Florida was known as the “Lightning Capital of the World” until NASA released a study that showed Rwanda, Africa as the real lightning capital of the world. Florida now has to be satisfied with the title of the “Lightning Capital of the United States”. Even though it lost its world title, the number of lightning strikes in Florida can be dangerous and cause frequent power outages that at the very least cause a great deal of inconvenience. To lessen the dangers presented by lightning the best advice is to seek safe shelter until the storm passes. For overcoming the inconvenience of power outages you may want to consider a standby generator for your home and/or business.
Electricity is more than a convenience. It powers our lives and we have come to rely on it to provide certain essential services that are important to our safety and well-being. Medical equipment, refrigeration, well pumps, security systems, and lighting are some of these essentials. With some physical conditions, air conditioning may also be essential. In times of widespread and prolonged power outages, communications with the world via telephone, radio, and television could also fall into that essential category. As many that have lived in Florida for a while have witnessed, power outages from storms can be frequent and prolonged. A standby generator could be just the solution to increasing your comfort and safety during these difficult times.
“Generators come in a variety of sizes, and are measured by their kilowatt output,” says Dan Harris, the Sales Manager at Total Comfort. “The typical generators we install range from 16 kilowatts to 45 kilowatts but can go higher”. Dan also says that “the vast majority of our installations include an automatic transfer switch that will automatically tell the generator to start when it senses a loss of utility power.”
Although the typical installation uses automatic transfer switches, these switches can also be manual. In addition to starting the generator, the transfer switch isolates the standby generator from the electric utility when the generator begins providing temporary power. This is necessary to prevent back-feeding of the power lines, a potential safety hazard. A transfer switch can be set up to provide power only to critical circuits or to the entire electrical panel. With the load-shedding type of switch optional circuits can be prioritized and the overall size of the generator could possibly be reduced. When utility power returns, the switch will transfer the building back to utility power and direct the generator to turn off. Making sure that the generator is isolated from utility power is essential for both the safety of the generator and utility workers. Automatic switches and associated circuitry on some generators will also periodically test generator operation to make sure that everything will work when you need it.
Another consideration in selecting a generator is the fuel source. Most small portable generators run on gasoline. Larger standby generators offer diesel, gasoline, natural gas, and LP or propane gas. Diesel fuel and gasoline present storage and “freshness” problems because they can be dirty and volatile and may get contaminated with water over a period of time. Natural gas and propane present the cleanest and safest method of fueling a generator. On-site storage of an adequate amount of propane may be the best overall solution because during prolonged and widespread power outages, natural gas delivery may be reliant on electrical pumps to deliver the fuel.
There is a lot to consider when deciding whether or not you should consider a standby generator and exactly what you need if you determine you’d like to enjoy the convenience and safety of having one. Watch here for more information and particulars on what you may need for your home or business.