Believe it or not, all generators do not generate electricity in the same way, although the purpose is exactly the same.
Standby generators are used for residential and commercial applications, powering domestic appliances and lights during an outage or keeping a business running when the grid dies.
Other times, generators have to be used out in the field to power agricultural applications that may be naturally off the power grid. These off grid generators are becoming more common as they have grown in efficiency and flexibility.
Portable Versus Residential Standby Generators
A portable generator is limited in how much power it can provide. You may get a few appliances out of a portable at best. However, an emergency residential standby generator can be used to deliver power to an entire home in the event of a power outage. Air conditioners can remain operational and so can essential appliances. So if the power is out for days, the standby generator will keep the members of the household from being in the dark and having to exercise the survival skills that are exercised by those without standby generators.
Yes, there are households that use portable generators, but they are seriously limited in what they can power. This can easily result in generator overload, which can kick the generator off at the worst times.
Commercial and Industrial Standby Generators
Commercial and industrial standby generators can power large applications, such as hospitals and office buildings. Even manufacturing plants have standby generators so they can remain in operation in the event of a power outage. The reason why standby power is important to these individuals is that a power outage could be very expensive. In some cases, a power outage can be extremely dangerous. A commercial or industrial generator can produce up to 2000 kW of power.