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What Is a Standby Generator?

What Is a Standby Generator?

A standby generator is a backup power solution that provides power to your business operations, commercial & industrial applications, or facilities in the event of a power outage. Standby generators are usually stationary and require a concrete pad used as a foundation usually situated outside your facility.

Standby generators are a robust solution that can provide power for days during extended power outages, depending on the fuel type and configuration of the generator. Unlike prime or continuous generators, standby generators are only used for situations such as power outages due to inclement weather, natural or man-made disasters, or regular blackouts due to the aging power grid.

Diesel
Standby diesel generators have fuel tanks attached to them that provide fuel to the generator, which is fed to the internal combustion engine and allows for the generation of electricity. The downside to using diesel generators is the limited tank capacity and cost of acquisition when compared to their natural gas counterparts. During emergencies, always be sure that your business has a contingency plan in place, which includes logistics for diesel fuel delivery in the case of emergencies.

Natural Gas
Standby natural gas generators are connected directly to the natural gas pipeline in your locale, so there is no need to worry about a fuel tank. As long as the main gas utility line is working, then the generator can run indefinitely without needing to refuel. The downside to natural gas generators is higher frequency of maintenance and during natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, natural gas pipelines are the first utility to be shut off to prevent potential fires or explosions.

More information regarding how a commercial generator generates electricity can be found here: What Is a Commercial Generator?

How Do Standby Generators Work?
Commercial standby generators are directly connected to your facility’s electrical panel and are powered by using an external fuel supply such as diesel or natural gas. In regards to commercial generators, the size of the generator, along with fuel type determines what can be powered and for how long.

Standby generators are most commonly paired with an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch), which prompts the standby generator to kick in within seconds of power loss due to power outage. How an ATS works is that the switch disconnects your facility from the main utility power grid after a power outage. After the facility has been safely and completely cut off from the power grid, the switch prompts the generator to start and to start generating power to the facility’s electrical panel.

When power to the main grid is restored, the automatic transfer switch prompts the generator to shut down and reconnects the facility to the main power grid. The single greatest safety feature of using a generator with an ATS is that it prevents back feeding electricity to the grid. Back feeding is a dangerous occurrence where the generator will send electricity to the main grid, which can result in fires, seriously injure, or even kill utility workers that are working on the power lines in efforts to restore power to your region.

If you opt out of installing an ATS with your generator, the alternative is to use the default MTS (Manual Transfer Switch), which would require someone to physically be next to the generator and flip the switch. Additional contingency plans would need to be set in place in the event of a power outage, such as if an employee would be on call to turn on the generator when power goes out and turn off the generator once power is restored. Not only could this potentially put the employee in harm’s way (road hazards, inclement weather, natural disaster occurrence, etc.), but also raises the potential for back feeding to occur.

Benefits of a Standby Generator

Standby commercial generators used as a backup power solution not only keep the lights on, but can also maintain safe working environments for you and your employees. This means that the AC or heat can continue to operate without fail due to power loss. Automated computer systems and equipment such as servers, manufacturing processing machinery, and even security systems can be kept up and running with a backup commercial standby generator. Most importantly, having a standby generator that can keep your business operations going means mitigation in loss of profits and keeping productivity up.

Factors to Consider Before Installing a Standby Generator

Initial Cost
The upfront cost of purchasing and installing a commercial generator.

Fuel Costs
How much fuel the generator consumes/how much fuel is required to run for X number of days.

Repair & Maintenance Costs
While both diesel and natural gas generators should be maintained regularly, diesel generators are more attractive for businesses, because they require very little maintenance when compared to their counterparts.

Fuel Storage
Natural gas generators do not need to store fuel, because they are usually connected to the main gas pipeline. As long as there are no interruptions with your utility service, the generator will be able to run and function whenever it is required.

Diesel generators require a tank that is attached to the unit. If the generator has a smaller tank, then the generator will have to be refueled more frequently to ensure continued power. This may result in the need to store additional diesel fuel reserves on premises or secure a steady delivery of diesel fuel, including in the event of an emergency.

Safety
Diesel fuel is among the least flammable of all fossil fuels. Due to its liquid state and natural odor, it’s unlikely a diesel leak would go unnoticed. If that occurs, it’s relatively safe to clean up.

Natural gas is highly combustible and can explode if concentrated and exposed to an ignition source or even a spark. Natural gas is also extremely toxic to inhale in significant quantities.

Noise
Diesel generators produce a lot of noise at high decibels that can be dangerous to the human ear, whereas natural gas generators run more quietly.

Both generator types can benefit from a sound-attenuated enclosure to reduce noise.

There are a number of other factors to consider when choosing a commercial generator, such as emissions and durability.

More information on these facts and in-depth information for the listed points above can be found here:

The Woodstock Power Company Experience
Woodstock Power Company specializes in buying and selling new, used, surplus, and rental generators. We work with companies all across the country, including top Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. We provide key details regarding each generator we have in stock within our inventory and our generators are all inspected, serviced, maintained, and load bank tested to ensure a smooth generator installation process.

If you are looking to work with us for your commercial generator needs, you can head on over to our inventory page to check out what we have in-stock or give us a call. We would be more than happy to speak with you and help meet your needs.

We have industry experts that focus on commercial generator sets, with in-depth industry knowledge to help you choose the right generator that fits your needs.

We are industry leaders in buying and selling used generators to fit the needs of many businesses, including commercial, industrial, medical, agricultural, and university. This includes facilities like hospitals, better living centers, nursing home, airports, hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail centers, manufacturing, production, and more.

Our experts are ready to assist you from answering any questions you may have about power generator sets to helping you find the best selection in our inventory based on:

  • Peak & Average Power Requirements
  • Fuel Preference (Natural Gas or Diesel)
  • Portability & Stationary Power
  • Prime & Standby Generator Requirements
  • Available Space & Exhaust Restrictions

We carry only the most top rated new, used, and surplus power generator sets for sale, providing you with a great value generator that will fit your budget.

Our generators have been thoroughly inspected, serviced, and verified, which ensures that you will be buying a quality generator that you can depend on. If a generator is not up to par with industry standards, we make all necessary repairs or modifications, and fully test every generator before we sell. This ensures a full turnkey generator that’s ready to fire up and go!

Due to our wide selection of generator sets, we’re confident that we can find the model that best suits your operational needs and budget.

We also buy used generators in good quality, if you have already upgraded and you’re looking to sell your older model.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns, or inquiries to learn more about the Woodstock Power Company experience and the quality level of products & services we provide.

Woodstock Power Company sells new, used, surplus, and rental generators. We work with companies all across the country, including top Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies. We provide key details regarding each generator we have in stock within our inventory and our generators are all inspected, serviced, maintained, and load bank tested to ensure a smooth generator installation process.

If you are looking to work with us for your commercial generator needs, you can head on over to our inventory page to check out what we have in-stock or give us a call. We would be more than happy to speak with you and help meet your needs.

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