I never thought that I could become so attached to a piece of electrical equipment, however since I’ve been living in Africa, I don’t think I could live without my generator! Before, I was used to just turning on a switch and power would be there, however now that’s a thing of the past. With a lack of a reliable connection to the mains, if I want to power my lights or appliances I need to have a generator that is powerful enough to keep everything running perfectly.
It took me a while to choose the right generator to suit our home’s needs. I had to make sure that I was choosing one that wouldn’t be undersized since it could damage my appliances and create a hazard. I had to think about the safety of the installation, the total amount of electrical load that would need to be connected, the frequency, phase and voltage, the automatic mains failure mechanism, the right location for the generator, the running time and altitude as well as the noise levels.
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Other things to keep in mind include whether to get a diesel-powered unit or whether to opt for a gas powered one and how to choose one that will offer the right level of performance. Not all generators are equal in terms of quality and performance, and you get what you pay for when it comes to generators. There are two kinds of generator to pick from – portable and standby models. A portable generator is smaller and can, as the name suggests, be taken from place to place, however, they can’t power as many appliances and pieces of equipment as a standby model, which means that they are best for emergency situations or for use while on the go, for example when camping. They are also pretty noisy and may not have been waterproofed, which leads to problems, since they can’t be run indoors either due to exhaust fumes.
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The downside to a standby generator is that it is extremely large and is fixed permanently in position, as well as being very expensive to have installed. However, the upside is that despite these points, they are so effective in supplying power that you would never notice that the grid had gone down.
Another of the main considerations was the capacity of the generator – while some equipment such as PCs doesn’t use a lot of power, they are voltage sensitive and that is an important thing to bear in mind since if there are spikes and dips, the equipment can be irreparably damaged.
In the end, I went for a Generac BP13S-G single phase gas generator which had all of the essential features I needed. This large standby generator may not be portable or lightweight, and may have cost quite a lot to have installed, however the best thing about it is that it keeps everything functioning perfectly all the time. I never see a drop in my quality of life with this impressive model. Producing a maximum of 14.3kVa, it has indicator lights that can be seen at a glance, a powerful engine that is up to the task of heavy duty use, a RhinoCoat finish to protect effectively from the weather, and fuel conversion to LPG without needing any tools. Even better, it’s protected by a 5-year warranty.
Thanks to my powerful generator, I can power all kinds of equipment and appliances in my home. Not only can I keep my essential kitchen gadgets running such as my refrigerator and microwave, but I can also power the lights, the sump pump and my heating system. To make sure that I can carry on working, it can also power my computer, and to keep us all entertained, it can keep the TV running too. It’s even powerful enough to run my washing machine or tumble dryer as well as the air conditioner, so we won’t overheat. It makes sure that I can use all of the essential electrical equipment in the house whenever the grid goes down. Perfect!
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So I won’t be able to take it camping! But I’m seriously considering investing in a second, small and portable model for that!