Fire Trucks Need Back-Up Power for Emergencies
Generators are built for emergencies. In situations of life or death, if you need power, it should be there. That’s why on-board generators provide emergency power for fire and rescue crews on the scene. Fire apparatuses, the general term for all types of fire-fighting vehicles, need to show up to an emergency scene prepared for anything.
There are a few options available for emergency AC power generation for fire and rescue vehicles. Over the years, fire trucks and vehicles have used everything from DC-AC inverters to portable gas-powered generators. Finally, the advent of on-board generators eliminated the need for a separate fuel source. Current on-board generators for fire engines are built right into the apparatus and are powered by power take-off (PTO) shafts and the vehicle engine itself.
3 Main Types of Fire Truck Generators
Fire truck generators come in three main categories.
Power Inverters: Inverted power is a topic we’ve covered before. In this mobile application, an inverter converts the apparatus DC current to AC that could be used to power equipment. Because inverters simply convert the existing power on the apparatus, they are not capable of generating high wattages, typically maxing out at about 500 watts. While this may be helpful for some situations, it’s not enough to power heavy machinery or appliances. For comparison, the typical portable generator that many homeowners have in their garages can produce over 4,000 watts.
Internal Combustion Portable Generators: This option is still prevalent on fire-fighting and rescue vehicles today. These generators have their own engine and fuel source, so crews must keep extra fuel on-board for the generator. However, good portable generators can create upwards of 10,000 watts, which could be valuable in an emergency situation.
On-Board PTO-Driven Generators: These “built-in” generator systems use the vehicle’s engine and PTO rods for power generation. One key benefit is that they eliminate a secondary fuel source. As long as the apparatus is running, the generator supplies additional power for anything from additional water pumps to hydraulic equipment. These on-board generator systems can put out 10,000 to 50,000 watts, so they are perfect for handling any type of an emergency in any setting.
Regular Inspection and Maintenance of Fire Truck Generators
Fire and rescue teams must carefully inspect and maintain all of their equipment. This extends to the generators onboard the fire truck. Cooper Electrical Services delivers professional generator inspection and maintenance.
Let our team create a custom maintenance plan to ensure your generator meets all required codes and is ready when you need it. The Cooper generator team is your source for all things generators in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Horry and Georgetown counties. To learn more about our commercial generator services, check out our Commercial Services page, or get in touch.