Understand Your Needs When Choosing Temporary Power Equipment

When we think of generators, we’re often thinking about either emergency
 or prime power applications. These uses generally require equipment 
that can run for a long duration and provide electricity to support a 
broad range of facility needs – and the equipment stays put, once it’s 
installed. But generators also are used in more portable applications, 
at construction sites, outdoor entertainment venues and to power TV and 
film production. Generac Power Systems

Chuck Ross

When we think of generators, we’re often thinking about either emergency or prime power applications. These uses generally require equipment that can run for a long duration and provide electricity to support a broad range of facility needs – and the equipment stays put, once it’s installed. But generators also are used in more portable applications, at construction sites, outdoor entertainment venues and to power TV and film production. These uses can present a different set of requirements than stationary backup and emergency generators face. Power variability and noise top this list.

Power requirements for temporary applications can vary over time. At an outdoor wedding, for example, a customer might only need to power a microphone and speakers for the service itself, but then need to boost output to cool a reception tent and keep a DJ spinning records in his booth. Adding and dropping loads can create short-term voltage irregularities if generators aren’t equipped with automatic voltage regulation, which could lead to brownouts or spikes that could damage connected equipment. Some units even allow users to fine-tune voltage output to handle situations like long cable runs without needing a potentiometer.

Sound can be another critical characteristic when comparing portable generators. For music festivals and other outdoor entertainment events, quiet operation will be a primary requirement, so generator noise doesn’t interfere with musicians and speakers. And municipalities generally have noise ordinances that event organizers have to respect. Sound-attenuating enclosures can bring noise down to levels only slightly above normal speaking levels at a distance of 23 feet – a common distance for generator-manufacturer’s sound measurements.


Photo courtesy of Generac Power Systems