Generators – frequently asked questions

These questions are often asked by customers looking to protect their power supply.  The answers given are not intended to be highly scientific but a useful rule of thumb and we hope you’ll take them in the spirit intended. If you want to be sure you’ve got it right, ask for a free site survey from one of the shentongroup team – that way you can be safe, not sorry. Remember the answers given may apply only to a shentongroup solution. Not all Generators perform like a Powerhouse®.

Which model Generator do I need?

This clearly depends on how much power your building is using and what your plans are for the future. If you have an electricity meter that gives you a maximum demand reading in kilowatts (kw) add 60% to it and look for the next Powerhouse® model up from that figure as a minimum. For example, if your maximum demand is shown as 150kw add 60% (240) and consider the DV275 model. Or, if you measure your mains incoming power in amps per phase, take the highest amp reading and, again, look for the next model up as a guide. Always allow for any future expansion and always ask for a shentongroup engineer to check the calculations on site, free of charge.

Where can my Generator and UPS system go?

Your Powerhouse® Generator can go almost anywhere, on the roof, in the basement or in the car park. The only critical thing is that it can breathe cold air and exhale hot air without suffocating, and that a service engineer has room to safely work on it. shentongroup produce a wide range of standard and bespoke housings and duct systems which can go indoors or outdoors and we will happily discuss all the options with you. UPS systems need a dry, dust free environment around 20°C such as your server room.

I’ve heard I need a Generator 3 times as big as the UPS to work properly. Is this true?

At one time huge oversizing was needed to run early UPS systems. Now we use a factor of about 1.6 times the UPS rating when calculating the size of Generator you need. But remember you will also want to run air conditioning and essential lighting etc from the Generator, so always ask a shentongroup expert to help you. The main lesson is, always buy a complete system, not a rag-tag collection of components.

Can I run computers and other sensitive equipment off a Powerhouse® Generator?

Certainly, just like modern cars, good Generators have improved dramatically in recent years and you can run the most advanced equipment on a properly designed shentongroup power system. Even the approach radar at Heathrow Airport runs on a Powerhouse® Generator, so don’t worry about a power cut next time you land there.

How reliable are shentongroup Generators?

In a word, very! Just like cars, though, your Powerhouse® Generators and UPS systems need good servicing just like any other piece of critical equipment. shentongroup offer a whole range of fixed cost service options with 24/7 emergency cover as well as routine maintenance. We can even give you the first year free!

Someone said the Generator’s noise level was 75 dB(A) @ 1 metre. Is this noisy or quiet?

It all depends what you are expecting, actually. There is no such thing as a silent diesel Generator but we can make them very quiet indeed. A lot depends where you put it, a small courtyard is going to create more reverberation than an open field. Rather than baffle you with complex logarithmic formulae just ask us to show you a comparable installation and see what you think. In any event your Powerhouse® Generators will only run during a power cut so a little common sense needs to be applied.

How long will a Generator run for?

As long as you like! We provide very generously sized fuel tanks on all our Generators giving a typical 24 hours running time on most installations. However, some of our clients specify 5 days running or more without refuel, and, in these cases, we provide double-skinned bulk fuel storage permanently connected to the Generator. Our group also offers 6, 12 & 24 hours response refuelling contracts, so there’s no need to run out of fuel. Or should you consider a gas Generator running straight off the mains gas supply?

We want to use shentongroup Generators in the freezing mountains of Afghanistan and also in the scorching Iraqi desert. Will they perform out there?

Certainly. Hundreds of our high-specification military Generators have been shipped all around the world, fitted with accessories to combat the most adverse conditions. Remember to allow for very high altitude and/or high ambient temperatures when calculating the power outputs in extreme conditions. Allow 4% per 5°C derate above 40°C for temperature and 5% for every 100 metres over 150 metres above sea level for altitude, as a guide. Or ask us to build the most cost-effective solution to meet your special requirements.

Do I have to buy it outright?

Certainly not. Powerhouse® Generators are available on lease, hire purchase, with or without maintenance as well as outright purchase. Tell us how you would like to do it and we will find a way.

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