Generators are machines that are typically used to generate power in the event of power shortages. However, in addition to serving as an emergency power source, generators are also used as a power-saving source. Thus generators service varied applications for businesses, houses, townships, hospitals, and hotels, etc. Generators range from between 5kw and 2000kw and are available in propane, gasoline and natural-gas options. Generators are also commonly used on farms and in remote areas that don’t have an electrical power supply.
Gasoline is probably the most common type of fuel that is used for generators as it can be inexpensive and readily available. It can also provide substantial power to a generator. However, gasoline doesn't always work too well in cold temperatures. Propane is often considered to be a better fuel source for a generator, but it can get expensive. Propane also generates about 10 percent less power than gasoline does. However, propane is ideal for using in cold weather and maintenance is usually less frequent. Diesel can also be used and it generates good power output. Diesel burns more efficiently than gas, but it sometimes costs more (so diesel generators aren't the best option if you're looking to save money).
There are basically two types of generators which are synchronous and induction. A synchronous generator can be used as an emergency power source and it can also double-up as the sole source of all power requirements in a specified area. When the generator is used as the sole power source, it must be quite large to handle the high peak loads that result when running equipment is powered by the generator. Switchgear and paralleling equipment can be installed for simultaneously operating the generator with the utility.
Induction generators are used as peak saving options, they provide power to withstand additional air-conditioning and load in hot weather, starting large machinery, etc. Induction generators can produce power only from a parallel power source, such as a utility provider or another generator. Owing to the fact that an induction generator cannot operate independently of another power source, it does not require the additional equipment necessary for a synchronous generator to operate, thus providing savings on equipment costs. Several factors that need to be taken into consideration when purchasing a generator are: the transfer switch size, additional fuel-tank requirement and consumption, etc.
You can also buy portable generators which are relatively inexpensive sources of power. However these types of generators only enable you to generate power for a few hours at a time. These types of generators are often used in campgrounds or by contractors who are working at a remote construction site.