Thinking of buying a generator for business use? Whether it’s a farm, event, construction site, satellite office or something else entirely, there’s a whole range of commercial generators that can power your Australian business day and night. The only challenge is working out which one is best for your needs. That’s where we come in.
Below are the top 9 things to consider when buying a commercial generator. You may also find our Generator Buyers Guide helpful – this starts out asking the very basic questions of generator selection.
1. Diesel or petrol?
We’ll make this easy for you. Most of the best commercial generators are diesel. This isn’t by chance – diesel engines genuinely have the advantage over petrol when it comes to heavy duty generators. They’re easier to maintain, long lasting and fuel efficient and safer. You can read all about this in detail in our previous articles. Many of our customers still prefer petrol if they are using petrol to fuel the operation of other equipment – and there are more petrol options, but if you have the choice, Diesel is a common selection for commercial uses. Here is our best selling petrol trade generator, the Honda powered 8kVA:
2. Single phase or 3-phase?
First it pays to know the difference between single phase and three-phase power. For most commercial applications, three-phase power has the advantage of being more efficient than single-phase. A three-phase generator allows for greater electrical loads and distributes the total load in a way that ensures that the current in each phase is lower. So large worksite or workshop equipment will be best of with a three-phase generator. This decision will largely be dictated by what appliances you need to run, but many commercial sites and larger industrial equipment will require 3 phase for the larger required power loads.
3. What safety features?
With any business safety is a number one priority. Lucky for you, the leading generator manufacturers know that and have been incorporating more and more safety features into industrial generators. Things you should look out for include: earth leakage and RCD safety protection, an emergency stop button, and low oil level protection. On many work sites, it will be a requirement to have a Work Cover approved generator which come custom fitted with certain safety features – check out the Work Cover Approved ranges in Petrol or Diesel. For even more specific applications such as mine sites, there Mining Spec Generators with all the necessary features including emergency stop and bunding.
4. Stable power
Consistent, stable power is a must-have if your business depends on your generator. For many operations, you can’t have power spikes and surges that could damage some equipment. There are a few ways to overcome this. One is to choose a generator with an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR). This is designed to consistently control the voltage and enhance the generator’s performance. For especially sensitive electronic equipment you’ll need an inverter generator which provides pure sine wave power…check out out Buyers Guide for more info on the type of voltage control you need.
5. Quiet please
For some businesses, a quiet generator is a must. This is especially important if your generator will be powering up a worksite in a residential area, or if you’re planning on using it for an event. For a start, look for a generator that is housed in sound-proof casing. You can also opt for sound reducing features that are designed to keep operating noise to the faintest hum. Check the dBA rating of the generator on the specs tab.
6. Easy to use
Chances are you won’t be the only one operating the petrol or diesel generator. So it pays to have a genset that is easy to use. Some commercial generators come with digital multi display read outs, with volts, amps and hour meter so anyone can use it with ease. These are common in large stationary generators sets. In the smaller portable range of generators you can look for features such as electric start.
7. Heavy lifting
Need a unit that can be easily and safely transported from job to job? Look for a generator with a containment tray, heavy-duty central lifting point and high puncture-resistant wheels. Some generators come with forklift pockets allowing for exact placement in awkward positions. Typically, the larger the power requirement, the less portable they become – the portable range caps out at around 15-16kVA before stepping up into the Standby range.
8. Battling the elements
If your business operates in the great outdoors, you need a generator that can withstand the elements. As well as being build tough, most commercial models will come with weatherproof features as standard. This might include an IP66-rated weatherproof generator board, lockable covers and galvanised steel hinges.
9. Remote power
Will you need power in remote areas? If so, think about getting a long-range fuel tank so you don’t need to worry about refuelling your diesel generator half way through the working day. For example, the Himoinsa commercial generators have been known to provide reliable, smooth uninterrupted power for up to 67 hours! Furthermore, most of the trade generators in the Powelite Range can be custom fitted with long range fuel tanks as an additional accessory.
As you can see, there are some important considerations when buying a generator for your business – feel free to contact one of the experts at mygenerator.com.au to help you make the right decision!