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What size generator do I need for an outdoor event?

Hosting an outdoor event in the UK requires careful planning and preparation to ensure the event runs smoothly and safely. One of the most important considerations when planning an outdoor event is selecting the appropriate generator to provide power for the event. This guide will provide a comprehensive overview of the factors to consider when choosing a generator for an outdoor event in the UK.



Determine the Power Requirements


The first step in choosing a generator for an outdoor event is to determine the power requirements for the event. This will depend on the size of the event, the number of attendees, and the equipment that will need power. Start by making a list of all the equipment that will require power, including lighting, sound systems, and any other electrical appliances. Determine the power requirements for each item and add up the total power requirements for the event. Alternatively, you hire a reputable company such as Arc Stage Hire to complete this for you.


Generators are rated in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW) and the size of the generator required will depend on the total power requirements of the event. As a general rule, it is recommended to choose a generator that is at least 20% larger than the total power requirements, to ensure that there is enough power to meet the needs of the event.



Consider the Type of Generator


There are several types of generators available, and the type of generator you choose will depend on the specific needs of your event. The most common types of generators are petrol, diesel, and gas generators.

Petrol generators are lightweight and portable, making them a good choice for small outdoor events. They are also quieter than diesel generators, but they are less fuel-efficient and may not be suitable for larger events.


Diesel generators are more fuel-efficient than petrol generators and are often used for larger outdoor events. They are also more durable and can run for longer periods of time, making them a good choice for events that require continuous power.

Gas generators are quieter and more environmentally friendly than petrol and diesel generators, but they are also less powerful and may not be suitable for larger events.

Consider Noise Levels


The noise level of the generator is an important consideration, particularly for events where sound quality is important. Petrol generators are generally the quietest option, but they may not be powerful enough for larger events. Diesel generators are louder than petrol generators but are often more powerful and can run for longer periods of time.

It is important to choose a generator with a noise level that is appropriate for the event. Check the decibel (dB) rating of the generator before making a decision. Generally, a generator with a dB rating of 60 or lower is considered quiet, while a rating of 80 or higher is considered loud.



Consider Environmental Impact


Generators can have a significant environmental impact, particularly if they are used for extended periods of time. It is important to choose a generator that is as environmentally friendly as possible, particularly if the event is being held in a sensitive environmental area.

Gas generators are generally the most environmentally friendly option, as they produce lower levels of emissions than petrol or diesel generators. However, they are also less powerful and may not be suitable for larger events.


If you are using a diesel generator, look for a generator that is designed to be as fuel-efficient as possible. This will help to reduce the emissions produced by the generator and minimize its environmental impact.



Consider Safety Features


Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a generator for an outdoor event. Look for a generator that has safety features such as overload protection, circuit breakers, and automatic shutdown features in case of an emergency.

Make sure that the generator is positioned in a safe location, away from any potential hazards such as flammable materials or water. Ensure that the generator is properly grounded and that all cables and connections are properly secured.



Consider the Cost


The cost of the generator is another important consideration when choosing a generator for an outdoor event. Generators can vary greatly in price, with smaller generators starting at a few hundred pounds and larger generators costing several thousand pounds.

While cost is important, it should not be the only factor to consider. Cheaper generators may not be as reliable or as fuel-efficient as more expensive generators and may be more liable to breakdown. It is important to find a generator that provides the right balance of cost, reliability, and efficiency.



Consider Hire vs. Purchase


When choosing a generator for an outdoor event, it is important to decide whether to hire or purchase the generator. Hiring a generator may be a more cost-effective option for smaller events, as it allows you to choose a generator that is tailored to the specific needs of your event without the upfront costs of purchasing a generator.

If you plan to use the generator for multiple events, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a generator. This also allows you to choose a generator that is specifically designed for your needs and that meets your exact power requirements.

When hiring a generator, be sure to choose a reputable supplier who can provide a reliable and well-maintained generator for your event. When purchasing a generator, be sure to choose a reputable supplier and to invest in a high-quality generator that will last for many years.


Consider Logistics


Finally, when choosing a generator for an outdoor event, it is important to consider the logistics of transporting and installing the generator. Generators can be heavy and bulky, and may require specialized equipment to transport and install.

Be sure to plan ahead and consider the logistics of transporting and installing the generator at the event site. This may involve coordinating with the event venue or hiring a professional generator supplier who can handle the logistics for you.




Conclusion


In conclusion, choosing the appropriate generator for an outdoor event in the UK requires careful consideration of several factors, including power requirements, type of generator, noise levels, environmental impact, safety features, cost, and logistics. By taking the time to consider these factors and choose a generator that meets your specific needs, you can ensure that your outdoor event is a success and that your guests are provided with reliable and safe power throughout the event.


Arc Stage Hire

Outdoor staging and production


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