Each year, power outages caused by technical problems, storms, and other factors leave homeowners in the dark. A standby generator will automatically provide backup power for air conditioners, refrigerators, and more. Most people already know what standby generators do, but here’s more information on how they work.
How Does a Standby Generator Operate?
A standby generator is an automated power system that’s installed outside of a home and connected to a source of fuel. These systems run on either liquid petroleum or natural gas. A standby generator has a switch that connects to the building and controls if the home uses the power grid or the generator as its power source. The generator’s engine can detect if there is an outage in the home’s main supply. When this happens, the power generating unit, also known as an alternator, kicks on. The alternator converts the mechanical energy produced in the generator’s combustion engine into electricity.
Automatic Transfer Switches
Standby generators have automatic transfer switches (ATS) to provide users with uninterrupted power. Some models have an ATS that controls the building’s main circuit breaker, while other generators have a circuit breaker installed in their automatic transfer switches. During an outage, the transfer switch detaches the power grid’s supply and connects to the generator. The switchover process usually takes less than a minute once the generator’s engine starts.
A smaller standby generator may lack the power needed to keep every electric device running for hours on end. However, power management options ensure that portable generators can run high voltage loads. The system selects the loads to power based on the user’s preset priorities. Critical high load systems, like the AC, stove, and refrigerator, will receive the electricity they need to operate until the restoration of power. Priority-based power management allows a smaller generator to run a home’s most essential appliances efficiently by regulating the system’s output.
Investing in a standby generator offers homeowners peace of mind and keeps the lights on during a blackout. At Seidel Electric Inc., we know that power outages happen. For decades, we’ve provided homes and businesses in New Jersey with reliable backup generators that suit their needs. If you’d like a free quote on a generator, call (908) 362-6191 or reach out online.
If an emergency happens, don’t be scared—be prepared. A power outage might not seem like the worst thing that could happen to your home, but it can be inconvenient and even dangerous. Instead of waiting for the energy provider to restore your power, there are steps you can take to help deal with power outages.
Most of the devices in your home rely on electricity. During a power outage, alternative sources of power can keep things running almost normally. However, it can be difficult to tell how long it will be until your power is restored. If you have a generator or another backup energy option, think about which items are the most vital, such as your refrigerator or any essential medical equipment. You should consider unplugging the devices that aren’t as important to maximize your backup energy source’s lifespan during the outage.
During an outage, you’ll end up using some of your emergency supplies, so it pays to keep track of what you have. It’s always a good idea to keep nonperishable foods and basic medical supplies in your home. Leave your refrigerator and freezer closed to preserve perishable foods. If you have a gas grill or stove, you can cook some of the food that might not survive the outage. Having non-food supplies, such as cash, candles, and extra toiletries, will also come in handy during an extended power outage.
Outages can happen for several reasons, like inclement weather or serious accidents. The roads around your home might be covered with downed power lines, trees, ice, and other obstacles, so don’t drive unless the authorities say that the streets are safe. If meteorologists predict severe weather in your area, you can avoid an outage altogether by evacuating before the storm hits. Power outages are rarely fun, but with a little preparation, you can avoid many of the issues they cause. At Seidel Electric Inc., we have a wide range of top-of-the-line generators for your home. We’ve offered our services and knowledge to families in the Tri-state area since 1944. Contact us about buying a generator today.
The use of electric power is what makes so much of our daily lives easier, from the small comforts we’ve come to expect like lights and the ability to use appliances to powering systems on a larger scale like the communications and operations of a manufacturing operation. The first step to understanding electricity is to learn how it works. Electric currents flow in alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). Here’s the difference between the two.
Direction of Current Flow
The most significant difference between AC and DC is in the direction of flow. DC flows in a forward direction while AC flows in both forward and backward directions. As a result, the DC method transmits power within short distances. DC powers appliances that use batteries as a power source, such as a cell phone. AC is suitable for carrying power over long distances, as well as powering large appliances found in homes like HVAC systems. There also exists a combination of the two in the form of AC/DC power. For instance, a laptop plugged into a home or office’s wall outlet will get AC power from the outlet, which is then converted into DC power when it reaches the laptop’s charging adapter that leads to the battery.
AC power has a frequency between 50Hz and 60Hz, while DC’s frequency is zero. To obtain the AC, generators and mains are used, while DC is obtained from cells and batteries. Homes use AC from the local power grid. Power supply companies lower the high voltage into lower amounts with the aid of a transformer.
Contact Seidel Electric Inc.
Electricity connectivity can be dangerous and is best handled by an electrician. Seidel Electric Inc. is a Power Pro Professional with skilled electricians who can be trusted with all your electrical connection needs. We have over 75 years of experience in electrical work in Blairstown, NJ and the surrounding regions. We stand by our excellent quality of work and committed team. Contact us today for all your electrical project design needs, including indoor and outdoor lighting, residential electrical work, and home entertainment wiring.
Managing power outages can be a real challenge without a standby generator. Choosing the right generator depends on what it will be used for, how many appliances need to be powered, and how much power those items will need.
Generators are broken into categories depending on their kilowatt size. The size of the home will often determine the type of generator needed. Whole House generators are best suited to larger homes due to their large kilowatt output. They range between 20 to 100+ kilowatts. Backup generators with a managed power automatic transfer switch are the best option for most mid-sized homes; they offer between 12 to 22 kilowatts of power. The automatic transfer switch can prevent overload by limiting when certain appliances receive power. Home standby generators for essential power offer much less kilowatt output than the other two categories of generators but are just as reliable and cost much less. They range between 8 to 13 kilowatts output and are great for smaller houses or people who do not need to run a lot of power.
What Needs to Be Powered
The size and type of generator will ultimately be determined by what needs to be powered. Choosing to power only the essentials will require less wattage but means forgoing power to extraneous items, such as light fixtures and electronics. The essential appliances that take up the most power can include the refrigerator, washer/dryer, A/C system, and water heater. Powering the whole home will require a lot more wattage but may provide more comfort, especially for those who experience longer and more frequent outages. A list of desired appliances to power that includes their starting and running wattage is a great way to estimate how many kilowatts will be needed and what generator will provide that output. When looking at wattages of appliances throughout the house, homeowners should look to exceed their combined listed appliance wattage, not just meet it. They can do this on their own or contact an electrician for a more accurate estimate. For those in Blairstown, NJ and the surrounding areas looking to install a home standby generator or learn more about them, Seidel Electric Inc. can take care of every step from installation to servicing and repair. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Whether dealing with a power outage or taking a camping trip in an RV, generators can make life easier. While they come in handy in many circumstances, they can’t run continuously for long stretches of time without damaging the engine or even creating safety hazards. The length of time that a generator can be used in one setting varies on several factors.
The Hazards of Overusing a Generator
Using a generator for too long can deplete the oil supply and cause the engine to overheat. This can lead to mechanical problems and engine failure. In addition, an improperly used generator can cause a fire. Most manufacturers will give a recommended maximum running time for the generator model that can easily be referenced.
The Type of Generator
Portable generators are relatively small and can only power a few appliances at a time. They’re great for outdoor activities like tailgating or for keeping essential appliances running during a power outage. Portable generators can usually run for several hours at a time without any issues, but it will depend on the exact model. Standby generators, on the other hand, can power an entire house and can usually run for days at a time. This will also depend on the exact model.
Every generator has a wattage size that gives an idea of how many appliances it can power, the consistency of the power supplied, and how long it can run. The smaller the wattage size, the less time the generator can be used continuously.
Generators will perform better with regular maintenance by a certified electrician. Generators need oil for lubrication and regular inspections to check for any mechanical issues. Proper maintenance not only adds to the running time but also increases the life of the machine. If you are looking for a high-performance generator in Blairstown, NJ and surrounding areas, Seidel Electric Inc. is your go-to supplier for high-quality Generac generators. We offer full-service custom power solutions that include generator installations, servicing, and repairs. Get in touch with us today for a free in-home consultation.