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The Top Stationary and Portable Generator Brands

So, you’re thinking of installing a back-up generator to prevent power loss during a utility outage. While this is a great idea and seems relatively straight forward, there are a wide variety of factors to consider when embarking on the project.

The internet is filled with “Top Ten Lists” for everything from baby formulas to vehicles. Sometimes top lists can be very easy to define and create because the subject matter or “use cases” are well known and do not have many variables to consider. Other times, as with generators, the number of variables and/or “use cases” is quite large. Only after the use cases and variables have been identified can one determine what the top generators might be. For example, let’s say you want to make a top list of trucks. To make the list, you will probably want to consider the following: 

  • What kind of trucks?  
  • Is it a diesel or gas-driven truck? 
  • Is it used for towing heavy loads? 
  • Is it used for commuting? 
  • Is it used for rock crawling? 
  • Is it utilized for something else? 

All these variables should be considered so that the top list is accurate for the use case and variables. For these reasons, it’s important to first talk about the variables and use cases you will want to consider when searching for the right generator for your back-up power plan. For starters, there are three main categories that broadly define the use case types, namely:

  1. Commercial/Industrial Stationary Generators
  2. Commercial/Industrial Portable Generators
  3. Residential Generators

At Power Plus, we have installed thousands of generators, and we always start by consulting our customers on what their use case and variables are so that we can provide the best generator brand options. Depending on whether the generator is stationary or portable, here are some of the things we ask our customers who are interested in installing a back-up generator:


Commercial/Industrial Stationary Generators

  • The geographic location, for instance, where will the generator be installed? On a coast near the ocean? On a mountain top in the snow? In a desert? In a densely populated city? 
  • What is being backed-up? Is it a high rise apartment complex? A Restaurant? A life-care facility? Commercial Refrigerators? A manufacturing facility? 
  • How much back-up power will be needed? Are all circuits going to be backed-up or only the egress lighting? Are there any three-phase voltage loads for elevators, conveyor systems, electric motors, or other?
  • Is there an existing back-up generator that is being replaced? Does the new generator have to be placed in the same location? Is there a footprint size limitation that the new generator will have to fit within?
  • Have you determined your preferred fuel source? Diesel, natural gas or propane?
  • If you are replacing an existing natural gas or propane generator, do you know if the size of the gas line feed is adequate for the new generator?
  • Are there noise restrictions that need to be considered?
  •  Are you aware of any current ordinances by local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), State or local air regulations and permitting requirements for the type of generator you are considering?
  • Has any of the architectural and engineering designs, load calculations or single-line diagrams been completed?

  

Commercial/Industrial Portable Generator

  • Will it satisfy your power requirements? Different portable generators offer different electricity output capacities. This will have an impact on the number of tools the generator can support simultaneously. Make a list of the tools you need to run at the same time as well as the power requirements for these tools. 
  • Will it provide power consistently? If the power supply fluctuates, it can impact not only your project but also the performance of your tools and equipment. If it has too much power, there’s a chance that it can short out critical components or overheat. Invest in a portable generator that offers a low total harmonic distortion.
  • Can it be transported easily? While the generator might be portable, it might need to be hoisted or moved through narrow passageways. So, make sure you understand how the generator is transported.  
  • How often does it need to be refueled? The larger the fuel tank, the less you will have to shut down your generator to refuel it.

Residential Generators

Power Plus doesn’t perform residential generator service or installations.

 

The Top Generator Manufacturers

Of the 14,000 generators we service and maintain on behalf of our customers, these are the brands that we most frequently encounter:

Stand-by, Emergency or Prime Generator Manufacturers

Here is a list of the top stand-by, emergency or prime generator manufacturers (in alphabetical order):

1. Blue Star

Blue Star's gaseous generator sets range in power from 20 to 650 kW. For special applications that require gaseous options because of local fuel codes, containment or customer preferences, they are available in natural gas, propane (20 to 400 kW), and combined fuel options. Blue Star offers EPA Tier 4 Final compliant diesel generator sets ranging from 30 to 2500 kW. 

2. Caterpillar (Olympian)

Prime power or standby service, Olympian™ gas and diesel fuel generator sets deliver dependable, clean, economical power. Product offerings include the following:

  • Gas fueled generator sets from 158 kW to 300 kW - North America, 
  • Diesel fueled generator sets from 100 kW to 550 kW – Latin America, and 
  • Aftermarket parts and service - Global. 

3. Cummins (Onan)

Cummins is a world leader in the design and manufacture of power generation equipment, including PowerCommand™ standby and prime power systems. The company also provides a single-source warranty, planned maintenance, and around-the-clock emergency service.

4. Generac (Baldor, Magnum)

Generac makes generators for home, business, and industrial applications. They are fueled by liquid propane, natural gas or diesel fuel. They serve to protect your investments against power outages.

5. Kohler

Kohler's product range includes the following:

  • 14.000-Watt Air Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Service Entrance Rated Automatic Transfer Switch and Load Shed Kit. (14) $395400. 
  • Generac 16.000-Watt (LP)/16.000-Watt (NG) Air-Cooled Standby Generator with Wi-Fi and 16 Circuit 100 Amp NEMA 3 Transfer Switch.

6. MTU (Detroit Diesel, Kato Light) (H3)

MTU delivers a wide range of solutions to ensure reliable power, from standardized backup solutions to microgrids. More than 60 years of power generation system expertise and over a century of diesel engine engineering experience have enabled them to provide complete solutions all over the globe. 

7. Taylor

From trailer mounted generators to temperature-controlled generators, Taylor has what you need if your agricultural growth operation depends on generated electricity. They are power systems dealers for industrial natural gas generators and more.


Portable Generator Manufacturers

Here is a list of the top portable generator manufacturers, in alphabetical order: 

1. Airman

Airman USA Corporation (AUC), a subsidiary of Hokuetsu Industries Co., Ltd., is a manufacturer of diesel generators and portable air compressors. Their products are sold under the brand name "AIRMAN", known throughout the world for quality, durability and, most of all, reliability.

2. Atlas Copco

The company offers construction site generators from 9 to 500 kVA, providing multiple solutions. With the models from 250 kVA upwards, it is possible to connect and deploy multiple generators in a modular power plant format if paralleling, load sharing or power export is required. The QES range has been designed with the customer in mind. It is easy to move, operate, and service.

3. Blue Star

An essential part of blue star manufacturing is its environmentally friendly generators. The generators under the Blue Star brand are widely known for constant power, emergency need, prime power, and peak performance. The brand also aims at fuel efficiency or fuel economy while making generator sets.

4. Caterpillar (Olympian)

Prime power or standby service, Olympian™ gas and diesel fuel generator sets deliver dependable, clean, and economical power. Product offerings include the following: 

  • Gas fueled generator sets from 158 kW to 300 kW – North America, 
  • Diesel fueled generator sets from 100 kW to 550 kW – Latin America, and Aftermarket parts and service –  Global. 

5. Cummins (Onan)

Cummins is a world leader in the design and manufacture of power generation equipment, including PowerCommand™ standby and prime power systems. The company also provides a single-source warranty, planned maintenance, and around-the-clock emergency service.

6. Doosan (Ingersoll Rand)

Ingersoll Rand portable air compressors, from Doosan Infracore, are "built to be used", offering the highest levels of durability, productivity, and serviceability. This proven reliability and retained value make an Ingersoll Rand air compressor a wise investment in today's competitive environment.

7. Generac (Baldor, Magnum)

Generac, a subsidiary of Generac Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNRC), is a leading producer of commercial and industrial portable and standby generators. Magnum is the number one light tower manufacturer in North America, with a growing market share in the power rental and mobile generator market; it was privately held.

8. Hercules

Generac Holdings Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of a wide range of residential, commercial, and industrial power products. They offer solutions to power up to 32 generators into one system for greater reliability and availability.

9. HIPOWER SYSTEMS

HIPOWER SYSTEMS is the principal supplier of power distribution and prime, standalone power generation equipment and packages to the U.S. and Canadian markets. The company works non-stop to ensure end-users reap the most possible benefit from their equipment and expertise. It serves the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. The company offers portable power generation solutions, backup power generation solutions, and power distribution solutions to a variety of industries.

10. Kohler

Kohler's product range includes the 14.000-Watt Air Cooled Standby Generator with 200 Amp Service Entrance Rated Automatic Transfer Switch and Load Shed Kit. (14) $395400. Generac 16000-Watt (LP)/16000-Watt (NG) Air-Cooled Standby Generator with Wi-Fi and 16 Circuit 100 Amp NEMA 3 Transfer Switch.

11. Kubota

Kubota generators are designed with the user and environment in mind. These generators not only offer ease of maintenance and transportation, user safety, reduced emissions, and a quieter operation, but also years of exceptional performance and fuel economy. Kubota’s diesel generators are powered by genuine Kubota engines, renowned worldwide for their superior reliability and long service life. With a wide range of compact generators available, from 5.5 kVA through to 30 kVA, there’s a solution for almost every application.

12. Multiquip

Multiquip generators are some of the most reliable, efficient, and quiet backup power solutions in the world. Since 1973, Multiquip has produced high-quality generators that serve the construction, industrial, telecom, government, non-commercial, aerospace, federal and state municipalities, and oil and gas industries. Multiquip's gasoline-powered generators range from 2.5 to 9.7 kW and have earned a reputation for providing reliable power in the most demanding applications.

13. Winco or Wind Power

Winco Incorporated is a power generator manufacturing company based in Le Center, Minnesota with its sister company Winpower. Winco Generators have been refining the skill of power generation since 1927. The most inclusive generator manufacturer under one roof, Winco is capable of providing solutions for nearly all generator needs. Their goal is to make generators that work as hard as their customers.

Do you have a question about generator brands? Or perhaps a comment for Power Plus? We'd love to hear from you! 

Please provide your contact information, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact Power Plus at (800) 863-2525 | sales@powerplus.com