Introduction

We all know how important it is to have an emergency generator, don’t we? Emergency generators, as the name suggests, are used during crisis and uncertain events. They are an independent source of power that holds the systems and operations of your business during the main power outage.

Think of it this way. You’re running a business, and suddenly a storm hits and knocks out the power grid, leaving your space in complete darkness. Lights, cash registers, security systems, machines – all offline, and you don’t have an emergency generator. You don’t want to fall into a similar situation, right?

Do you know what happened during Californian Electricity Crisis in 2000?

And, here is more to it. According to the Blackout Report 2020, the average American went out of electricity for more than 8 hours and shockingly the numbers are increasing over time.

So, should you get an emergency generator? Before answering the question, you might also consider: what could be the cost of a prolonged power failure to your business?

There are a number of environmental requirements and permits required to install and operate an emergency generator. It’s a lot that goes into it. But, it’s definitely worth it.

We know it can be really difficult to understand what factors to consider while buying an emergency generator. But don’t worry, we have got you covered. In this article, we will shortlist necessary considerations and essential parameters that you should be aware of while buying an emergency generator.

Types of Emergency Generators

Alright, let's get started with your Used Generators Buying Guide. Ensure that the generator you're considering for your business complies with regulations. There are different types of generators with varied sizes, prices and fuels. For instance, higher the size of a generator, the higher is the potential of it causing air pollution, which may directly increase the regulatory burden.

On top of that, another key factor while choosing an emergency generator is the type of fuel it’s using. Most of the industrial generators run on two types of fuel depending upon the engines they run on.

Emergency generators usually have two types of internal combustion engines – Compression Ignition (CI) and Spark Ignition (SI) engines. Compression Ignition (CI) Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) typically runs on diesel fuel. Generators that run on the diesel are known for their reliability, efficiency and durability, making them ideal for the power needs of a large business. They usually require less maintenance, but tend to have a higher upfront cost.

While, on the other hand, emergency generators that run on natural gas are more affordable upfront. These generators produce less toxic gasses, and they are suitable for businesses with lower budgets. They are smaller in size, easy to port, making them the best option for businesses requiring mobility. They may not be able to power an entire business due to its availability in smaller wattages but they’re definitely used in different types of applications.

Apart from these two, there are solar generators that completely runs on solar energy, which does not have any fuel tanks, nor do they have any emissions. However, they have a pretty low market share and don't yet fulfill the requirements of the businesses on a large scale.

Power Requirements of Your Business

Emergency generators are designed to provide a significant amount of power. Ideally, while choosing a generator, it’s required to consult an expert while deciding on the amount of power an industrial generator is offering. For instance, a generator offering several thousand kW of power has the prime value of offering power supply for up to 8 hours a day.

It’s vital to measure the power needs of all the electronics and appliances in your company for choosing the best emergency generator.

Mobility: Location of Your Generator

Portable Generators

You just can’t pick any. Yes, the portability of an emergency generator is another essential factor to consider. Think of a construction company, can they buy a stationary generator? Of course, not. If your business requires frequent mobility, choosing a portable generator might be a good option for you.

There are many similar businesses that require generators to get transported easily to different locations. And, that’s where portable generators come in. They are built for flexibility and for the facility of having the power supply at any given location.

Portable generator

Stationary Generators

While there are also businesses that want their generators to be permanently installed at a designated location. Stationary generators are usually larger in size compared to portable generators and require professional installation, big space and connection to the building’s electrical system. Depending upon your business’s location, you may require additional certifications like being UL2200 listed or CSA certified.

Noise of Emergency Generators

Well, most of the times the noise an emergency generator creates is overlooked. All types of Induction Combustion Engine (ICE) emergency generators produce some level of noise. And, with the growing dependency on generators for backup power, adhering to noise regulations becomes even more important.

Diesel engines create noise from both of its mechanical and combustion forces. The engines and cooling fans together create the majority of the noise. If your business is in an area with a dense population, you might consider choosing an emergency generator that doesn’t create so much noise.

Generators that run with natural gas are quieter in comparison to diesel ones. There are compliant diesel engines that produce lower noise levels and meet regulatory requirements through incorporating noise reduction technologies.

Maintenance

Buying an emergency generator is expensive. You don’t want it to become useless after investing a lot into it, isn’t it? And that’s why proper maintenance is necessary for the industrial generator to work efficiently and for a longer period of time.

Diesel generators require regular maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, working on heating capacity, cleaning and periodic testing to ensure smooth operation. Gas generators have fewer maintenance requirements compared to diesel generators.

And yes, how can we forget about spare parts! It’s important to choose a brand whose service centers and replacements of certain parts are easily available. Choose generators from reputed manufacturers that have a widespread service network and a good availability of spare parts to promptly address the maintenance issues and minimize downtime during emergencies.

Budget

We know that buying anything and everything finally comes down to the budget. And, why not? You don’t have to spend more if it adds no value to your business. But the truth is, in many cases, it does. It’s more of a life saver, isn’t it?

Therefore, it’s important for businesses to do cost-benefit analysis and establish a budget range depending on the requirements, preferences and financial capabilities of the business. Consider warranty, guarantee when comparing options.

If your budget is limited, prioritize essential features, parameters and functionality that meet business’s needs and requirements. And, avoid overpaying for unnecessary features or excessive power capacity that exceeds your business requirements.

Regulation and Compliance

Internal combustion engines (ICEs) that power emergency generators generally release a variety of pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies common pollutants as precursors and criteria pollutants.

The type of fuel used determines the particular pollutants released. For example, compared to natural gas or propane, diesel fuel and gasoline often produce higher quantities of PM 2.5 and HAPs. Furthermore, the number of pollutants released in general depends on the size of the generator and the maximum power output it generates.

Permits Required for Installing an Emergency Generator

In the United States of America (USA), your business needs to have certain permits required to install and maintain an emergency generator. These are usually developed by the state or local regulatory agencies. To know them in detail, take a look at the Emergency Generator Permitting Matrix. Emergency generator general permits are pre-established permit conditions that apply to all emergency generators. General permits usually go under public review once it is developed so that it requires less time for agencies to review and can be issued really quickly.

While applying for a general permit, the applicant has to showcase that the emergency generator qualifies for the permit and meets all the terms and conditions of the permit. Once the application is submitted, it is then reviewed by the permitting authority, and if they agree, they issue the general permit to the applicant.

It is really important for the facility to make sure that it complies with all of the permit’s terms and conditions as general permits cannot be modified.

Permits by Rule

A permit by rule is a permitting provision issued by the state or local regulatory authorities that applies to specific low emitting sources, and some of the emergency generators are a part of that. This provision includes qualifying standards, emission caps, operating standards, and documentation and reporting obligations.

In case an emergency generator does not consistently comply with all permission requirements, the facility is required to seek either a general permit or a construction and operation permit by rule provision.

Generally, to apply for a permit by rule, the applicant has to fill up a simple single page form and submit it to the permitting authority.

Conclusion

Now your business will never stop running, no matter what. Whether it’s a storm, energy crisis or an unexpected blackout, your business can run 24/7. At Power Generator Enterprises, we have the perfect type of generator that can meet their needs and expectations with ease and convenience.

We have 12 different brands and more than 200 items just in emergency generators.

The products that we offer are divisible into types and series of reliable generators, each one supported by high standard technical and customer support and services. We can offer you the right type of portable generator as well as the right type of standby generator, which can provide the best needed electrical and power support whatever type of backup emergency generator power you may require.

As the founder Azad Katchoyan says,In the realm of power solutions, our mission transcends mere provision; it's about empowering resilience. Each generator we deliver is not just a machine; it's a lifeline, safeguarding businesses, communities, and dreams against the uncertainties of power disruptions."

For those seeking a reliable, efficient, and EPA-compliant emergency generator, look no further than Power Gen Enterprises. With our selection guide for industrial generators, you can purchase with confidence today, ensuring your power needs are met with top-tier performance and environmental standards.

Common Questions about Choosing the Best Emergency Generator in 2024

1. What types of pollutants do emergency generators typically emit?

Emergency generators powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) commonly emit pollutants categorized into three main groups: criteria pollutants and precursors (such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds), hazardous air pollutants (including acetaldehyde, acrolein, benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene), and greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane).

2. How does the type of fuel used impact pollutant emissions from emergency generators?

Definitely, it is important to consider. For example, traditional options like diesel and gasoline release higher levels of particulate matter and air pollutants, whereas cleaner-burning alternatives like natural gas and propane emit lower levels of air pollutants.

3. What permits are required to install and maintain an emergency generator?

To operate an emergency generator for your business, you may need specific permits, depending on its fuel type, size and location. Typically, generator owners require air quality permits to meet emission standards set by government regulations. Often, these permits require ongoing monitoring and sharing of emissions data with the authorities.

4. How can generator owners ensure compliance with emissions regulations?

To follow emissions regulations, generator owners should focus on below things:

Installation - Using cleaner fuels and choosing the size of the generator correctly.

Operation - Implementing emission control technologies. 

Maintenance - Regularly checking and maintaining the generator. 

Reporting - Keeping records to show compliance. 

Guidance - Seeking professional advice and staying updated on regulations.