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06/20/2014 | Selecting a Rental Generator: Consider More than Power Rating and Load

HIPOWER SYSTEMS manufactures and sells electric generators to rental companies across North America, and we sometimes have companies interested in our generators asking where they can rent a HIPOWER SYSTEMS diesel or natural gas generator—and how they can be sure they are renting the right generator for the job.
 
The short answer is that we are happy to refer interested parties to any of our rental partners. The long answer is that whether a firm is seeking to rent a prime power generator for a special project or to reserve backup generators in advance of a storm season, it’s important to examine their specific needs closely before choosing a rental model. (Another important issue is the quality of the rental partner itself. We’ll cover that in a future article. All of our rental partners follow industry best-practices.) Following are some questions developed from the criteria we consider important for generator users to consider:
  1. Will the generator be operating in extreme weather (sub-zero temperatures, very high salinity or humidity, etc.)? In the case of cold weather, the rental company must be able to provide generators equipped with cold packs (e.g. snow hoods and/or mechanical louvers).  For salinity, humidity, and other environmental conditions that affect durability, you must be able to specify enclosed generators that are cased in carbon steel or better material. 
  2. Will you be facing EPA compliance rules (most common with prime generator usage)? If so, be sure the rental company can meet the Tier level required for the job. (Your local EPA office or permitting office should be able to help with this.)
  3. Will you be operating the generator in a “quiet zone” (such as around a hospital)? If so, your rental generator must offer sufficient sound attenuation.
  4. Will you be subject to environmental containment restrictions? If so, your rental generator should have a totally bounded frame with a 110% spill-containment feature.
  5. Will the generator be located remotely, with no on-site operator? If so, you’ll want a rental generator equipped with a telematics solution that lets you (or a designated third-party, depending upon your agreement) remotely control/shut down operation, see out-of-range, engine overload and maintenance alerts, and more. 
  6. Will you need to power laptops and cellphone chargers? If so, consider a generator that you can use as an auxiliary power source; one that has a convenient power distribution panel.
  7. Will you be connecting distribution cabling to power lighting, sound boards, kitchen equipment, etc. for a conference, wedding, or other gathering? If so, “CamLok”-type connectors on the power panel make connecting easier and faster.
There are other, even more specialized criteria to consider when renting or purchasing a generator, depending upon your needs. Also, if you rent one frequently, you may find that purchasing a “rental-style” unit such as the ones HIPOWER SYSTEMS sells may offer better ROI. You are welcome to browse our equipment designed for rental use (or any of our equipment) and sign up for myHIPOWER to gain access to extended site benefits. We’d also be happy to talk to you about your needs and criteria if you call us at 913-495-5557.
 
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