• Environmental Power Solutions
  • Environmental Power Solutions
  • Environmental Power Solutions
  • Environmental Power Solutions

Standby VS Prime VS Continuous Rated Diesel Generator Power Part 2; Commercial Use & Off Grid Power

Power consumption averages for the U.S. are about 30 KWH per day. The average load is in the area of 1.25 kW, but load conditions vary minute to minute throughout the day. Considering full power protection a 8-11 kW generator is needed. At two hp/ kW it will need in the area of a 25 – 30 hp engine, to compensate for variable high peak power loads (refrigerator or A/C power kicking on). For the typical U.S. home owner an 8 to 11 kW standby generator will suffice, though discretion may be needed as what devices to run. A/C, water heater and refrigerators are the big power consumers but are the primary needed appliances. At high elevations, like Denver or areas where the temperature goes over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, like Las Vegas you will want to consider the higher 11 kW rating because of the lower efficiency.

Commercial Standby Generator Needs

Commercial usage considerations are single phase or triple phase. Most heavy commercial environments incorporate induction 3-phase motors that pull 6 to 7 times their running amperage at startup. A power generation system has to accommodate this peak requirement. A “continuous rating’ of the unit is required if the commercial operation is off grid, like in mining, quarry or agricultural operations.

Off Grid Power Generators

Fuel is more of a consideration for remote off grid power requirements. Gasoline is expensive, natural gas is not usually available, and propane storage and delivery may be problematic. Diesel is the only alternative. Natural gas and propane are sealed storage and delivery systems. Propane does not deteriorate over time like diesel and gasoline. Propane stored over a 100 years ago is just as good today as it was when first ‘bottled’. But gasoline and diesel storage system are vented to the air. They absorb condensation which pollutes and deteriorates stored diesel and gasoline, but not a problem if the fuel is turned over regularly by use. In remote areas of operation diesel is the most viable alternative available. Many diesels are equipped with turbochargers that compensate for altitude. A turbocharged engine should perform just as well at Denver as it does in Los Angeles.

Rental, Lease & Sales of Diesel Generators

In some applications two generators may be better. As explored in previous blogs, low load diesel systems are subject to a condition known as ‘wet stacking’, the accumulation of unburned fuel in the exhaust, a condition that can destroy and engine that is operating at less than ideal temperatures for long periods. An auxiliary generator used at startup could provide additional power at peak demand, but could then be shut down and let the continuous rated unit supply operational power, with sufficient load on the main unit to run efficiently throughout the day. Two systems may run on alternate days providing emergency backup in case of failure. For off-grid installations consultation with an electrician is strongly advised to ensure proper sizing of generation units. A plethora of demons are in the details, it has to be done right, or may result in a costly mistake. Contact Environmental Power Solutions for rental, lease and sales of clean diesel generators today!

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