Generators Explained

In this section of the web site we try to explain in simple terms some background on stand by generators.


Stand By Generators must be installed in accordance with manufacturers recommendations otherwise the warranty will be invalidated – in particular we recommend that electrical work involving control panel / transfer switch / earthing installation be carried out by a qualified contractor – we can provide any contractor with advise/guidance as required and between us we can usually avoid the need for expensive surveys / site visits.

However the installation of a stand by generator need not be a seemingly complex and in some cases expensive operation – our range of generators will meet most needs and where appropriate are pre-configured to enable such features as auto start / transfer etc to be included at purchase or even added later – our water cooled range comes with battery charger, coolant heater, bunding and the facility for auto/remote start as standard.

Why have a stand by generator ?

Before committing to expense of purchasing a stand by (or back up) generator customers should be sure why they want one – there are a number of reasons.

– most obvious is a genuine need never to be without electrical supply – stand by generators give total peace of mind.

– avoidance of business interruption and loss of stock – whether it be a small factory, office or protecting critical stock or data – stand by generating facilities will enable the business to continue trading in the event of power failure.

– people living and working in remote (and not so remote) areas can be prone to extended power cuts particularly where supply is through overhead power lines – recent winters have seen whole areas without power for up to several days.

How do Stand by Generators Work ?

The more sophisticated systems work totally automatically through an electronic control panel sensing a loss of electricity supply when a power cut occurs and automatically starting the generator within seconds – once electricity supply is returned the system automatically reconnects to the National Grid – then allows the engine of the generating set to continue running for a cooling down period before shutting down.

An intermediate stand by system will involve a generating set which is connected to a manual changeover switch – when a power failure occurs the generator is started (this can either be manually or with a remote start kit) and the switch is activated manually to supply power. When the power cut ends the reverse procedure is carried out.

The most simple system is just a portable generator which the owner starts up and connects to critical appliances via an extension lead.

If you wish to learn more about standby generators and how they work, you can visit our main website and watch some video’s where Honda explain standby generators. What size and type of Generator?

This depends entirely on the application and the first step is identifying the equipment and appliances which must continue to operate in case of a power cut plus a reasonable contingency – this will determine the size of generator required – a section is included on this site which gives the wattage for typical appliances – these are only given as a guide and it is recommended that professional advice is obtained if in any doubt.

For a typical domestic house at least 6Kw is required to be able to power essential appliances such as central heating, lighting, communications, computers, fridge, freezer and limited cooking facilities – again it is emphasized that this is only a guide.

A range of generators is available both manual and electric start, petrol and diesel – whilst in addition the petrol units can be converted to operate on LP Gas.

For installations with either automatic control or remote start only diesel or LPGas powered generators with electric start can be used and the generator and panel/switch must be specified at time of purchase as the generator specification changes for these applications.

Certain applications where sensitive electronic equipment is involved (eg. – computers) require generators with automatic voltage regulation (AVR) to ensure a surge free power supply.

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