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SME Inc of Seattle offers our customers a broad and deep range of electrical services across commercial and industrial industries and residential properties. From tenant improvement, new build or renovations to assembly lines, healthcare facilities or multi- or single-family residences, the team at SME Inc provides experienced engineers and licensed electricians who have the skill and expertise to design, install and complete any project.

Commercial Generators Selection

Commercial Generators Selection

When considering the selection of an electrical power generator, whether portable or permanently installed, there are some general electrical power generator selection items to keep in mind.

Initially, simply the decision as to whether you are going to purchase a portable electrical generator or a more costly permanently installed standby electrical generator should be carefully considered. For the sake of value, maintenance, and peace of mind, we at SME Inc of Seattle highly recommend a permanently installed standby electrical generator system with an automatic electrical power generation transfer switch. If the electrical power to your business gets interrupted, there's no telling how long it may take the serving utility to get the electrical power restored, and your customers may not have that long to wait.

The major differences between standby and portable electric generators are that standby electrical generators are permanently installed, and with the installation of an automatic generator power transfer switch can automatically supply electricity to selected circuits during an outage whether your business is open or closed for the weekend. If your business is running computer servers, it's critical that they be kept up and running. Propane and natural gas offer a safe, long-term fuel supply and are more environmentally friendly than gasoline or diesel fuels.

Portable electric generators supply electricity to selected appliances through extension cords or smaller manual power transfer switches. They are usually fueled by gasoline, but they can be diesel and propane too, which can be difficult to obtain, store and transport during a power outage. Carbon monoxide is always a concern in the safe use of portable generators as are the weather conditions in which the owner must operate in order to hook up the electric portable generator to selected electrical equipment.

When choosing a permanently installed standby or emergency backup generator, make sure it comes with the following main components:

  • Main alternator unit
  • Automatic or manual generator power Transfer Switch
  • Generator fuel shut-off valve
  • Automatic shutdown protection system
  • Factory warranted generator enclosure
  • Factory warranted maintenance policy and agreement.

The engine in a standby generator can be cooled by air or liquid. Air-cooled generators are better suited to supply smaller businesses. If you have a large facility, multiple air conditioning units (either window or central air), or several large pieces of heavy electrical equipment or medical equipment that needs constant power, then you should consider a liquid-cooled model, which will provide backup power for selected areas critical to your business operations. In some cases, the entire business may be able to be operational in the event of electrical power loss.

Please review our other articles on Commercial Generator Sizing, Commercial Generator Safety, Commercial Generator Location, Commercial Generator Sales, Commercial Generator Service, and Commercial Generator Warranty and Repair. Call SME Inc of Seattle today for your free home consultation and estimate.