What to consider when renting a generator for a site

Portable power generators are becoming even more popular on sites due to the unpredictable power outages. Whether the site is in a metropolitan area or in a remote location, a steady power supply is essential in ensuring a fully functional site.

There are a number of factors that need to be considered when renting a generator, most importantly is ensuring that the rented generator meets the power requirements of the site. Adequately understanding the parameters of the electricity needs ensures the placement of the right equipment.

It has been found that often sites hire generators that are not the right size for the job. “Hiring a generator that is undersized when the power requirements of the job are greater than the capacity of the machine, means that the generator will either shut down or trip the circuit breaker,” explains Lukas Hopley, service Manager of Rand-Air. An undersized generator will also slow down the engine by pulling too much horsepower, the voltage and frequency output will become unstable and can result in the damage of the equipment connected to the generator.

In contrast, hiring a generator that is oversized can also hinder the performance. 70 – 90% is the optimum power to pull from a generator. Hopley cautions “an oversized generator is when less than 50% of the rated capacity is used. If the generator is not producing the required horsepower to reach the rated capacity, it can cause it to glaze.” This can result in the generator having to be removed and replaced.

“It is important to size the generator correctly for the application, and to only use a qualified electrician when connecting the generator to the application,” says Rand-Air Fleet Manager Craig Swart. “When choosing a rental company to hire a generator from, it is important to consider the company’s backup service, reliability and availability. Rand-Air successfully manages these key areas namely machine availability, machine reliability, response time, monthly preventative checks and machine servicing,” Swart concludes.

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