A Look At The Pros And Cons Of Electric & Diesel Power Packs

By: Brennan Fields

Power packs or generators are must-haves in any large-scale project. Construction, mining, drilling and similar jobs need a steady supply of power and when these sites are located in places where power can't be drawn from main lines, there's no other recourse but to depend on them.

Such is the need for power that power packs are not only manufactured for commercial and industrial applications but also for consumer use. Unexpected power cuts and blackouts give rise to this need so that the market now boasts a very wide range of these transportable marvels.

No matter the application, the packs are either electric or diesel-based. Both have their upsides and downsides and getting familiar with them will help you make a better choice. Here's a broad look at the features of both.

Electric power packs: Electric power packs have a very high torque that guarantees instant startup. This benefits applications that need immediate power supply. Though small not usually exceeding 50kW they're handy for smaller projects and where constant power supply is not needed.

Like gasoline power packs, electric ones are perfect for intermittent use. They also cost less when used this way. And, just like the electric motors used in electric vehicles, the power packs are quiet. If the project is located in a noise-sensitive site this will come in handy.

Diesel power packs: Diesel power packs have several advantages, one of them being the absence of additional electric components required to make an electric power pack work. They're also powerful, more so than electric varieties. It's not uncommon to find units outputting over 200kW compared to the much smaller electric packs.

Because diesel engines have been around longer, R&D efforts have fine-tuned them to near perfection. They run longer, last longer, and are more enduring despite slower startups. They're also built to withstand pressure so they're able to cater to constant power demands. This is achieved by having the engine run at a slower speed which reduces the risk of early failure.

Diesel power packs do have a couple of drawbacks, one being noise. However, this isn't a big issue in already noisy construction and industrial applications. Besides, the pros far outweigh the cons and as any user knows, diesel power packs offer the best value for money.

Since the two power packs offer different values the only way to ascertain which to use is to determine if usage will be intermittent or constant. Budgetary considerations also come into play; however, the units vary in output so it's possible to get what's needed within budget.

Aside from the output and engine type, power packs should be chosen depending on whether they'll be used as standby or prime power suppliers. Standby units wouldn't have to be very large though they'd need to produce considerable output. Prime power units, on the other hand, would need to have a very high output as no other power supply will be available. With this type as a diesel generator, outputted kW needs to be derated by around 20 percent.

Because power packs are expensive by anyone's standard, it's sometimes wiser to hire than purchase them. If their use is not for the long term or if budget just doesn't allow for purchase, hiring will turn out to be much more cost-effective.

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Electric Hydraulic Power Packsposses high torque that guarantees instant startup because of the ability to withstand pressure and it's reduced burden of failure. For some help with the pros and cons of power packs, visit this website.

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