These devices are essential for many businesses, acting as workhorses when the primary power source is unavailable.

Key takeaways

  • Florida experiences notable blackouts every year
  • Each blackout could put people and businesses in danger
  • Significant financial losses can follow
  • Companies should take steps to protect their assets

Investing in a whole-building generator could be an essential step. You must keep the lights on and your data center running; a lengthy disruption could significantly harm your company. This also applies to healthcare centers, retailers selling perishable goods, and any other entity that relies on electricity to preserve items and provide customer safety. 

Unfortunately, power outages are becoming more common. Florida experienced 107 power outages in 2018, up from 79 in 2017. Between 2008 and 2017, 25.3 million Floridians lost their power at least once.

Because power outages are commonplace, businesses must take precautions to keep their buildings operational. Here’s some information on how whole-building generators work, and why they’re a good idea for companies of all sizes.

How commercial generators work

A whole-building commercial generator provides uninterrupted power during outages. These products use the same technology as a residential backup generator, but they have a much higher output and, therefore, can power a more extensive area.

When installing a commercial generator, your contractor will wire it directly into the structure’s electrical grid using a subpanel system to create a connection. Because the generator can’t rely on electricity for power, it uses an alternate fuel source. Most modern generators run on diesel or natural gas. Managers of large buildings tend to choose natural gas; a supply line can run directly to the generator rather than filling a tank.

Your generator will likely have a sensor that informs it when there’s a loss of power. This sensor automatically turns the generator on, limiting the loss of service. Power loss occurs for a few seconds while the generator activates, but it operates continuously afterward. This feature helps companies relying on data centers to pass information between employees and offsite stakeholders because it functions during a blackout.

Could a generator benefit your business?

You might be wondering if a backup generator is necessary for your business. Most companies could benefit from an uninterrupted power supply, but some organizations need them more than others. For example, places that experience significant traffic (malls, airports, restaurants, sports venues, nightclubs) should always have emergency power available. These buildings could have thousands of people present at any given time, and without a generator, they would be entirely in the dark during a power outage. 

Office buildings require backup power for a few reasons. They have lots of people that need light to exit and navigate the building. These buildings might have elevators; you don’t want people stuck between floors during a blackout. Work is impossible without power. Data centers are common in office towers, and keeping computers active ensures your employees can continue working and not lose any valuable information.

Grocery stores require emergency power because they have heavy traffic and contain perishable goods. You don’t want a power outage cause spoiling and creating a major expense.

Maintaining your generator

After you’ve had a professional contractor install a generator, it’s important to focus on keeping it maintained. Your generator won’t run often; it’s a challenging system to sustain. 

A generator’s serviceable parts include its air filter, spark plugs, and fuel filter. These parts won’t wear down if you aren’t using the generator. You’ll need to check the generator’s oil and fuel levels, inspect its cooling system, test its battery, and examine the drive belts, alternator, and transfer switch. 

Hire a contractor to handle this maintenance; they’ll know what to look for and can quickly address any issues. The goal is to have your generator ready for outages; this maintenance is required for optimal condition.

What causes power outages?

In Florida, you might assume that hurricanes and other significant storms cause most outages. While hurricanes do knock power out for lengthy periods, they aren’t the only cause. 

Animals, human error, accidents, extreme weather, and cyberterrorism all have the potential to knock power out in Florida. You can’t really predict when or where a power outage will happen; you just have to prepare for the worst. 

In 2018, the President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council reported that large sections of the United States were entirely unprepared for a catastrophic blackout event; areas of the country could be without electricity for months or years. It’s best to prepare as though it’s an imminent threat to your business.

Installing your whole building generator

A whole-building generator provides emergency power to keep your company active during a power outage. If your area experiences a lengthy blackout, this equipment could save your business.

Universal Electrical offers service to residential and commercial customers in South Florida. We install commercial uninterrupted power supplies that protect your company from power outages. Contact Universal Electrical to receive a free quote.