Generators are a key part of electricity generation in the 21st century but many people still donít understand what they do. In short, generators turn mechanical energy into electrical energy. Theyíre so important because they can provide electricity to households and workplaces when there is no mains connection.
Too many people take our reliable energy supply for granted today, ignoring the benefits that a stand-by generator might bring. But where exactly is a back-up generator most useful?
Public and commercial applications for a generator
Generators can have life-saving applications. For example, if a hospitalís mains electricity supply is cut off Ė whether due to a power grid fault or a natural disaster Ė the consequences could be catastrophic. Vital medical equipment would have no power source and nurses and doctors would be bereft of basic lighting, making it hard to treat patients effectively. A back-up generator, however, would mean that basic power could be restored to the hospital in the event of an outage, allowing activities to progress as normal. Similarly, generators can throw a lifeline to the emergency services after a natural disaster, giving them light and heat at a time when people need it most.
In an office, having a stand-by generator means vital information wonít be lost during a power cut. It also means less downtime, so productivity isnít negatively affected. In some situations, a generator isnít just a stand-by, itís a main power source Ė on a building site, for example, or at a fairground or fete. Generators are also essential equipment for data centres. Data centres store data for companies remotely and itís important for this data to always be accessible. If a data centre is left without power, companies are left unable to access their information, which could have severe repercussions for business.
Generator uses at home
Generators are also very useful to have at home. These days, most people living in big cities and even rural areas can depend on a reliable mains power supply. However, uncontrollable events occasionally conspire to leave homes without power Ė for instance, severe weather conditions, faulty infrastructure or vandalism of power cables. In events like these, itís useful to have a generator on hand for emergency power.
There are lots of different types of generators to choose from. However, a diesel generator may be the safest and cheapest to run in the long-term Ė just remember to keep it in a protected area and outside, so itís sheltered from the elements but the fumes have a chance to escape. Alternatively, if youíre planning to use a generator regularly Ė for instance, to power a caravan or campsite Ė a portable generator may be more useful.