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What is the Difference Between Standby and Emergency (Backup) Generators?

What is the Difference Between Standby and Emergency (Backup) Generators?

11th Apr 2022

If you’re in need of emergency power or are subject to frequent power cuts, then a standby or backup generator is the perfect solution to your power needs. These powerful machines are the lifesaver to potentially lost data, critical machine failure or essential appliance failure.

Whether you need a quiet, powerful generator specifically for emergencies, or a remote office that needs to power multiple devices at once and also support security systems. Here, we’ll show you the difference between a standby generator and an emergency backup generator so you can make the right choice for your needs.

What is a Standby Generator?

A standby generator is an on-site generator that will sit idle until a sudden power outage. At this point, the machine will be automatically powered up via an automatic transfer switch (ATS).

The ATS will detect a power outage, disconnect the faulty power from the main utility lines, connect the generator lines and start the engine. This process is done within a few minutes to limit the disruption from the outage.

Standby generators will service themselves in maintenance intervals, which can be between 10 to 12 minutes long, set by the owner. The standby generator will lubricate its engine, charge its batteries and run a diagnostic check.

What are the Different Types of Standby Generators?

There is a range of standby generators to choose from; these can come in gas standby generators, diesel standby generators, bi-fuel standby generators. Your choice of standby generator will solely depend on the amount of power you need.

Your recent power bills will give you an indication of your power usage. It is important to look for a standby generator to supply the right amount of power you need to keep your site running during an outage. Below are some of the applications that suit a standby generator:

We have a wide range of standby generators to choose from, varying from small 10kVa units all the way to 700kVa+. The right standby generator for you will depend on your specific site requirements and applications.

What is a Backup Generator?

A backup generator provide reliable, temporary power to a small number of selected appliances and lights. It can be used in either commercial or residential applications.

During a power outage, the generator can be manually started by the user. When running, extension cords can attach the generator to essential items in the home during an outage or electrical emergency. Backup generators are mostly portable as well, so you can transport them around the property or from site to site without the need to have them professionally installed.

Who Needs a Backup Generator?

A backup generator can be used across multiple different businesses or locations, such as farming, retail, medical, offices, restaurants, banks, residential homes and more. They are also recommended to those who live in areas where severe thunderstorms, snowstorms or hurricanes occur to supply the much-needed power to affected residential areas.

Comparison of Standby and Backup Generators:

Standby Generators

  • Installation: permanently and professionally installed into the site
  • Power output: 12 volts to 770 KVA
  • Price range: $8,500 to $150,000 plus (additional costs: automatic transfer switch..
  • Fuel needs: 13 to 48 litres of diesel or natural gas per day
  • Fuel types: diesel, gas

Portable Backup Generators

  • Installation: no installation required, portable (proper storage is needed)
  • Power output: 5KVA to 20KVA
  • Price range: $1,400 to $10,000
  • Fuel needs: 12 to 20 litres of gasoline or diesel
  • Fuel types: diesel and petrol

Other Factors When Choosing a Standby or Backup Generator

Preparing for the worst-case scenario is a sure way to save your business or home. Managing a constant stream of power will ensure the longevity of your home or business site.

If you are looking for a generator in severe weather emergencies, a standby generator will be less problematic than a backup generator. The owners of backup generators would need to retrieve the generator from storage, start up the engines manually and connect extension cords.

This can be difficult during strong winds and rain. Backup generators are ideal for businesses that need power for shorter periods; they’re energy-efficient, easy-to-use and are a cost-effective solution to larger generators.

Get Expert Advice on the Right Generator to Meet Your Needs

Our expert team have over 30 years of experience in standby and backup generators. We are always available to answer your queries and concerns when purchasing a new generator. Our customers have experienced severe weather, flooding, frequent power outages, and they have peace of mind knowing that their power supply will kick in when needed most. Contact our team on1300 998 647.