Diesel Generators Explained.

In this section of the web site we try to explain in simple terms some background on generators. If you would prefer to watch videos that explain generators, please click on the bold text to the right here to view our main website: Generators Explained

What size and type of Generator?

In order to determine what size generator you need, you must establish which appliances will be operated from the generator and which of them will perhaps be operated at the same time.

If you would like assistance with choosing the correct model and what size generator, please feel free to call us on 01270 509 296, we are always happy to help. With over 17 years in the industry we will make sure that you get the right generator for your application.

Most electrical appliances have their consumption on the plate which gives model, serial number etc.

Electric appliances have different power requirements - some products such as fridges can require up to five times their normal running power to start up - this information should be available on the manufacturers plate.

If an appliance has a "resistive load" then its starting and running current is the same - TV's, cookers, hi fi's, kettles and light bulbs fall into this category.

"Universal" motors with commutators and brushes need only 5-10% in addition to there stated power consumption.

However "Induction" motors with no commutator as found on fridges, vacuum cleaners, freezers and central heating pumps can have a starting current five times normal running power - this is why the plate on the appliance must be checked and if in any doubt you should check with the appliance manufacturer or his agent.

Once you have established the maximum wattage requirement of each appliance you may run off the generator you should add these figures together (plus at least 10% contingency) for the appliances you wish to run simultaneously - this is the KW output you require from your generator.

For a typical domestic house at least 6Kw is required to be able to power essential appliances such as central heating, lighting, communications, computers, fridge, freezer and limited cooking facilities - again it is emphasized that this is only a guide.

A range of generators are available both manual and electric start. For installations with either automatic control or remote start only diesel or LPGas powered generators with electric start can be used and the generator and panel/switch must be specified at time of purchase as the generator specification changes for these applications.

We have uploaded videos to our main company website that explain the differences in sound levels, electric start, recoil start, AVR, inversters etc. Click here to see Generators Explained

Certain applications where sensitive electronic equipment is involved (eg. - computers) require generators with automatic voltage regulation (AVR) to ensure a surge free power supply.

Installation of a Diesel Standby Generator.

Stand By Generators must be installed in accordance with manufacturers recommendations otherwise the warranty will be invalidated - in particular we recommend that electrical work involving control panel / transfer switch / earthing installation be carried out by a qualified contractor - we can provide any contractor with advise/guidance as required and between us we can usually avoid the need for expensive surveys / site visits.

However the installation of a stand by generator need not be a seemingly complex and in some cases expensive operation - our range of generators will meet most needs and where appropriate are pre-configured to enable such features as auto start / transfer etc to be included at purchase or even added later - our water cooled range comes with battery charger, coolant heater, bunding and the facility for auto/remote start as standard.

Why have a Diesel Standby Generator?

Before committing to expense of purchasing a stand by (or back up) generator customers should be sure why they want one - there are a number of reasons.

- most obvious is a genuine need never to be without electrical supply - stand by generators give total peace of mind.

- avoidance of business interruption and loss of stock - whether it be a small factory, office or protecting critical stock or data - stand by generating facilities will enable the business to continue trading in the event of power failure.

- people living and working in remote (and not so remote) areas can be prone to extended power cuts particularly where supply is through overhead power lines - recent winters have seen whole areas without power for up to several days.

How do Diesel Standby Generators Work ?

The more sophisticated systems work totally automatically through an electronic control panel sensing a loss of electricity supply when a power cut occurs and automatically starting the generator within seconds - once electricity supply is returned the system automatically reconnects to the National Grid - then allows the engine of the generating set to continue running for a cooling down period before shutting down.

An intermediate stand by system will involve a generating set which is connected to a manual changeover switch - when a power failure occurs the generator is started (this can either be manually or with a remote start kit) and the switch is activated manually to supply power. When the power cut ends the reverse procedure is carried out.

The most simple system is just a portable generator which the owner starts up and connects to critical appliances via an extension lead.