An electrical generator is the combination of an alternator (or dynamo) and a mechanical device to drive it so as to generate electrical energy. Generally the mechanical source is a gas or diesel engine, but of course we could use a wind or water driven source or even a good old fashioned steam engine. For convenience we use a gas or diesel engine and this is basically bolted into a frame next to the alternator, so that the engine rotates the alternator and generates the electrical energy.
Electricity Generators are used in places without connection to the power grid, or as a standby/emergency power-supply ready for if the grid fails. Traditionally an engine would be used to power a dynamo (DC motor) to generate Direct Current electricity, however modern generators power an alternator to produce AC (Alternating Current). Some modern generators are made so as to produce DC and then by passing the generated current into an inverter to convert it to AC, the output of the unit is again an AC supply. This method is used to produce a more stable and smoother AC supply.
An electrical generator together with all its ancillary equipment such as fuel container, cooling system, rack or container and possibly soundproofing are referred to as a Generator Set.
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Portable sets start at 1kW and tend to limit at about 10kW. Set sizes range from 8 to 30 kW (also 8 to 30 kVA single phase) for homes, small shops & offices with the larger industrial generators from 8kW (11 kVA) up to 2,000 kW (2500 kVA three phase) used for large office complexes, factories. A 2,000 kW set can be housed in a 40 ft ISO container with fuel tank, controls, power distribution equipment and all other equipment needed to operate as a standalone power station.
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If you need to generate your own power during grid power outages or because you are in a remote location, then you are going to be looking for your own generator set. One decision you are going to have to make is on the fuel source to power your set.
The most common fuel choices we have are:
- Gas power
- Diesel power
- Bio-Diesel power
- LPG power
- Natural gas Generators
- Dual (LPG & Diesel) power
- Dual (LPG & Gas) power
There are other fuel sources that are not portable or standby, such as:
- Bio-mass power
- Coal or wood burning Steam Engine
- Wind Energy (wind turbine)
- Water turbine
- Solar Energy
Below is a good example of how to have an emergency backup installed into your house power circuits using a Generator Transfer Switch: