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Things To Look For When Shopping For A Commercial Backup Generator

When it comes to shopping for a commercial backup generator, there are several important factors to consider. While size and power output are probably the most obvious considerations, there are also other things to look for that can make a difference when choosing the right generator for your business. Here is a list of some of the key elements of a standby generator that should be considered before making any purchase.

How do commercial generators work?

Commercial standby generators are specialized pieces of equipment that are designed to provide an additional source of power for a business or organization when their main electricity supply is disrupted. While there are many different types of commercial generators, they all share similar components and basic operating principles.

Depending on the fuel source will be a factor when shopping for a commercial generator. Natural gas generators are the most common when shopping for commercial applications of backup power. Most industrial generators will fall into this category for most business owners.

Emergency Commercial Generators

An emergency generator is a must-have tool for any business. These generators are designed to provide reliable, uninterrupted power during times of crisis, such as natural disasters or power outages. They can be used to power essential equipment and keep businesses operational, ensuring customers and clients don’t suffer from prolonged losses in service.

Emergency commercial generators come in a variety of sizes and configurations, depending on the commercial generator buyer’s needs. Such as

  • Exit lighting
  • Smoke alarms
  • Evacuation systems
  • Fire alarms
  • Escalators
  • Elevators


Legally Required Standby Systems

Legally required standby systems are backup generators that are required to be installed in businesses and other public spaces by law. These systems provide a source of emergency power if the main power source is disrupted or fails. They are typically used in places such as hospitals, airports, and data centers where a loss of power could put lives at risk or cause serious disruption to services.

  • Emergency systems (NEC Article 700), which are legally required for some facilities, are systems whose operations are essential for human safety. These are also known as Level 1, or critical to life safety.
  • Legally Required Standby Systems (NEC Article 701) are required by codes to illuminate or to power equipment that is not categorized as requiring emergency power, but whose failure could create hazards, hinder rescue, or hamper firefighting operations. These systems are known as Level 2, or less critical systems.
  • Optional standby systems (NEC Article 702) are not required by code and serve equipment whose failure will not impact life safety. These systems may be specified and installed to protect against economic loss or business operations. The optional standby system is the least stringent from a code standpoint, but can be “business critical.” End users may choose to voluntarily apply the more stringent emergency and legally required standards, depending on their tolerance for downtime in the event of a utility outage.
  • Critical Operations Power Systems (NEC Article 708) were added as a classification in the 2008 NEC edition in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Hurricane Katrina disaster. These systems are required in facilities that, if destroyed or incapacitated, would disrupt national security, the economy, or public health or safety. Government agencies or Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) can designate any critical facility ‒ such as police stations, fire stations, emergency call centers, telecommunications carriers, data centers, and other critical infrastructure ‒ as a “designated critical operations area” to comply with Article 708.

Generator Manufacturers

Just like in a home, there are many generator manufacturers. There will be a difference in the power requirements of a business. The generator sizes will vary depending on building codes and business operational guides for each state or county. Commercial generator buyer’s need to take into consideration all these things before selecting a manufacture.

Commercial Standby Generator Parts

Businesses that rely on power need commercial standby generators. To ensure optimal performance, a well-maintained supply of generator parts is important. Parts like spark plugs, fuel filters, oil filters, and air filters are necessary for operation. Without these parts, the generator can’t function properly.

Generator power, just like any car, is dependent on parts availability in the event of utility power failure. The generator engine depends on spark plugs (if gas), coolant (if liquid-cooled ) belts, etc.

Commercial Generator Installation

When installing a commercial generator, there are certain requirements that need to be met in order to ensure proper operation, safety, and the type of generator.

First and foremost, the generator must be installed in accordance with all local codes, regulations, and standards. This includes making sure that all wiring is done properly and meets code, that the unit is well ventilated, and that it is protected against weather elements.

The installation process will vary depending on the location and fuel requirements. Installation services for a commercial building will vary as each state and county have different rules for each installation.

Transfer Switch

A larger generator will need an automatic transfer switch, this is what gives a signal to the generator in the event of a grid failure. More common standby power generators today will have remote monitoring for the units. This helps to make sure the unit is performing while utility power is down.

Emergency Rental Generators

Emergency rental generators provide businesses and homes with a backup power source in the event of an unexpected power outage. In cases of extreme weather, such as hurricanes or blizzards, these generators can be invaluable in allowing businesses to keep running without interruption.

Rental generators come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small portable units to larger industrial-grade models capable of powering multiple buildings. Many commercial portable generators can be rented during a power loss.


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