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Types of Standby Generators






What types of standby generators are available?

Before purchasing a standby generator, you will have to make several key choices. This guide is intended to help you make an informed decision about the type of standby generator you wish to install.

Related Video: How Does a Backup Generator Work?

1. Portable or Permanent?

The most reliable source of backup electrical power is a permanently installed, backup generator. When there is a power outage, the generator detects the loss of power and immediately transfers the electrical load. The unit is connected directly to the natural gas or liquid propane utility lines so refueling is unnecessary in most cases. These generators tend to be very powerful and efficient, but they can be expensive to install. However, if the power goes out when you are out of town, you will have peace of mind that your home is good shape.

If permanently installing a generator is not an option, you may consider purchasing a portable standby generator. When there is a power outage, you can move the unit outdoors in order to supply power to your home. However, if the outage occurs when you are out of town or away from the house, you will not have the same automatic coverage that a permanently installed generator can provide. If you live in an area where power outages rarely occur, this may be the better option for your home. Additionally, if you ever go camping, the generator can provide power in any remote area (as long as fuel is readily available).

Learn More: Portable Standby Generators vs. Fixed Standby Generators

2. Fuel Type

Standby generators can be run by several different fuel sources.

Natural gas or liquid propane

Standby generators that are powered by natural gas or liquid propane are typically connected directly to the supply lines. If this is the case, there is no need to worry about refueling a bulky storage tank. Natural gas-powered generators tend to be the most efficient systems. However, if the municipal gas supply lines become damaged during a natural disaster, the generator will not work.

Diesel or gasoline

If you are planning to install a standby generator that is run by gasoline or diesel, this may require the installation of a permanent fuel tank. However, gasoline is typically easy to find. Unfortunately, during prolonged power outages, the demand for fuel tends to surge. With shortages, the price of fuel tends to rise. Additionally, diesel engines can be very noisy. Many people enjoy the convenience of having the fuel source on-site as there is no need to rely on the utility company.

Keep Reading: Fuel Sources for Standby Generators

3. Air-cooled vs. Liquid Cooled

Generator engines can be vulnerable to overheating after extended run times. As a result, most permanent generators have built-in cooling systems. Air-cooled generators use fans to force air across the unit. The cooler air enters the unit from the exterior and then the hotter air is exhausted. Liquid-cooled generators have engines that are similar to those found in automobiles. A radiator-like system circulates a coolant throughout a system of pipes to provide cooling power.

Related: Air-cooled Generators vs. Liquid-cooled Generators



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About the Author

ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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