Planning A Commercial Generator Installation | Things To Consider

Make Sure Your Generator Installation Goes To Plan…

Commercial generators are an important part of most large scale power operations, most commonly used as reserve power to cover power outages. Sectors such as Healthcare and Data Management rely on constant power, which is why generator installation is a must, to ensure minimal downtime, should the main power source fail.

As well as providing temporary power during outages, commercial generators can be installed for Prime and Continuous use. This is a common choice for industries such as construction and heavy machinery, where higher output, robust and reliable, low emission power is needed.

These days, there are a plethora of generator options available, which means there are solutions to any common power requirement. However, that doesn’t mean that commercial generators are a ‘one size fits all’, it pays to do your research before choosing a generator installation company, as well as considering several key factors prior to installation and commission. Here’s a few things you’ll need to think about…

Power Rating

The power output of your generator will determine how well your site runs (or continues to run in the event of mains failure) without issue. If your generator install is underpowered then you could be facing downtime for machinery and equipment, resulting in lost business and potentially higher costs. With this in mind, it may be obvious to install a generator that is more than capable of exceeding your power output needs, in most cases this is true. However, a vastly over powered generator could create emissions or efficiency issues long term, meaning your business could be operating on higher margins (as, in most cases, higher powered generators are more costly to run) and not meet emissions targets (something which is increasingly important in construction for example, in the CCS Scheme).

In most cases, power rating is calculated in kW, with smaller units (often portable or temporary) running around 5.5kW. Calculating the power output you’ll need marries science with experience, which is where an experienced Generator Installation Company can bring major benefit, helping you determine exactly what you need for output, efficiency and costs.

Overall Costs

As with all major business purchases, generator installation has two main costs to consider; upfront (initial) costs and ongoing costs.

The initial costs of your generator install will be determined by a few key factors;

  • fuel type
  • power output
  • efficiency
  • remote features such as SCADA and remote monitoring
  • failsafe features
  • additional features such as silent housing

Ongoing costs will usually be incurred through fuel consumption, which is why energy efficiency is extremely important and maintenance costs. When considering ongoing costs, it’s worth noting that whilst all petrol, diesel and natural gas generators require regular maintenance; diesel are often the most robust, needing much less maintenance, usually at lower costs.

Initial Generator Installation

Whilst it can seem daunting undertaking your generator install, it’s worth planning ahead and finding a reputable, experienced installation company, who can manage the whole process, from initial consultation, to assess your needs, through to design, delivery and install, as well as looking after any ongoing tweaks that could be needed. A good installation company can turn a potentially complex, timely and costly exercise into something much more hassle free.

During installation, there are a lot of factors at play, with input needed from a number of key people, from electrical engineers, overseeing the actual install, through to planners, logistic teams who arrange delivery and project managers who can ensure each stage works together.

Size & Noise

Generators come in all shapes and sizes, producing a massive range of power outputs, with differing efficiency levels and economy. When you’re planning your installation it’s worth doing a ‘walk around’ of your potential sites, assessing any requirements or limitation on size, in a lot of cases the overall power output of an install is dictated by the physical space on site.

As well as this, noise should be considered too. Is your site a noise sensitive environment, such as a Data Centre, Hospital or Education Facility? If so, you may need an acoustic housing which provides silent generation. On the other hand, ‘noisier’ sites such as in the construction industry can afford higher volume, usually resulting in lower costs.

One thing to keep in mind; don’t just consider the area of install! There are plenty of cases where the install site is more than adequate, yet lead in roads and access are restricted, resulting in extremely complex, over run projects!

Remote Monitoring & Other Features

These days, generators are extremely advanced, offering additional features such as cloud based monitoring and automatic transfers, which allow immediate start up should your original power source fail.

It’s worth considering these over the longer period, rather than the initial outlay, as they can make managing your generator much easier and more cost effective in the long run.

Maintaining Your Generator

As we’ve already said, diesel generators usually require less maintenance. However, to ensure safe, continual and reliable operation, all types of generator will need maintaining from time to time.

In a lot of cases, sites opt for their maintenance to be handled by the initial installation company, which, if you’ve built up a working relationship, does make sense. Be careful when establishing your maintenance plan! Don’t be tempted to choose the maintenance company based on price alone, consider how thorough and adequate their proposals are; after all, the last thing you want is a poorly maintained generator that fails during critical need.

Keeping These Things In Mind Should Guarantee Efficient & Successful Installation

We hope we’ve given you a few (helpful) things to think about before undertaking your generator install. As a professional installation company with over 50 years experience collectively, we pride ourselves on delivering worry free installations from start to finish. We may be a little biased, but we do believe the easiest, most efficient, stress free way to get your generator installed, no matter what sector you’re working in, is to work alongside a company like ourselves.

In the first instance, experience plays a major part, with long serving installers having worked on hundreds of projects, meaning they’ll be more better equipped to foresee and overcome and issues. As well as this, reliability is guaranteed, as professional installation ensures that your generator will deliver in times of critical need, such as mains failure.

Surprisingly, working with an installation team is also extremely cost effective too, as there is often little over-spec (which is often the case when initial assessments aren’t done correctly), or, more importantly, under-spec’d generators which don’t deliver at critical times, resulting in pitfalls further down the line.

If you’re considering a generator installation, contact our team for an initial consultation. Our team can provide all types of generators, from initial design to install, bringing our years of expertise and client satisfaction to your project.

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