There are several different types and configurations of generators based on their desired purposes and runtimes, but every generator has the basic purpose of providing power when the main source is out or when connecting to the main power grid is either difficult or impossible. Portable generators are often used to power homes when the power is out due to a storm or issues with the power provider. Commercial generators, such as the generators made by Welland Power, are typically used by industrial sites and places of business. Welland Power is a UK manufacturer that provides commercial generators to multinational organizations operating across Europe, Asia, South America, and the Middle East. They recently were presented with the Queens Award for International Trade.
How do generators work?
It’s important to note that generators do not actually create electrical energy—rather, they convert mechanical energy into their electrical output. They do this through the process of electromagnetic induction.
Generators are made up of many different components, such as the engine, alternator, and fuel system, to name some of the most important. The engine operates as the source of the mechanical energy that is to be converted. It can be powered by a variety of fuel sources, including gasoline, propane, or diesel. Which fuel source to choose can depend on the generator’s purpose and desired hours of operation.
The alternator is the component that actually converts the mechanical energy. It consists of various moving and stable parts that work together to create movement between magnetic and electrical energy fields, thus producing an electric current. The efficiency and longevity of the alternator will be determined by the materials it is made of as well as its housing within the generator.
Fuel systems for generators will vary significantly between portable and commercial models. Portable generators will generally have a single fuel tank, which should keep the generator operational for approximately four to six hours. Commercial models will likely have additional external fuel tanks to ensure they can operate for longer hours when needed. They may also have much more complex exhaust systems and other supporting components, such as a lubricating system.
Diesel fuel has quite a few advantages over other fuel options. For starters, diesel fuel is more economical when compared to other choices, especially over gasoline. Gasoline is expensive, inefficient due to its limited availability in emergencies, and is easy to spill. Diesel generators are also quite efficient in terms of power generation, especially when compared to the much more complex propane generators.
Diesel generators are also less dangerous when there are accidents. Say, for example, if a fuel line is broken or cut. Gasoline or propane spills are incredibly dangerous, but diesel fuel, on the other hand, poses significantly fewer risks. Diesel is also not as difficult to obtain as other fuel sources during natural disasters, so there will likely always be an efficient supply.
Additionally, diesel generators are generally considered low maintenance compared to the alternatives. They are also designed to run for longer periods of time than other generators, making them generally more useful for businesses and off grid sites.
Diesel generators are so efficient for most tasks, it’s hard to pin down a “best” use for them. They are widely trusted in the healthcare industry, and it’s impossible to overstate the importance of keeping hospitals and other healthcare facilities open. They’re also great for any food service business, as unrefrigerated food can rapidly become a health hazard. Beyond health and safety concerns, diesel generators can also be trusted to keep any place of business open during a power outage, preventing extreme losses of revenue.