Compact Equipment

SEP 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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F or temporary energy needs, contractors have much to consider when renting or buying a towable mobile generator. From ensuring load match to paralleling units, diesel generators engineered into a trailing format have become sophisticated machines with the ability to provide power pretty much anywhere at any time. Offering a range of features, these units are versatile and flexible — if the user understands their needs and the application. For the U.S. market, rental houses are a majority of sales for manufac- turers like Atlas Copco, Chicago Pneumatic, Allmand and Doosan Portable Power. Renting to contrac- tors for a myriad of applications, the growing rental industry has dedi- cated specialists that help contrac- tors match a power source to the ap- plication at hand, so a great place to complement your research is at your local rental shop. For users that have a 24/7 need for power, they can al- ways procure these movable power- makers for long-term use. Here are some technology and trends to con- sider for both. Understand Your Power Requirements Commercial generators are benefit- ing greatly from miniaturization and other technologies that are allowing manufacturers to put more power into an efficiently-sized package (ev- erything from computerization to the tensile strength of materials). Today, it's possible to find fully por- table generators with working power ratings into the hundreds of kilo- watts. Overall, the applications of mobile towable units run the gamut. Anywhere there is a need for power, these gen sets appear. With much of their use in construction projects, from road work to oil and gas job- sites, mobile generators can provide a power source that can be moved with a work truck or even something smaller. According to Todd Howe, product manager at Doosan Portable Power, there are really two main sizes that are driving the mobile generator rental market right now — 20- and 50-kW units. Topping the charts is the 20-kW package, which Howe calls, "the Swiss army knife of the industry. It is very capable and ver- satile," he says." "It's available from almost any size rental company." Not to be outdone, 50-kW mobile gen sets are used in similar applica- tions, just offering more power to the user. Mobile gen sets of all sizes have a strong presence in the event industry, providing that behind-the- scenes power for concerts, weddings, sporting events and carnivals. These units are usually rented and offer power in a location that previously did not have it. "Know your local market," says Eric Massinon, business development director at Chicago Pneumatic Power Technique. "Purchase the generators that you can get the best utilization on. For rental, make sure the genera- tors you're renting are sized properly to the job. Having generators too small or too large on a job can nega- tively affect both the rental company and the company renting it." Knowing how the generator will be used makes it possible to calculate the necessary voltage and amperage (amps) — information typically dis- played on the equipment data plate. Knowing the voltage and amps al- lows you to determine kilowatts, which dictates the amount of electri- cal power needed to operate the load. Ideally, a generator should run at 75 percent of load, which is why a 100- kW generator should not be operat- ing only a 20-kW heater. However, 100 kW would be appropriate when running a 20-kW heater linear load along with a 50-kW irrigation pump with a cyclical load. You should also know that all por- table generators have two power rat- ings: continuous power (i.e., running watts) and maximum power (i.e., starting watts). Running watts are what the generator can produce con- tinuously while running, and start- ing watts are what it can produce for a short time to help start motorized electrical tools like circular saws or hammer drills. Typically, the biggest issue when sizing a generator is mo- tor starting. Totaling up your power needs only requires a little math. List the items you want to power, find the item with the most maximum power www.compactequip.com 45 THE RIGHT POWER FOR THE JOB Keys to Understanding How to Choose an Ideal Towable Generator By Dawn Geske

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