Power outages can strike at any time, leaving you in the dark and without the essential electrical power you rely on for your daily life. Whether you live in an area prone to severe weather or you simply want to be prepared for unexpected power interruptions, purchasing a generator is a wise investment. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the key considerations and steps to take when buying a generator to ensure you make the right choice for your needs.
Determine Your Power Needs
Before diving into the world of generators, it's crucial to assess your power requirements. Consider what appliances and devices you want to keep running during an outage. Start with essential items like refrigerators, lighting, heating or cooling systems, and communication devices. You may also want to power non-essential items like your television or computer. Totalling up the wattage of these items will give you an idea of the generator size you need.
Generator TypesThere are two main types of generators to choose from: portable and standby generators. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
- Versatile and can be used for various applications
- Typically run on petrol
- Requires manual setup and fuel management
- Automatically start when power is lost
- Run on diesel ensuring a continuous fuel supply
- More expensive and usually require professional installation
Automatic Voltage Regulator
An Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) is an essential component in many generators. It plays a crucial role in maintaining a stable and consistent voltage output, which is vital for ensuring the safe and efficient operation of various electrical devices and equipment.
Automatic Voltage Regulators, commonly referred to as AVRs, are devices or systems integrated into generators to regulate and stabilize the output voltage. They serve two primary purposes:
Voltage RegulationAn AVR generator continuously monitors the generator's output voltage and adjusts it to maintain it within a specific range, typically around 230V for single-phase systems or 400V for three-phase systems. This regulation is crucial for preventing voltage fluctuations that can damage or disrupt sensitive electrical equipment.
Load HandlingAVR generators are designed to handle variations in load demand. As electrical loads on the generator change, the AVR adjusts the excitation current supplied to the generator's alternator to ensure a steady voltage output, even during sudden load changes.
Generators can be noisy, so if you're concerned about sound, look for models that offer quieter operation. Inverter generators are known for their reduced noise levels compared to traditional generators.
For standby generators, you'll need a transfer switch to safely connect the generator to your home's electrical system. This is a critical component that ensures your generator is isolated from the grid when it's operating to prevent back-feeding power into the utility lines, which can be dangerous.
Brand & Warranty
Research different generator brands and read reviews to determine their reliability and customer satisfaction. A reputable brand with a good warranty will provide you with peace of mind in the long run.
Installation & Maintenance
Consider whether you can handle the installation and maintenance yourself or if you'll need professional assistance. Standby generators, in particular, often require professional installation.
Set a budget for your generator purchase. While standby generators are more expensive upfront, they provide automatic, hassle-free power during outages. Portable generators are more budget-friendly but require manual operation.
Investing in a generator is a smart decision to ensure your home has a reliable source of power during outages. Consider your power needs, generator type, fuel source, noise level, run-time, transfer switch, brand, installation, and budget when making your decision. By carefully evaluating these factors, you can select the generator that best suits your needs, keeping your household running smoothly even when the grid goes down.>
If you need further assistance with choosing the correct generator, please contact our sales team who will be more than happy to assist you.