How to Choose the Right Commercial Generator for Your Business Needs

 Alice Johnson
  Mar 13, 2019

Commercial generators come in many shapes and sizes, and you'll want to know which works best for your business. Click here to find out.

The global diesel generator market size is predicted to grow by 6.8% by 2024. The demand for commercial generators in industrial and commercial sectors is the main factor that’ll drive the market.

Continuous population growth and rapid industrialization are other factors placing demand for power. There's, therefore, a need to use supplementary sources of power for the economy to continue running as it should.

As far as your business is concerned, power outage even for a few hours can lead to huge losses. This is where the need to have a commercial generator comes in. When choosing the right generator for your businesses, there are several essential factors to consider.

Read along to get more insights to guide you in making this critical decision.

1. Power Requirements

It's important to note the difference between residential and a commercial generator. The capabilities of the two types may significantly differ. The residential type might be unable to meet the needs of your business.

For example, a 120/240-volt single-phase residential generator will adequately meet the needs of a small family home. It can’t serve the same purpose for a large commercial premise, though. Depending on the size of your business, you might need a three-phase power generator.

Power requirements depend on the maximum power a facility can use at any given time. You can get an idea from your utility bill, but the figure won't be very accurate. This is because the utility bill doesn’t factor in the momentary inrush of power when heavy motors start.

If you have multiple motors starting at the same time, some generators may not handle the power load. One reliable method to calculate your business power requirements is to create an inventory. Build a list of lighting equipment and electrical appliances that operate simultaneously.

Add this to the total power capacity required to cater for the multiple motors that start at the same time. Alternatively, you could employ a power management strategy. This ensures only a few engines start while the others wait for a while.

2. Fuel Options

Some fuel types cost more than others. If you run your generator for long hours, you need to factor in the fuel consumption and the costs. Your commercial generator will most likely run on either liquid propane (LP) or natural gas.

Diesel costs a lot more, but unfortunately, most commercial facilities can’t rely on gaseous fuels and have to use diesel. One advantage of diesel is that it contains more energy than propane, natural gas, or gasoline. Natural gas contains the least amount of power among the four fuel types.

When thinking of which fuel type to use, consider other related factors like storage. Propane and diesel both require storage and delivery. Natural gas, on the other hand, is distributed through utility pipelines directly to the consumer.

Storage of propane is much simpler and less environmentally dangerous. A diesel spill leads to costly cleanup process. With the right safety measures and storage equipment though, it’s more reliable and a better alternative to gas and propane.

3. Portable or Standby Commercial Generator

Portable generators are more suitable for small-scale businesses. Due to their small size, they’re easy to move from one point to another. Standby generators come in bigger sizes and are more ideal for large-scale businesses.

In terms of cost, stand-by generators attract a higher price. They also occupy more floor space than portable ones. Their performance is much better, with automatic delivery of power in emergencies.

4. Air-Cooled vs. Liquid-Cooled

One very crucial factor to consider is how the commercial generator you buy cools down after an operation. Air-cooled units blow air through the generator cabinet to cool themselves. The air flows through the engine and other components to stabilize the temperatures.

On the other hand, liquid-cooled generators work more like an automobile engine. A liquid coolant is pumped through the engine to absorb heat. A radiator then releases the heat, and a fan cools it down.

The self-cooling ability of a commercial generator limits the size of the air-cooled ones to 22 kilowatts. In hot-weather areas overheating can lead to frequent generator shutdowns.

Air-cooled generators are ideal for small businesses with few power requirements. These are businesses with single-phase or three-phase 120/240 volt power options.

Liquid-cooled generators don’t come with the same limitations. They adequately cool themselves and don't overheat even in hot weather. The largest liquid-cooled commercial generator is about three megawatts.

It can supply power equivalent to servicing 200 homes in a small town. If they work parallel with other generators, their potential can extend to large businesses.

5. Consider the Noise Level

In most cases, commercial generators are placed outside the business premises. As such, it’s crucial to consider how much the noise and vibration from the unit will affect the indoor environment. You also need to think of the residential premises surrounding your business if any.

Consider where you’ll install the generator and how close it’ll be to other businesses or homes. Your hours of operation are also another crucial factor of importance when selecting a model. Most types come with a muffler, which you can use to decrease the noise level.

6. Generator Models

With the growing global generator market, you’ll realize that there are several types you can consider buying. allows you to check the latest models available and choose depending on the newest technology. Newer models come with more energy efficiency and work for more extended periods.

New models also come with many voltage categories to cater for various business needs. The more the appliances in your business, the higher the voltage of your generator should be. If you know nothing about power and voltage, consult an electrician to help you with the decision.

Another thing to check is if the generator is up to date. Improvements in generator technology have brought about several changes in how the units operate. For example, a generator that might have been fuel efficient ten years ago might consume more today.

7. Installation and Maintenance

Installation of some types of generators calls for professional service. Choose a reputable company before you purchase to determine if they can install the generator you buy. Apart from installation, the expert should also offer maintenance services.

These factors are essential so that your generator can operate at its peak for a long time. You also want to get value for your money before you ever consider replacement. Having an inexperienced electrician install your generator could lead to more expenses.

Some crucial components to think about alongside installation are wiring and transfer switches. Your electrician should analyze the electrical structure of your business premises. He should establish whether the facility can handle the power load from the generator.

Your choice of transfer switches is also essential. Automatic ones are a better choice because of their time and cost efficiency. Manual ones can also be installed if you prefer them to automatic ones.

8. Your Budget

Above all else, you must decide what you’re willing to spend on a commercial generator. Most people would say that price is the first factor to consider. However, it's crucial that you know what you're looking for before setting aside money for the purchase.

Now you know the models that’ll cost you more than others. You also know the benefits your business can derive from each type of generator. Your decision should, therefore, be influenced by a cost-benefit analysis.

If you go for a small generator influenced by the lower cost, will your business be at an advantage? The amount of loss you're likely to incur if the electricity goes out should be a factor to influence your budget decision.

9. Equipment Warranty

A generator is a costly item that should come with a warranty. The standard warranty for generators ranges from one to five years depending on the model. A residential generator may have a more extended warranty, than a commercial one.

However, a commercial generator may come with periodic upgrades. You should understand the warranty conditions before you buy to identify where your advantage lies.

Commercial Generator - Final Thoughts

Power outages in your business can result in staggering losses. For you to avoid closing business when power is out, you should buy a commercial generator. Choosing the right type of generator is a process influenced by many factors.

Consider whether a standby generator would be better than a portable one. A portable one is probably small and may not adequately meet the needs of your business. On factors that touch on your expenditure, consider the fuel type of the generator.

Choose the type of fuel that is readily available and which you can store or later use. The noise levels of the equipment are also crucial. You don’t want to always be in trouble with your neighbors for causing a disturbance.

You cannot buy a generator without knowing how much you want to spend on it. Your budget will uphold or water down all these factors depending on how much you’re willing to pay.

For more related articles, you can visit this website.

How to Choose the Right Commercial Generator for Your Business Needs

Alice Johnson

Alice Johnson is a blogger and writer. She loves to express her ideas and thoughts through her writings. She loves to get engaged with the readers who are seeking for informative contents on various niches over the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community.

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