Comments Off on Buying a Generator New or Used

Buying a Generator New or Used

| Uncategorized | February 9, 2015

In this day and age there are plenty of reasons to buy a used generator. For one thing power supplies from utility grids are not as reliable thanks to the increasing frequency of bad weather and also natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes.

Having a stand-by or emergency source of power is a good idea especially if you or your business is dependent on electricity. For instance it could be a disaster for a hospital or construction site to lose power.

The bottom line is that generators provide that extra level of security that makes sure that all of your operations run smoothly.  At home you may need lighting, refrigeration and appliances at the very least and if you have a disabled person in the home you may also need a lift of some kind.  Apartment buildings need to make sure that they have sufficient power running to prevent residents from being stuck in an elevator or unable to enter the building.

Many businesses and residences also need electricity to keep their security systems operating.

Residential Uses

If you own a home you need not suffer or be inconvenienced in any way if you have a back-up generator in place. Electricity from a stand-by generator can help lighting, entertainment equipment, appliances, HVAC, computers, air conditioners and security systems operating.

A unit for home use can be quite small. Some homes can get by with a generator that is only 10 kW.  Anything larger will provide you with all of your power needs for quite a long time.  Usually the generator is installed outside, and resembles the installation of an air conditioning unit.

Small Business Uses

Small businesses can benefit from having a back-up power generator. This is especially true if you are running a lot of computers. Sudden power loss can lead to data loss if you are not careful and computer crashes happen when the power grid surges or goes off suddenly. Owning a power generator can keep power running continuously so that technology is not compromised.

Determining the size of the unit that a business needs is somewhat dependent how much money your business makes and also how much voltage you will need to run the entire business without interruption. This is calculated by calling in an electrician who can correctly calculate your daily electricity load based on you absolute necessary needs including phones, processing equipment, refrigerators, security etc.

Continuous Use Generators Can Be Economical

If you own a large business or small industry the right size genset can allow you to use it as a primary source of power if your normal sources or utilities get too expensive. If you are in business this could allow you to keep your prices lower than your competition that does not have a generator and is still attached to the grid.

A Primary Source of Power

Although many of us view a power generator as being a unit that is used for back-up or in an emergency they are also needed for facilities of all kinds that need power in remote places that are not attached to a power grid. You often see units operating as the prime source of power in developing countries where there is a lot of construction where what little electricity there is might be costly and unreliable. In fact, entire Islands in the South Pacific are all that is needed to supply power to the entire population.

A unit creating prime power is defined as one that operates for eight to twelve hours a day. It does not necessarily mean that the power is on 24 hours a day. These types of industrial machines are used for applications like mining.

The price of generators really does vary and buying a used genset can really be worth your while whether you want to use it at home, for a small or large business or as a primary source of continuous power in an area where there is no power grid.

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Common Uses of Industrial Generators

| Uncategorized | February 9, 2015

Generators are used in almost every aspect of industry, government and daily living. They are used as primary sources of power, secondary sources of power and also as stand-by or emergency sources of power. They can also be towable or portable and be taken to a place where they are needed, for example, a construction site. They are also used for many various purposes including supplying power to mission-critical institutions like hospitals, entertainment facilities like amusement parks, mining operations, agricultural operations, manufacturing, military operations, theater productions, concerts and much more.

Residentially they are also used as back-up and emergency power if for some reason the home is taken off the power grid.

Technically, generators are not really the sources of power. Instead, a more proper term for them would be a power converter. They convert power from fuel sources into electrical energy. The primary fuel sources for generators are diesel, gasoline, solar energy, hydro energy (water), wind power, natural gas and propane.

It is unusual to find units that are used as a primary source of power in industry simply because operating one can be so much more expensive than using a direct power supply. The main function of most generators is to simply provide an alternative power source when the main power source fails.

Having one in place to substitute for a lack of power can mean the difference between life and death. Common uses include:

  • Supplying an uninterrupted power supply so that surgeries being conducted in hospitals are not sabotaged by a lack of electricity.
  • Keeping devices such as ventilators, monitors, lights and life support systems working in hospitals.
  • Keeping sophisticated television monitoring and security systems powered at banks and other high security institutions in the case of a power outage.
  • Making sure that people who work in mines have access to light, water and communication.

Other facts concerning generators include:

  • Those who work in aerospace industries often rely on them as a primary source of power.
  • Industrial sites that deal with hazardous materials also rely on them to keep in production and keep the plant safe
  • Research and development teams in remote areas without power also often require electrical generators to keep them warm and alive
  • Units are used to back up essential systems like lights for highways and signal lights so that accidents do not occur
  • Other units are used to supply warmth and heat to homes and businesses in cold climates where it is possible to die from being exposed to cold temperatures.

Generators are a necessary and long-term investment in which excellence is not just a sentiment; it is absolutely required.

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Are Diesel Powered Generators the Best Choice?

| Uncategorized | February 9, 2015

bigstock-Lightening-693283-200x132When browsing through listings of used generators for sale you might have noticed that the majority of offerings seem to be powered by diesel fuel. There are many reasons why diesel powered engines are so popular lately.

Reason number one is that diesel is so cost-effective and you get more use out of what is paid for. That is because of all the fuels used for industrial generators, diesel fuel has the most energy density. This means that motors of any kind that are run on diesel will have higher “mileage.”

The biggest difference between a diesel engine and a gasoline engine is that the ignition does not require a spark to ignite the fuel. Instead diesel is sparked by compressed hot air that is drawn through vents into the engine. The temperature in a diesel engine is much higher than in a gasoline engine which makes it capable of creating more energy to drive the motor of the generator.

The diesel fuel is injected into the engine slowly via an injector that fuses air and gas together gently whereas a gasoline motor uses a carburetor to introduce a mixture of air and gas together that is quite combustible. The air and fuel mixture in a gasoline engine also does not create as much energy as quickly or as continuously as the compressed air engine.

You can buy two kinds of diesel engines: air cooled or liquid cooled. The liquid cooled engine is quieter than the air-cooled, which is mainly used in larger industrial models.
The diesel engine in a generator also has many advantages compared to a gasoline-powered one:

  • Contemporary diesel units are quieter and require less maintenance compared to similar sized engines
  • They are tough, rugged and durable machines that last a long time
  • The diesel motor does not spark in order create energy. This lowers it’s maintenance costs.
  • You can get the same amount of power generated for thirty to fifty percent of the cost you would spend on gasoline
  • A diesel unit will run three times longer than a gasoline powered one before it needs any services
  • The gasoline units are hotter in general and this gives them shorter life than diesel powered ones as heat will wear out and corrode material faster

They are also versatile motors that can be used in mobile drives and mechanical engines as well. Aside from being used to power generators they are also used in vehicles, locomotives, steam engines, marine engines, agricultural machines, forestry equipment and construction equipment. You will also find diesel gensets powering appliances, tools and recreational vehicles.

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Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS) vs. Manual

| Uncategorized | February 9, 2015

When selecting switch gear it’s critical that you understand the basics.  In this article we will explore the key differences and capabilities between automatic and manual transfer switches.

Automatic Transfer Switches offer Convenience:

An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is typically used where a backup generator is installed, supplying temporary electrical power if the main source fails. Not only will the ATS transfer the load demand to the generator, but it will also force the generator to start. This is based on the voltage monitored on the primary source.
The purpose of an ATS is to detect power failures as soon as they occur and to immediately transition from utility power to generator power. This transfer must be done seamlessly and instantly in cases where loss of power can mean life or death, as in the healthcare industry.

Once the installed generator reaches the preset voltage parameters and frequency, the signal is sent by the control system to make the “switch” and transfer the source of power. This automatic operation is a complex system that has been engineered to flawlessly deal with time delays and other factors that play into the process of instantaneous power backup.

There are numerous control systems with specific functions that can handle a large variety of applications and scenarios. It’s a good idea to talk with your electrician in order to determine the type of control system and switchgear you require.

If you already know the type of transfer switch you need, feel free to browse through our inventory. If we currently don’t have listed what you’re looking for, give us a call and we’d be happy to locate the transfer switch you require.

Manual Transfer Switches: Simple Reliability

Manual transfer switches put the operation of the generator in the individual’s hands. In this scenario, should the primary source of power fail, the transfer switch would be manually flipped and power would then be restored through the installed generator. These switches are typically used in residential and light commercial situations, but would not be ideal for industrial settings or healthcare environments.

Many manual units come with features such as mechanical slide interlocks which ensure that only a single power source is powering the emergency power system. Slide interlocks prevent the duplication of energy sourcing. Generally speaking, manual transfer switches are quite easy to install and operate, providing a high level of safety as well as comfort.

Are you in the market for a used manual transfer switch? If so, why not browse through our inventory and see if we have what you’re looking for. If you don’t see the equipment you require, feel free to give us a call and we’ll happily locate your transfer switch for you.

We offer numerous listings of quality used surplus transfer switches.  Take a moment and view our inventory.

Portable Commercial Generators – The Basics

| Uncategorized | August 24, 2012

Portable generators refer to units that are mobile and towable and that can operate in any type of condition. You often find them as part of the set up for fire and emergency rescue vehicles in telecom fleets, in military fleets and also on construction sites.  Cummins and Onan models are very popular in the field of portable industrial generators.

These types of gensets are built to have sophisticated remote controls and panels that offer all kinds of push-button diagnostics. The portable gensets used for medical and rescue applications tend to be technically sophisticated and produce very little noise.

There are several different types of portable commercial and industrial units each designed to run on different fuels with state-of-the-art technology.

Portable Diesel

Most portable diesel generators are durable and housed in heavy duty metal housings.  Everything is encased including the muffler, cooling and air intake systems. They have solid rubber bases that prevent them from creating a great deal of vibration or noise.

State-of-the-art models like Onan also have glow plugs which help keep the diesel inside from turning to jelly in low temperatures. They also help the machine to start up quickly which can be crucial in an emergency situation.

When buying used diesel models for use in EMS or other critical situations, look for ones that have top mounted switches and alarms for coolant, battery and accidental fuel disconnection. Other perks would be remote control operation, multiple oil fill check points, and a cross-flow radiator for keeping the unit cool and water-proof controls.  You can also buy used units with emissions certification that are better for the environment.


Gasoline models are usually designed to handle tougher industrial and commercial applications. They are now manufactured to have very low noise and vibration and electronic fuel injection. Good features to look for in these types of machines  are advanced digital controls, an enclosed muffler and one that can transfer really large load banks from one voltage mode to another.

Many of the more sophisticated models now have the ability to self-diagnose themselves for trouble so you can call in a repair service technician to fix it.

Propane (LP Vapor)

Propane or LP Vapor gensets are usually deployed for industrial and commercial use. Today’s LP vapor models, both new and used, tend to have exceptionally low vibration and noise and are digitally regulated to handle load changes without short-circuits or power interruptions.


Portable hydraulic units are unique because they consist of a hydraulic pump that keeps energy continuous. The entire system consists of a motor generator, oil cooler, reservoir and air filtration system.

Quality used models will be made completely of stainless steel and have a fast start up capability. They still have four-point vibration absorbent mounting systems and an electronic speed control that can be operated remotely.

Portable PTO Generators

These machines are generally Cummins brand. These are models designed to be used in emergency vehicles. The features on these types of completely housed units often include the ability to rotate the unit, various ways of mounting it on its base, radial fans and a voltage regulator.

They tend to be some of the most high-end of portable generators on the market and they are expected to have a long life.  A five-year warranty is absolutely standard when it comes to these generators.

No matter what your commercial or industrial requirement is for a generator you can often find it in our listings page.

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