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11/12/2015 | Farming Operations: Considerations for Backup Generators

Agricultural OperationsBackup generators, also known as standby generators, can literally make the difference between profit and disaster for a farm or ranch. Especially for animal operations, where continuity of power is essential to keep chickens warm or cool, ensuring milking machines stay functional for cows, and for other operations that are vital to life and profits, standby power solutions must be reliable.

In selecting a new standby natural gas generator or diesel generator for farming and ranching operations, equipment considerations common to urban areas, such as noise and fuel type, may not be a concern. More important is selecting proven-reliable equipment that incorporates remote operating features, as well as working with a manufacturer, distributor or reseller that offers solid service, support and maintenance.

Following are a few questions to consider about both your generator and any potential provider for your farm or animal operation:

  1. Do the generator and engine controllers support remote monitoring and troubleshooting? Sophisticated programmable logic control (PLC) boards in the latest engine controllers offer excellent support for generators installed at remote locations around a farm or ranch. Features can include an auto-start control module, configurable reminders for maintenance and alerts, automated notifications to one or more designated computers or via SMS (text) to mobile devices, and the ability to log hundreds of events to facilitate maintenance and troubleshooting.
  2. Are generator enclosures designed to withstand a variety of conditions, and do they have easy access doors and other features that facilitate maintenance and service? Are fuel tanks incorporated with the genset to provide a convenient fuel supply and avoid the need for below-ground tanks?
  3. If the generator will be used in more than one location, will it be trailerable?
  4. Are the generators certified by leading standards bodies for the intended use?

Other information that is valuable for decision making includes:

Logistics and Delivery: What is the shortest lead-time for generator delivery? Will a dedicated logistics department work on delivery issues?

Service: Does the provider offer service with certified and experienced generator technicians, or will it connect you directly with the manufacturer to handle these tasks? What about load-testing and fuel-tank cleaning?

Set-up and Service: Will the provider deliver and set-up the units?

Financing Options: Does the provider offer competitive financing options on equipment? What is the minimum purchase for financing?

To learn more about standby generators or speak to one of our equipment experts, we invite you to call 913-495-5557. You may also find the backup power section of our site helpful, especially the page dedicated to Agriculture and Poultry operations. While you are there, sign up for myHIPOWER to gain access to extended site benefits and more.

 

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