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Buying a diesel generator: Essential guide for business & home

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When looking at getting ready to buy diesel generator, there are various elements to bear in mind. These generators serve as a reliable prime power source or standby backup for businesses and large residences alike. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various aspects of choosing the right diesel generator.

We’ll delve into the differences between industrial and residential generator sets, discuss power capacity considerations and explain single-phase versus three-phase connections. Furthermore, we’ll help you understand fuel consumption rates and control systems efficiency that can save money when deciding to buy diesel generator.

Additionally, we’ll assess noise levels associated with different models – an often overlooked factor when buying a diesel generator – touching on noise absorption technology and how it impacts location choice. We also shed light on evaluating pre-owned older generators by considering their age, usage history and mechanical components.

To ensure your investment is worthwhile over time, selecting a reputable supplier with engineering support for installation and servicing is crucial; our guide provides tips on this too. Finally yet importantly, regular maintenance procedures will be discussed to keep your generator sets running smoothly for years to come.

Choosing the Right Diesel Generator

The choice of a diesel generator depends on your specific needs. Factors such as power capacity, which can range from 10 kVA to over 2000 kVA, and whether your connection is single phase or three phase are crucial in determining the right model for you.

Industrial Diesel Generators vs Residential Generators

It’s important to distinguish between industrial and residential generators when making a purchase decision. Industrial generators provide substantial power for extended periods, making them ideal for large businesses and factories. On the other hand, residential generators have limited output suitable for households or small businesses.

Power Capacity Considerations

Your power requirements will largely determine the size of generator you need. For instance, if you’re running heavy machinery in an industrial setting as a prime power source, a high-capacity unit like those offered by Caterpillar Power Systems may be more appropriate than smaller models.

Single Phase vs Three Phase Connections

The type of electrical connection also plays a role in choosing a generator. Single-phase connections tend to be utilized in residential and small business settings, whereas three-phase links are often found in bigger commercial spaces where higher voltage is necessary.

Note that these factors should guide your selection process, but it’s always advisable to consult with experts before finalizing any decisions about buying diesel generators.

Best Standby Generators

Evaluating Generator Fuel Consumption

When it comes to buying a generator, knowing the fuel consumption rates is key. These rates are measured per hour and per kVA. Lower fuel consumption gives you better value for your money.

We have data sheets of various diesel engines that we supply in our generators and we are able to advise on fuel consumption and make basic calculations for you, so you know a rough figure what your running costs will be.

Importance of Efficient Diesel Generators

Don’t just focus on fuel usage; evaluate the control systems too. Modern diesel generators come with advanced technology to optimize fuel usage and ensure efficient operation.

Choosing a diesel generator means considering its capacity and operational efficiency in terms of fuel use and system controls. Get the most value from your investment while keeping running costs low.

Considering Noise Levels

If noise levels could cause disruption where your generator will be located, it’s vital to consider models with noise absorption. These generators have acoustic insulation inside the canopy, silently reducing sound emissions and keeping the peace in densely populated areas or places that require silence, like hospitals.

Impact of Noise Levels on Location Choice

The location of your diesel generator can also play a big role in managing its noise output. If you want to keep the peace, place your unit away from residential buildings or public spaces. For added noise reduction, you may wish to consider soundproof enclosures or barriers for your generator.

In summary, when buying a diesel generator, don’t forget about potential noise issues. Consider models with noise absorption technology, choose a strategic location, and maybe even add some soundproofing. That way, you can secure the electricity without any disruption to tranquillity. It’s a win-win situation.

Assessing Pre-Owned Diesel Generators

Looking for a diesel generator? Consider pre-owned or low-hour use models for a cost-effective option. But don’t jump in blindly. Pay attention to these key aspects to get bang for your buck.

Age & Usage History Considerations

The age and usage history of a diesel generator are crucial. Hours of use can indicate potential wear and tear. Check out this guide on assessing used generators for useful insights.

Mechanical Component Inspection Guidelines

Inspect mechanical components thoroughly. Look for damage or excessive wear that could lead to future problems. Welds can spill the beans on major repairs in the past.

Also, triple-check the integrity of electrical components before buying. Older units might need more work due to their age. Test wires, connectors, and circuit breakers for continuity.

For peace of mind, purchase from reputable suppliers like Solent Power. They offer quality checks and warranties, protecting your investment against unforeseen issues.

Selecting a Reliable Supplier with Engineering Support

For a successful purchase of a diesel generator, it is essential to collaborate with experienced suppliers who provide excellent engineering support. You also need to choose a trustworthy supplier with loads of industry experience and solid engineering support. Partnering with these experts guarantees you get the most value and save money in the long run.

The Perks of Working with Us

No matter what your situation, we can help find the perfect unit for you, explaining the benefits of different models, diesel engines and controllers. We have great connections with manufacturers, which means better prices and top-notch after-sales service for you.

We are proud to receive consistent feedback about how helpful we are throughout the process, providing as much information as we possibly can to help give you the best understanding about generators before you buy.

Solent Power's sign written van parked at a rural address

Why Engineering Support Matters

Buying a diesel generator is just the beginning – installation, servicing, and repairs are equally important. Having access to an engineering team from reputable suppliers like Solent Power, you can get first-class support for the brands we supply such as Caterpillar, Teksan, Himoinsa, or Pramac. This ensures top-quality service every step of the way. We know our products well, so any issues can be swiftly resolved – a real lifesaver during critical times when you need power the most.

In a nutshell, choosing an experienced supplier with strong engineering support gives you peace of mind. You’ll have expert help at your fingertips, whether it’s routine maintenance or emergency repairs.

Regular Maintenance and Operational Tips

Maintaining your diesel generator is crucial to ensure it’s always ready for emergencies. Regular checks not only extend its lifespan but also boost reliability when you need it most.

We recommend checking over your generator at least once each month, but more often for critical facilities such as hospitals and data centres etc

You should give your generator a monthly run for a few minutes to ensure it starts and runs with no issues or alarms.

The Importance of Routine Checks

Routine checks involve inspecting various parts of the generator, such as the fuel system, cooling system, and lubrication system. Any faults detected should be promptly addressed by a professional technician.

A generator should have a full service every 500 hours of operation, including oil change and wet filter replacement. Backup generators or standby units do not run often, therefore we recommend sampling and testing the fluids annually and replacing at 3 years maximum. Standby units will usually have two visits per year to inspect and test them, and sometimes more often for highly critical sites.

Battery Charging and Jacket Water heating

Ensuring your batteries are topped up guarantees they’re at the ready when you need them most. Most standby generators have battery chargers fitted as standard and these are fed from a separate mains supply.

Standby generators sit around sometimes for long periods of time, therefore can be susceptible to cold! Diesel engines rely on heated air for combustion and this heat can be lost quickly into a cold engine block and prevent starting in worst cases. To combat this standby generators are fitted with water heaters that keep the diesel engines warm and ready to start when needed.

Servicing Your Diesel Generator

Aside from routine checks and self-maintenance practices, regular servicing by professionals is crucial for optimal performance and longevity of your diesel generator. At Solent Power, we offer comprehensive servicing and repair services, ensuring our clients’ generators remain reliable at all times.


What should I look for when buying a diesel generator?

You should consider power capacity, fuel consumption rates, noise levels, and whether it’s new or pre-owned. It’s also important to choose a reputable supplier offering engineering support.

Why would I buy a diesel generator?

Diesel generators are reliable and efficient in terms of fuel consumption. They’re ideal for businesses needing backup power supply or homes requiring large power capacities.

What are the downsides of using a diesel generator?

The main downsides include higher noise levels compared to other types and potential environmental impact due to emissions from burning diesel.

Are diesel generators worth it?

Absolutely. If you need dependable backup power or additional supply capacity, investing in a quality Diesel Generator can be highly beneficial.

Paul Phelps Solar Power Owner
Paul Phelps
Paul is the MD of Solent Power and specialises in emergency power solutions, helping to protect your facilities from power loss. Get in touch with us today to discuss the different power brands that we can offer and how they can suit your needs.
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