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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a generator?

A generator is a device for locally producing electrical energy on demand. This is mainly used as backup to the main electricity supply and can automatically start and provide electricity for as long as the outage lasts. Other applications include commercial, construction, off grid backup or even prime. A generator consists of a mechanical engine and electrical alternator.

The engine is the mechanical drive source which powers the electrical alternator output source. Engines can either be gasoline, liquid propane, natural gas, or diesel. This alternator contains a rotating mass of copper (rotor) and a stationary magnetic field (stator). When the rotor spins within the magnetic field it produces electricity at the alternator terminals. This is, of course, a simplistic statement and many other processes and controls are required to produce stable electricity at the correct voltage and frequency.

What does a generator do?

Our society has become increasingly dependent on electrical power for everyday needs such as lighting, climate control, cooking, water, refrigeration, computers and home security which all need electricity to work properly. There are times when you could be without power for a few minutes, hours, days even weeks. It could be an equipment failure on the part of the utility company or severe weather that disrupts the power grid.

The purpose of a generator is to take over when power is lost or not available and provide you with the electricity you and your family need and depend on.

Who uses generators?

Homeowners, commercial and industrial businesses, government agencies, people living off grid and many others use generators to ensure an uninterrupted power source is available.

What types of generators are there?

There are 3 primary types of generators: Air Cooled Portables - These are usually a gasoline air cooled engine operating upwards of 3600 rpm. Used for small portable power needs, whether it be light commercial or for small home periodic portable standby. These generators are manually operated, recommended for short monitored run times only and cannot be used for automatic home standby.

Standby Generators - These are fixed installations including electrical connections and fuel supply (LPG and LNG). Engine plants can be either Liquid Propane (LPG), Natural Gas (LNG) or Diesel. For home or small business standby all other generators except diesel are air cooled operating upwards of 3600 rpm. Aurora Generators are diesel liquid cooled engine plants operating at 1800 rpm. When paired with an automatic transfer switch, standby generator systems can detect any interruption in power from the utility company and automatically provides alternative power from the standby generator system. When utility power returns, your standby generator system will revert power back to utility and the generator will shut down automatically.

Commercial Generators - These can be either portable such as trailer mounted, or fixed installation which includes prime power. Both engine and alternator are designed and equipped to be more rugged and durable. Engine equipped is more commonly diesel due to its far superiority in both longevity, fuel economy and lesser overall operating expense. On board safer diesel fuel supply eliminates costly additional external fuel connections or supply such as the case for LPG or LNG require.

Alternators are heavy duty built providing both better longevity, reliability and cleaner power. Prime power generators are a continuous source of power when there is no access to public electric utilities. Applications are for off-grid cabins/cottage, military or remote commercial businesses.

What is the difference between air-cooled versus liquid-cooled generator?

Air-cooled systems work by forcing air to the engine's metal fins around the engine cylinder only. Liquid-cooling systems on the other hand have a radiator and a water pump. The pump cycles the thermostatically controlled liquid coolant to the engine block through hoses, and the heat from the engine is transferred to the coolant. The heated liquid then goes to the radiator where the air cools it. Diesel generator engines commonly use liquid-cooling, but you will find all portable and most liquid propane, natural gas generators are air-cooled engines models only.

Air-cooled engines are generally cheaper to produce than liquid-cooled engines. This is because there components are less expensive to produce, need fewer parts. Air-cooled engines can easily over-heat and have a much shorter engine life. Since air-cooled engines have the potential to over-heat, using them full time is not recommended, nor warrantied. Air-cooled engines that fail generally require either a major overhaul. Their maintenance and repair tasks tend to be more frequent and more time-consuming.

Since air-cooled engines in either portable generators or home standby LPG or LNG work at much faster speeds, they also wear out much faster. Oil break-down also happens faster and damage can occur with little warning.

Aurora Generators recommends you do NOT run air-cooled engines full-time. Shut down your air-cooled engine every few hours so it can cool. This is a good time to check your oil, add fuel and perform a general maintenance and/or inspections. All Aurora Generators are liquid cooled ranging from as small as 4kW - 30kW.

Why should I buy a Generator: Standby/Emergency, Prime, or Continuous Power Supply for my home or business?

There are numerous reasons for individuals or businesses to own their own backup/standby, prime or continuous power supply generator set(s). Generators provide an added level of insurance to your personal daily routine or business operations ensuring uninterrupted power supply. The inconvenience of a power outage is rarely noticed until you are the victim of an untimely power loss or disruption.

Back-up Power for individual residences can avoid the inconvenience of power outages by purchasing a small backup generator. Electricity is essential to maintain lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, electronic entertainment equipment, household appliances, water in some cases and security systems.

The inconvenience of losing power may not be realized in your pocket book but rather in the safety and well-being of your family. Houses and small residences only require a small amount of backup power, typically in the neighborhood of 8-10kW. Larger residences or businesses may require more power, which will increase the cost slightly, but still is highly affordable considering the benefits of owning your own power supply.

As a business owner, an emergency standby generator provides an added level of insurance to keep your operation running smoothly without interruption. Luckily, the decision to purchase a generator is easily made by performing some basic financial calculations.

First, you must determine how much money your business generates on a daily basis. Only consider the revenue that is strictly dependent on power supply (i.e. phones, computers, payment systems, electricity, process equipment, machinery used for the business, etc.).Next, factor in any capital equipment or assets that depend on a power supply in order to maintain its value (i.e. perishable goods, etc.). You must also consider costs that are associated with a startup or shutdown of a process or manufacturing line.

Costly startups and shutdowns due to power outages can prove to be very costly. Paying employees to wait around until the power is restored not knowing how long it may be can add up to hundreds if not thousands of dollars depending on the number of employees you have. Finally, add up all of these costs and multiply it by the number of power outages you have each year. This will give you your annual operating losses due to power disruptions. Dividing the cost of the generator by these potential losses will determine how many months it would take for the generator to essentially pay for itself.

Costs alone should not be the driving factor in purchasing a generator. Another advantage to having a localized backup power supply is to provide a consistent power supply to your business. These expensive company assets require consistent power quality in order to function properly.

Generators also allow for end users, not the power companies, to control and provide a consistent power supply to their equipment. End users also benefit from the ability to hedge against highly volatile market conditions. When operating in a time-of-use based pricing situation this could prove to be a huge competitive advantage. During times of high power pricing, end users can switch the power source to their standby diesel generator for more economical power.

Why should I buy an Aurora Generator home standby generator instead of a portable generator?

While portable generators are effective in terms of backup power, an Aurora Generator home standby generator produces more power, offers hassle-free, automatic operation even when you aren't at home and exercises to ensure extended life.

With a home standby generator, there is no need to run extension cords, the unit will operate rain or shine, and it will automatically turn on even when you are not home.

Why should I buy a diesel generator over a gas or propane one?

In the event of a natural disaster, gas and propane lines are usually shut down by the utility companies or the government to prevent further destruction leaving those customers who have a natural gas or propane generator with a useless unit. Diesel is readily available from your local gas station and therefore, your diesel generator will operate without any restrictions. This scenario alone has influenced many of our customers to purchase a diesel generator.

A diesel generator will last you approximately 22,000 - 25,000 hours and a natural gas or propane generator will last approximately 1,500 hours in total. The extra money you spend on a diesel generator is obviously justified. 

Thanks to the invention of Rudolph Diesel, the diesel engine has proved to be extremely efficient and cost effective. Diesel fuel is priced somewhat the same as gasoline but diesel has a higher energy density, i.e. more energy can be extracted from diesel as compared with the same volume of gasoline. Therefore, diesel engines provide better fuel economy, making it an obvious choice for heavy-duty transportation and equipment such as generators.

Diesel is heavier and oilier compared with gasoline and has a boiling point higher than that of water. Diesel engines are attracting greater attention due to higher efficiency.

In today's world, where fuel prices are increasing as a consequence of spiraling demand and diminishing supply, you need to choose a cost effective fuel to meet your needs. and cost effectiveness.

How Does a Diesel Engine Work?

The distinction lies in the type of ignition. While gasoline engines operate on spark ignition, diesel engines employ compression - ignition for igniting the fuel. In the latter, air is drawn into the engine and subjected to high compression that heats it up. This results in a very high temperature in the engine, much higher than the temperature attained in a gasoline engine.

At peak temperature and pressure, diesel that is let into the engine ignites on account of the extreme temperature.In a diesel engine, air and fuel are infused into the engine at different stages, as opposed to a gas engine where a mixture of air and gas are introduced. Fuel is injected into the diesel engine using an injector whereas in a gasoline engine, a carburetor is used for this purpose.

In a gasoline engine, fuel and air are sent into the engine together and then compressed. The air and fuel mixture limits fuel compression and hence the overall efficiency. A diesel engine compresses only air and the ratio can be much higher. A diesel engine compresses at the ratio of 14:1 up to 25:1, whereas in a gasoline engine the compression ratio is between 8:1 and 12:1.

After combustion, the combustion by-products are removed from the engine through the exhaust. For starting during cold months extra heat is provided through 'glow plugs'. Diesel engines can either be two cycle or four cycle and are chosen depending on mode of operation. Air-cooled and liquid-cooled engines are the variants to be chosen appropriately. Liquid-cooled engines provide far better engine life, performance and quieter operation.

What are the advantages of a Diesel Engine?

A diesel engine is much more efficient and preferable as compared to a gasoline engine due to the following reasons: Modern diesel engines have overcome disadvantages of earlier models of higher noise and emissions. They are now quieter, much cleaner and require less maintenance as compared with gas engines of a similar size.They are more rugged, reliable and cost effective.There is no sparking as the fuel auto-ignites.

The absence of ignition systems including ignition coils, spark plugs and spark wires lowers the maintenance costs and failures. Fuel cost per Kilowatt produced is 30-50% lower than that of gas engines.An 1800 rpm water cooled diesel unit operates for 12,000 to 30,000 hours before any major maintenance is necessary. An 1800 rpm water cooled gas unit usually operates for 6000-10,000 hours before it requires replacement.

What is the difference in price for operating a diesel over natural gas or liquid propane generator?
Fuel Cost Comparison

This chart shows the cost difference between diesel, gasoline, propane and natural gas. It is based on a 10kW generator running afor 24 hours.

What size diesel generators does Aurora manufacture?

We currently manufacture diesel models from 4kW - 30kW.

Who does the installation work of my generator?

The dealer who sold you the unit usually is the electrician / installer or he will have an electrician on staff who will perform the installation. You are welcome to buy the generator and hire your own electrician if you prefer.

What size generator do I need for my home or cottage?

This will depend on what you would like to backup during a power outage. The dealer or electrician will walk you through your home, cottage or business and calculate the exact voltage you are currently using to determine what size generator is best for your home, cottage or business.

One of our Aurora Generator sales team members can assist in sizing as well. Every home or business will have different needs. The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power. Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks.

What would you like your living conditions to be?

In a typical installation with an 8 kW, ten circuit system, you could connect (1) lights and TV in the family room, (2) microwave and lights in the kitchen, (3) refrigerator and freezer, (4) gas hot water tank, (5) gas furnace (6) sump pump if equipped, (7&8) water/well pump if equipped. If municipal water supplied water/well pump circuits are available for additional power supply.

The size of the generator you will purchase depends on your power requirements – the type of appliances, equipment, and other electrical devices that you want to ensure will work during a power outage. That said, most average homes of 1200 to 3000 sq. ft. can run critical items in the home by using an 8000-10,000 watt (8-10kW) generator.

Getting a generator that can handle all your power generation needs is one of the most critical aspects of the purchasing decision

I want everything to work during a power outage, will an Aurora generator do the job?

Yes, we manufacture generators up to 30kW in size which would be more than enough to power a larger home.

What engines operate your generators?

All Aurora Generator engines are manufactured by Perkins which is owned by Caterpillar, one of the world’s largest and best engine manufacturers.

What is the warranty on an Aurora Generator?

Our Perkins engines come with a 2 year/3000hr warranty. The other components of the generator have a 5 year warranty against manufacturer defects.

Do you offer an extended engine warranty after the 2 years?

Yes, Perkins offers an extended warranty on their engines. Please call Aurora Generators at 1-877-510-6807 for more information on extended warranties.

Who do I contact if I have a warranty issue?

If the problem appears to be with the engine, we ask that you call Perkins directly and they will send a rep to your location. Please visit their website at http://www.perkins.com to locate a Perkins dealer near you. They will need your engine serial number when you contact them.

You can also call Aurora Generators at 1-877-510-6807 and we will assist you with your warranty issues.

How long will diesel last in the tank if it is not used?

Diesel can last 3 years or longer without being used. Diesel does not evaporate like gas and therefore will last much longer costing less overall.

Where do you ship to?

Aurora Generators will ship to Canada and the continental USA. If you provide a North American freight forwarder, shipping outside North America is available. 

How many hours of operation can I run my generator before I need an oil change?

You can operate up to 500 hours before an oil and filter change with an Aurora Generators Perkins engine.

Other than an oil change, what else do I need to do to maintain my generator?

All generators and engines should be inspected on a regular basis. Keep the surrounding area clear of loose debris if possible or snow if applicable. Inspect fluid levels, fan belt, radiator hoses and the battery. Due to diesel engines being the least expensive to maintain, there is far less engine maintenance other then filter changes. The alternators are maintenance free.

Do you offer leasing and financing?

Yes, we offer leasing and financing through our third party financing company partner, Jocova Financial.

After I place my order, how long does it take to receive my generator?

Once we receive your payment in full, we will contact you to advise you when your generator will ship. Depending on our stock levels or production schedule, it typically takes about 1-3 business days for your generator to be ready to ship out.

If an item for your generator is on backorder, we will advise you. We will also provide you with a freight carrier tracking number so that you will know when your shipment will arrive. This will be sent to you by email. All shipments are insured

What are all the upgrade options when I order my generator?

Options include:

  • Silenced canopy enclosure (4kW - 30kW) 100 gallon belly fuel tank (AGI9P, AGI13P, AGI20P)
  • Single axle trailer with tongue and levelling jack
  • Installed wireless keychain remote start/stop
  • Installed 4A/120V battery charger
  • Installed AC port plug with extension cord for block heaters or chargers.
  • Block heater
  • TG410 controller upgrade
  • Current transformers (AC Load Monitoring 100A and 200A) per phase
  • 4” feet (set of 4) Used to keep the generator elevated
How do I place an order for a generator?

Call us at 1-877-510-6807 and we will assist you with placing your order.

Who do I call if I have a technical question?

For technical support call us at 1-877-510-6807 ext 102.

Do I need to purchase your generators through a dealer?

If we have a dealer in your area, we will recommend you to that dealer. If there are no dealers in your area at the time, we will take your order by calling us at 1-877-510-6807.

How do I become a dealer for Aurora Generators?

For information on becoming a dealer for Aurora Generators, please visit our dealer page on our website at http://www.auroragenerators.com/pages/become-a-dealer.

Fill out the required fields and submit the form to us and a rep will be in contact with you.

Can I come by your showroom to see your product line?

Yes, we ask that you call first to make an appointment so that we can have a rep ready to assist you when you arrive.

What type of battery is included with my generator?

We install an EastPenn battery in every generator. EastPenn batteries provide the industry’s longest free replacement warranty program. These batteries are made in Canada and are very dependable and will last for a very long time.

I live in a remote area. How do you ship to such a residential location?

The carriers we use will only ship to a residential address provided the road and driveway are accessible, preferably paved and the surface is flat. If this is not the case with your location, we can arrange a customer pick up from the freight carrier’s closest terminal.

Can I pick up my generator from your manufacturing plant myself?

Yes, you can pick up your order from our manufacturing plant. We will advise you the date and time that your order will be ready for pick-up.

Are the generators shipped with the diesel, radiator fluid and oil already inside?

For orders shipped within Canada, customers can purchase the Caterpillar original equipment engine oil and the ELC (extra long life) coolant. Due to cross border safety regulations, we are not permitted to ship our generators into the US with any liquids.

What do I need to do when I receive my generator?

Once your generator arrives, please read the operating instructions. Add diesel fuel and connect the battery terminals to 12V starting battery. You may need to add the engine oil and radiator coolant before turning it on (Canada applicable only). If an electrician / installer was hired to do this, he/she will bring your generator to the proper operating level and make sure everything is in working order before they leave.

What happens when the power goes out? How will my generator start to work?

You have the option of buying an automatic transfer switch, or manual switch when you order your generator. This is a switch that is installed by your electrician and is attached to your power supply box. An automatic switch will kick in within a few seconds when the power goes out and it will start your generator automatically. Once power is restored the automatic transfer switch will transfer back to utility power and turns off the generator with no work on your part.

If you do not have an automatic transfer switch, you will need to manually start your generator then manually transfer power from utility to generator. Reverse procedure when utility power is restored.

Can I get a service plan and have someone else do the annual maintenance work on my generator?

Yes, most electricians or an authorized Aurora Generator dealer will offer a maintenance plan when they install your unit. This will be between you and your hired electrician/installer. Aurora Generators is not directly part of the installation or maintenance process.

I live off-grid. Will your generator work if I am off-grid?

Yes, our generators are best suited in off grid applications with warranty coverage.

Do you sell solar panels to keep my batteries charged if I am off-grid?

Yes, we do offer a solar panel for the purpose of maintaining your Aurora generator battery when 120VAC is not available.

How long will the diesel last if I run it non-stop?

Our generators will run for approximately 20 hours depending on generator wattage size and load.

Will I be notified when my generator needs an oil change, servicing etc.?

Yes, you or your installer can set up the Dynagen Controller so that it will indicate when an oil change or service is required, battery level is low, rpm, oil pressure, engine temperature, clock and date and other features as well.

Please read the Dynagen manual which is included with your generator for a better understanding of what it is capable of doing.

How much will it cost to hook up my generator by an electrician once it arrives?

Every application is different and electricians will all charge a different amount based on how long it takes to install, cable requirements, their hourly rate, etc. Talk to your dealer, electrician or installer for an accurate quote before you begin.

How do I fill up my fuel tank with more diesel when it is running low?

You will need to fill up an approved diesel container of regular diesel fuel which is sold at most gas stations. Our generators use the exact same diesel as today’s diesel operated cars and trucks. Optional 100 gallon sub-base fuel tanks are typically fueled by bulk fuel delivery companies. These companies often provide home heating fuel as well as gasoline and diesel to local retail fuel stations.

How big is the fuel tank that comes with the generator?

We furnish all generators with a built in 38L/10 US gallon tank or 45L/12 US gallon tank. You have the option of buying a 100 gallon sub-base fuel tank if you live in the USA and all provinces in Canada except Ontario. Item No: 2-D/ ASTM D975

Will your generators power my small business or gas station?

Yes, our 30kW generator will power a small business or gas station depending on what your requirements are for your business. An electrician can better assist you with the exact generator size you will require.

Who looks after the customs paperwork since I live in the USA and the order is shipped from Canada?

Aurora Generators has a shipping department that will look after all the customs paperwork involved for your shipment. There is no work or customs cost on your part when ordering from us. We ship to the US daily and we make sure your shipment will not be delayed at customs due to paperwork.

Where do I order parts for my generator?

You can call us at toll free at 1-877-510-6807 or shop for parts on our website 24/7 at https://www.auroragenerators.com/collections/parts

What kind of diesel fuel do your generators use?

Our generators use the exact same diesel fuel operated in cars and trucks which is purchased at your local gas station or delivered by fuel companies for the optional 100 gallon sub-base fuel tank.

Do you offer a remote control device to turn on or off my generator?

Yes, we offer a wireless RF remote control device as an option. Simply ask the authorized Aurora dealer or the sales rep when you place your order by phone.

What control head brand does my generator come with?

All Aurora Generators come with a Canadian manufactured Tough Series Dynagen Controller.

Is the canopy an option with my generator?

Yes, since some customers prefer the canopy while others have no need for one. Some customers may place the generator in a protective dwelling or building whereby a canopy is not required. A canopy is required if you plan on placing your generator outside in the elements. Aesthetically pleasing canopies provide weather protection, reduced noise, increase security and safety.

What do I need to do and how often in order to keep my generator in top shape when it is not being used?

Regular inspection both externally and internally is required on any and all generators. Keep the external immediate surrounding area clean and clear of loose debris or snow if applicable. Internal engine inspection ensures all fluid levels, hoses, belt and battery connections are good to go.

Your generator should be started 15-20 minutes every 3-4 weeks in order to keep both engine and generator cycled to prevent any of the components from seizing up and for keeping your generator in the best operating state. It is very important that the oil flows through the engine cylinders even when the unit is not being used.

Much like a car, it is important to start it up and let it run for several minutes to prevent any unnecessary malfunctions every 3-4 weeks.

What does the generator sit on once it is installed?

The generator unit should be mounted on a flat solid foundation slab, such as a cement slab. Minimum thickness should be 4”. If you have a 100 gallon sub-base fuel tank, the platform it sits on should be 5”-6” in thickness. Speak to an authorized Aurora Generator dealer, or call us directly for more detailed information regarding slab requirements.

Do you manufacture anything other than diesel generators?

Our primary manufacturing line is to produce the best diesel generators in North America. If you have a large custom order for a specific generator, we will be happy to quote you on your job. Call us at 1-877-510-6807 to start the quote process.

What if I need a generator bigger than 30kW. Where should I go?

We can make diesel generators above 30kW - 50kW without a canopy. For generators with a canopy over 30kW please contact your local Caterpillar dealer at: http://www.cat.com

Will I be able to track my shipment once it leaves your plant?

Yes, we will email you the tracking number of your shipment once it leaves our facility so that you can track your shipment and see when it will arrive.

Can an automatic standby generator replace utility service?

No. Full time residences require 24/7 power. The generator fuel costs and maintenance would be much more expensive than buying power from the utility company since their cost to produce electricity is divided among thousands of customers.

Yes, off grid part time cottages/cabins and hunt camps utilize Aurora Generators as alternative power supply.

Can I install the standby generator myself?

You could perform the simpler site preparation steps and have a professional make the electrical panel and fuel connections, or you could complete the entire installation yourself. However, for safety reasons and to ensure adherence to all local, state and national electrical codes, particularly for non pre-wired or larger systems, we recommend you use a licensed contractor since this will ensure your warranty will be valid.

Do generators need to be maintained?

Yes, simple maintenance is required. All generators require periodic oil and filter changes to ensure maximum performance for years of reliable service. Preventative maintenance kits are available. Refer to the owner’s manual for routine maintenance procedures and schedules.

What type of oil should I use?

Only use commercial oils that meet the following classifications: EMA DHD-1 Multigrade oil (Preferred oil) API CH-4 (Preferred oil) ACEAE 5

What happens if the generator gets overloaded?

In the rare event of an overload, the generator’s circuit breaker will trip, disconnecting the generator from the load and shutting down the engine. Simply correct the overload, reset the breaker in the generator and restart the generator.

What is the difference between rated watts and maximum (surge) watts?

Rated watts (prime) describe the amount of power the generator can produce continuously. Maximum wattage (peak) is the power that the generator can produce for short periods of time. Motor starting is a good example of maximum wattage requirements.

What is the difference between kW and kVa?

The primary difference between kW (kilowatt) and kVA (kilovolt-ampere) is the power factor. kW is the unit of real power and kVA is a unit of apparent power (or real power plus reactive power). The power factor, unless it is defined and known, is therefore an approximate value (typically 0.8), and the kVA value will always be higher than the value for kW. In relation to industrial and commercial generators, kW is most commonly used when referring to generators in the United States, and a few other countries that use 60 Hz, while the majority of the rest of the world typically uses kVa as the primary value when referencing generator sets.

To expand on it a bit more, the kW rating is essentially the resulting power output a generator can supply based on the horsepower of an engine. kW is figured by the horsepower rating of the engine times .746. For example if you have a 500 horsepower engine it has a kW rating of 373. The kilovolt-amperes (kVa) is the generator end capacity. Generator sets are usually shown with both ratings. To determine the kW and kVa ratio the formula below is used. .8 (pf) x 625 (kVa) = 500 kW

What is a power factor?

The power factor (pf) is typically defined as the ratio between kilowatts (kW) and kilovolt amps (kVa) that is drawn from an electrical load, as was discussed in the question above in more detail. It is determined by the generators connected load. The pf on the nameplate of a generator relates the kVa to the kW rating (see formula above).

Generators with higher power factors more efficiently transfer energy to the connected load while generators with a lower power factor are not as efficient and result in increased power costs. The standard power factor for a three phase generator is .8.

What is the difference between standby, continuous, and prime power ratings?

Standby power generators are most often used in emergency situations, such as during a power outage. It is ideal for applications that have another reliable continuous power source like utility power. It’s recommended usage is most often only for the duration of a power outage. Prime power ratings can be defined as having an “unlimited run time” or essentially a generator that will be used as a primary power source and not just for standby or backup power.

A prime power rated generator can supply power in a situation where there is no utility source, as is often the case in industrial applications like mining or oil & gas operations located in remote areas where the grid is not accessible.

Continuous power is similar to prime power but has a base load rating. It can supply power continuously to a constant load, but does not have the ability to handle overload conditions or work as well with variable loads.

The main difference between a prime and continuous rating is that prime power gensets are set to have maximum power available at a variable load for an unlimited number of hours and they generally include a 10% or so overload capability for short durations.

What does an Automatic Transfer Switch do?

An automatic transfer switch (ATS) transfers power from a standard source, like utility, to emergency power, such as a generator when the standard source fails. An ATS senses the power interruption on the line and in turn signals the engine panel to start. When the standard source is restored to normal power, the ATS transfers power back to the standard source and shuts the generator down.

Automatic Transfer Switches are often used in high availability environments such as data centers, manufacturing plants, telecommunication networks and so forth.

Can a generator I am looking at parallel with one I already own?

Generator sets can be paralleled for either redundancy or capacity requirements. Paralleling generators allows you to electrically join them to combine their power output. Paralleling identical generators will not be problematic but some extensive thought should go into the overall design based on the primary purpose of your system.

If you are trying to parallel unlike generators, the design and installation can be more complex and you must keep in mind the effects of engine configuration, generator design and regulator design just to name a few.

Can you convert a 60 Hz generator to 50 Hz?

In general, most commercial generators can be converted from 60Hz to 50Hz. The general rule of thumb is 60 Hz machines run at 1800 rpm and 50 Hz generators run at 1500 rpm. With most generators changing the frequency, it will only require turning down the rpm’s of the engine. In some cases, parts may have to be replaced or further modifications made.

Larger machines or machines already set at a low rpm are different and should always be evaluated on a case by case basis. We prefer to have our experienced technicians look at each generator in detail in order to determine the feasibility and what all will be required.

How are generators sized?

Generators are sized in several different ways depending on the requirements of the site and load to be covered. For example some customers may require that the generator provides backup for the entire site while others may only require ‘essential’ loads to be generator backed. It is also necessary to consider the type of load that will be applied to the unit. For example, UPS loads have some harmonic content (especially older UPS’s) and the generator must be sized to cope with this type of load.

Motors and pumps are another load that will affect the performance of the generator during starting. Another aspect to consider is the nature of the engine chosen. Some turbo-charged engines have a relatively low initial load step capability – it is sometimes necessary to oversize the unit to cope with the required site load.

Careful thought of which loads to apply and whether to stagger the re-application of the loads can make a significant difference to the overall cost of the installation.

What should be considered before installing the generator?

Generators are potentially large machines and as such there are a few considerations: Indoors or outdoors – If there is sufficient space within a dwelling, it may be advantageous to install the unit within the dwelling. Planning permission is potentially easier, vandalism, theft and lack of external space is all overcome with an internal installation.

However in most cases it is impossible to use valuable floor space within a building and an external installation is required. This too has many advantages such as purchasing a ‘packaged’ unit, easy installation and most likely, less disruption to the running of the building during installation. With either of these installation methods there are several things to consider such as space planning, not just for the generator itself but for air flow cooling, maintenance and engine exhaust. Foundations / floor loading generators are heavy. They must be installed on a flat level surface such as a concrete slab is normal for external and internal applications.

How much fuel does a diesel generator use and how is it stored?

Different engines have different efficiencies. Each generator's data sheet has fuel consumption figures and each generator has an internal fuel tank. You can extend this running time by adding additional bulk storage tanks. All fuel installations must be in accordance with EU environmental legislation such as dual skinned pipe work where appropriate.

How noisy are Aurora generators?

Our units run at 65-68 dB @ 7m / 23 feet depending on the kW model you choose (4kW-30kW). Please refer to the spec sheet for the model you are interested in for the exact dB rating.

What are the cost considerations?

If you are considering purchasing a generator for your home or business there are several costs to bear in mind. The cost of the generator itself. If you want to use your generator for powering all or part of your home you’ll need a transfer switch. A transfer switch is a device that is fed by both utility and generator power. It isolates the two types of power from each other so a back feed does not occur.

National Electrical Code (NEC) requires a device like this if two types of power are going to feed the house. If you opt for a stand by generator then be sure to get an estimate for a professional installation. As part of the installation, there may also be costs related to required local permits. Once your generator is up and running it will periodically require routine maintenance in order to ensure optimal performance.

What happens after installation?

Your generator will occasionally require preventative maintenance. Regular service is your best assurance of peak performance on demand and can add years of life to your equipment and ensures the validity of your warranty. Talk to your dealer or installer for a number of preventative maintenance plans to meet your needs.

What safety precautions should I take?

Generators should ALWAYS be used outside in a well-ventilated area – NEVER in an enclosed area or partly enclosed area (e.g., garages) as the exhaust contains deadly carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen, is odorless and can kill you in minutes.

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