With more and more people choosing to install solar panels or even live off-grid entirely, the demand for automatic standby generator systems for home backup power has risen. Generators are also now much quieter than they once were, making them far more suited as a home backup generator.
Businesses are also more inclined to invest in a standby generator, especially those in industries where just a few minutes power outage can have a big knock on effect. If you are running a 24-hour factory, then a standby genset is almost a necessity for keeping the line going. However, all kinds of industries may also benefit. For example, IT companies that offer hosting services, food or catering companies need to freezers constantly running or even hydroponic farms that need specialist growing equipment to remain on.
Although your backup generator won’t be your main source of electrical power, it must still be large enough to power all your appliances at once. This means that you need to know how much power you use before you start looking.
Whether you are planning to install a standby generator for a home or a business, you will need to work out what your power requirements are before you buy. This will give a good indication of your minimum requirements and mean that you won’t have to guess and risk getting the answer wrong.
To work out your requirements, you will need to add up the power required of each appliance you use. This is usually indicated in watts and can be found in the manual or other packaging of the product. Where you can’t be sure, you should get in touch with the manufacturer to find out. The power requirements are usually listed in watts.
Adding everything up like this will tell you how many watts you are using when absolutely everything is up and running. However, if your appliances require a starter motor, you may need to factor in that these appliances need up to 4 times the wattage to start up. If in doubt, always assume that you need more power than you do to create a generous upper limit.
Once you have added up all the watts you will need, use our power calculator (above) to see what kVA output you will need from your generator. You might then wish to allow a suitable margin for headroom to ensure that you definitely have enough power, rather than opting for a smaller generator than your power requirements.
A standby generator is usually used when other methods for powering the home fail. For example, you might be able to generate the vast majority of your energy using solar panels through the summer. However in winter, a home standby genset will provide peace of mind that you always have enough power.
Many businesses such as manufacturers should also look into a commercial backup generator as a means to insure against the potential for loss of power. As many manufacturers work to tight deadlines, the idea of losing even a few minutes on the factory floor can significant impacts further down the line. Having a professionally installed standby genset will minimize the time lost and get your business back up and running in no time.