Between weather, earthquakes, manmade catastrophes and overburdened grids, many parts of the country are forced to deal with brown outs as well as total blackouts, leaving the home owner without power for days at a time. Even areas with reliable power grids will lose their power occasionally. For the occasional power outage, a mobile backup generator will suffice, even the smaller ones could power a light or two, refrigerators and freezer.
How Many Watts Does a House or Small Business Use Per Day
However, these smaller units may struggle to keep the AC working. The typical home of about 2000 square feet will require 10-15 kilowatts (kW) to run the home under normal conditions. Larger homes and businesses will require more. Above 20 kW is beyond the capacity of the typical portable generator, with 15 kW being about the maximum.
For the small business power loss represents sales loss and non-productive labor costs as employees stand idle. In the home the very young and the elderly are vulnerable to heat and cold extremes. As the freezers go out perishable food stores can be compromised and it not unreasonable to face the loss of $300 or more in consumables if the fridge-freezer loses power for multiple days. The answer maybe a standby generator. The larger portable generators will provide up to 15,000 watts or 15 kW. At most a 30-amp and/or 50-amp 240-volt outlet and will have difficulty supplying power to the typical 200-amp service of a modest home. You can power an electric range or your AC but not both at the same time. Most portable units are fueled by gasoline or propane.
Energy Density of Generator Fuels
A word on fuels. Propane has the lowest density of energy per volume of all the fuels. Natural gas provides fairly good energy density per volume and if the gas system works can provide nearly an inexhaustible fuel supply. Gasoline in volatile, other words subject to high evaporation rates making it far more flammable than diesel. Storing quantities of gasoline to see you through multiple days of electrical production is some what problematic. Large quantities of gasoline are dangerous fire hazards and local ordinances may limit storage supplies for the home. Diesel presents that largest energy density of any easily available fuel on a per gallon basis. Diesel is much less volatile than gasoline. And for a fuel to burn is must be in a gaseous state. Diesel is safer to store in quantity, but modern diesel fuels with all the required additives needed to meet pollution standards are not as stable in long term storage and can deteriorate. Not big problem if you live in an area subject to regular blackouts.
Natural Gas VS Diesel Generators
The standby units can be had up to 35 kilo watts, can fully supply a home all the energy needs and requirements for full operation. Two fuel options exist. In areas of natural gas delivery this would be an idle fuel except for areas subject to flooding or earthquake. Municipal natural gas supplies are generally very reliable and offer an limitless and affordable fuel supply. It is generally very safe, and the modern electronic controls will provide monthly startup and diagnostics as well as automatic startup and switching for the home service. The other option is diesel. Most portable generators supply power through an extension cord of at 14 gauge but a commercial 10 gauge is recommended depending on the generators output. A dedicated outlet with an auto switch will complete the installation. Standby generators are hard-wired into the service via a manual or automatic switch and provide for sufficient line load to power the full house requirements.
Buy, Rent or Lease Clean Running Diesel Generators
Having a means of providing power during outage can literally be lifesaving and let’s face it comfortable equates to high morale making it easier to weather the storms and emergency of our lives. Environmental Power Solutions offers clean running diesel generators for purchase, rent or lease. Contact us for more info.