Home backup generators are becoming more common with property owners using standby diesel generators to provide both heat and light and keep appliances running, homes secure and the internet on.

The demand for standby generators specified for high-end properties has more than doubled over the last decade. The unreliability of the National Grid has highlighted the need for alternative power options, and the ease to obtain an independent continuous power source has driven this increase. A standby generator provides protection for your home and family when the power goes out and Shenton Group is on hand to advise, install and maintain your home backup generator system.

Why Choose a Standby Generator for Residential Use?

In our experience at Shenton Group, the main driver for residential standby generators is for properties in remote locations where power cuts are frequent. In these instances, the main function of the generator is to keep lights and heating on should there be an outage, as well as providing power for essential cooking and daily functions.

Other considerations are to continue running services such as drainage pumps and keep security systems active. Over the past year, in addition to spending time at home for day-to-day living, many people have resorted to working from home. This adds another element of importance to be able to rely on a backup generator.

Custom Standby Generator Solutions for Large Properties

Large properties often have various other elements to them that require power such as home gyms, swimming pools, home cinemas, fish tank oxygenation, stables, garage doors, workshops and more. A regularly maintained home backup generator is worth its weight in gold when there are more assets at risk. Not every property has the same requirements, as it very much depends on the needs of the homeowner, the size of the property and its location.

If you are considering the installation of a backup generator for your home, Shenton Group is on hand to assess the power demands and point you in the right direction towards the best solution.

Residential Backup Power

What Sort of Standby Generator Is Required for a Domestic Property?

If you are in the market for a backup generator for your home, the information below should give you an idea of what size backup generator is likely required and which AMF panel you need if you wish to back up your entire mains supply. However, our team of experts are only ever a call away to break this down and advise further.

 Mains Supply Size (Amps)
 1 phase or 3 phase
 AMF Changeover Panel Size (Amps)
 Generator
Size (kVA)
 60  1 phase  60   17 (1 phase)
 100  1 phase  100   26 (1 phase)
 100  3 phase  100   88 (3 phase)
 200  3 phase  200   143 (3 phase)
300  3 phase  300   220 (3 phase)
400  3 phase  400   330 (3 phase)

How Does a Home Backup Generator Work?

From the moment there is a loss of power there is a 10-15 second gap whilst the generator starts up. Once the generator has started and is up to speed, the load is moved to the generator and the power will be restored. To ensure there is no gap and drop in power, some residential properties opt to have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to bridge this gap until the generator is ready to take the full electrical load.

2 Key Points Ahead of Installing Residential Standby Generators

  1. The first thing to establish is the power demand; that is how much power you need. You may be able to find the information from the meter; otherwise, you could get it from your onsite or local electrician. Another option is to call in a specialist power supply company who can take the reading and advise the demand required.
  2. The next part of the evaluation process is usually cost; how much will it cost? The realistic budget for permanently installed generator, supplied, installed and commissioned is £250 per kVA. However the usual rules of size vs price apply: the larger the generator, the lower the average cost.

Other Considerations For a Home Backup Generator

  • Noise, exhaust smoke, looks, sizing it for future expansion of the building it is supplying.
  • Size of generator – A recent residential project had a demand in the region of 50Kva. A generator size for this type of application would be 2.4m x 1.1 wide 1.8 high.
  • Location – The generator needs to be installed on a solid base, usually precast concrete.
  • Cabling – Consideration should be given for the location of the cabling. If it has to be hidden from sight (as is often required) trenching with be required which will add to project time and costs.
  • Noise – The impact of generator noise will vary depending on the location and proximity to the property. Consideration is required for inner city generator installations, which may be subject to noise and/or emission regulations. Different generator acoustic enclosures can help achieve reduced noise ratings.
  • Run time – The run time required for the generators impacts on many elements: the size of the generator, the size of the fuel tank, which then also relates to spatial requirements.
  • Spatial requirements – The size of both the generators and fuel tanks will dictate how much space is required for the physical items, but space should also be considered for maintenance access and repairs. Ideally, there needs to be at least 1000mm clear around the whole generator.
  • Refuelling access – How will the generator be accessed for re-fuelling? Is there potential for restricted access in poor weather? In some cases, remote properties may choose to add a bulk fuel storage tank to provide a reserve of around 2 weeks in case of severe weather.
  • Future expansion of the property – It’s important to try and consider both physical and electronic changes to the property. Upgrading systems that require power may impact the power demand. Identifying areas that may develop will ensure that the generator is correctly sized to meet the demands of future expansion.

Ongoing Generator Maintenance & Operational Costs

Once a home backup generator is installed it will need ongoing maintenance so that in the event of a power outage, the equipment can be relied upon. At Shenton Group we take this into consideration when quoting and planning standby generator installations.

The amount of fuel and maintenance required and will depend on the level of use. It would be a safe assumption to allow around £950.00 a year for maintenance costs plus fuel.

Shenton Group, the Leading Experts In Standby Power

Trusted for over 37 years by public and private clients, Shenton Group is perfectly placed to assess and install home generator systems no matter where you reside in the UK. If you are unsure about your power requirements and want to discuss your options or request a site survey, give our team a call on 0844 888 4445.

Find out how we helped a private residence in rural West Sussex. This client required continuous power supplies to the main building, as well as the power to a specialised aquarium.

Click here to read the full story.

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