The concept of how emergency or standby generators for home use work may sound complicated but, in reality, their workings are easy to understand. The terms emergency and standby are interchangeable as both of these words actually describe the function of these generators.
Standby generators are typically fixed in place and are not designed to be moved around like a portable generator. They can provide power for outdoor uses but their functionality is going to be restricted to powering appliances equipment, etc that are in close proximity to the power source. For that reason, the main purpose of a standby generator is to deliver power to a home or office in the event of an outage.
Standby generators accomplish this by constantly monitoring electricity coming from the power grid. In the event that the generator detects an outage of the main power source, the generator switches on automatically to start sending power to the home or office. This change from the main power source to generated power is accomplished through the automatic transfer switch which performs a disconnection from the main power source as soon as the outage is detected. This is another way that a standby generator is different than a portable; when power goes down a portable must be manually connected and then started, usually by push button.
Standby generators can either be purchased to power the entire home or office or can be directed to power specific appliances and equipment such as the refrigerator, heater, medical devices, etc. Whole house generators would naturally be the more expensive of the two and cost more in terms of fuel to run than a less powerful generator that provides power to specified appliances and equipment.
The generator continues to monitor the outage and will continue to run as long as no power is coming in from the grid. Once incoming power from the grid is detected, the standby generator shuts down and switches back to power coming from the grid. The generator goes back to standby mode, monitoring for the next outage. The great thing is that the whole operation is done automatically and requires no human interaction. This can be a huge benefit during severe weather or when someone bed-ridden.
For optimal performance, a standby generator should be run periodically to ensure that everything is in tune and working. These periodic checkups can provide an early alert that maintenance is required so that the generator can operate at full capacity when the situation arises.
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