Selecting the right portable generator

Selecting the right portable generator can have a big impact on performance, reliability, serviceability and the residual value of the asset.

That’s according to Redstar Equipment’s General Manager of sales, Kevin Ennis, who explains that not doing your homework could end up costing you down the line in technical and maintenance issues.

A portable generator is a made up of a fixed speed diesel engine spinning an alternator (generator) at 1500 rpm. The alternator is configured to produce the type and voltage of electricity required. There are three different applications for portable generators – standby, prime fixed and prime mobile.

“A standby generator application is used when a mains power already exists and a generator is required to act only as back-up if there is a blackout. Subsequently, the generator will usually only run a handful of hours per year, if at all,” Kevin says.

“You should select a standby generator based on the quality of the brand, price, availability of parts and access to a local service agent.”

A prime fixed generator is used when the generator is the primary source of power and the generator will remain in one location for most of its life.

“In any prime (running) application, most of the cost of owning or renting a generator is fuel. The quality of the brand, size, fuel efficiency of the engine and access to parts and service is critical for prime fixed generators,” says Kevin.

“It is essential to consult a generator specialist to assist you in selecting this type of generator.”

“A good tip to save some costs is selecting a machine with a cheaper frame or canopy because the machine will not be moved around.”

A prime mobile generator is used when the generator is the sole source of power but it will also be moved from site to site regularly.

“Prime mobile generators are commonly used by construction and rental companies,” Kevin add.

“Quality of the brand, size and fuel efficiency of the engine is key to saving costs.”

“A robust build and canopy design is essential for the longevity of prime fixed mobile generators.”

Access to quality technical support and careful selection can significantly increase the life span of all portable generators.

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