- Cost of raw materials used in its manufacture
- Operating costs of the manufacturer
- Fluctuating expenses along the supply chain
- Total power output of the generator
- Fuel being used to power the generator
- Additional soundproofing requirements
- Cost of installing the new generator
Buying a backup generator means taking control of your energy needs. It’s about not being beholden to Eskom, or impacted negatively by their electricity generation capabilities. Generators come in varying sizes, depending on a building’s energy requirements. Power output, among other things, impacts how much you pay for your new generator. Let’s take a look at all seven factors that impact a generator’s price:
- Cost of raw materials
Every generator comprises smaller components, which are made up of smaller parts themselves, which are made from raw materials likely mined from the earth. The costs of these raw materials, parts, and components all impact how much you end up paying for your generator.
- Manufacturer energy costs
Rapid fluctuations in oil and gas prices globally are impacting energy costs of manufacturers. Unfortunately, generator manufacturers have no choice but to pass this cost down the supply chain, which starts a chain reaction and eventually leads to a higher retail price tag.
- Supply chain expenses
Extra costs in the logistics required to get new generators to South Africa will ultimately impact a generator’s price. Ships, trucks, and last-leg delivery vans all run on diesel or petrol, the rising prices of which can and will impact the price of a new generator on the shelf.
- Generator power output
As we mentioned, the power output of your new generator will affect its price. This will depend entirely on how much work it’ll do while powering your building. Smaller spaces with fewer lights and almost no appliances could get away with a small portable generator. Larger spaces, like malls, will require larger, permanent generators.
- Type of fuel being used
The mechanics of the backup power generator you choose will also determine the price bracket you’re looking at. Diesel generators are much more sought-after and affordable than, say, gas generators. More niche, modern designs are inevitably going to require more of an investment.
- Soundproofing requirements
How much sound-proofing will your new generator require? If you live in a residential suburb or estate, you might need to take steps to dampen the sound when using the generator. You’ll have to factor these sound-proofing measures in when working out the true cost of your generator.
- Installation costs
Another thing to consider when deciding to buy a new generator is what it’s going to cost to have it installed. They don’t just plug in and you’re good to go. You’ll need assistance from generator professionals who can issue a certificate of compliance, after rigging your generator to the building’s electrical infrastructure.
Experienced generator installations in KZN
Get your new backup generator installed by the preferred generator specialists in KwaZulu-Natal. We issue certificates of compliance (COC) on all new generator installations. Contact S&A Generators to discuss sourcing your new generator and having it installed by the best!
Will load shedding still be an issue through 2022?
You’ve bought a new generator – now what?
What affects a backup generator’s fuel consumption?
Get to know S&A Generators:
See our latest projects:
Generators come in many shapes and sizes, with varying power generation systems. Up until recently, diesel generators have been the go-to backup generator solutions for countless South Africans.
However, technology has advanced to the point where you now have options – with a popular modern choice being gas generators. One thing many of our customers ask us is if there are differences between backup generators and emergency generators.
Are these names used interchangeably for the exact same thing, or is there an important difference between the two?
ARTICLE: Diesel Generators vs. Gas Generators
What is a backup generator?
Backup generators, or standby power generators, are commonly used by private homes and in other residential settings. These are in place solely to provide backup power to places where people live so that they can cook dinner, watch TV, and keep the lights on when the power cuts out.
In other words, a backup generator is in place to provide electricity in a non-critical capacity, where people’s lives don’t depend on an uninterrupted supply of power to the building.
What is an emergency generator?
In contrast to backup generators, emergency generators are absolutely vital to the people who rely on its standby power generating capacity. One common setting where you will find emergency generators is at a hospital, where ventilators, incubators and other critical pieces of electronics must remain powered as a literal matter of life and death.
Other places where you might find emergency generators are in buildings where there are greater fire risks, like factories and warehouses, so that emergency fire alarms and sprinkler systems remain active at all times.
ARTICLE: Choosing the right generator for your building
Expert backup generator and emergency generator specialists
Not sure which type of generator is going to be best for your building? It is recommended that anyone looking to connect a generator to their home or business first make contact with generator installation experts.
S&A Generators is experienced and skilled enough to consult on anything relating to generators – from small home generators to massive generators that provide emergency power to hospitals and backup power to shopping malls. Contact S&A Generators today to discuss how we can professionally solve your generator-related challenges.
Eskom just announced that South Africa is moving into yet another period of load shedding, and you’re about to have a nervous breakdown. You decide that enough is enough now – it’s time to invest in a backup power solution that you can use to keep the lights and plugs working when the power goes out. Google helps you find generator specialists in KZN that point you in the direction of a generator perfectly in your affordability range. So, you’ve bought a new generator – now what?
ARTICLE: Will using a generator damage my electrical equipment?
Did you pick the right generator?
“Generators used in a residential building are very different to those used in commercial buildings.”
Any generator specialist advising you on the best generator for your home or business will tell you that no two generator installations are the same. Factors to consider include how many rooms your home has, how many electrical appliances there are, how much space there is for the generator to reside, and where your distribution board is located. Residential generators typically come in three sizes – small generators (2kW to 7kW), medium generators (8kW to 20kW), and large generators (20kW to 40kW).
ARTICLE: How to choose the best generator for your building
Steps in the generator installation process
“Just plug it in and you’re good to go, right? Not quite.”
Once you have the right generator, and there’s no doubt it has the capacity to power your building sufficiently when the lights go out, you’re only a few steps away from having a reliable, effective backup electricity source.
Pick a suitable location
Choosing where to install your new generator involves more than just picking where it won’t be an eye sore. Your new generator will have to reside relatively close to your home’s electrical distribution (DB) board. It’ll also need to go where the exhaust fumes are able to dissipate well away from any open windows or air-conditioning inlets.
Unpack your genset
If you chose not to approach generator specialists, and bought your generator online instead, this step is very important. You’ll want to unpack your generator to make sure that all the necessary components are present and in good condition. Who knows what happens to your packages when they are shipped from abroad, so be sure to inspect your unit for any missing parts or obvious signs of damage.
Call a generator installer
This is where the do-it-yourself homeowners separate from the ‘leave it to the professionals’ types. Before trying to DIY your new generator installation, read our article below on why you shouldn’t do that. Not only because there’s a risk of electrocution, but how are you going to get the install certified by the municipality?
ARTICLE: Should you try connecting a generator to a DB board yourself?
Get the installation certified
New generator installers like S&A Generators are often also able to issue COC certificates. These certificates of compliance ensure that your new generator has been installed professionally, safely, and in line with best practices. Considering that no new generator can operate legally without a COC, it makes sense to let the generator installer issue a compliance certificate there and then.
Test the generator at full load
This is also something the generator installer should do before signing off on the job. You want to make sure that your generator isn’t experiencing issues that could leave it unable to provide for your home’s electrical needs. Generators work best at full load, so this test will also determine whether the generator might actually be too powerful for your building.
Get your new generator installed by the experts
Take the guesswork out of your new generator installations completely. Speak to us about your plans to procure and install a new generator in your home or business. We’ve ordered, transported, installed, repaired, and maintained generators of all sizes – across South Africa – for over 50 years. We can also issue COC certificates, which means we can handle your backup power needs from end to end. Please get in touch with the S&A Generators team to make an enquiry.
Hmmmm… Should you try connecting a generator to a DB board yourself? Reducing the load on South Africa’s national electrical supply framework has been an area of much focus in recent years. Everyone knows what “load shedding” is, and it seems to have become part and parcel with living on the tip of Africa. Thank goodness for backup generators, right? The only problem is that many new generator owners think that installing a generator at home is going to be a simple task. Just plug it in and you’re good to go, right? Not quite, which is why we’ve written this article. So, how do you connect a generator to a DB board? Let’s find out:
Should you DIY a generator install?
The short answer to this question is a resounding NO. Too much can go wrong with electrical installations, which is why expert generator installers also furnish you with a certificate of clearance (CoC) to show that the installation has been carried out by a qualified electrician. You could DIY your generator install and then request a CoC from a third-party, but this is risky. You might have done something incorrectly, in which case you’ll have to pay the electrician to fix the issue – costing you more money and wasted time.
General electrical safety precautions
- Wear non-conductive gloves when working with electrical components.
- Make sure the electrical supply is turned OFF before beginning the install.
- Consult with a professional generator installer before going ahead.
- Ensure your generator contains fuel before hitting the START switch.
Call KZN’s generator experts
As mentioned above, electricity is NOT your friend. One wrong move can spell disaster, and even death, for anyone working on a house’s main electrical supply. When you partner with generator experts, you can rest easy knowing that your generator is being installed professionally – and that the install won’t take as long as it would take if you were to attempt connecting it yourself. About to purchase a new generator for your home? Chat to S&A Generators about getting it expertly installed!
Yet another highly successful S&A Generators project took place between 14 and 19 October 2019, when we partnered with Diesel-Electric once more to deliver exceptional power-generation services to a client situated in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State. This business generator installation required us to travel cross-country from KwaZulu-Natal, and deploy our trusty S&A Generators crane truck once again. Three S&A Generators team members worked on this job. Below we detail what our client’s problem was, the solution we were able to put in place for them, and the steps we took in the process:
It is a problem faced by businesses and households across South Africa, and it doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. We’re talking about load shedding, which drove our client to seek the assistance of generator specialists. His business was suffering due to constant power cuts, which led to losses in both business and subsequently cash flow. The client approached Diesel-Electric, who then contacted us, for a quote on a brand new generator that could power his business when the lights went off.
Our client’s new generator being delivered to site by our trusty S&A Generators crane truck.
S&A Generators assessed the situation, and provided a competitive quotation that included both the cost of a new generator and the cost of the business generator installation. Once the client had accepted our quotation, we sprung into action by ordering the new generator and preparing our team members for the task at hand. S&A Generators staff members involved with this project were Roger Smith (one of our technicians who oversaw the project), Velani Gumede (an assistant who was vital during the installation process), and Siphelele (our talented electrician who was involved with hooking up the generator).
The new generator in position and awaiting wiring to connect it to the client’s power system.
Once we had the new generator and everything was good to go, we set off from our HQ in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, and travelled across the border to the neighbouring Free State province. Upon arrival, we ascertained where the best place would be for the business generator installation to take place, and constructed a plinth and bund from scratch.
S&A Generators team members starting to construct the plinth and bund wall where the generator was to be installed.
Once the plinth and bund wall was completed, and given enough time to set, the next phase was bringing in the S&A Generators crane truck and carefully lowering the new generator into position. This takes a high level of accuracy, and we had our team members close by to guide the generator until it came to its final resting place.
Our crane truck lowering the new generator into position upon the plinth.
Finally, all that was left to do on this business generator installation was to run electrical wires from the new generator to the client’s DB board. This in itself is half of the challenge, but our talented electrician Siphelele was up to it. Once everything was connected and tested, we built fencing around the unit to secure it and constructed a small awning to protect the generator from the weather. This was all in all a very successful project that left our client highly satisfied with the result.
How do you go about choosing the right generator? With load shedding still a very real risk in South Africa, finding the right power generators has become more important than ever. Generators used in a residential building are very different to those used in commercial buildings. The simplest way to determine the best generator size and capacity is to first consider your requirements and power usage on a day to day basis. Just taking size into account, generators typically come in three sizes – small (2kW to 7kW), medium (8kW to 20kW), and large (20kW to 40kW). The size of the generator will come down to the type of building and the average power needs.
There are a few other things that you will need to consider, too. In this short guide, we share some advice on how to select the right power generators for your specific type of building so that you can avoid loss of power in the event of scheduled or unscheduled power cuts.
How to Go About Choosing the Right Generators
Wondering which generator is the best choice for your building? Here are some of the things to consider when choosing power generators.
Smaller kVH generators are best suited for residential buildings. Backup or standby generators for houses are usually smaller and often portable. They are designed to provide power for light-to-moderate usage of various appliances that residential property would require. To determine the exact size, you would need to think about the items in your home that require the most amount of electricity. It’s best to consider the startup current as well as running power to make sure that larger items such as pool pumps do not overload the system when starting up.
Loads you will need to consider powering with your generator could including anything from lighting in kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and other rooms to plug points for appliances and devices, larger kitchen appliances such as fridges and freezers, smaller appliances such as kettles and microwaves, televisions and any related appliances, garage door openers, computers, and security systems such as alarms, electric fencing, and outdoor lighting.
Industrial & Commercial Buildings
For most commercial and industrial buildings, whether factories or retail outlets or businesses, larger generators are often a better solution. You will need to be able to fully power your business premises, store or commercial site in the event of a power cut. You will also need to run continuously until power returns. These generators are larger, with features such as automatic operation. This means that generators kick in as soon as the power goes out; shutting down once the power comes back on again. For any type of business, this is crucial to avoid downtime. If there are any gaps between power going out and generators going on, computers, security, lighting, and industrial machines run the risk of not running, which can cause major problems.
Although generators can be used to power the entire building, they can also be used for a single purpose. For example, standby generators could be used specifically for elevators, fire safety systems, emergency lighting, sump pumps or other essential services that cannot risk being offline at any point. For these systems, a large generator of at least 100kW is recommended. Smaller buildings may have different requirements depending on requirements and daily power usage. Smaller retail buildings may only need to power appliances and machines such as computers, security systems, and lighting, and may not require the same level of power as a large-scale factory, for example.
What size generator is needed to power a house?
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you have the right sized generator for your building is to speak to a specialist who can offer advice according to your individual requirements. Here at S&A Generators, we work with a wide range of residential and commercial clients, offering a range of generators in Durban to suit every need. Contact us today for expert advice on choosing the right generator for your building.