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Let’s face it: We’re all dependent on electricity. We’re members of a plugged-in economy and an electronic society. Without electricity, our homes go dark, our computers can’t compute, our cordless devices don’t charge, our food goes bad and our heating systems won’t warm our houses.
It’s an inconvenience for homeowners when the power goes out. But businesses suffer far worse when a sudden power loss happens and production must go on. For most businesses, whether it’s a small commercial operation or a huge industrial facility, continuous and reliable electricity supply is the lifeblood of their bottom line.
Temporary or backup electrical generation isn’t just necessary when power lines go down in natural disorders like hurricanes or ice storms. Auxiliary electrical power is required when accidents take out a section of the power grid and emergency crews take hours or even days to restore the flow. It’s times like these that many facility operators turn to renting generators.
Electrical generators are also commonly used on temporary construction sites when permanent power is yet to be installed or on short-term requirements such as community events, broadcasts and theatrical productions. Planned power shut down also occurs while performing maintenance of permanently installed standby generators, undergoing remedial work on existing building electrical systems or transporting perishable goods during relocations.
Regardless of the need for electrical generation that’s independent of the grid, failure to plan for service interruption will be costly. Loss of time, material and income all flow from interruption of a business’s electrical supply. Good business owners and managers know this and prepare in advance by building contingencies for renting a backup electrical generator.
Knowing their facility’s electrical requirements from full load capacity to the minimum priority power needed in serving critical components and functions are responsibilities that forward-thinking leaders take seriously. They know what’s necessary for an electrical interruption emergency. They also know where to go for assistance in planning and providing the right rental generator for their job.
Here’s what these switched-on owners, managers and industry leaders know about including a rental generator in their business plans.
Rental generators are available in a huge variety of shapes and sizes. They come with all sorts of attachments and devices to make them operate as an entire electrical supply system. Finding the right generator starts with the basics of knowing what electrical capacity is required, where the generator is to be located, what fuel it runs on and how long it’s going to be needed.
In theory, generators are simple machines. They use an internal combustion engine to turn a core inside a coil creating a magnetic field of electricity that flows through wires to the source of consumption. That sounds easy and it is. It really depends on the amount of electricity required that dictates the type of generator to be rented
Rental generators come in four basic applications and are rated in wattage:
Another primary consideration in renting a generator is the type of fuel the unit requires. All rental generators have internal combustion engines that run on these commonly available fuels:
Commercial generator rentals rarely use gasoline. Diesel is the most common fuel for industrial generators with propane second, followed by natural gas. Gasoline is left to the light-duty, recreational generator market.
As expected, generators produce a lot of heat both from their engines and from their generation assemblies. To avoid overheating, all generators from small recreational units to huge industrial machines require cooling systems. Two forms of cooling are used in electrical generators:
Liquid-cooled generators have systems much like an automobile where a stationary radiator is built into the generator framework. A belt-driven fan is used in liquid-cooled generators, where the majority of air-cooled units have a passive heat exchange through radiator fins built into the engine.
The next step, and by far the most important, in selecting a rental generator is determining the size. Considerations should include the voltage selection, wattage needed and phase necessary. All of these will calculate the total power output.
Here it’s critical to determine if the generator is going to service the entire facility or only supply power for critical functions. Some of these functions might be:
This can be a complicated undertaking and it’s best to source the help of professionals before renting a large industrial generator. These big-scale operations may be subject to insurance qualifiers, state and local fire and safety regulations and the National Energy Codes (NEC) requirements.
A certified electrician or an electrical engineer should be consulted if there’s any doubt about the electrical load calculations or the manner of installation for a rental generator. In addition, the service department at the generator rental company will be a wealth of knowledge and should be part of the contingency team in preparing for power outages.
Before turning to professionals, it’s wise to make some preliminary calculations for what the electrical load will be in selecting a rental generator.
In technical terms, there are four methods of determining electrical loads that a rental generator will have to service. Each method takes a different approach but arrives at the roughly the same conclusion.
If full power for the facility is required to be maintained at the same capacity as what the electrical utility company provides, it’s necessary to calculate the aggregate load. This is the amount of power that’s consumed during the average peak period where electricity demand is at is greatest in normal operation. There are several ways to assess the aggregate electrical load:
Some caution and sense have to be used in calculating aggregate electrical load, as consumption can significantly vary even at peak periods. The ratings on electrical distribution boxes are the maximum service available and rarely does actual electrical load reach maximum capacity. Additionally, utility bills will be overall averages and not truly representative of aggregate loads at peak times.
Just as estimating peak usage is important in selecting a rental generator, so is taking stock of critical and non-critical electrical loads. It’s important to prioritize what equipment is crucial to keep operating in the event of a power grid interruption. Likely, a good deal of consumption can be limited or shut down when going into an emergency generator backup mode. This planned consumption will limit the size of generator required and therefore the cost.
No matter the size or capacity of rental generator needed, know that all electricity can be dangerous and that safety in using a generator must be considered as part of the selection process.
Rental generators have a number of built-in safety systems and devices from the factory as well as installed by the generator rental company. Here’s what to know, look for and expect when operating a rental generator:
Not only will the power company refuse to pay for the extra electricity, but there are laws against back feeding in most states. The cost of back feeding and disregarding safety procedures with a rental generator can be enormous.
In rental generators, as in all other machinery, the larger the unit, the greater the rental cost will be. It’s a mistake to source a generator with too big a capacity. The excess power that’s capable of being produced will not be consumed, and the generator rental cost isn’t based on the actual electrical energy produced.
Rental generator cost is fixed on the size of the generator, the length of time it’s being rented for and the hours of use as recorded on the generator’s time clock. The longer a generator is out, the longer the hours added to the clock and the bigger the capacity of the generator, the higher the rental bill will be.
This is where teaming with an excellent supplier of rental generators is so important.
The best insurance against an unexpected electrical power interruption is being prepared for it. It’s one thing to anticipate power loss, whether it be from a season change, a storm warning, a planned shut down or taking on a project that requires temporary electrical generation. It’s another thing to have the right size of generator already specified and knowing it’s available at a reputable rental dealer.
Make sure that generator rental dealer is already part of the contingency team long before calling on them to ship an industrial generator to the facility or a commercial generator to the job site. Here are the questions to ask in determining a reputable, dependable and professional industrial generator rental supplier:
If answers to these questions are clearly met, then you’ve found the mark of a professional supplier from which to rent a generator.
Yancey Power is a professional supplier of generators for all types of commercial and industrial applications. Customers who need equipment sourced and delivered expediently when the power goes down look to Yancey Power when they need to rent a generator in Georgia.
Regardless of the type of industry, the size of the company or the scope of work that requires emergency, backup or temporary electricity, Yancey Power keeps a diverse stock of rental generators ranging from small to large.
When checking out generator rentals in Atlanta or throughout the Central Georgia area, know Yancey Power is the local source to trust and rely on. We’re the one-stop shop for emergency generator rentals, providing exceptional product knowledge and attentive customer service to find fast and efficient power system solutions that meet all budget and application requirements.
Turn to Yancey Power when a continuous, reliable source of electrical generation is an operational necessity. Call us today at 877-278-6235 or visit us at one of Yancey Power locations in central Georgia.