At the moment, globally, the most-used generator system is currently hurting both our wallets and our environment. Yet, because of their simplicity, low cost and speedy installation, diesel-powered generators continue to be the main source of power for users worldwide.
One can look towards the likes of sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South American, where grid supplies are at times dubious, sometimes not even there! But diesel-powered units are still well and truly used elsewhere. Why is this? Well, compared to the previous gasoline generators, diesel-powered ones are generally more powerful and more economical because gasoline is generally more expensive than diesel. Otherwise, they are often proven to be more powerful, offering greater resistance whilst being able to be used for longer periods of time.
But are there any alternatives to diesel generators? Especially when older models can be quite noise pollutant and those same generators are still proving to be quite expensive and harmful for the environment?
Enter: hybrid generators. But what are they? How do they work? Well, hybrid power is all about using two or more technologies in order to produce power. The hybrid generator in this instance, combines the fuel used by more standard generators with an external renewable energy source in order to create a high-efficiency system. This can include hydro-electrics, wind energy or a solar power source. The batteries in these hybrid gensets are then charged by these sources. The power supply ultimately is then given from the charge stored in the batteries, eliminating the need to have the fuel part of the generator operating continuously. Whilst diesel-powered gensets have provided hundreds of gigawatts to industrial companies and states all over the world, the issue of having those lacklustre gird supplies (as well as the price of diesel) has led many to go towards looking at these hybrid systems – with solar power proving one of the more popular choices for many.
It makes sense to use a solar-diesel hybrid system as an example then. In this type of hybrid system, the solar power will come from a photovoltaic (PV) system in order to start charging the battery. This is coupled with a diesel genset, which fills in the gap when the power is still being generated by the PB system. Allowing then, for minimal chances of going without power. An energy management system can also be introduced into these systems when the diesel genset has limited capacity and if the solar energy production is proving to be inconsistent.
This is a similar idea to all hybrid generators. Replace the PV system with something equivalent for wind and hydro systems and you can see how all this works. It might sound complicated, especially more than straightforward gasoline and diesel systems, but the advantages of hybrid systems are plenty.
You may not be sold in just hearing how hybrid generators work, or in how they get compared to gasoline and diesel systems, so why don’t we have a quick peek through the advantages.
It may go without saying when renewable energy sources are involved, but using a hybrid generator can be very environmentally friendly. Thanks to using the forces of nature to get your power, it puts less pressure on using the combined fossil fuel generator. Yes, the fossil fuel generator is there for the periods where power is being harvested elsewhere, but not having it run continuously means that there are less emissions emanated that can be damaging to the environment.
A little key component that you may enjoy is that a lot of hybrid systems come with noise-minimising mechanics. If you’re working on the jobsite or in an office, traditional generators can certainly be distracting with their common levels of noise pollution. With hybrids, that problem becomes nullified.
Again, this one might go without saying, but in no longer having to rely on fuel or diesel-based generators, having to buy those becomes less of a strain. Thanks to nature providing you with a supply of sun/wind/water, the cost of having to buy fuel or diesel drastically decreases, allowing you to budget elsewhere.
Because of the very nature of the hybrid system, with its use of two systems, the user will find themselves with a constant source of uninterrupted power. Due to the fuel system being able to soldier on when the renewable source loses juice, it means you continue to have a source in spite of the battery being drained. As well as that, the hybrid systems can automatically detect an outage and switch to fuel, leaving you with minimum fuss when the battery goes.
Oh and when the batteries do go out? You still don’t have to fuss. Let your element of choice do the charging for you once the solar/wind/hydro power is converted into energy for your battery.
The final advantage to be discussed may not seem like a great deal, but it certainly can be if there is a need for transportation. Despite making use of two systems, hybrid generators are typically compact and light-weight compared to the other options. This means that any other hassles related to possible storage and transportation are minimalised. Areas with any sort of height and weight restrictions should be met too.
That’ll be it for the advantages for now, but there is a very compelling case for hybrid generators going forward. Whilst there will be some out there that believe the fuel/diesel systems are more straightforward and reliable, a hybrid system shall allow you the benefit of two technologies rather than one. Along with that, in lessening your carbon footprint, one of those technologies stands not only to help you in your chosen place of work, but to go one further and help the planet – who doesn’t love that?
By all means when looking to rent a hybrid generator from us, or any generator for that matter, feel free to speak to us at ARH and we’ll look to get you sorted with exactly what will suit you, for exactly when you need it