So, you’ve made the all-important decision to invest in a generator, congratulations! Having a backup power supply in the event of an emergency truly is one of the most responsible things we can do as home or small-business owners.
Once you’ve decided that a generator is a necessary addition to your home, the next decision is typically “But what kind? Should I get a portable or standby unit?” And the answer is completely dependent on your needs and preferred comfort levels. You can check out our post here for more details on this topic.
But what does it really mean to have a ‘backup energy source’? Just HOW does the generator provide power to your home?
The answer, once again, varies depending on the type but is fairly simple either way.
Generators don’t actually create electricity. They convert mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. They do this by capturing the power of motion and turning it into electrical energy by forcing electrons from the external source through an electrical circuit.
A generator is essentially an electrical motor working in reverse.
Read on to learn how portable and standby generators make this work.
A portable generator is a relatively small, emergency power source, that can be easily moved from place to place and must be manually started.
These generators provide electricity by running a gas-powered engine that turns an on-board alternator to generate electrical power. Once an electrical current has been established, it is directed through copper wires to power external machines, devices, or entire electrical systems.
Power outlets on the unit allow you to plug extension cords, power tools, and appliances into it to service your home.
A standby generator is an automated power system permanently installed outside of a home and connected to either liquid petroleum or natural gas as a fuel source.
The standby unit has a switch that connects to the building and controls if the home uses the power grid or the generator as its power source. The generator’s engine detects if there is an outage in the primary power supply. When this happens, the power generating unit, also known as an alternator, kicks on. The alternator converts the mechanical energy from the generator’s combustion engine into electricity.
Some standby models have an automatic transfer switch (ATS) that controls the building’s main circuit breaker, while other models have a circuit breaker installed in their automatic transfer switches; during an outage, the transfer switch detaches the power grid’s supply and connects to the generator.
While the science of how can be quite fascinating, the most important aspect of your generator investment is when… when does it work? The answer should always be ‘whenever you need it to!
Contact us for a free consultation to learn which backup generator will work best for your family.
In the wake of Hurricane Idalia that swept through Florida, countless households found themselves grappling with the aftermath, including prolonged power outages. As we've come to realize time and again, access to reliable electricity is not just a luxury but a...
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"Mark Costis and the Generx team keep my whole house powered in case of city power outages. They have the greatest service and excellent products. With a full tank of propane (250 gallons) I can run my whole house for at least a week. Thanks Mark! A Generx Generator was a great investment!"
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