For you the client, there is nothing whatsoever glamorous or interesting about the generator discussion. That said, there is nothing worse than losing power during the first course of your meal. You have likely already budgeted a considerable sum for your guests’ dinners, and it will be a disaster if there are any blips, at all, in the electrical supply – not only for the meal, but for the cooling of the drinks, the basic lighting requirements, the PA system, heating, and music. Simple as it seems, power (and enough of it) can make or break any outdoor event. Find out why it matters to work with professionals and why bigger is better when it comes to generators.
Never skimp on Power
Outdoor events under a tent do not come inclusive of power. It is important to gather as much information from your suppliers (caterer, barman, band , lighting specialist) as to what their power usages are likely to be. Don’t worry – your suppliers are used to being asked this question, and will be able to give a reasonably accurate estimate. Add together all of these estimates to arrive at an overall wattage requirement.
The size of your generator will depend on the number of items you have needing electricity (please include :- lighting, catering, Vip trailer loo units, photo booths, bands and/or your DJ). While it might be tempting to skimp on the size of generator -it is strongly advised against this course of action. It might also be tempting to hire a generator at a local level from a hire company – these are likely to be noisy. It is fully recommended that you go for a silent type – they may be a little more expensive, but they will eliminate the background hum, when considering speeches, lectures, conferences etc. Positioning of your generator should be considered when deciding on the marquee. In general they are ugly, unsightly items, and need to be hidden to the rear of the event.
Generator rental options range from small, portable generators to large, trailer mounted units. Larger units produce greater outputs – measured in watts or kilowatts (kws) In order to determine the size of generator that you should rent, just add up the number of watts required for everything that you need to connect to the generator. To calculate wattage, multiply amps by volts. Keep in mind also that a motor is likely to take three times more watts to start than to operate. Therefore, in general, you should rent a generator that produces more power that you actually require. We would go as far as to say it is a good idea to have two generators – one working and one on standby.
KVA which stands for kilo Volt Amps, is used to refer to the measure of power in a transformer. It is as a result of the product of voltage and power. The kilo Volt Amps is mainly used for the purpose of showing the output capacity in a generator.
Sources of Power
Your hired generator is likely to run on diesel. Diesel generators generate good power output, but bear in mind that they are quite hungry on fuel and you will need to allow for this cost.
Rented generators come equipped with many features to keep both individuals and the equipment safe. For example ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection systems on generators help protect people from electric shock or electrocution by shutting the equipment down when it detects electrical current leakage. In addition, to prevent damage to the equipment being operated, many generators shut down when the oil levels get too low. Some generators also include circuit breakers to protect the generators and the equipment they run against problems from overloading.
- Always place the rented generator on a dry, clean, level surface.
- Check and, if needed, service fluid levels in rented generator before use.
- Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for starting and shutting off the rented generator.
- Shut off the engine on a rented generator before refuelling.
- Do not overload the rented generator.
- Only use proper extension cords to connect equipment to rented generators.