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Why Buy a Generator: Standby/Emergency, Prime, or Continuous Power Supply

There are numerous reasons for individuals or businesses to own their own backup/standby, prime, or continuous power supply generator set(s). Generators provide an added level of insurance to your daily routine or business operations ensuring uninterrupted power supply (UPS). The inconvenience of a power outage is rarely noticed until you are the victim of an untimely power loss or disruption.

Back-up Power for Individual Residences

Individuals can avoid the inconvenience of power outages by purchasing a small backup generator.  Electricity is essential to maintain properly functioning lighting, electronic entertainment equipment, household appliances, HVAC, and security systems. The inconvenience of losing power may not be realized in your pocket book but rather in the safety and well-being of your family.

Houses and small residences only require a small amount of backup power, typically in the neighborhood of 5-10 kW.  These gensets can typically be purchased for less than $6,000. Obviously large residences (> 6,000 sq. ft.) may require a bit more power, which will increase the cost slightly, but still is highly affordable considering the benefits of owning your own power supply.

Emergency/Standby Power for Businesses

Indoor Emergency Generators Configured for Parallel Operation

As a business owner, an emergency standby generator provides an added level of insurance to keep your operation running smoothly without interruption. Luckily, the decision to purchase a generator is easily made by performing some basic financial calculations:

  • First, you must determine how much money your business generates on a daily basis. Only consider the revenue that is strictly dependent on power supply (i.e. phones, computers, process equipment, etc.).
  • Next, factor in any capital equipment or assets that depend on a power supply in order to maintain its value (i.e. perishable goods, etc.) You must also consider costs that are associated with a start-up or shut-down of a process or manufacturing line.  Costly startups and shutdowns due to power outages can prove to be very costly.
  • Finally, add up all of these costs and multiply it by the number of power outages you have each year. This will give you your yearly operating losses due to power disruptions.  Dividing the cost of the generator by these potential losses will determine how many years it would take for the generator to essentially pay for itself.

Costs alone should not be the driving factor in purchasing an electric power genset. Another advantage to having a localized backup power supply is to provide a consistent power supply to your business. Generators can provide protection against voltage fluctuations in the power grid can protect sensitive computer and other capital equipment from unexpected failure. These expensive company assets require consistent power quality in order to function properly. Generators also allow for end users, not the power companies, to control and provide a consistent power supply to their equipment.

End users also benefit from the ability to hedge against highly volatile market conditions. When operating in a time-of-use based pricing situation this could prove to be a huge competitive advantage. During times of high power pricing, end users can switch the power source to their standby diesel or natural gas generator for more economical power.

Prime and Continuous Power Supplies

Other individual and business facilities require continual or constant power supply for long periods of time in remote locations.  This is where generators are depended on to provide necessary prime or continuous power in many applications. Prime and continuous power supplies are often used in remote or developing areas of the world where there is no utility service, where available service is very expensive or unreliable, or where customers just simply choose to self-generate their primary power supply.

Prime power is defined as a power supply that supplies power for 8-12 hours a day.  This is typical for businesses such as remote mining operations that require a remote power supply during shifts. Continuous power supply refers to power that must be continually supplied throughout a 24 hour day. An example of this would be a desolate city in the remote parts of a country or continent that is not connected to an available power grid. Remote islands in the Pacific Ocean are a prime example of where power generators are used to provide continuous power for the residents of an island.

Electric power generators have a wide variety of uses throughout the world for individuals and businesses. They can provide many functions beyond just supplying backup power in case of emergencies.  Prime and continuous power supplies are needed in remote areas of the world where the power grid does not extend to or where power from the grid is unreliable. Browse our inventory of gensets today and find the right type of generator for you!

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