Choosing the Right Generator for Your Business: A Comprehensive Guide

Cummins Standby Generator Retail Building

Cummins standby diesel generator provides backup electrical power

Regardless of your industry, having a reliable backup generator helps mitigate the risks of power outages.

In 2020, experts began sounding the alarm based on the number of power outages across the United States. While they expressed public health concerns, the effects on businesses can be detrimental. The Energy Information Administration reported that the average American went over eight hours without power, which is anticipated to worsen if the nation’s aging grid isn’t addressed.

For businesses, hours without power can result in significant financial losses and dissatisfied customers. Companies that sell or provide perishable items, including those in the food and beverage, agriculture, and healthcare industries, could experience significant spoilage—and for some, they may not recover. However, there is a simple solution to reduce the impact of unexpected outages: ensuring power continuity.

Improve productivity, reduce downtime, enhance data security, and gain peace of mind with a generator.

Understanding Generator Types

Not all generators are created equal, and no two businesses are identical. Therefore, choosing the right generator means diving deeper into your requirements and expectations. These factors, from site conditions and power requirements to your budget, will influence the best choice for your business.

You must understand how types vary to find the best generator for your needs and business goals. For example, a portable generator offers different advantages and disadvantages than a stationary industrial generator, but it’s only suitable for some business scenarios. Here’s what to consider.

  • Portable generators are ideal for smaller commercial establishments, offering access to power when there is an unscheduled or scheduled outage. For example, they could meet the needs of construction companies that run smaller tools or maintain borewell operations on a farm.
  • Standby generators will switch on automatically when the grid is down, making them great options for restaurants, hotels, hospitals, or any company that cannot afford to lose power—even for a few minutes.
  • Industrial generators are used outside of small commercial applications and are often customizable. While large industrial generators are commonly installed for high-operation industries, including healthcare, data centers, oil and gas, manufacturing, and agriculture, there are also portable options when installation isn’t necessary. In these cases, you can rent mobile generators.

Remember, the best generator type for your business depends on your unique needs, regulations, budget, etc. It’s best to discuss your options with an expert generator and power service provider.

Assessing Your Business Power Needs

Choosing the right generator for your project or ongoing business needs will depend on your power requirements. For example, a small-scale farmer looking to expand operations in a rural, off-grid setting will require less power than a large offshore drilling and production operation. Even those in the same industry will have different requirements based on individual projects or objectives.

You can use online tools to estimate your power requirements. You can also determine your power needs by thoroughly listing your equipment. Add up the total wattage to better understand the load size before converting the required kilowatts (kW) to kilo-volt-amperes (kVA)—which is how generators are rated. However, other variables should be considered, including location and site conditions.

This process is complex, especially when considering scalability and growth considerations. You should seek advice from certified electricians and power experts.

Global Power Supply designs, builds, and installs supplemental and backup power solutions for diverse businesses, including data centers, manufacturing facilities, oil and gas companies, commercial real estate operations, and hospitals—to name a few.

Learn more about power system engineering.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Generator

These are some of the main considerations when choosing the right generator generator. Again, you can discuss these factors with your expert provider.

  • Fuel type – Options include diesel, natural gas, and propane. Certain applications will benefit from more specific fuel types. For example, an oil and gas company can save money and become more environmentally friendly by investing in a natural gas generator that burns raw gas from the wellhead. Discover diesel and natural gas generators.
  • Budget – The generator you choose must match your expectations for efficiency and operational costs. You will need to consider the systems you intend to power and their kW requirements. While the type of fuel and power requirements matter, so will your infrastructure. To stay on budget, you can explore new and used generators.
  • Environmental impact — Certain industries, like oil and gas, operate under strict environmental regulations. Choosing a generator that ensures you comply with these regulations is crucial. You also have the opportunity to go above and beyond to become an industry leader. For example, some companies balance renewable power with backup battery energy storage (BESS) solutions—including implementing reliable generators.

When choosing the right generator, especially if you’re investing in a large industrial product, you must consider everything from reliability and maintenance to power capacity.

Installation Considerations

You must also consider installation and the safety of those on-site. Some businesses require only delivery and startup support, while others benefit from turnkey solutions, particularly when generator and UPS system installations are complex. In these instances, companies often need permitting, engineering reviews, site surveys, electrical preparation and construction, installation, etc.

Learn more about generator installation options to better understand the level of support you require. Remember, every project is different, so expert support is recommended.

Tip: Always hire a qualified electrician to install your industrial generator, as recommended by OSHA. During this process, an electrician will recommend the best option and location for required transfer switches — these components are critical for an emergency or standby system.

Global Power Supply Can Help

Choosing the right generator for your business starts with the right expertise and support.

Global Power Supply is a full-service power solutions provider offering a wide range of top-brand generators and power services. Contact us today to learn more about our offerings and how we can help you select the right solutions to ensure a sustainable future.

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