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Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:   (doi:10.13031/2013.17773) in Standby Power Units. Chapter 13 in Fundamentals of Electricity for Agriculture, 3rd edition, 351-361. St. Joseph, Michigan: ASAE. . Copyright 2004 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Gustafson, Robert J., and Mark T. Morgan
Keywords:   Purposes and Importance, Standby Generator Types, Sizing a Standby Generator, Installation, Maintenance and Operation

Electricity plays a critical role in agricultural operations. However, the importance of a continuous electrical supply is not always recognized until a power outage occurs. Some operations, such as ventilation for confinement poultry or swine operations, may be able to tolerate only very brief power outages before the animals begin to suffocate. Operation of water pumps, mechanical feeders, milk coolers, and milking machines are all dependent on electrical energy. In the home, loss of power may mean loss of refrigeration and possible spoilage of food, or the loss of heat due to inactive furnace controls. Since rural power systems by nature cannot be 100% reliable, the everincreasing dependence on a continuous supply of electrical energy has created the need for standby electrical generation equipment.

Standby power equipment can eliminate the inconvenience, frustration, and economic risks of power interruptions. Farm operators must decide if they will buy the insurance of a standby generator or if they will accept the risk of power failure. The cost of the system must be compared to the possible financial loss and inconvenience created by a power outage.

This chapter is intended to describe the types of standby units available and give guidance on selection, installation and operation of a standby unit.

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