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Apr 25

What Do I Need To Consider When Shopping For A Generator?

By: Patti Dinneen


Getting a generator that can handle all your power generation needs is one of the most critical aspects of the purchasing decision.  Whether you are interested in prime or standby power, if your new generator can't meet your specific requirements then it simply won't be doing anyone any good because it can put undue stress on the unit and even damage some of the devices connected to it.  Unfortunately, determining exactly what size of generator to get is often very difficult and involves a number of factors and considerations. 

What Is A Power Factor (PF)?

Power factor is defined as the ratio between kilowatts (kW) and kilovolt amps(kVa) that is drawn from an electrical load. The generators connected load determines power factor. Generators with higher power factors are able to efficiently transfer energy to the connected load, while lower power generators are not as efficient and can result in increased power costs over time.

What Is The Difference Between Standby, Continuous, And Prime Power Ratings?

Typically, standby power generators are used in emergency situations, like a power outage. Standby power generators are ideal for applications that involve another reliable continuous power source like utility power. We recommend standby power only for the duration of a power outage and regular testing and maintenance.

On the other hand, prime power ratings are defined by “unlimited run time.” Essentially, prime power rated generators will be used as a primary power source and not just for standby or backup power. A prime power rated generator can supply you with power in situations where there is no utility source, which is often the case for industrial applications like oil and gas operations located in remote areas where grid connection is not accessible.

Our third option, continuous power, is similar to prime power; however, continuous power generators have a base load rating. They can supply continuous power to a constant load, but they do not have the ability to handle overload conditions and do not work as well with variable loads. The main difference between a prime and continuous rating is that prime power generator sets are set to have maximum power available at a variable load for an unlimited number of hours, and they generally include a ten percent or so overload capability for short durations.

What Does Generator Installation Involve?

Once you have made a decision, you will want to contact a certified Kohler dealer to discuss generator installation. Your local dealer will set up a site survey, at which time you will discuss different scenarios for generator placement on your property. Of course, the local dealer will make sure that the placement is in accordance with your local codes and ordinances. Following this, your dealer will level the surface where your generator will be placed. Often, crushed gravel and a pre-fabbed concrete pad, or a concrete slab will be used as a base for your generator; finally, your dealer will install the automatic transfer switch and will connect it to your generator.

Click here to estimate your generator sizing needs.

Consider Purchasing Locally

From installation to service, local generator providers can offer you peace of mind knowing the contractor is nearby for all of your future needs. Kinsley Power Systems offers 24 hour services to most of New England from various service locations including Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine.

Kinsley Power Systems

Kinsley Power Systems has sold, serviced and rented emergency power systems throughout the Northeastern United States for nearly 50 years.  A repeat KOHLER Power Systems “Distributor of the Year,” Kinsley serves both residential and industrial generator markets with products ranging from 8.5kW residential systems to multiple megawatt commercial packages.

Kinsley is committed to providing 24/7 support in times crisis and can also custom-tailor preventive maintenance programs to ensure there are no disruptions in power.  With one of the largest fleets of rentals in the Northeast, Kinsley excels at expediting mobile power up to 2000kW and related equipment for emergency use, planned outages and prime power applications. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.

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