In Southern Nevada, the incidence of power outages are less common than they are in the tornado-prone Mid-West or the hurricane-vulnerable East and West coasts. That said, if you own a business that caters to the public, the last thing you need is a power outage, whether it’s caused by a severe weather event or by sophisticated thieves who cut wires in order to disable lighting and security cameras. Nothing can put a damper on a tourist’s vacation in Vegas, for example, than a power outage that cuts off power in their hotel room, or turns a festive dinner party into a confused candle-lit restaurant with a kitchen unable to prepare their gourmet meal and freaking out about large stores of food potentially spoiling in their refrigerators. You get the idea …
Is a Standby Generator the Answer?
In a word, yes. A standby generator connects directly to your business’ power panel, ensuring that after a brief “blip” in the power supply, electrical service capable of powering your entire building will kick in and keep the party (or the hotel amenities, hot water, lights, etc.) going for your guests.
Hospitals and other medical facilities, no matter where in the country they’re located, can’t afford to let anything interrupt power because in many cases, people’s lives depend on reliable, uninterrupted electrical power. They’re the prime example of the benefits of having a power generator on the premises!
How it Works
Unlike the smaller portable generators that many homeowners across the country rely on, a standby generator can power your restaurant, club, store or offices in total, meaning you don’t have to just “get by” with a few lights and light appliances.
The “brains” of the standby generator consist of a handy little doodad called a transfer switch. The transfer switch automatically disconnects you from your local utility once it detects an interruption in service. Once your business is safely off the grid, the switch starts up the generator before connecting to your power panel.
If you think of the unit’s transfer switch as its brains, then its heart is an internal combustion engine which is typically fueled by your local natural gas utility. In cases where natural gas isn’t available, a large diesel or propane tank installed nearby can do the job instead.
Once the municipal power supply is restored, the transfer switch kicks in again and makes the switch by shutting down the power generator and reverting back to your local utility. The transfer switch, incidentally, also acts as a safety device, in that it prevents back-feeding electricity to the grid, which could endanger the lives of the power company workers laboring to restore power.
Professional, Permanent Installation
A standby generator is not something that gets wheeled out when there’s a power outage. It’s a permanently installed piece of equipment that’s typically mounted on a concrete pad poured expressly for the purpose of mounting the generator. And bear in mind that even if you have an ace maintenance team, its installation requires the services of a licensed electrician and typically, a gas company technician who’s licensed in pipe fitting and plumbing. The electrician will assess your load requirements, and only the gas company can supply you with the proper pressure required to safely operate your power generator. You’ll also need a contractor who is knowledgeable about local building codes to obtain the proper permits, and arrange for post-installation inspection. Be forewarned that this combination of services is not cheap and will add substantially to the cost of the generator itself. That said, you’ll have the generator for years, and it will almost certainly pay for itself in preventing loss of business.
If you’ve decided to protect your Southern Nevada business against costly power outage disruptions, contact us at Penny Electric for the expert services of fully licensed, bonded and insured electricians.