both. Similarly, breakdowns in industrial machines might prevent you from producing enough goods to fulfill demand. In addition, a loss of electricity might also result in lost data for businesses that provide professional services.

Cameras and other security equipment might become ineffective in an instant at any company during a power outage. Although a power loss might have wildly different consequences for different businesses, the solution to keeping your business operating is always the same: purchasing a commercial power generator.

Being a top electric company that also handles commercial generator installation and maintenance, we realize that you, the business owner, may not know much about commercial generators or how to choose the correct one for your organization. Don’t worry. This Virginia Commercial Generator Guide will provide all the information you need to make an informed decision about purchasing a commercial generator guide.

How Does a Commercial Standby Generator Work?

Commercial backup generator systems will kick in automatically when the electricity goes off. After that, you won’t have to do a thing to get them going.

During a power outage, the automatic transfer switch in a commercial standby unit disconnects the utility line and connects the generator to the main panel. After a few hours or days, the generator automatically shuts off when the power returns, and the transfer switch is put back into standby mode.

Most parts in a commercial standby generator are more sturdy than those in a home version. It has a bigger, usually liquid-cooled engine, thicker steel, and more reliable internal electronics. Commercial standbys are a superb option for protecting high-demand applications because they can withstand the additional power and heat generated by extended run durations.

Choosing a Commercial Standby Generator

To call this information a comprehensive commercial generator guide, we must also tell you the critical considerations to make when selecting your commercial standby generator. Let us explain these factors in the next section.

Commercial power generators serve essentially the same purpose however vary significantly in many other respects compared to residential generators. For example, in a commercial generator,  the size, power source, and required runtime all change depending on the nature and scale of your enterprise. In such a situation, how do you determine the generator size you need for your firm? Below, we review some of the fundamentals that should be considered when shopping for a power generator.

Stationary Vs. Portable Power Generators

When compared to portable generators, stationary generators are bigger and costlier. However, a permanent or stationary generator is adequate to provide standby power for your business. This will ensure that if the power goes out, the backup generator will go on immediately, restoring power in a few seconds. This doesn’t imply that portable generators have no use in commercial settings; instead, they should serve as a secondary backup to larger, more permanent installations.

Power Usage of a Generator

The first step is finding out how many watts you’ll need to keep your company operating during a power outage. Note that depending on the sort of company you have, your power requirement during a power outage will vary tremendously. For instance, if you own a small business, your power demand will be substantially lower than a manufacturing facility.

This is because, in the case of a small company, all you need to do is keep some office lights, computers, printers, networks, and other devices up and running during a blackout. However, how do you calculate the required wattage? The simplest method is to review your power bills from the last year.

On your monthly account, many power providers will emphasize your peak demand. Find the highest wattage after you know your peak monthly demand for the last 12 months. This is a good starting point, but to ensure you have enough reserve power, multiply the highest wattage by 25%. You now have a general idea of how many watts a commercial power generator should have.

It’s crucial to remember that although an estimate is a wonderful way to start weighing your generator alternatives, having an electrician or an experienced generator dealer is always preferable to give you a more precise estimate of your power requirement during a blackout.

Fuel Type Used in a Commercial Generator

Now, let us discuss the type of fuel you need to use in your generator as you have an idea about the estimated power your business need to keep it running through power outages. In this Virginia Commercial Generator Guide, we want to remind you that a business generator may operate on several fuel kinds.

Each of these fuel kinds has a unique mix of benefits and drawbacks. Choosing a convenient fuel is an important consideration, but it is not the only one. It would help to consider where the fuel will come from and whether it needs to be kept on-site. If so, fuel shelf life and capacity are essential.

  • Diesel.

Diesel will be your most effective fuel type if you’re searching for a generator that has a higher output than 150kW. It works well and is easily accessible. In addition, one of the most affordable generators to operate and maintain is a diesel one. With the simple addition of chemicals, it may be kept on-site for up to two years and last the winter.

  • Gasoline

Obtaining gasoline is simple and inexpensive, but it can be more challenging in an emergency with high demand. If it worries you, think about keeping your generator fuel on-site. Yet since it’s highly combustible and only useful while kept for a year or less, it poses an extra danger to your company.

  • Natural Gas

Using a natural gas generator means you won’t need to worry about keeping fuel on-site. However, your company needs to have a natural gas connection for this. While a generator operating on natural gas will consume more of it, cold temperatures do not affect this fuel type. If you’re connected to your local natural gas line, it’s inexpensive and practical.

  • Propane

Although having an endless shelf life and being a clean-burning fuel, propane is often too expensive for bigger enterprises. This includes the fuel cost and the costs associated with on-site storage. Yet propane might be a fantastic choice for a small company. While propane generators use more fuel than diesel generators, they are often more silent when operating.

  • Dual Fuel

Buying a generator that operates on diesel and natural gas may be in your best interest if you plan to use it as your primary source of electricity. Dual fuel generators guarantee you won’t lose electricity because of a fuel shortage by providing a backup fuel supply. Both fuel sources are used in case one runs out.

Running Time of a Generator

In addition to fuel type, the amount of time your commercial generator will need to operate is another consideration we’d like to address in our Virginia Commercial Generator Guide. You probably won’t know how long you’ll need the generator running in an emergency. If your business generator is going to be the only source of electricity during an outage, you should probably choose one that can keep going forever.

It might be the decisive factor between a portable generator and a backup generator for a small company. Commercial enterprises must guarantee that their fuel supply will keep a generator going for as long as necessary. It means you must ensure you have enough of whatever fuel source you maintain on-site to keep your company going during a power interruption.

Since various types of generators need varying amounts of fuel, there is no standard recommendation for stockpiling. While deciding on a commercial generator for your company, you should keep this in mind. Our professionals know how long a commercial generator must operate to provide sufficient power for your business in an outage.

Single-Phase Vs. Three-Phase

Small businesses may get by with a Single-Phase system, but a Three-Phase setup would better serve more extensive commercial operations. The primary distinction between the two is the greater voltage a three-phase system may supply. Consequently, three-phase setups are pricier and more complex.

Yet, a three-phase system will likely be what you need if you’re looking for a commercial power generator. Choosing a single or three-phase generator system depends entirely on your specific demands and requirements.

Noise Level of a Generator

The noise level may not be a concern for more substantial industrial purposes. Still, it should be considered for any firm near other enterprises and residential areas. The generator’s exhaust is the component that makes most of the noise. Be sure you aren’t breaking any laws regarding noise pollution by using a commercial generator close to a residential neighborhood. Installing a high-quality muffler or other noise-reducing accessories on the generator is a good idea in such cases.

Installation Location of a Generator

Although there isn’t a “generator for inside” or “generator for the outdoors,” some models work better in specific environments. As we discussed, this includes noise level, vibration, exhaust, and transfer switches.

It’s normal for any generator to vibrate. If you’ve put the unit outside, this isn’t as big of a problem. However, if installed inside, the generator’s vibrations may disrupt sensitive manufacturing, medical imaging, tenants, and other services. All generators, notably indoor ones, should have their vibration and weight considered during installation.

Remember that generators have massive exhausts, so always give some breathing room between the generator and your HVAC system. Even though regulations set a minimum separation, you should consider increasing that gap.

Location is a significant factor when planning where to put your generator. One or more automated transfer switches will be a part of your backup generator arrangement. Flip this switch to connect your generator to your home’s electrical system. The generator automatically cuts off the utility line and turns on the generator if it detects a power outage.

If you find this Virginia Commercial Generator Guide useful but would like more information on commercial generator installation or maintenance, please get in touch with the professionals at Power & Systems Integration. We would be happy to assist you.

To contact us, please fill out the contact form on our official website with your details. One of our team members will contact you soon once you complete this step.

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