A power generator is a device for locally producing electrical energy on demand. This is mainly used as a backup to the main electrical supply. Some can automatically start and provide electricity for as long as the outage lasts. Other applications include commercial, construction, off grid backup or even prime. A generator consists of a mechanical engine and electrical alternator.

The engine is the mechanical drive source which powers the electrical alternator output source. Engines can either be gasoline, liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel. The alternator contains a rotating mass of copper (rotor) and a stationary magnetic field (stator).

When the rotor spins within the magnetic field it produces electricity at the alternator terminals. This is, of course, a simplistic statement and many other processes and controls are required to produce stable electricity at the correct voltage and frequency.

Our society has become increasingly dependent on electrical power for everyday needs such as; lighting, climate control, cooking, water, refrigeration, computers and home security which all need electricity to work properly. There are times when you could be without power for a few minutes, hours, days or even weeks. It could be an equipment failure on the part of the utility company or severe weather that disrupts the power grid.

The purpose of a generator is to take over when power is lost or not available and provide you with the electricity you and your family need and depend on.

There are numerous reasons for individuals or businesses to own their own backup/standby, or continuous power supply generator set(s).

Generators provide an added level of insurance to your personal daily routine or business operations ensuring uninterrupted power supply. The inconvenience of a power outage is rarely noticed until you are the victim of an untimely power loss or disruption.

Backup Power for individual residences can avoid the inconvenience of power outages by purchasing a small standby generator. Electricity is essential to maintain lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, electronic entertainment equipment, household appliances, well pumps and security systems.

Smaller residences only require a small amount of backup power, typically in the neighborhood of 8-10kW. Larger residences or businesses may require more power, which will increase the cost slightly, but still is highly affordable considering the benefits of owning your own power supply.

As a business owner, an emergency standby generator provides an added level of insurance to keep your operation running smoothly without interruption. Startups and shutdowns due to power outages can prove to be very costly. The advantage to having a localized backup power supply is to provide a consistent power to your business.

The primary difference between kW (kilowatt) and kVA (kilovolt-ampere) is the power factor. kW is the unit of real power and kVA is a unit of apparent power (or real power plus re-active power). The power factor, unless it is defined and known, is therefore an approximate value (typically 0.8), and the kVA value will always be higher than the value for kW.

In relation to industrial and commercial generators, kW is most commonly used when referring to generators in the United States, and a few other countries that use 60 Hz, while the majority of the rest of the world typically uses kVa as the primary value when referencing generator sets.

To expand on it a bit more, the kW rating is essentially the resulting power output a generator can supply based on the horsepower of an engine.  kW is figured by the horsepower rating of the engine times .746.  For example if you have a 500 horsepower engine it has a kW rating of 373.

The kilovolt-amperes (kVa) are the generator end capacity.  Generator sets are usually shown with both ratings.  To determine the kW and kVa ratio the formula below is used.

.8 (pf) x 625 (kVa) = 500 kW

The power factor (pf) is typically defined as the ratio between kilowatts (kW) and kilovolt amps (kVa) that is drawn from an electrical load, as was discussed in the question above in more detail.  It is determined by the generators connected load.

The pf on the nameplate of generator relates the kVa to the kW rating (see formula above). Generators with higher power factors more efficiently transfer energy to the connected load, while generators with a lower power factor are not as efficient and result in increased power costs.  The standard power factor for a three phase generator is .8.

Standby power generators are most often used in emergency situations, such as during a power outage.  It is ideal for applications that have another reliable continuous power source like utility power.  It’s recommend usage is most often only for the duration of a power outage and regular testing and maintenance.

Prime power ratings can be defined as having an “unlimited run time”, or essentially a generator that will be used as a primary power source and not just for standby or backup power.  A prime power rated generator can supply power in a situation where there is no utility source, as is often the case in industrial applications like mining or oil & gas operations located in remote areas where the grid is not accessible.

Continuous power is similar to prime power but has a base load rating.   It can supply power continuously to a constant load, but does not have the ability to handle overload conditions or work as well with variable loads.  The main difference between a prime and continuous rating is that prime power gen-sets are set to have maximum power available at a variable load for an unlimited number of hours, and they generally include a 10% or so overload capability for short durations.

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) transfers power from a standard source, like utility, to emergency power, such as a generator, when the standard source fails. An ATS senses the power interruption on the line and in turn signals the engine panel to start.

When the standard source is restored to normal power the ATS transfers power back to the standard source and shuts the generator down.  Automatic Transfer Switches are often used in high availability environments such as data centers, manufacturing plans, telecommunication networks and so forth.

It is always better to delve deep into your power generation requirements before making a choice. You can do this in the following ways:

  • Make a list of the items that need to be powered by the generator
  • Make a note of the starting and running wattage of the respective items
  • Calculate the total power requirements in KVA or KW

On the other hand, our engineers can also come around to carry-out free inspection for you.

Yes, Yorc generator powers small, medium, large businesses and industries depending on what your requirements are for your businesses. Our engineers are readily available to assist you with the exact generator size you will require.

Yes, we have off-grid models that are best suited for off grid applications with warranty coverage.