Generators are the most widely used form of portable power in the construction industry. Small units may have an output of less than 1kW and be light and portable enough to lift into the boot of a car while the big skid mounted machines can produce up to 2,500kW - enough power to illuminate a sizable construction site. In days past a generator was just a generator but today it can also come in many other guises: welder generator, lighting tower with power outlets and even fitted into a compressor to supply dual power sources.Read More
Generators are the most widely used form of portable power in the construction industry. Small units may have an output of less than 1kW and be light and portable enough to lift into the boot of a car while the big skid mounted machines can produce up to 2,500kW - enough power to illuminate a sizable construction site. In days past a generator was just a generator but today it can also come in many other guises: welder generator, lighting tower with power outlets and even fitted into a compressor to supply dual power sources.
Most generators are now ‘Super Silenced’ meaning they are extremely quiet and can run overnight without annoying local residence adjacent to a worksite.
New environmentally-friendly lighting technology has reduced the amount of power required to provide a given amount of illumination and means that smaller generators can be specifies leading to both a lower purchase price and running costs. In some traffic lights and lighting towers application the application of this new technology has seen the generator itself replaced by battery packs that are recharged using photovoltaic cells (solar power).
Prominent names in the generator market include Ingersoll Rand (now Doosan Portable Power), Stephill, Honda, Arcgen Hilta, Cummins, SDMO, Genset, Pramac, Caterpillar, Mosa, FG Wilson, Kipor, SMC, Subaru Robin, Atlas Copco, Inmesol, JCB, Broadcrown, Colemo, Endress, Powertecnique, Airman and Margen.
You could say that generators are the power behind the construction industry. Put simply, they allow you to get power to where you need it. These days, so many power tools and implements are electric, and often there is no power on the site to plug into. That is where the generator comes into its own. A properly sized generator can introduce electrical power to a site and let you get the job done far quicker. Generators are extremely flexible, however, and they can perform many other useful tasks. They can power lighting on the site to provide security or to extend the safe working hours of the job and make that job so much more efficient. Generators are also used extensively to provide electrical back-up in industry, business and health facilities. Wherever continuity of electrical power is important, the generator can kick in to make sure that things continue to function in the event of a failure.
To select the correct generator, then, it is important to size it properly for the job intended. This means looking at the power requirements of all the tools that will be run from the unit. It also means considering which of these tools is likely to be used at the same time and sizing the generator to cope with the combined load. You should also consider the increased use of power at motor start-up and size accordingly. Tools that use induction motors will typically use two or three times their rated power capacity on start-up, so this can clearly put additional load on the generator. You will often find this sort of motor on compressors and pumps, but if in doubt consult the manufacturer. Similarly, the lighting or back-up demand should be estimated and the appropriate generator selected to suit.
If you are using the generator in a site situation, other factors such as robustness need to be taken into consideration. Another factor is transport. If you are going to be moving the generator from site to site, it needs to be easily transportable and capable of fitting in with your own vehicle fleet to make movements simple and economical. The capacity of the generator should also be considered. Larger diesel tanks mean that refuelling is less often needed, and this can save some valuable time on the site. It also lessens the chance of running out of fuel, as does an adequate gauge and warning system.
Generators utilise a mature and robust technology. They are simple and long-lasting and can give years of trouble-free use. They require only basic maintenance, and generally such maintenance is not expensive. This makes them an excellent prospect for a second-hand purchase, and a used generator can be a very sound investment. Generators also come in a wide range of sizes, from small petrol models suitable for domestic use to large-capacity diesel units that are capable of powering a whole site or providing lighting or back-up for a major installation.