FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the genset power categories?

CONTINUOUS POWER
is defined as being the maximum power which the generating set is capable of delivering continuously, while supplying a constant electrical load when operating for an unlimited number of hours per year.

PRIME POWER
These ratings are applicable for supplying continuous electrical power (at variable loads) in lieu of commercially purchased power. There are no limitations to the annual hours of operation and this type of genset can supply 10% overload power for 1 hour within a 12 hour period.

STANDBY POWER
is defined as the maximum power available, under the agreed operating conditions, for which the generating set is capable of delivering for up to 500 operating hours per year.

EMERGENCY POWER
ratings are applicable for supplying continuous electrical power in the event of utility power failure; up to a maximum of 200 hours per year. No overload is permitted on emergency rated gensets. Exceeding 200 hours of operation per year may result in reduced product life.

 

How do I correctly size a generator for my home?

The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power. Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks. What would your family miss during an outage?

With the broadest product line available, essential circuit coverage starts with the economically priced Grandwatt G Series. Other systems are available to cover virtually any application:

Essential Circuit Coverage

Grandwatt Electric Corp. will take the guesswork out of sizing by offering prepackaged either the G Series or the EX Series. The generator is paired with a transfer switch containing a predetermined number of circuits based on the generator's kW power rating. Each circuit is directly connected to a matched circuit on the home's main circuit breaker panel, providing electricity to that specific appliance or area of the home. For example, ten circuits are supplied for the 8 kW generator. With this system, you could connect (1) lights and TV in the family room, (2) microwave and lights in the kitchen, (3) refrigerator, (4) power to the bathroom, (5) computer and home office, (6) garage door opener, (7) air conditioner, and (8) furnace.

Complete Whole House Coverage 

Easily cover every circuit in your home by pairing one of Grandwatt Electric Corp.'s larger kW units and the proper transfer switch to provide full coverage. No circuit is ever left uncovered so that every appliance is available every minute!

Why should I buy an automatic standby generator instead of a portable generator?

During a utility power outage, an automatic standby generator provides numerous advantages over a portable generator:

  • The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed standby generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator.
  • With an automatic standby generator properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that creates a much greater risk with portable generators.
  • Running on the home's natural gas, or LP fuel supply, is less expensive to run than gasoline and does not need to  be refilled.
  • They start automatically within seconds of a power outage and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside running extension cords throughout your home.
  • They provide protection 24/7, whether you're home or away, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.

 

What is the difference between an automatic air-cooled generator and an automatic liquid-cooled generator?

The engines! Air-cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid-cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid-cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher powered output.

 

What is an automatic standby generator?

An automatic standby generator is a back up electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home's electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

 

Can an automatic standby generator replace utility service?

No...the generator fuel costs would be much more expensive than buying power from the utility company since their cost to produce electricity is divided among thousands of customers.

 

What happens if the generator gets overloaded?

Grandwatt Electric Corp. generators are equipped with overload protection. In the rare event of an overload, the generator's circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the unit from the load. Simply correct the overload and reset the breaker in the generator.

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