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Pair Your Generator With The Right Transfer Switch

multiple options factor into picking a transfer switch

Choosing The Right Transfer Switch For Your Generator

Having generators on hand to provide backup power can allow your business to keep functioning. However, for seamless operation, you need a transfer switch to literally switch the power from the grid to your generator. Otherwise, your equipment may be damaged by the jolt of electricity when the power comes back on.

With many manual and automatic switches on the market, there is one available to meet the needs of your generator.

The Importance Of Automatic Transfer Switches

Automatic transfer switches (ATS) are very popular, because, as the name suggests, they automatically switch to an alternate power source when one power source is lost. When the primary power source comes back on line, a transfer switch will restore the main power source and cut the power from the generator.

While some businesses can function for a few minutes while an operator flips a manual transfer switch, an automatic switch is crucial to hospitals, data centers, manufacturing plants, telecommunications networks and the like; all places where continuous power is essential. A person on life support could die without power for even just a few minutes, while interrupting a manufacturing run could be extremely costly for a company. Similarly, a few moments of interruption could cause serious data loss or communications capabilities.

Picking The Right Transfer Switch

When you buy a transfer switch, look for one with the capabilities you need. This all depends on how many functions you need the switch to perform and how quickly you need the switch to change power sources. Naturally, the more basic models are more cost effective, but have fewer functions. Conversely, the more expensive switches change power sources faster and have more functions.

Popular types of transfer switches include:

  • An Open Transition Transfer Switch, also called a break-before-make transfer switch, first breaks contact with one power source before making contact with another. There is usually a momentary loss of power before the generator takes over.
  • A Closed Transition Transfer Switch (CTTS), also called a make-before-break switch, synchronizes power sources so that the generator begins operating at the slightest loss of power, which is optimal for conditions where no loss of power is acceptable.
  • A Soft Loading Transfer Switch (SLTS) uses a CTTS to synchronize and operate the a generator in parallel with utility power to minimize voltage as the load is transferred between power sources.
  • A Static Transfer Switch (STS) uses silicon-controlled rectifiers (SCRs) to transfer the load between two sources without mechanical moving parts.

Coastal Power & Equipment Has The Right Automatic Transfer Switch For Your Needs

Having the right transfer switch for your generator ensures you will have the power that you need at your disposal. By working with your system designer and with the sales team at Coastal Power & Equipment, you can get the right equipment to do the job you need.

For information about new and used generators that should be essential to your emergency backup plan, visit our website or call us at 281-962-1023 to get started. 

Diesel Generators Can Meet Power Needs In Developing Countries

Large and small generators for any size needed in civilization

Bringing Power To Developing Countries With Diesel Generators

The developed world runs on power from electricity, coal, kerosene, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), biofuels, and natural gas. We're quite used to the convenience and the economic boost that having access to power brings. As a result, global energy demands are expected to grow about 60% by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

While more than 1 billion people have accessed fuel sources over the last quarter-century, nearly about 2 billion people worldwide live off the grid with no modern energy services. That adds up to 56% of the world’s population that live without modern power sources. Every year this number grows by 30 million people. In many developing countries, fewer than 10% of the population have access to public electricity grids. The problem is even worse in rural areas.

Diesel Generators To The Rescue

While this problem is complex, diesel generators offer one solution for bringing electricity to the developing world. Distributing energy to remote rural areas in many countries is not economically viable, especially if there is poor infrastructure, which means no substations and no transmission or distribution lines to rely on for delivery. Even areas with traditional power lines, obtaining access is costly and power outages are frequent. Diesel generators brought to off-the-grid locations can be used by themselves or as part of hybrid systems involving solar power.

Diesel generators are widely used in many parts of India and elsewhere and they can even be barge mounted (BMDs) to provide power offshore. Typically, small units with capacities from 5 MW to 50 MW are linked together on a barge that offers 100 MW of power. The barges, along with land-based diesel generators, have excellent potential to impact underserved areas.

Here Are Some Ways That Diesel Generators Can Impact Underserved Communities

  • In agriculture, diesel generators can enable irrigation pumping, lighting, cottage industries and rural processing facilities.
  • They power and enable the existence of the Internet, information technology and data centers. This is important to the economy as India and other areas that are outsourcing locations for the more developed world.
  • They provide backup power in areas with infrastructure in the case of disaster or mass power outages. This is essential for establishments like hospitals, who need power to maintain and aid patients.
  • They help meet increasing power needs and prevent brownouts when there are power deficits. In India, for example, the main cities often have a power deficit of 200 MW. Having diesel backup generators for residential and commercial buildings makes for popular housing choices for those who can afford it.

The Economics Of Diesel Generators

The beauty of diesel generators is that acquiring them requires a much lower capital than setting up multiple substations. The cost does exceed a few hundred dollars per kilowatt installed, but the costs are  much more manageable than the thousands of dollars per megawatt for permanent installations.

Operation costs, which include the cost of fuel plus operation and maintenance, are also fairly reasonable. There are still issues in less developed areas; whether diesel fuel is accessible, whether there is manpower to get it there, and whether it is affordable for the average citizen. Solar power and recycled vegetable oil from crops or other organic sources (often called biodiesel) are workable options for developing areas that cannot benefit from diesel technology.

Let Coastal Power & Equipment Meet Your Diesel Generator Needs

Diesel generators are a viable solution for operations abroad or areas where installing infrastructure is difficult, Coastal Power & Equipment can help. For information about how diesel generators can meet your needs, contact Coastal Power & Equipment at 281-962-1023.

Generators Keep America’s Dairy Farmers Milking

small generator for quick use

Modern dairy farming has come a long way from Farmer O’Leary hand milking a cow or two. To obtain animal milk from hundreds of cows, as well as goats, buffalo, and sheep, dairy farms are computerized operations that are dependent on reliable power often produced by backup generators. Usually powered by natural gas or diesel fuels, newer generators are increasingly operated with biogas.

Generators Keep Milking Operations Going

Even dairy farms with large numbers of animals have computer records of each animal and their milking time. Large establishments may have several groups of cows or other animals that are milked at a particular time. Twice a day, cows are connected to an electric powered milking apparatus and the milking begins automatically. Keeping the milking on schedule is important for both the health of the animals and the profits of the farm. A power failure can be devastating.

No-fail Refrigeration

With so much on the line, modern farms install diesel or gas generators to make sure that the power is always available to keep milking on track, even when storms, snow, or wind may disrupt it. However, milking operations are just one of the many applications for generators on dairy farms. Once the milk is harvested, it must be refrigerated immediately in order to make it safe. Especially when temperatures are high, leaving milk and milk products unrefrigerated for even a short time can cause health hazards and spoilage.

Other Agricultural Uses

Modern farmers also used generators throughout the farm to perform other tasks such as disinfection, sterilization, and water purification. Power from the grid may not be available at all locations on a farm, but keeping food and water safe for animals to eat and drink is a high priority. Generators can be used to operate machinery that treats soil, water, and even food sources to kill pathogens such as E. coli, salmonella, fungi, and toxins that are harmful to animals and humans, and to sanitize raw milking systems without chemicals.

Biogas Alternatives Are The Wave Of The Future

Using natural gas or diesel fuel is the norm for dairy farm operations, but some farmers are experimenting with powering generators with the methane gas produced by animal feces and food waste in a digester. While it is costly to set up a digester, farms can potentially power their own generators and even supply unneeded power to the grid. Biogas may be the generator fuel of the future, as producing it is eco-friendly. The ultimate example of recycling, transforming manure into energy results in not only the gas, but also in solids that can be used as sanitized bedding material for cows and liquids usable as fertilizer. It also reduces odors many dairy farms are known for.

Coastal Power & Equipment Can Help Meet Your Dairy Farm Generator Needs

A well-planned system of backup generators is important to keep a modern farm running. To ensure that you have the power you need to keep your database online and maintain milking, refrigeration, and other equipment running despite the weather, contact an experienced sales and service center such as Coastal Power & Equipment in Houston, Texas. We can help you ascertain your needs, work with your engineers and maintenance crew, and provide you with the reliable new or used generators you need. If you are upgrading your facility, we also buy used generators and offer financing. For information, just call us at 281-962-1023 or visit the Coastal Power & Equipment website.


Commercial Printers Eliminate Downtime With New & Used Generators

portable generators for movability
For commercial printers, having steady power is essential to ensuring that they meet deadlines. Having generators onsite makes the difference for printing professionals of all types, but especially for those charged with producing time sensitive materials. Blackouts and brownouts can prevent equipment from operating or start, stop, or slow its operation, which impacts the quality and timeliness of printed output.

Having the needed backup power from new and used generators will keep your printing operation on track. You can’t print money, so keeping your equipment functioning at all times is the best way to maintain revenue flow.

Generators Help Maintain Production Schedules

Especially for operations that print daily newspapers or other timely material, having equipment shut down due to lack of power will not get the paper out the door and into the hands of distributors and customers on time. Tardiness disrupts the effectiveness of the advertising that is an essential revenue producer for publishers and for advertisers themselves. A printing facility that does not prepare for power disruption risks losing its advertising and customer base.

A large printing facility usually has an office pre-press area equipped with essential computers, a printing shop where paper is cut and material is printed, collated, and bound, and shipping and receiving, dependent on electric forklifts and other battery-powered material handling equipment. Disruption of the power source to any of these parts of the operation can throw the whole schedule off. Whether a publication is daily, weekly, or monthly, adherence to the timetable is essential to ensure that everyone in the distribution chain remains on schedule.

Stay On Time With Backup Power

For commercial printing facilities of all types and sizes, keeping customers happy with excellent quality, on-time work is the key to business success. Printers involved in producing catalogs, brochures, reports, and other printed matter want to keep the presses running and meet promised deadlines for customers who may be planning on releasing a product, announcing a price increase, holding a meeting, or launching a sales campaign with their printed material in hand. Having generators to rely on to provide power for computers, lights, and printing equipment will keep the presses running even in a blackout.

Plan Ahead For Your Needs With New And Used Generators

In any given year, weather conditions can lead to power outages, but having generators on hand to restore as much power as you need to resume operations can make or break the profitability of your printing operation.

When it’s time to upgrade your system or add new or used generators to your backup system, you want to work with a company who knows the needs of your industry, who knows the capability of different brands of generators, and who has access to the best in new and used generators. Coastal Power & Equipment in Houston, Texas has experience in the printing industry and can help you evaluate your generator needs, provide the new and used units you need, and even provide financing and equipment rentals.

To start the discussion about your generator needs, just call us at 281-962-1023 or check our website for more information.

Backup Generators Improve Quality Control For Winemakers

wine in storageWinemaking is an ancient art that has become extremely high-tech, as producers aim to create a product that has consistent quality to appeal to consumers and build brand loyalty. Increasingly, growers are implementing technology that requires electrical power at all levels of the production process, from when the grapes are on the vine to when the finished bottles are sent off to the distributor. Ensuring consistency is a matter of quality control, so generators are often key to maintaining the best conditions for making the best wine.

Backup Generators Used At Every Stage Of The Winemaking Process

Consumers may like to think that winemaking is a natural process, but the winemakers do what they can to make sure that growing conditions, fermentation, testing, aging, and storage are optimum to ensure the best product. This often involves maintaining temperature, which is dependent on external power sources that must remain constant. Both in the field and within production facilities, gas and diesel generators are very much in demand to make sure this happens.

  • Growing. Grapes need water to reach their potential, so many growers use drip irrigation systems to keep the roots moist. Composed of a network of valves, pipes, and tubing and emitters, the system requires either solar power or a gas or diesel powered generator to do the job. There are often sensors built into the system to determine how water flows through the plant and send alerts if more water is needed.
  • Sorting. Once grapes are harvested from the vines, growers want to sort the food for shape, size, and color, while rejecting grapes that do not meet standards. Many vendors use a device that pairs a vibrating metal plate that separates the fruit, sends it onto a conveyor belt, and takes a digital image that is used to match each fruit to the standard. When power from the grid is not available, generators keep the process going so that substandard fruit does not slip through.
  • Testing. Vintners also conduct many tests on wine at different points in the process to measure oxygen content, sugar levels, alcohol content, chemical content, temperature, and other variables. The testing must continue even if the power is out, so essential testing functions, using spectrometers and other devices, continue by generator power even if the grid is down.
  • Bottling. The bottling process includes automated filling, corking, labeling, and packing. During the corking process extra air is sucked out of the bottle to produce headspace or negative pressure and keep thermal expansion in check to prevent the bottle from exploding. Keeping the line going at a steady speed is important for economy, while proper corking is essential for quality.
  • Storing. Once the wine is bottled, storage at a consistent temperature and humidity is crucial to proper aging.


Installing The Right Backup Equipment

At any point during the winemaking process, lost power can lead to thousands of gallons of spoiled or poor quality wine. Power generators enable a commercial winery to produce a consistently good product that promotes brand loyalty.

If you are looking for backup generators for your winery, Coastal Power & Equipment of Houston, Texas can supply the reliable new or used generators you need. For information, just call us at 281-962-1023 or visit the Coastal Power & Equipment website.