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Assess Your Generator To Be Prepared For Emergencies

Recent hurricanes that brought record flooding to the Carolinas and parts of Georgia and Florida missed Texas this time. If you own a business, don't just breathe a sigh of relief, but take time to assess whether you have enough generating power the next time a storm washes out the area. As recently as December, 2015, Texas was hit with a big weather event that closed businesses in 26 counties . Smart businesses had enough generating power to stay open while others remained closed until after power was restored.

Determining Your Power Needs

Proactive companies call in an electrician to inspect the facility and make calculations about what you need. In the absence of a clear understanding of what you need, you might be tempted to buy a generator that was too small for your needs. The result is that you can damage both the generator and appliances connected with it.

You need to know:

  • The specific items you want the generator to power.
  • The starting and running wattage of each item.
  • The total power requirements in KBA or KW.

You may have to convert the power from amperes to watts, which may require that you know the amps, the volts, and the load factor. You can easily make the conversion using an amp to watt calculator. If you don't have the owner's manual for devices handy, you can use a power consumption chart for estimating usage.

When you try to "ballpark" your generator needs, you need to keep in mind the amount of power you need to sustain your business, as well as the voltage coming into your facility.

Single Phase or Three Phase?

Households and some businesses need a single-phase generator that carries 120 volts, the standard in the US. The system uses alternating current electrical power where voltage and the current flow changes cyclically both in magnitude and direction about 60 times per second. Most businesses use a three-phase system that has three alternating currents varying in phase by 120 degrees. There are many advantages of a three-phase system:

  • Installing and maintaining three-phase systems carries more power at less cost.
  • Power delivery is more robust.
  • Power delivery is constant, which makes three-phase systems ideal for data centers.
  • Power feeds multiple electrical panels in a building; through the use of a step down transformer, the power that comes into one panel can be converted to 120/240 or 120/208 so that you can power office areas and plant areas.
  • Three-phase systems can be rewired to work as single-phase units if necessary.

Work With Coastal Power & Equipment When Selecting a Generator

If you are uncertain about the size and type of generator you need, the professionals at Coastal Power and Equipment are eager to work with you to discuss your needs and direct you toward the proper size generator. While we rent generators, our stock is low when there has been a storm and many customers seek a power supply. For most companies, the best option is to purchase equipment that will hold them over during an emergency. Since we offer used generators and financing, we can help you find a solution that fits your needs and budget.

For information, stop by our Houston location, call us at 281-962-1023, or visit the Coastal Power & Equipment website.