A guide to renting generators

Companies often need to hire a generator to keep their business operational. The reasons for renting are varied ranging from scheduled shutdown, the aftermath of floods, fire and power outages to powering up equipment for a show or exhibition. When selecting a generator rental company, managers should investigate several issues including the company’s location, price and ability to provide the required equipment. 

Portable generators come in all shapes and sizes and with all kinds of bells and whistles. There are generators suitable for temporary power, emergency power, plant maintenance, outside broadcasts and events and theatre productions. Therefore choosing a company with specialist knowledge is paramount in ensuring that your company rents the right generator for your specific application.

The generator is only part of the overall solution needed for providing standby power. In addition your rental company should be able to provide you with cable kits, bunded fuel tanks, distribution panels, security locks, low voltage transformers, earth rods, etc, which need to form part of an overall system individually tailored to your specific application.

Rental generators are normally provided as Road Tow sets and are usually available in sizes ranging from 10kVA to 200kVA. Larger sets up to 2MVA are available which are normally containerised. For companies that have a long term or semi-permanent power requirement it is important that a full site survey is undertaken by the rental company to ensure the optimum choice of generator, control panel, fuel system and distribution cabling.

Equipment Solutions

Whether your company faces a planned project, an emergency or a surge in demand, companies such as shentongroup Power Management can solve your power generation and distribution challenges. Let us look at a few scenarios.

Event, Show Or Theatrical Production

When a company is getting a site ready for a special event, time is of the essence, and companies require the fastest possible connection times to enable them to get equipment up and running as fast as possible. Available for three-phase generators ranging from 30kVA – 110 kVA, a ‘plug & play’ generator rental system enables an on-site generator installation to be up and running in less than 30 minutes. The solution enables quick and easy fitting, as the cables, plugs and sockets are colour coded for foolproof installation. The ‘plug and play’ system enables setting up between the generators, the AMF panel and the customer’s load to be carried out using only five plug/socket connections.

An Emergency

When an emergency strikes such as a fire or flood, a company needs to get its operation up and running as quickly as possible. This was the scenario for Randall Parker Foods, a leading producer of quality meat products, when fifty percent of its factory was decimated by fire in 2007. Determined that its customers would not be affected by the disaster, the company was able to get rental generators on site within a matter of hours, enabling them to be back in full production within two working days. In this instance, three generators were supplied ranging from 50kVA to 500kVA as well as remote bulk fuel tanks, distribution boards, changeover panels and cabling sets. The generators ran as prime power units and provided power to the whole manufacturing process.

When Relocating

When Dimension Data decided to relocate from Sunbury to a new purpose-built headquarters at Waterfront in Fleet, Hampshire, it was important that its existing and new business critical IT infrastructure and communications equipment remained safeguarded from power outages during every stage of the relocation process. Using a rental 200kVA diesel generator enabled the company to ensure the safety of its critical equipment whilst its two standby generators were relocated to the new premises.

During Remedial Work

The University of East Anglia needed to rent standby power systems to ensure that the campus was able to continue functioning over a 24 hour period whilst the local regional Electricity supplier carried out essential work to upgrade the incoming mains power supply to the site. This involved the provision of three 1250kVA-packaged generators, which were synchronised together. The low voltage power from the three generators was then put through a step-up transformer, to convert it to a higher voltage of 11kV, and connected into the university’s Primary sub-station. In addition, a separate 500kVA, three phase generator was used to run the Sports Park in isolation, which houses the swimming pool, fitness centre and human performance laboratory. Using a specially formulated rental package ensured continuity of power during whilst the work was carried out.

For Short Term Contracts

Vanguard Healthcare Solutions, the leading provider of mobile surgery services to the NHS, needed rental generators to power up its fully equipped operating theatre suites. Each site required equipping with a power system that comprised of two super-silenced 200kVA generators, bulk fuel tanks, cabling and distribution equipment. Operating in tandem, one generator provided all the necessary power to the mobile unit whilst the other generator remained on standby. When one generator needs to be switched off for servicing,the other generator immediately took over to ensure continuous power to all essential equipment. Renting a generator is an ideal solution for short term projects.

As An Alterative To Buying A Standby Generator

For companies that have neither the budget nor the room to accommodate their own standby generator, renting offers an alternative means of ensuring against business disruption during a long-term power outage. Emergency generator call out companies are capable of supporting any site that has either single or 3-phase mains electrical supply up to 100 amps with larger buildings being supported by dedicated circuits. Companies providing this service have a 24/7-control room, which arranges for a standby generator to be despatched from a local depot when a call is received from a subscriber. Normally, standard service levels include a target time of 1 hour and a guaranteed commitment to a maximum of three hours. Upon arrival the delivery engineer connects the generator to the pre-installed generator connection and manual changeover system and advises the customer to switch over to the generator. A mains supply indicator lamp is fitted to the changeover switch to inform the customer when the mains power is restored.


According to Ofgem data the UK experiences around 24 million powercuts a year, many lasting several days regardless of location. With predictions of more extreme weather and a less secure mains power supply, the demand for standby power is set to grow at 7% per annum over the next 5 years. High winds, snow, severe flooding, accidents, and equipment failure cause powercuts. In this current economic climate when companies are competing for their slice of a smaller market they cannot afford to be without power, even for a matter of hours. Renting standby generators offers companies the ultimate solution to all major power problems. The type of solution chosen is dependent upon individual requirements, budgets, and circumstances but, whatever your situation or size, there is now a power support rental system available to ensure that all businesses large and small can continue to operate when powercuts occur.

To discuss your generator requirements give our technical team a call on 0844 888 444 5 or download your free guide to protecting your business with the right type of standby power

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