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Location Considerations When Installing Commercial and Industrial Standby Generators

With standby/backup power generators there is no “one size fits all” solution. This provides specifying engineers, contractors and architects with both choices and challenges for each application. Making a thoughtful, informed generator placement decision can prevent problems and ensure operation of the unit(s) when they are needed.


Space: Generators are large and bulky, so cost, logistics and maximizing space for the building occupants must be considered in determining the location of the generators.

Airflow: To prevent overheating, there must be adequate airflow around the generator and the installation must meet NEC requirements. This could entail the use of a remote cooling system, which adds complexity to the design.

Fuel Delivery: Diesel generators remain the most commonly used in commercial/industrial applications. In most cases, a large outdoor fuel subtank is linked to a smaller, indoor day tank. The linkage and collections between the tanks add more potential points of failure to this indoor solution.

Sound/Vibration: The generator engine and possibly the remote cooling systems can be noisy. Vibration isolators and other barriers may be needed to prevent inconvenience to building tenants.

Security/Access: Only authorized personnel should have access to the area where the generator plant is located to ensure generator reliability and safety.


Clearance and Wind Patterns: Note where snow and other debris typically accumulates at the location and place the generator elsewhere. Also, providing adequate clearance for the generators is key.

Severe Weather Patterns: When possible, place a natural or physical barrier between the prevailing storm direction and the generator. This can help ensure the generator will still operate during extreme weather events.

Potential for Flooding: The Gulf and Eastern Coastal areas have experienced much flooding in recent years, so engineers are requiring generators to be placed on platforms. However, if the incoming utility and electrical distribution are not also set above the flood line, the solution may not work.

Sound Considerations: Local ordinances have sound (dba) requirements that are set at the property line. Generators that are placed an appropriate distance away from property lines, may not need special sound attenuating enclosures.

Security/Access: Be sure that service technicians are able to access the generator during all types of harsh weather conditions, including rain, snow and ice. Also, ensure that only authorized personnel can access the generator to ensure safety and security.

There are pros and cons to both indoor and outdoor generator placements, with many factors that must be taken into account. Federal, state and local codes must also be considered.

Your best resource is your ACF Standby Systems. In many cases, we have already designed/installed a similar application so they can offer advice based on that experience. In addition, we have a wealth of local knowledge that can help you make the best location decision.

ACF, Inc. is ‘The logical choice.’

So whether your business is in Tampa, Orlando, or anywhere else in Florida we can provide the quality repair service your business can depend on. Find out why thousands of our customers have depended on us!

We offer expanded service capabilities throughout the state of Florida with offices in TampaOrlandoJacksonville and MelbourneParts stocked locally throughout Florida. Our service team is available 24-hour / 7 days a week. We offer repair, preventative maintenance programs and installation of air compressors systems and generators for commercial and industrial clients.

Let us share our expertise with you today! 813-621-9671.

The information above was excerpted from: Location Considerations When Installing Commercial and Industrial Standby Generators (Generac Whitepaper – by Daniel Barbersek, Director of Industrial Sales – East)

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