Many Myrtle Beach, SC residents take advantage of generators in one form or another, often to use as a backup power source. Whether a local contractor has accidentally cut through a power source or a storm has downed transmission lines, it’s not unheard of for residents to suddenly lose power and require backup generator services. Both businesses and homeowners can be unexpectedly affected, and many like to keep a standby generator available.
Generators can range in size from portable ones that are great for camping to large hydrogen generators capable of powering data centers during disaster recovery. The type and size of generator you’ll need to install with a generator hookup service depends on the load size, wattage requirements, its primary function (backup or chief power source), and various other factors.
How to Calculate the Correct Generator Size
Firstly, you’ll need to decide what equipment you want to run off the generator. If you want to cover everything in the house, you’ll need to calculate how much wattage every device requires, e.g., the well pump, water heater, refrigerator, light bulbs, microwaves and other appliances. Most should have a label that indicates the wattage, i.e., 60-watt light bulb, 800-watt microwave. Add these figures up and you’ll determine the minimum amount of electrical power that your generator needs to output.
Note: Some equipment may have a different starting and operational wattage; items with an electric motor will typically need more energy to start than to continuously run. When determining the appropriate generator size to install during a generator hookup service, it’s crucial that these potential surges in wattage during start-up are accounted for.
Secondly, you’ll need to convert the overall kilo-watts (kW) figure you’ll get from combining all of your equipment’s wattage requirements to another rating. While the total power requirement is in watts, you’ll need to convert this to kilo-volt-amperes (kVA). The amount of kW indicates the amount of power that will be used by a system, but the kVA rating is the measure used by generators. In an ideal world, the generator hookup service you choose will be installing a generator that has a 1 kVA per kW output. However, this is only true in a system that is 100-percent efficient.
Most generators are rated using an efficiency figure between 0 and 1. The closer the number is to 1, the more efficient the power conversion is. Most international generators have an efficiency rating of 0.8, which means if you require 100kW of actual power output for appliances, you’ll need a generator that produces at least 125 kVA.
Thirdly, you’ll need to define the overall running requirements. Is the generator to be used as a backup power source, or is it going to be the main source of power for your Myrtle Beach, SC property? Typically, generators should not operate at full capacity for more than half an hour. If you intend to use a generator hookup service to install a whole-house power supply, you’ll need to size up so that the running requirements of all appliances at once does not typically exceed 70-80% of the generator’s capacity. The 20-30% leeway also gives you wiggle room to add future appliances.
Lastly, you’ll need to consider if the generator size you’re planning to install is suitable for the location that you have in mind. Maneuverability and site access play a huge role in whether your desired generator size is feasible to install during a generator hookup service. Uphill, off-road locations, or areas with narrow access points may be difficult for the truck transporting the generator to get to. If the property has limited space for trucks or vehicles fitted with cranes and winches to be able to lift the generator into place, then you may need to rethink the size of your generator and scale down accordingly. Generators designed to supply a whole house need to be at least 1.5 feet away from the home, and at least 5 feet from any entry/exit points. Building codes, noise, and safety requirements also need to be considered.
Most Popular Generators That Need a Hookup Service
A generator hookup service can be used to install a variety of generators, including standby generators. Generators can utilize a wide variety of fuel sources, such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, solar energy, and hydrogen. The three most popular types of generators are:
- Standby generators. These generators are typically semi-permanent fixtures that can take up more space than the average air conditioning unit. Fitted with large fuel tanks and commercial-grade engines, these generators often have a high fuel efficiency that make them suitable for powering lots of fixtures during emergencies. Due to their size, they are far less moveable than portable generators and require more maintenance. A generator hookup service will often be used to install this type of generator as emergency backups or as cabin power solutions.
- Gasoline generators. The most common fuel used in inverter generators and portable generators is gasoline. Power output, features, and possible uses vary, depending on size and manufacturer. One of the reasons they remain incredibly popular is because they are relatively straightforward to operate once installed by a professional electrician. Shoppers can also take advantage of their relatively low price. However, fuel prices can fluctuate and gasoline is typically the most expensive of the generator fuels.
- Diesel generators. Diesel-powered generators also commonly require a generator hookup service. Similarly to gasoline generators, these are often used for standby power. However, many residents choose to invest in portable diesel generators as they are more efficient than their gasoline counterparts. Diesel-powered generators also fare better during cold weather if filled with winter fuel, and the fuel also puts less stress on the electric engine.
To book a generator hookup service, call a Mister Sparky Generators technician in Myrtle Beach, SC. We have experience with multiple generator brands, including Briggs and Stratton, GE, and Generac. It’s easy to schedule an appointment, just call us or speak to one of our representatives via our website.