Electrical Power Generators Selection Guide    Image Credit: Cummins Power Generation | Caterpillar Electric Power   Electrical power generators, also known as alternators, transform mechanical energy into electrical energy.  They can be used for backup or emergency power or as an alternator on board a vehicle. Generators can produce either AC or DC power and are typically powered by a fuel engine.   Physical Concept...
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Q & A on Electrical Power Generators

We asked our users for their input on Electrical Power Generators. Here are the results of 172 users familiar with Electrical Power Generators.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing electrical power generator design?
26 answers
Answers:
Emissions Low fuel consumption Extension of the lifespan of consumables (oil filters etc) New technologies for cost savings in maintenance
~Carlos Lopez, Engineer, Bogota, Colombia
Co-generation with steam generation and absorption chilling Gasification from coal
~Tariq Haq, General Management, Karachi, Pakistan
Emission regulations / Tier 4. Communications capabilities and requirements.
~Dave Vennie, Vp of Sales & Engineering, Houston, TX
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative electrical power generators?
26 answers
Answers:
None as majority of companies are still using the old model of electrical engineering principles (over 100 years old) that have been found to be seriously flawed from discoveries and experimental works in particle physics and quantum science.
~Dare A., Design Engineer, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
In China many companies are involved and under license they are manufacturing in China. Since I am based in China I have a better access to study the latest technologies and work on it.
~IRFAN K, Marketing/Sales, SHANGHAI, CHINA
Onan, Kohler, and to some extent Caterpillar for the stationary type. The Multiquip Whisperwatt series are my personal choice for portable.
~Project Manager, Lompoc, CA
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used electrical power generators for?
36 answers
Answers:
I have used electrical power generators in a 5 megawatts power plant. I have used different sizes of power generators as standby for industrial and domestic application. I have used power generators in road shows trucks and many others.
~Samwel M, Technical Support, Nairobi, Kenya
Water pump lift stations, cell sites, emergency centers, casinos, banks, city water and sewage handling, off grid, prison, city hall, grocery store, other
~Marketing/Sales, Tukwila, WA
Small IC engines for emergency/backup power and power source at a remote facility to large on-site power plants (IC and Turbines) to utilities.
~Bill G, Engineering Consultant, Raleigh, NC
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that electrical power generators have been used for.
13 answers
Answers:
Non-standard? How about I'm working on designing and building my own totally Green home that will be grid tied, but capable of being totally self sustaining utilizing backup generators, geothermal heat and cooling, wind generators, and solar panels all with battery bank backups.
~Roger H, Independent designer, and student at TSTCwaco, Waco, TX
I'm not sure there exist any "non-standard" applications for a generator. If there is a need for power, there is a generator that can provide it.
~Project Manager, Lompoc, CA
A co generation plant at a land fill site in Australia running off methane from the land fill site.
~John Gryglewicz, Regional Manager, Burlington, Canada
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of electrical power generators?
12 answers
Answers:
Don't try to charge dead batteries and start generator at the same time, I've seen the batteries blow up. If you hear a strange noise shut the engine down before servicing, I've seen a rod blow right through the side of a trailer. And always service, service, service, that's the most important thing.
~James B, Manufacturer, Jupiter, FL
Bought a portable generator and found out that I need a HUGE propane tank to supply fuel source...tank was to big to fit next to the house because of the neighborhood conveniences...had to send generator back and lost 400 dollars for restocking fee.
~Ann B, Faculty/Staff, Florence, AL
Old customer had his hook up to the house. No transfer switch. Power returned back feed generator. Started fire at breaker panel, destroyed genset, burned one side of his house down.
~Billy S, Retired Field Service Tech/Service Manager, Centerville, TX
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FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
23 answers
Answers:
A downloadable run log, via wifi or usb port, detailing in an adjustable increment the load changes and engine performance data. Also, a more efficient engine design. I'd like to see something on exploring the possibilities of only running say 4 cylinders out of 8 during low load periods to conserve fuel and create a smaller VOC impact in the atmosphere.
~Project Manager, Lompoc, CA
High output with low fuel usage, with an autostart system during power outage, that can automatically isolate itself( the home/building) from the grid until power is restored. All at a reasonable cost.
~Roger H, Independent designer, and student at TSTCwaco, Waco, TX
Lowest fuel consumption Lowest life cycle cost Single acceptance load bearing capacity (torque capacity) High thermal efficiency
~Tariq Haq, General Management, Karachi, Pakistan
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of electrical power generators?
16 answers
Answers:
Know your full amp load before you buy. Buy one that is a little more than you need. A 2KW unit is not going to run your house. Know what you need before you buy.
~Billy S, Retired Field Service Tech/Service Manager, Centerville, TX
Determine your loads that you want to supply, avoids undersizing of the generator. Never place generators inside, as carbon monoxide does and will kill you..
~Roger H, Independent designer, and student at TSTCwaco, Waco, TX
They must pay attention when they will be searching the engine, mainly noise level and emissions. The fuel consumption is very important information too.
~Gustavo Teixeira, Production Engineer, Betim, Brazil
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using electrical power generators?
20 answers
Answers:
Know what it is that you want to power with the generator, it's best to over design than to undersize your needs, might cost you a little more but better than finding out you wasted money on a generator that can't provide enough power for your needs. Remember gasoline goes bad very quickly(2 months) unless stabilized, diesel fuel will remain good for a very long time( years when stored properly).
~Roger H, Independent designer, and student at TSTCwaco, Waco, TX
Look into slightly used or new surplus equipment to avoid Tier 4 and emergency only requirements. A lot of mobile equipment can operate at multiple voltages and can be very useful in utilizing for multiple locations.
~Dave Vennie, Vp of Sales & Engineering, Houston, TX
Do not buy one because it is cheap. Spend the money and buy one that has a dealer network that you can trust. One that has people available when you need them.
~Billy S, Retired Field Service Tech/Service Manager, Centerville, TX
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