A natural disaster or other emergency could quickly wreak havoc on your business unless you have a contingency plan in place. Part of your disaster-preparedness plan should include Wisconsin Commercial Generators, but which ones are best? Here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you make the right choice.
Perhaps the most important consideration is size. To figure your full-load capacity, use a clip-on ammeter on each leg of your electrical service during peak usage periods. Add the measurements together to come up with the total number of amps you consume on an average day.
Consider the square footage of your establishment. To figure the number of kilowatts needed, begin with a base of 50 kilowatts and then add 10 additional watts for every square foot of operating space.
There must also be an adequate reserve capacity; otherwise, motors might not start efficiently and you might even damage some motors. A good rule of thumb to follow is to add an extra 25% to your full load kilowatts. Look at your power usage over the previous year to find your highest demand to make sure you are in the right ballpark.
Single vs. Three-Phase Power
When it comes to commercial generators, those with three-phase power are generally more efficient than ones with only a single phase. That’s because a three-phase generator allows for higher electrical loads, while at the same time ensuring the even distribution of them. If you must power a very large area, or have multiple appliances or heavy machinery, you should consider a three-phase generator. On the other hand, a single-phase generator could be fine if you have a very small shop or primarily operate office space.
Diesel vs. Gasoline
Commercial generators are typically diesel powered, as diesel engines are more fuel efficient and last longer than gasoline engines. However, you may want to consider a gasoline-powered generator if you live in an area where diesel fuel is not readily available or it costs considerably more than regular gas.
Although modern generators are quieter than their older counterparts, some models can still produce a great deal of noise. This may not be a problem if you operate in a remote area, but it could be an issue if your business is located in an urban setting. If noise is a consideration, look for a unit housed in a soundproof casing or other sound-reducing features such as acoustic insulation or isolation mounts.
Ease of Use
Just because you are the one purchasing a generator does not mean you will be the one using it. Ideally, any commercial generator you choose should be as user-friendly as possible. That way, if the primary operator is unavailable, other team members can quickly take over. Look for units with easy-to-read digital displays and clearly-defined features to take as much of the guesswork out of the way as possible.
Chances are you will place your generator in storage whenever it is not needed, and will therefore need to transport it to another location. To ensure your model is easy to transport, look for puncture-resistant wheels and a heavy-duty central lifting point if you plan to move it by hand. For larger models, you may want to look for forklift pockets so the generator can be moved either by a forklift or pallet jack.
Choosing the right generator for commercial applications is important if you are to maintain continuity during a disaster. Here at Midwest Electric and Generator, we have a large selection of generators available, and invite you to contact us for help in choosing the right one.