What to consider when getting a Generator
Like a puppy, a generator isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for a lifetime. Or more accurately 25 years.
When purchasing a generator, here are a few things to consider:
1 - Size
The size of a generator is determined by the amount of equipment you want to backup, whether it’s a hundred computers or a large data centre.
2 - Planning Permission
Council has different regulations in place, depending on the size of the unit. Planning permission can take 4-6 weeks and sometimes even longer.
3 - Runtimes
The fuel tank in your generator is dictated by the length of time you want to support your equipment for. Put simply the larger fuel tank you have on the generator the longer the runtime.
4 - Location
The key thing to consider is, how much space is available? Where can you fit the generator? Exhaust locations are really important to consider as well because we don’t want them in the way of pathways or windows.
We strongly recommend that you run your generator for around ten minutes every week. Operating most generators for less than 10 minutes at a time will encourage carbonisation because the engine will not achieve its normal operating temperature and ‘burn off’ excess soot deposits. However, if the generator is run without a connected load for more than 10 minutes, the engine will ‘idle’, causing a build-up of soot.
Regular maintenance is essential to ensure reliability should a power failure occur. Taking a maintenance contract ensures that, if there is an emergency, an engineer will be dispatched within four hours of a fault being reported. A typical maintenance contract, such as those we provide, include two visits every year to clean filters and check or change the oil and battery fluids (on certain models) in addition to the other regular checks to ensure reliability.
Remote monitoring services, such as the UPS Systems REMO® service, is a valuable maintenance option. The service provides constant monitoring while the generator is in operation and monitors your weekly auto-start procedures. It automatically confirms successful test runs, provides notification of any mains failure, common alarms and low fuel levels. You are notified of any alerts by SMS text or email as required.
The REMO® service keeps you informed. If you are alerted that your generator has started outside normal office hours, you have the option of shutting your IT systems down in an orderly manner or ensuring sufficient fuel is on-site for the generator to continue providing power.
Load bank testing
The service can be performed independently, or as an addition to the generator maintenance, and is undertaken by attaching an electrical load to the generator and monitoring results.
The generator is first run at 50% load for thirty minutes, then at 100% load for an hour and a half, and finally at 110% load for the last thirty minutes. This two hour test under load ascertains the generator’s ability to provide the required power over time. A test sheet report is produced which will list the results.
By running your generator at full load you are ensuring it is capable of carrying your site load should it be called upon, in the event of a mains failure.