Deciding Between a Portable and a Standby Generator

Deciding Between a Portable and a Standby Generator

The importance of examining all issues prior to deciding on a Honda portable or a standby generator cannot be understated. While the general purpose of both types of generators is the same, the types of use and the conditions in which each one might be employed can be quite different. Portable generators are generally more versatile and are commonly used for recreational purposes such as camping, providing power for outdoor lighting, and powering other types of outdoor equipment. Portable generators can also be used to power up a residence, normally in a limited fashion, in the event of a power outage.

Residential standby generators, on the other hand, generally serve two purposes; automatically starting in the event of a power outage and delivering essential uninterrupted electrical power to designated appliances, rooms, tools, and devices. The fixed nature of standby generators limits their versatility but gives them a critical advantage when power must remain uninterrupted and long term power generation is mandated. The reason for this is that residential standby generators are generally designed to remain connected to the home’s circuitry through the main electric panel. This connection allows for a generator to power up either automatically using an automatic transfer switch, or by push button at the onset of a power outage. An added advantage and an extra layer of protection provided by a residential standby generator is that the addition of a USB battery accessory can ensure that power remains on during the changeover to generated power.

A portable generator, on the other hand, could possibly require fueling, movement from storage (possibly in inclement weather), and manual connection to the home’s circuitry. Under these circumstances, the transfer to power generated by a portable generator may take too long when medical devices or computers are in an “always on” status.

Another factor in the decision between a portable generator and a standby is the length of time that power generation is going to be required. A smaller portable may have a run time of four hours between refueling which is fine for recreational use but could spell disaster in an extended power outage. Where longer runtimes may be required, a standby generator which is connected to a natural gas line allows for unlimited generation without refueling.


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