A Guide On Back-Up Power For Small Or Remote Businesses

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For any entrepreneur operating a small business or setting up in a remote location, power is essential. We all need power to run our businesses, from simple lighting requirements to energy for computer or printers. So, what do you do if your power goes down? Or how can you work in a remote location without an electricity supply?

The answer is simple – use a portable back-up generator. Not sure where to start? Here is a quick guide on everything you need to know about generators.

So, what is a portable generator?

A portable generator provides electricity using petrol or diesel engines. When switched on, an on-board alternator generates electrical power. This allows you to plug any extension cords, tools or appliances into one of the power outlets and you have power.

Where can you use a generator?

As generators are not permanent, they can be picked up and taken anywhere you need. They are a great option if you are working in a remote location without access to power, such as a campsite or a rural setting. They are also useful as a back-up power supply for buildings such as offices, as they can be stored outdoors in case of a power cut.

NEVER use a generator indoors. Do not put a generator in a garage or a porch, even if they are well ventilated. It is important to always keep generators outside to avoid any risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep them well away from your house, office or any other building.

What size of generator do I need?

Generators are rated by the amount of power they can produce, not on their physical size. Power is measured in watts with most generators ranging from 2,000 to 100,000 watts. You should assess the amount of power your business will need to pick the most suitable option. For example, if you need to power a few electrical appliances such as a refrigerator, laptop, lights and a couple of chargers for laptops or phones, 2,000 watts will be enough. If you need to power a large office, you will need considerably more. It is always worth consulting an electrician before picking your generator. There are also some handy watt calculators online that will help you pick the correct one.

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How do you set up a generator?

It’s important to have a licensed/qualified electrician install your generator. Never plug a generator into a wall outlet. The best way to run a generator is by plugging it into a transfer switch. This is the safest option as when you throw the switch, it disconnects the building from the electric grid outside and prevents power from the generator flowing outside the building.  

Lastly, always follow the instructions in the owner’s manual. Be safe by keeping your generator outdoors and instructing a qualified electrician to set it up.