Our society has become completely dependent on electricity in order to function. If the power goes out, we can’t work, we can’t have fun, and we can’t be comfortable.
In fact, keeping our homes comfortable, in the form of heating and cooling, is what uses the most electricity every year.
So when a storm comes along and disconnects us from the power grid for a few hours, days, or weeks at a time, it becomes a huge hassle. Smart homeowners prepare for this by purchasing a power generator.
There are many different types of power generators available, and they aren’t meant just for the construction industry, though they use them a lot.
Keep reading to discover the best power generator for you, to prepare for anything and everything that mother nature might throw our way.
Those looking to buy a backup generator for their home will usually buy a portable generator. They are small, affordable, and easy enough to move around, and load into a car when necessary.
You can find portable generators that accept a range of fuel types, from gasoline to propane, making it easy to find fuel almost anywhere in the country.
Because these generators are small, they aren’t able to produce reliable, clean energy for long periods of time. Rather, they are intended more as a backup, or emergency source of power. You can also use them on camping trips.
Solar generators are also great options for a backup, emergency power source, or to take on camping trips to recharge devices or power outdoor kitchen appliances.
Some have built-in solar panels, so you’ll set the entire unit out in the sun. But the better solar generator comes with standalone panels so that you can set the panels out in the sun, at the best angle, and easily adjust it for maximum power generation.
The fact that these use clean, natural, renewable, and free energy from the sun makes these to have on hand. But their overall power production will be lower than generators powered by gas.
Inverter generators are some of the most popular. Depending on the size you get, it can either function as a portable generator, or a whole-home generator when you need it. Or it can power a construction site.
Unlike portable generators, which produce inconsistent energy, thanks to their single-phase design, inverter generators produce clean, three-phase electricity.
First, they generate a high-frequency alternating current (AC). It’s then inverted, becoming a direct current (DC). The generator then inverts the current once more, producing stable, consistent AC output.
Thanks to this three-phase electricity, these generators produce the same kind of power we use in our homes, without the risk of power surges. With AC/DC power, you can use electronics like laptop computers, which you wouldn’t power with a portable generator, where power surges are a risk.
If you can afford an inverter generator to use for our backup power source, it’s worth the investment. Especially if your power ever goes out for more than a day.
Standby generators aren’t portable. They are installed at your home as a permanent or semi-permanent power solution.
You’ll find these installed outside, near a home’s air conditioning unit. These are usually bigger than a standard air conditioning unit.
With a full-size fuel tank and engine inside, it’s easy to understand why they are so big. But a proper engine means high levels of power production in a more efficient manner.
This translates to a generator that can power an entire home in the event of a power outage. If installed by a professional, your home can automatically switch to using the generator as its main power source if a blackout is detected.
Homeowners along the Southern Atlantic coast, that suffer large amounts of hurricanes and power outages each year, should seriously consider a standby generator.
The only downside is the cost of installation and the need for ongoing maintenance. If a blackout were to occur, you want to ensure your unit is ready for it. Luckily, these are now equipped with wifi functionality, so you can always monitor their status.
Industrial Power Generator
Are you a contractor or business owner looking to power an entire job site on a semi-permanent or temporary basis? Then you’ll want an industrial generator, capable of producing much more power than consumer-grade models are capable of.
These are used extensively on location for mining sites, commercial construction projects, and manufacturing plants, along with many other types of businesses. They can be the primary power supply, or used as a backup power supply, where even a short power outage would result in huge losses of revenue.
Industrial generators can cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those looking to save some serious money can also by used industrial generators, as these are the types of machines that you resell when you are done using, as they can last a very long time.
Common for on job sites, gasoline generators can be small portable generators, powering just a handful of tools at a time. Or they can be larger generators that can power an entire team all day long.
While cheaper to purchase, they are more expensive to use over time, as they are less efficient and use a higher-priced fuel source.
Diesel Power Generator
Diesel generators are a better option for jobs if you can afford the higher initial price. Diesel as a fuel source is generally cheaper than gasoline. Plus, diesel runs more efficiently, producing more, consistent power over time.
The savings of a diesel generator over a gas generator definitely add up if they are used on a regular basis.
Choosing Between the Different Types of Power Generators
Those looking for a backup power source for their homes, in the event of a power outage, will be shopping for different types of generators than contractors or businesses who conduct work out in the field every day.
But regardless of what types of power generators you are in the market for, the more you can spend, the better. Budget-friendly generators will produce the bare minimum power and will help you survive. But more expensive generators can power an entire home or operation with ease.
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