Now that you know about the different kinds of generator out there, and how to size it correctly you should have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for. Below are some additional features and components to consider when making the choice.
Starter type – Trade/backup generators include models with electric, recoil or dual starter systems. An electric starter increases convenience, but you also need a charged battery (the battery will come with the generator). A dual system allows you to use either. There are also remote start options that can be wired or wireless.
Portability – Most generators, other than the smallest models, are too heavy too easily carry around. Look for models that are equipped with wheel kits and lifting bars to make moving them easier.
Warranty and reliability – A generator is no good if it can’t produce power so it makes sense to go with as reliable an option as you can. There are many brands of generator out there, but if you look for a reputable brand that uses premium components then you are less likely to encounter problems. A local brand that can be contacted easily and will promptly follow through on warranty claims is ideal. Welling & Crossley is an Australian company with branches in every state. Other reputable brands will also have Australian branches for easy communication.
Parts and service – Being a piece of machinery a generator requires servicing and sometimes replacement parts. At Welling and Crossley we have hundreds of dealers and service agents nationwide.
Noise level – Noise is often a consideration depending on your application. Recreational generators are the quietest. Stationary generators are loud and often have canopies to muffle and protect the unit.
Transfer switch – A transfer switch for a generator is used when the unit is providing back up power to a building. It allows for the building’s circuits to be powered as normal, and therefore does not require additional extension cords running to appliances in the building. There are two kinds, an automatic transfer switch (ATS) and a manual transfer switch. An ATS is used in conjunction with a remote start generator and will automatically start the generator and power the building if the other power source is lost. A manual switch requires an operator to start the generator, plug it into the building and then flip switches on the switchboard to transfer power. A licensed electrician must install any transfer switch for a backup system and should be consulted when considering the design of the system.
RCD outlets – Residual Current Device designed to trip the circuit. This increases safety for users and appliances and are often compulsory on trade and work sites.
Fuel tanks and efficiency – Generators come with a variety of fuel tank sizes. Inverter generators are more efficient than conventional types. Diesel powered units are more efficient than petrol powered models. Trade/backup generators may have long range fuel tanks added.
Mine spec – These models are designed to meet mine site safety specifications and come with features such as RCD outlets, fire extinguisher and an emergency stop.