Can Generators Cause Damage to Electronics?

Can Generators Cause Damage to Electronics?

Living in South Africa comes with its own set of challenges, but we’re a resilient bunch. As the country battles with frequent load shedding, South Africans have grown accustomed to using alternative power sources like generators to get on with life. But because we rely heavily on electronic devices, appliances, and sensitive equipment for work and leisure, you might be cautious about the potential damage that generators might cause to these valuable assets. Let’s delve into this topic and explore some insight into the impact of generators on electronic devices.

Let’s first underline that generators serve as temporary power solutions during power outages, ensuring an uninterrupted electricity supply. However, it’s important to note that not all generators are created equal, and their impact on electronics can vary based on several factors. One of the primary concerns lies in the quality of power generated by the generator.

Voltage fluctuations can occur when using a generator, posing a potential risk to electronics. Unstable voltage levels can adversely affect sensitive devices such as computers, televisions, and refrigerators. However, high-quality generators incorporate advanced voltage regulation systems to minimise fluctuations and provide a stable power supply. This development significantly reduces the risk of damage to electronic devices.

Another aspect to consider is the frequency stability of the generator’s power output. Inconsistent frequency can disrupt the normal operation of electronics, particularly devices that rely on precise timing mechanisms, such as clocks and timers. To address this problem, high-quality generators come equipped with frequency control mechanisms, ensuring a steady output that minimises the risk of damage to delicate equipment.

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) in generator output can also impact electronic devices. THD refers to the level of distortion or “imperfections” in the electrical power supply. It measures how much the power deviates from its ideal, smooth waveform. High THD levels can cause overheating, malfunctions, and even permanent damage to appliances and equipment. Investing in generators with low THD levels is essential to mitigate the risk.

Power surges, which can occur during the switch between utility and generator power, pose a significant threat to electronic devices. These surges can damage sensitive components, leaving you with costly repairs or replacements. Inadequate grounding can lead to a build-up of excess electrical energy, increasing the risk of power surges that can damage electronic devices. Ensuring that the generator and the connected devices are appropriately grounded according to the manufacturer’s guidelines helps create a safe and stable electrical environment. Also, choose a generator with built-in surge protection mechanisms, safeguarding your electronics from sudden voltage spikes and ensuring longevity.

Generators don’t blatantly damage electronics. However, improper use or inadequate power regulation can potentially lead to damage. You can safely use generators without damaging your electronics by taking appropriate precautions, such as voltage stabilisers, surge protectors, and power conditioners, and adhering to manufacturer guidelines.

It’s always a good idea to consult the generator manufacturer or an electrician if you have specific concerns or questions about using generators with your electronic devices. That’s where S&A Generators come in. We’re a generator service provider with over five decades of experience, and we can walk you through the entire generator setup process. From sourcing the best prices and ideal generator for your application to installing and activating your new generator, S&A Generators will be on your side every step.

By making an informed choice and relying on trusted suppliers like S&A Generators, homeowners and property owners can confidently navigate the challenges of load shedding and unpredictable power supply while ensuring the safety of valuable electronic devices. S&A Generators, through our network of industry partnerships, can source and fully install new and second-hand generators in KwaZulu-Natal. Take the next step towards uninterrupted power and protection for your electronics by contacting S&A Generators today!

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Office Buildings And Backup Power Generators

Office Buildings And Backup Power Generators

You won’t hear them kick in if they’ve been installed properly, but generators can be found in many office buildings across South Africa. Some offices simply cannot afford to have the power go down at all, while others choose to have backup power for their occupants’ convenience. Either way, with Eskom yet to announce a much-anticipated finishing-off of load shedding, every office building could do with backup power generators in place.

READ: Choosing the right generator for your building

Why backup power for the office?

Ensuring an office building remains connected to electricity means it can remain connected to everything else it needs to operate. With backup power, an office can remain open to the public, keep the lights, power network infrastructure, power computers and other devices, and – most importantly – ensuring the kettle can boil water for coffee! Seriously though, so many issues arise in offices when the power goes out, so an office setting is definitely one of the most important places to have a backup generator.

Questions to ask about office generators

Before setting your mind on the brand, type, or capacity of generator you’d prefer, here are a few questions to ask about your office space:

  1. Will the generator remain stationary or need to be portable?
  2. How many appliances, devices and lights need to be run?
  3. What available space is there to install the generator?
  4. Which type of fuel should the generator consume? (diesel, gas, petrol)

READ: 7 factors that influence a generator’s price

3 types of generators for offices

Commercial generators are predominantly used as standby, nice-to-haves in office settings. Some industries, however, are required by law to have backup power generation on call at all times.

  1. Emergency Standby Generators

Emergency standby generator systems automatically kick in when the office experiences power loss due to a power outage. These office generators are required by NFPA code and must provide power to all the building’s safety systems within 10 seconds. These include exit lighting, smoke alarms, fire alarm systems, escalators, elevators, and anything that is absolutely necessary for people inside the building to remain safe or get to safety during life-threatening scenarios. Emergency standby generators must be completely separate and have their own electrical panels, switches, and conduits.

  1. Legally-Required Generators

These backup generator systems are similar to emergency generator systems, except that they have up to 60 seconds to automatically provide power. Legally-required generators are installed in spaces where backup power is required by law. However, they don’t need to be completely separate systems (like emergency generators). The difference with these systems is that they are not critically needed for office building occupant safety.

  1. Additional Standby Generators

This is any additional standby generator added to an office building is not required by code. These standby generators can be used to provide power to key equipment and systems that the business may find necessary to continue regular operations when the power cuts. Essentially, these generators can help mitigate profit losses and losses due to downtime. These generators can also help keep air conditioning systems running to provide continued comfort.

Installing & maintaining office generators

Get efficient office generator installations, generator maintenance, and repairs to office generators from S&A Generators. Based in Durban, we can travel anywhere in South Africa to assist our clients with their backup power challenges. Contact us to start a discussion about a backup generator for your office building – we look forward to being your light in the dark

How Does a Diesel Generator Work?

How Does a Diesel Generator Work?

A Diesel Generator will produce power by burning diesel fuel, a diesel generator uses a combination of a diesel engine and an electric alternator. This generator converts a portion of chemical energy within the diesel fuel, resulting in a combustion that turns into mechanical energy. These generators are affordable and the recommended choice for residential properties and smaller commercial buildings. If you’re looking for a way to get backup power in the event of blackouts, loadshedding, outages and other power issues, this type of generator can be highly useful. Although solar generators are more eco-friendly at a glance, there are ways that you can make your diesel generator more sustainable. You can choose a modified generator, such as a bio-diesel generator or speak to a generator specialist such as S&A Generators to choose the best option for your needs. So, how does a diesel generator work? You’re about to find out:

Diesel Generator Parts & Process

What should you know if you are considering a diesel generator for your home? For starters, it helps to have an idea of the generator parts and how they work to power your home. Here are some of the most important parts of a generator.

The engine runs on diesel. Similar to very large vehicles such as trucks, the larger the energy source, the more power the engine will produce.

This part converts a mechanical engine into electrical power, using induction. Large magnets are placed around a rotating shaft, windings produce a magnetic field that causes the alternator to turn. Alternators also contain a stator – several coiled bundles of wire packed around the rotor. When the alternator moves the shaft, the rotor moves the magnetic fields across these wires, resulting in an alternating current (AC) power.

Fuel system
The fuel supply includes a tank that holds enough diesel for around 8 to 12hours of power. It can be housed inside or on top of smaller and portable generators or in separate structures for larger units. The fuel also includes pipes that deliver fuel to the engine, a fuel pump, a filter and a valve to prevent overpressure. It also has a return line to redirect the leftover diesel back into the diesel tank to avoid wastage.

Cooling system
Diesel generator engines create a lot of waste heat. This needs to be cooled using coolant fluid. The cooling system helps to avoid overheating by releasing heat into the air or a secondary coolant.

Exhaust system
Exhaust gases are produced by all engines. As these gases are toxic, they need to be redirected away from the engine and channelled safely into the air outside.

Lubrication system
The engine is lubricated with the help of an oil pump, oil filter and a reservoir. These are attached to the generator engine.

These parts allow the diesel generator to start running. A small electric starter motor, usually powered by a battery(12v-24v), is charged by the generator output or a separate charger.

The generator’s battery is kept constantly charged by an on board smart battery charger. This battery charger is constantly charging the battery at between 13.6v to 27.3v. When the generator is running the DC alternator will take over the charging of the batteries.

Now that you have a better idea of the parts making up this type of generator, the next step is to get the generator installed. S&A Generators offers a range of services designed to help you get your generator set up and running, along with maintenance and other solutions. Contact us today to find out more about investing in a diesel generator for your building.

Choosing the Right Generators for Your Building

Choosing the Right Generators for Your Building

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.

Residential Buildings

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.