The versatility of portable generators means that they can be put to a number of different uses. Their varied uses also mean that they will be used more often than standby generators. Portable generators have three general uses:
* They can provide generated power during outages. True, the level of power is going to be lower than the typical standby generator but the trade off for versatility can make them a suitable solution when the power goes down.
* Portable generators can be used to supply power in areas that don’t have access to power from the grid.
* Another popular use is to generate power for recreational purposes. Many campers and boat owners invest in a portable generator to have access to a power source no matter where they go.
Before buying a portable generator, calculate the power demand of the appliances that will be powered by the generator. This exercise will save a lot disappointment by avoiding a situation where there isn’t enough power to go around. The calculations of the power requirements should be made using peak power values. These values are usually quoted both in the instruction manual and on the appliance itself. The peak or maximum power represents the power needed to start an appliance. As an example, a running refrigerator takes only a small amount of generated power but requires much more when the compressor switches on. Adding the peak power requirements of your appliance will ensure that there will be enough juice to power everything that requires generated power.
Some other considerations are:
* The number of 120V outlets that are needed
* The type of fuel to be used to power the generator
* The size and portability of the generator by the user. A portable generator that is too big or heavy to be moved easily will become a stationary generator in short order.
* Whether the intended use of the portable generator is for it to be moved around or stay in a fixed position. Many portable generators do come with wheels to allow them to be moved around easily.
It should be noted that care needs to be taken with regards to the exhaust gases, since carbon monoxide poisoning can be an issue. Never use a portable generator indoors or in areas of poor ventilation. Also, do not run a generator near doors or windows where exhaust fumes can enter a structure.
Thousands of homes and businesses rely on portable generators for their emergency, commercial, and recreational needs. The key to getting the most out of one of these generators is to define the power demands first, then buy one that exceeds those needs.
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