Power is an integral sector of every nation and one of the key factors of the success or failure of a business.
While Government allocate enormous resource to the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity for consumption , some countries still experience constant power outage that can be very consequential for Individuals as well as Small and Medium Enterprise. This loss can be human, material or both.
Individuals and businesses prepare for power outage by purchasing electric generators , otherwise known as power generators.
A power generator has two principal parts. The first is an engine head that burns fuel into power. The second part is a generator head that converts the power generated into electricity.
The Various Categories
In selecting a generator for use, it is important to know the various categories of generators available in the market. The categories are as follows;
Generators for recreational use
Generators in this category are used for camping, in caravans and mobile homes, mobile businesses as well as small events. Inverter generators are the most frequently purchased in this class.
These generators produce ultra-clean voltages so you can power sensitive electronics like phones, tablets, TVs and other smaller devices. These generators are portable, lightweight and economical.
Generators for Mobile Trades and Business
These class of generators serve construction sites, small farm holdings, rural property, welding and power/cutting tools and small-scale mining activities.
These generators run on either petrol or diesel; they are sturdy, fitted with steel frames and condenser style alternators. They have features suitable for heavy and resistive power loads.
Generators for Emergency backup /Stationary purpose:
These are larger generators that provide substantial power supply for commercial purposes as required by large plants, hospitals, military installations , e.t.c.
These generators are mostly diesel-powered and run in three phases. They are moved by forklifts or cranes and mostly installed by highly trained professionals.
What To Know Before You Buy
Based on the categories mentioned above , here are some tips to guide you when shopping for a generator.
Know your Power requirements/priorities
Generators are purchased based on the amount of wattage generated. Before settling for any generator, it is important to state how many devices, bulbs, and lights you plan to power at once or in aggregation.
Typical values for wattage for primary devices start at 5,000 watts. A few examples include the refrigerator (approximately 600 watts), sump pump (800 to 1,500 watts), small heaters (1,500 watts), window air conditioner (1,000 watts), lights (60 watts), and tablets (60 to 300 watts).
Under this category, the reliability of the generator matters, especially during peak usage periods.
Select a class option
You can either go for a stationary/standby generator installed permanently outside or the portable variety. While the former powers large machinery and equipment, the latter is more suited for smaller devices and non-commercial purposes.
Consider the fuel type
Generators use different fuel sources to generate electricity. These sources include petrol (gasoline), diesel, liquid propane and Natural Gas. Each source has its pros and cons.
For example, diesel generators are less costly to maintain. Petrol is more readily available and affordable. Hence a large number of users opt for them. Propane and natural gas generators are less common than both gasoline and diesel.
You should factor in their availability and affordability before making your decision.
Go for Functionality and Features
Your generator should be versatile enough to offer more than the production of electricity. There should be added features of the generator which gives more value for money. Such features include;
- Automatic Start: With automatic start, the stationary generator goes on—without your intervention and in the advent of a power outage to prevent loss of data or any efforts.
- Electric Start: You should have the option of starting your generator with the push of a button, in addition to the traditional means of pull-starting the engine.
- Alternative Fuel Usage: Go for a generator that can run on one fuel source, e.g. petrol generators, but they can be adapted to run on either propane or natural gas. This capability can be achieved with the use of conversion kits.
- Tyres: For the portable class of generators, go for brands that have tires attached to them. This feature eases the movement of the generator from place to place, especially from where you would like to set up the power supply to the storage space.
- Fuel Gauge: A fuel gauge helps you determine the fuel level at a glance. This device is usually installed on a conspicuous part of the generator. With this, you can get updates on when to start thinking of refilling your fuel storage.
- Low-Oil Cut-off: With this feature, when the lubricating oil falls below minimum levels, the sensor shuts down the generator to prevent damage to the engine i.e. engine knocking.
In addition to the tips above, there are additional important features that can aid in the selection of the right generator. They include :
- Noise level: Your generator should not get in the way of your time with unnerving noise generation. Search for the dBA (decibel) rating on the generator and go for brands that offer sound proof noise protection.
- Fuel tank capacity and usage rating: Go for a generator that is fuel efficient and can serve you for prolong period of time, especially during prolonged power outages.
- Electric remote start: This feature is essential in situations where you want to start your generator remotely or in the case of rainfall or inclement weather.
This feature might come with a pricy option, but more money just naturally provides more convenience.
- Safety Features: Your generator should have safety nets installed. These functions include Earth Leakage Protection and Weatherproof Outlets. This comes in handy particularly at constructions sites and in wet conditions.
Where to buy Generators in Nigeria?
You can purchase generators from any authorized dealer (offline store) near you or online from e-commerce sites like Jumia. Use the button below to buy online :