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What Is The Biggest Commercial Generator

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  • 10-02-2022
What Is The Biggest Commercial Generator

What Is The Biggest Commercial Generator? We look at the difference between Residential and Industrial generators and the Sizing Considerations for their use.

Generator Classes: Residential vs Industrial

Household Generator

You may already have a clear idea of the generator class you require. For those homeowners searching across the market for appropriate standby power or backup, you'll need a potential small, portable generator or stationary standby generator.

For a household standby generator, the sizes run approximately 2kW-2000 or fewer watts for recreational units up to 50kW.

Typically, the power generators utilise a single-phase current; they are sufficient features to provide reliable power output for smaller devices and equipment that don't need an even balance of high-voltage energy consistently. 

Industrial Generators

Industrial generators are incredibly available in various sizes, beginning 20kW up to 3MW and more. Much more extensive industrial applications and businesses generally require a higher power capacity; therefore, many companies use three-phase motors to help them achieve such high power levels.

Building complexes like educational institutions, shopping malls and living centres, office buildings, data centres and manufacturing facilities will also need larger-capacity generators to provide the necessary amount of electricity.

Such is often the case, whether emergency backup power generation or primary power supply. 

Across the UK market, you'll find a wide range of generator manufacturers that supply diesel generators and natural gas-powered generators, including Denyo, Stephill, Pramac, Smdo And Arcgen.


Available will be generators perfectly suitable for industrial and residential properties or construction sites that cannot utilise the energy from power plants. They also supply a wide range of power generation products, such as power modules for control, light towers and high strength blocks in multiple storey buildings. 

Commercial Generator Sizing

Each business is incredibly different depending on the power level they require to provide energy to their tools and devices. You'll find that even when the machines and equipment are the same or similar, there are still massive differences in techniques, the number of employees and customers and the way the business operates. The surrounding environment also plays an enormous part in the suitable size of your commercial or industrial generators.

Commercial standby generators can supply power for a wide range of services and applications, including restaurants, retail, manufacturing and other essential applications to assist them through detrimental power outages.

Without any backup power, some businesses must be forced to close. Lack of power in large bearing areas can result in devastating consequences, especially during extended electricity outages that can last for multiple hours on end.

Backup power for freezers, refrigeration units, security and heating, is critical during power outages alongside various applications. Commercial and industrial generators can prevent many losses that cause businesses to stop efficiently operating due to outages.

Stationary and portable generators allow significant building services to proceed during working hours. Companies using backup generators can continue to fucntion without loss of internet access, refrigeration or lighting. 


Sizing Considerations

Choosing the ideal commercial generator that will suit the equipment needed for your business requires plenty of thought and consideration than simple residential applications. Some factors to consider include voltage, single or 3-phase power, total power requirements and more.

Numerous commercial applications may need surge capability or a far greater reserve, and this is especially the case when your more expansive motors operate independently on several equipment pieces, turning off and on more frequently.

Large motors often have an inrush current that exceeds 200% of their typical full-load usage for much shorter periods. Engines can be incredibly challenging to start, or they can cause significant damage if they lack efficient starting capacity.

When calculating the required reserve capacity for your companies generator, you must include the allowable voltage drop for each device. For some devices, momentary drops in voltage of around 30% can be acceptable; however, for others, it's not. 

Fuel is another factor you must consider when deciding which commercial generator is most suitable for the equipment or technological devices you use. Diesel generator sets and engines have built an incredible reputation for reliability and longevity.


Diesel fuel storage is a significant concern created and governed by local codes; each code may vary depending on different jurisdictions. You tend to discover that natural gas is a widely available fuel option in various towns and cities; however, it is less prevalent in rural and smaller towns.

Natural gas doesn't need any storage; typically, it gets delivered to users directly through the pipeline.

Propane or LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas) is far more straightforward to store on construction sites, and they possess far fewer environmental risks compared to diesel fuel. Low fuel consumption is far better for the environment. 

Total Load Capacity By Measurement

You must first utilise your company's billing system; this will help you discover your maximum power usage and total load capacity.

Generally, most companies seek to involve the peak energy demand on your monthly bill, which acts as an estimate. It's best to carefully analyse the previous year's overall power usage to uncover the highest possible peak demands and reserve an additional 25% capacity if you require more.

The method of using the previous year's highest outcome as a baseline works exceptionally well for industries and facilities that operate tools and equipment 24 hours a day, for example, refrigerators and freezers.

You'll want to find the largest motor starting current - the one that turns off and on - then multiply that by the voltage suggested for the overall number of watts that it requires. When it comes to numerous other motor or non-motor loads, you must multiply that motor's current by the voltage.

The watts required in total for your largest running engine alongside all remaining motor and non-motor loads must then be multiplied by 1000 for the total power in kilowatts. The final steps are to add 25% for reserve or surge capacity and the overall generator size to get your full load capacity result. 

Square Footage Measurement

The overall method used for square footage sizing is often seen in factory and retail applications, for example, restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and various commercial applications. You can accurately use the following calculations to determine your power generation products' final size. 

The calculation is as follows:

Retail application: 50 Kilowatts + 10 watts per square foot

Other commercial applications: 50 Kilowatts + 5 watts per square foot


What is the World's Largest Commercial Generator?

Generator Source, a company in Colorado, received a diesel generator shipment of two Cat C175-20 4000 kW models. The model is the world's largest commercial generator; its units are in pristine condition with top-quality, brand-new power generation equipment that professionals had never utilised before. 

Its mechanisms were built entirely from scratch, making the models the most efficient that they can be. The efficiency of the industrial generators made them incredibly popular; the generators were rapidly shipped to various commercial sites once customers had placed their orders.

Professional generator manufacturers, such as SDMO industries and numerous others, discovered each of the high-quality generator sets to have 60Hz, 4160 Volts and an 1800 RPM. 

The C175-20 model was skillfully designed using the blueprint of the C175-16; it is a unit used in heavy applications and on construction sites worldwide for approximately eight years or more. These generators both use the same engine parts at their core.

The Cat 3500 series founded the C175 model when it was previously known as a workhorse for the Cat units. The series continues to offer an incredibly reliable platform and overall foundation for professionals to design their equipment around. Around 34 of the C175-20 provide excellent power for a Brazilian utilit company. 

 Generators For Sale

If you are looking to stay as prepared as possible when it comes to powering your events, call us today on 01172 541069 for help choosing the right generator for you. 

Now you know the requirements for common appliances you might be using at your events, get in contact to find the right generator for you.

Alternatively, see our range of generators here;