Buying Used Generators: Expert Guides On Choosing The Best Generator

Buying Used Generators: Expert Guides On Choosing The Best Generator
Kitmondo 17 Jul 2019

Every time the need to purchase a piece of industrial equipment and machine arises, buying pre-owned equipment continues to be the first option to consider. This is always the case due to the enormous benefits that come with buying a used industrial machine. 

In the same vein, when considering to invest in a generating set, both large and small companies will always give a used generator the highest priority. The reason is that it is a cost-effective way of purchasing some high-quality industrial units as well as other heavy pieces of machinery. Again, because most industrial machines require an efficient generating set with the needed energy capacity to power them, it is, therefore, crucial to do the needful.

Buying used generator set

However, while trying to meet up with the energy requirement of your industrial machines doesn't mean that you should spend so much to buy a generating set to power these machines. This is where the need to invest in a used generator sets comes into play. Besides just investing in any used genset, buying through a reputable online marketplace for used equipment such as Kitmondo will give you the confidence that you are buying a used genset that will be equal to the task from your fleets of industrial equipment.

So, now that you know where to look at when you need a used generator set let’s guide you on how to make the best choice when opting for one. With this article, you will be able to access a used generator set to be sure that it is the best for your industrial units.

Determine the required running power

Before you splash your money to acquire a used generating set, you have to know both the starting power as well as the normal running of all the equipment your generator will be powering. With this, you can determine the nominal running power of a used genset to purchase. However, this also depends on your mains connection, which may be a start or delta. If this is the case, then you should know that when calculating the normal running power of your used generator, you required start-up power of the genset should be multiplied by 3. On the other hand, if the mains connection is a DOL rating, be ready because your start-up power will be multiplied by 6 to get the normal running power of the various equipment your generating set will have to power. Well, for equipment such as lift/elevator having a soft starter variable frequency drive (VFD), they starting current can be multiplied by 2.5 to know the normal running power.

So, it is vital to take note of the type of your mains connection system (Star, Delta or DOL) because this will help you to determine the overall start-up the power of a used genset that you want to buy.

Calculate and sum the load size

Another important thing to factor is the kind of equipment which you are planning to run with your used generator. You can determine this by drawing up a list of all the electrical loads (e.g., elevator, water pump, hallway lights, boiler pump, etc). Once you can note all these power consumptions, you can then work out the nominal power input which is required from a used genset.

NOTE: Generally, the start-up power of most electrical equipment is usually higher than the running power due to the higher power required to get the motor kick into life than what is required to keep it running. Due to this, it is important to get a used generator with the capacity to start and run all your electrical equipment.

Always convert kilowatts(KW) to kilo-volt amperes (KVA)

The summation of the maximum required wattage of all your electrical equipment will give you a total power requirement of your used generator, and this usually expressed in kilowatts. In essence, the sum power required by your load to produce a working output is expressed in Kilowatts.

On the contrary, generating sets are rated in Kilo-Volt-Amperes, and this gives you a clue of the total amount of power required throughout the whole system. We could have said that kW=kVA if there is 100% efficiency in energy produced. But since this isn’t always the case, not all the energy produced within the system will be used in producing a useful work output.

Internationally, the efficiency rate of a generating set is usually between 0.8, and this help in matching the load input to the power output of a generator. For instance, if you have generating set with 100kVA and a power factor of 0.8pf, you can then tell that such a genset can’t power all your equipment if their total wattage is 100kW. In such a situation, if your equipment energy wattage is 100kW, you should understanding that the least generating set that can provide enough energy to run all your equipment should be a 125kVA generating set.

Factor in your running requirements

Another important aspect to factor is the mode of usage of your used generator. Will it be your primary power source or a standby generating set to stand in when there is power outage? For whichever mode you plan to use your used genset, you should make sure not to operate this equipment at its highest capacity for over 30 minutes. Doing this will shut down your generator as a result of damage to one component or the other.

For the best performance of any generating set, it is always advisable to use not more than 70-80% of the generator’s total energy capacity after calculating the load capacity and converting it to the equivalent kVA of the generating set. Leaving this 20-30% safety margin will give room more future power needs and also help your generator to serve you better for an extended time.

Miscellaneous factors to consider

Besides the power capacity of a used generator, other aspects to consider when venturing into the marketplace for used gensets include:

Generator type

Depending on your intended use and the type of equipment you intend to power, buying either a diesel, electric, propane, or natural gas generator will help you achieve your goals with ease.

Assessment for minor/major wear and tear

Yes, a used generating set isn’t expected to be as clean as what is gotten from the OEM. Nevertheless, wear and tear on a used generator should be minimal as this will tell how well the genset has been maintained. Also, looking out for major defects such as damage to parts (e.g., bearings and bushings) will save you a whole lot.

Used generator manufacturer

Worthy of note is the manufacturer of a piece of used generator you intend to buy. So far, top manufacturers such as Kohler, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, Cummins are known to manufacture quality generating sets. Looking out for a used generator from any of these brands will give you some level of confidence about investing wisely on a used generator.

Investing in a used genset with help of Kitmondo

Investing in a used generator for your industrial equipment is an investment that needs a keen consideration of so many factors. However, you can save yourself from so much stress by working with a group of professionals when it comes to used generators and other used industrial units. 

Are you looking for one? You aren’t far from one. Working with a reliable marketplace for used generating sets such as Kitmondo is one way of actualizing your dream of getting more equipment with less amount. Again, as a reputable online intermediary service provider for used equipment, we stock various brands of used generating sets such as Caterpillar, Cummins, Generac and many other reputable brands. Kindly contact us for the best deal on any used generator you would love to own.