What To Consider When Designing a Generator Pad

Have you adhered to the tips provided for buying a generator that best fits your needs? Now that your generator has been delivered and is at the installation phase, there are a few things that should be considered. These considerations include noise, the availability of fuel, airflow, and exhaust flow, among others. There is, however, another consideration that is equally important – the base pad where the generator will be situated. Installation of a generator can either be done by your internal team or by an external contractor.

Cummins Generator mounting pad. Image courtesy apelectric.com

There are 4 things that should be considered in the construction of a generator pad including:

1. Size of the generator pad

The size of the generator pad is probably the easiest consideration when installing a generator. The main thing to consider when determining the pad size is the size of the generator and the desired clearance on either side. From the vast experience gathered at Inborn Energy in generator installation, we recommend that the clearance be about 12 inches on all sides, which leaves enough space for technicians to stand on when servicing the generator.

2. Composition of the pad

There are many different sizes and types of generators, which ultimately determine the composition of the pad during generator installation. It is important to contact the supplier to get the recommended ratios for your concrete pad. The general industry recommendation is a ratio of 1:2:3 for cement, sand and aggregate, respectively. You should be careful on the ratios used by the contractor to ensure that they do a good job as a substandard generator pad may crumble under the pressure of the generator.

3. Thickness of the pad

The thickness of your generator pad is determined by the weight of the generator. The pad must be equal in weight or weigh more than the load it should support for structural soundness. The recommended thickness of the pad should be 68 kg per cubic feet using the standard construction ratios. The recommended weight of the generator pad and the density of the pad can be used to calculate the volume. The thickness is subsequently calculated by dividing the volume and the surface area using the formula:

Thickness = weight/density, divided by surface area.

4. Position of conduits for carrying power cables

Conduits for carrying power cables are a very important consideration since their location cannot be changed once the concrete has been poured on the generator pad. It is essential that cable conduits be placed the first time correctly. The placement of cables is dependent on the generator including its size and load. The conduit is ideally brought where the load leads, which is directly under the junction box. The junction box is where the breakers or the alternator bus and switches are located. If your generator does not have a sub-base tank, the area between the alternator end skids remains open so that it does not restrict where conduits can be brought up.

Even where the conduit is not under the junction box, the generator cable leads should not be restricted. Generators that have a sub-base tank are more difficult to plan for. The tank is in the way but the open area at the bottom of the tank supersedes the junction box location meaning that the wires can be pulled through it. Failure in placing conduits in the right position can cost more money and time. It is best to consult a professional beforehand prior to planning for conduits.

Designing a generator pad is an important factor during the installation of a generator. The pad and the generator must be the best fit for optimum operation of the generator and for ease of maintenance. Installation of a generator is a precise undertaking, which requires input from professional technicians.

Inborn Energy has many years of experience in designing, selling and installing different generator pads. We will design the most appropriate generator pad for your business or home to avoid costly mistakes.

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Need help with installation of your generator? We can help.

+254 732 291 633 | nmuchemi@inbornenergy.com

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