Generator Rentals and Services Ready for Emergencies

A phone call in the middle of the night can be a startling and worrisome occurrence, but for the generator rental team at Steiner Electric, it is just another day of the week. The team is available 24-hours, 7-days-a-week to bring power to its clients when the power goes out.

Steiner Electric generator rental and repair services
The generator rental team at Steiner Electric is on call for emergencies 24/7.

In addition to reacting to emergencies, the Rental Sales department under the Power Systems Division provides a number of other services such as preventive maintenance programs to increase the reliability of in-house generator system. Preventive maintenance services include planned maintenance programs, load bank testing, fluid analysis, and vibration testing (See sidebar, at end.)

As an authorized distributor of Kohler generators, the department rents a range of Kohler models for a variety of applications. “We carry from 20kw to 400 kw, and if someone needs some other model type, we will get it for them,” says Tim Morris, rental manager. “Whatever they need, we will get it for them.”

When power went out at this construction site, a new generator was called out so that the concrete wouldn’t harden in the truck.

The team assists contractors, electricians, maintenance people and other customers to select the appropriate generator, transfer switch or switchgear.

“Most electricians know what they are going to need,” says Morris. “They will measure the panel and if it is an emergency no matter the time of day or night, the electrician will usually tell me what they need and we get it to them ASAP.”

Powertron Tap Box connected to generator. The Tap box is a permanent install, and a rented generator plugs into it.

Steiner Electric rents the equipment on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. “Some businesses don’t want to buy the generators because then they are on the hook for maintenance and repairs,” Morris adds. “By renting from us, they get our experience and repair capabilities and they do not have to worry about fixing any problems themselves.”

The sales team can also set up the customers who have frequent power failures with an emergency power transfer box, also known as a Powertron Tap Box. The Tap Box is permanently installed and the rented generator plugs into it. The units can help restore power minutes after the generator appears on the scene.

When power goes out, work can stop in places outside the walls where the outage occurred. For instance, an automotive parts manufacturer’s power recently went out, which essentially shut down production at other factories that needed those parts to build the cars.

“As I was coming into work, the emergency service called me and said that we have a customer in Rockford that needs to talk to me right now,” Morris says. “As I’m taking that call, someone else from the (auto parts) company is calling us to tell us they need a generator ‘right now.’  That is how desperate they were. We got a generator up there in a couple hours and got production up and running again.”

In another instance, a high power line that stretched across the DesPlaines river broke and the power line was in the river. It took maintenance crews 3 to 4 days to get the power lines restrung. A food retailer was facing the prospect of disposing of $1 million worth of meat unless they could get power established within 24 hours. Needless to say, Steiner was able to deliver. The food did not spoil.

One of the company’s largest customers is a grocery store chain that keeps a backup, 750kW generator at Steiner Electric. “We store it here, in Elk Grove, and maintain it,” says Morris. “If they have an outage, we deliver where it is needed to protect their food from going to waste until they get their primary power working again.”

Each store has been surveyed and power requirements noted, and so the generator equipment will work basically in any of the company’s locations. “The way they look at it,” Morris says, “they save money by keeping the generator here and maintained so that it can be towed to any store, instead of buying one permanent unit for every store and paying all that maintenance and storage. ”

One of the most valuable services offered by the Steiner generator rental sales teams is a preventive maintenance program that will increase the reliability of the equipment.

The team will schedule maintenance to give the generators a thorough checkup. “One time, a generator had no oil pressure,” says Anthony Luzbetak, a service technician. “We pulled it all apart, replaced the oil pump, replaced the pressure relief valve, pretty much the whole system. When we were done, it ran perfectly.”

While most customers require standard equipment, there are times when some unusual needs must be met.

Typically, most generator applications require 120-240 V single phase, 120-208 V 3-phase, and 480 V 3-phase, but there are some customers who require a 240 V 3-phase unit. “Few people can handle that, certainly most distributors can’t, but we can,” says Morris.

Chicago has a lot of old infrastructure that still use the 240 V three phase, Morris explains. “We built a generator ourselves for one of those projects,” he says. “We converted a generator. We ripped all the wiring out and rewired it and just tapped it for 240 delta. We had to make our own controller. Now that we have it, we think this is a good little unit that is going to be busy.”

Sometimes the rental teams’ expertise can be a life saver. In most instances, the contractor or maintenance person knows exactly where to place the diesel generator. In one case, however, an electrician made a mistake and installed it in the courtyard of a 10-story, U-shaped building. “Every unit in that building was getting diesel-fuel exhaust in their apartments through their windows,” says Morris. “We found the problem, and we wound up having to move the generator almost a football field away.”

Keep Your Generators Maintained Before a Problem Occurs

A preventative maintenance program will increase the reliability of your generator system. In addition to scheduled maintenance and a load bank test, a fuel polishing program will provide early detection of small problems to reduce costly repairs and down time. Our factory-trained technicians can service most makes and models of generator systems.
* Timely and cost effective
* Generators 20 kW-2000 kW
* Paralleling Gear
* Distribution: Pods, Spider Boxes, I-Line Panels, ATS', Cable
* Heaters
* Light Towers

Hurricane Season Reminds Us Kohler Generators Protect Against All Severe Storms

We seemingly hear about a category 5 hurricane storm that the National Hurricane Center describes as causing catastrophic damage hitting the United States every few years – and the Atlantic hurricane season, which directly impacts the U.S. is upon us once again officially set as the timeframe between June 1st through November 30th. While Atlantic hurricanes have the greatest impact on the eastern seaboard they also bring about severe storms that can reach the Midwest causing damage from floods and high winds leading to power outages and other potentially harmful hazards.

While storms derived from hurricanes in the Midwest may not be as frequent, Midwestern businesses certainly need to be prepared for severe thunderstorms brought about by movements of differing air masses and unstable atmospheric conditions during the same seasonal timeframe. Research conducted by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center estimates thunderstorms cause an average loss of $2.8 billion per year. Businesses can do several things to prepare for these damaging storms and keep their employees and patrons safe including installing industrial generators that quickly provide backup power in the event of an outage.

 Preparation

On average thunderstorms occur 55 days a year in the Midwest. Their byproducts including hail, tornadoes, heavy rains, high winds, and lighting can cause downed power lines, floods, uprooted trees, and other hazards that can lead to power loss. Power outages can last for days or even weeks making it vital to plan ahead for potential power loss.

kit

There are several things that can be done for preparation of power loss:

  • Basic necessities such as food and water should be prepared and stocked.
  • Emergency kits should be on hand that include flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Have a first aid kit of medications, band aids, tape, scissors, antiseptic solutions, gauze and hydrogen peroxide.
  • Landscaping – trimming trees and shrubs minimize the risk of damage caused by branches in the event of a storm with powerful winds.
  • Have a power generator on location and ready to provide backup power.

How Kohler Generators Work

When there’s a power outage caused by a severe storm or other event, Kohler power generators start and stop automatically. The automatic transfer switch monitors electricity that comes from the utility. When power fails, the generator will automatically start. The transfer switch shifts the power from the utility to the generator.

The Kohler Generator will then supply power until the utility power is restored. Once the utility power is restored, the transfer switch automatically transfers the power from the generator back to the utility. The Kohler generator will subsequently revert to standby mode automatically, and be ready for the next power outage.

Kohler generators are thoroughly tested. In just 10 seconds, Kohler generators can power climate control systems, servers, and lighting – all at once! Kohler generators are so reliable that nuclear power plants and hospitals trust Kohler to power their facilities.

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Steiner Power Systems is the authorized Kohler Power Distributor in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana for Kohler Generator sales, service and rental. For more information and to speak with an experienced Kohler Generator application engineer, call 1-847-956-3098.

Powertron Tap Box Is an Economical Backup Power Solution

Being properly prepared for a power outage can be cost prohibitive for many businesses even though maintaining power is essential to operations. That is why the Powertron Generator Tap Box offers an economical solution for providing an emergency power source.

lightning

At any moment, for various reasons, a facility’s power supply can be severed. A power outage can occur due to several factors – storms, construction accidents, animal interference, and more. There are many ways to prepare for this inevitability, such as having emergency kits stocked with vital medical supplies, having adequately stored supplies of nonperishable foods and water, and having a backup power source.

The Powertron Tap Box is permanently mounted onto the outside of a building. It connects a mobile generator to the electrical system so that it can deliver temporary or long term electrical power. This power box can power a plethora of applications; including but not limited to:

  • HVAC systems
  • Lights
  • Banks
  • Gas stations
  • Convenience stores
  • Office buildings
  • Hospitals
  • Small businesses
  • Stadiums
  • Universities

Finding electricians, gathering generators and taking the time to find out which switchgear to power may take too much time. For many, a disaster recovery plan needs to address kilowatt size, voltage, cable length and which critical systems need emergency power. Powertron Tap Boxes combined with a contingency plan provide a way to bypass any guess work.

powbox

With a Powertron Tap Box, power can be recovered in just a matter of minutes from the moment the generator arrives. Powertron allows for power to be returned often without the need for an electrician. Powertron ensures that power is quickly restored, allowing businesses to resume normal operations for the short or long term, all without the need of a permanent generator.

Since commercial buildings differ from one another, Powertron can be designed and customized to fit specific requirements. For more information please contact us at www.powertronsolutions.com or call us at 847-956-5000 to speak with an experienced application engineer and learn how to make your business generator-ready and equipped to receive a backup power source.

Kohler Maquigeral Lights the Way to 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Over the last two weeks, thousands of athletes and spectators flocked to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Olympics––and Kohler Maquigeral was honored to light the way.

maquigeral

The first city in South America to host the Olympics welcomed over 10,000 athletes, not including 5,000 coaches and team officials, representing 205 countries who vied for the gold between August 5-21.Rio welcomes the 2016 Olympics

As host city, many infrastructure investments were made to prepare for the Games, including the TransOlímpica bus rapid transit (BRT) line.

The city constructed the TransOlímpica route to connect the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca, in the west zone of Rio, with downtown. This 15 ½-mile-long (25-kilometer) route reduced travel time to the Olympic Park from 2 ½ hours to 30 minutes, with capacity of 55,000 vehicles per day.

tunnel

New within the route was a 1-mile-long (1.7-kilometer) tunnel which took four years to construct. The entire tunnel infrastructure (fire pumps, lighting and signage) was powered by four Kohler Maquigeral container generators, 2 x 550 kilovolts (kVA) each, totaling 4,400 kVA, assembled and installed in just eight weeks.

construct

“The TransOlimpica route is one of the main infrastructure investments for the city of Rio de Janeiro. Kohler Maquigeral Generators will not only run during the games, but be part of the long-term legacy,” said Kai-Uwe Hirschfelder, General Manager – Kohler Maquigeral.

Kohler Maquigeral provides primary and backup power systems. The Brazilian company, acquired by Kohler Co. through SDMO in 2012, has 270 associates with eight sales offices across Brazil and a facility in São Paulo. Maquigeral produces generators from 40 to 1,500 kVA and offers uninterrupted power supply services.

Steiner Power Systems is the authorized Kohler Power Distributor in Northern Illinois and Northwest Indiana for Kohler Generator sales, service and rental. For more information and to speak with an experienced Kohler Generator application engineer, please call 1-847-956-3098.

   generator maguigeral

Kohler Gives Inside Look Into Manufacturing Innovations of Power Generators

Every Kohler Generator manufactured is unique to each market and end user. While some generators might look similar on the outside, they are made to perform different jobs and serve specific applications. Innovations are introduced during the engineering process for important attributes like fuel type. Meticulous work is put into designing the data boards that run generators for optimal performance by application. And rigorous testing is performed on crucial safety features as well as product durability.

Fuel Type Innovations

Generators powered by propane are specifically designed to efficiently maximize operating levels from that particular fuel source. Generating power through propane provides distinct advantages for mobile generators. Mobile propane generators have an on-board fuel capacity of about 24 hours of run time at 75% load. They act like any other mobile generator in the marketplace with the differentiating factor of having a more efficient on-board fuel type in terms of lower operating costs and higher BTU output performance.

Data Boards for Specific Applications

Generators need data boards programmed for specific applications in order to run. Without the essential data board, even with the best engine or all of the needed fuel, none of it will run without the right data board. Different data boards are required for each unit – such as for mobile, marine or industrial applications. As a result, data boards hold extremely high importance in the manufacturing of power generators.

 

Rigorous Testing

Each Kohler Generator undergoes rigorous testing before being released for sale. For example, ensuring every propane powered unit is properly tested for gaseous leaks is critical. Testing for leakage is made possible by using ultrasonic technology. Since propane gas is not visible there’s nothing that can be seen to uncover the presence of a leak. Ultrasonic technology allows the tester to hear for any leakage.

Another exhaustive testing procedure involves compressing the life of a generator through a thirty-year cycle, which goes beyond routine performance testing that simply checks if a generator is operating as intended. Compression testing provides a clearer understanding for viewing the wear – through accelerated life testing – to find out how the generators will hold up years from now. The process involves loading beyond what the load should be at one time and uses high load factors in order to compress what might be years of usage into a single test.

60REZGB

Possessing more insight into the engineering innovations, data programming and rigorous testing Kohler employs in manufacturing their power generators makes it easy to see why Kohler Generators are preferred throughout many industries and used for numerous applications. If you would like to learn more about Kohler Generators, or want more information about Steiner’s generator service, rental and sales you can contact Steiner to speak with an application engineer and find out how Kohler Generators can benefit your business: 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

Kohler Propane Mobile Generator Benefits

The Kohler name is known for its elegance and beauty in several industries; from furniture and cabinetry to engines and generators. For about as long as they’ve been making faucets, they’ve also been providing power through their power generators. The Kohler Power System Division is a leading manufacturer of generators in the United States.

Cost-Effective Alternative

Since 1921, the Kohler power system product line has provided power for people in businesses through all types of applications. Their ability to progress and adapt to the market has been a staple for Kohler’s success in this category. One of their newest products is a cost-effective solution for primary power for builders, contractors and business owners. Here is a look at Kohler Power Systems Propane Generators.

Kohler has been manufacturing mobile generators since the company’s inception. With new regulations coming in from the EPA more recently, Kohler decided to focus on a new design; a gaseous mobile unit. For years, customers have requested generators that are placed on wheels, and with propane mobile generators, they are offered just that.

Applications

For contractors that are on the jobsite – whether it’s a single home or whether it’s an entire neighborhood or commercial complex, Kohler’s mobile generator can be used and reused as a primary power source if needed. Every construction job is different, but the mobile propane generator is an easy product to move, manipulate or reconfigure for whatever the contractor needs.

Kohler generators are engineered for reliability, usability and mobility to serve any application, from construction sites in bigger cities to more secluded or remote locations. They can be used for many purposes, such as disaster relief, construction, events, healthcare, or anywhere where backup or primary power is needed.

Users benefit from higher energy output levels produced by propane generators, while also obtaining lower operating costs due to propane being cheaper to burn. Customers can save up to 20% in fuel costs with propane vs diesel fuel sources. Other advantages of propane include longer shelf life, cleaner burning, a quieter engine noise level and more emission compliance.

For more information contact Steiner to speak with an application engineer and find out how Kohler Generators can benefit you and your business: 1-800-STEINER (783-4637).

Use Backup Generators to Prepare for Spring Storm Power Outages

Spring StormSpring storms can wreak havoc and cause major disruptions to daily routines for homes and businesses. Being prepared in advance for spring storms that can cause power outages is critical to maintain operability, mitigate production losses and prevent injuries or even fatalities. Whether you’re caring for a home or managing a commercial facility providing a backup power source through a residential generator or an industrial generator can help keep everyone safe and productive without interruption. Following are some general tips on how to be prepared for spring storms at home or in a commercial business environment.

RESIDENTIAL

There are several ways in which you can ensure your home and family are ready for spring storms. Being prepared is your best defense against a power outage. The precautions outlined in the following checklist are important to maintain in the event of an outage.

  • Develop a family emergency plan. It can include phone numbers of doctors and family members, an evacuation route and a location that is agreed upon prior to meet.
Home disaster kit in preparation for a spring storm.
Prepare your Disaster Kit
  • Create your own disaster kit. This kit can also be a simple Emergency Storm Bucket, which contains important items such as sharpies, tape, flashlights, first aid kits, Ziploc bags, matches, candles, batteries, radio, landline phone, safety gear like goggles, and camera to document damage in a storm.
  • Turn off major appliances such as microwaves, TVs, and computers. This will prevent damage to appliances and overloads to the power system when power is restored. Leave one light switch on so you can be alerted when power is restored.
Unplugging your appliance from the wall in a spring storm.
Unplug appliances to prevent damage to appliances and overloads to the power system
  • Familiarize yourself with the main electrical panel. You may need to turn off the main breaker or reset circuit breakers after an outage.
  • Keep away from fallen wires, flooded areas and storm debris. You should treat any downed wires as though they have electricity running through them.
  • Consider installing a Kohler Standby Generator to protect your home. Standby Generators are installed permanently on the outside of your home. More information on residential generator options is provided later in this article.
  • Use caution when operating a portable generator. Use properly rated extension cords, and don’t place them in your home or enclosed space like a garage. Don’t connect them directly to the home’s electrical system, as electricity can flow back into the power lines and serve as a liability. Plug appliances directly into the portable generator.
KOHLER portable generator
Portable Generator

Many homeowners are now installing an emergency backup power generator. The number one issue people are faced with after a storm is lack of power, cutting off communication and other essentials. There are two main types of residential generators to choose from – portable generators and automatic standby generators.

Some homes opt for portable generators when planning for storm power outages. The benefits include ease of mobility and economical options. They are designed to run a select number of appliances as opposed to the entire home, so there are trade-offs to the benefits as opposed to a standby generator.

A portable generator must be positioned outside a home away from doors and windows in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Homeowners must run the correct extension cords to the generator and need to be present in order to operate and refuel the generator manually.

Kohler Standby Generator
Automatic Standby Home Generator

Automatic standby generators are installed outside the home. Standby generators rely on an automatic transfer switch, which automatically switches on the generator when it senses the main source of power has been lost, and unlike a portable generator, they offer the added benefit of being permanently installed outside the home.

They run on natural gas or propane and run on existing gas lines. Once power is lost in a home, standby generators are turned on automatically within 10 seconds. These generators can power all critical systems and appliances within a home. Homeowners will NOT need to be present to operate and refuel the generator.

A 20 kW KOHLER generator, ideal for homes during and after spring storms
Kohler Home Generator

It is also important to properly maintain your generator by having a professional generator repair technician service the unit periodically. Steiner can help you maintain your generator and keep it running optimally. You can call Steiner at 847-956-3098 anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for generator repair and maintenance services.

In addition to protecting residential homes Kohler also offers commercial and industrial generators that reliably power your business.

COMMERCIAL

Like homeowners, businesses need to make contingency and safety plans ahead of time in preparation for a power outage. The actual protocols vary on the type of commercial facility, however. For example, some buildings have elevators or escalators that may need to follow specified state or municipal regulations. Escape routes, stairwells and exits should be clearly marked. Emergency lights can also be installed to provide visibility by automatically switching on during a power outage. You can get more information on power outage regulations and safety requirements from your local fire department and government offices.

Businesses can benefit, too, from emergency kits. Flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, tools and even food and water are some ideal items to keep in your emergency kits. Having food available serves in the event that employees are confined to the building for an extended period of time.

In order to help save valuable data make sure employee work stations use UL-listed surge protectors and computers are backed up regularly to a data center that utilizes an uninterruptible power supply to keep its servers running when a power outage hits.

Small Business Commercial Generator
Small Business Commercial Generator

Many businesses install backup power generators for industrial and commercial continuous, prime or standby applications. For small businesses a standby commercial generator keeps power on and allows the  business to maintain operations during an outage. The generator is installed on the outside of the facility, much like an AC unit, and uses an automatic transfer switch to turn on automatically when it senses the main power source has been lost, during and outside of normal business hours so critical computing or machine operations can continue. These standby commercial generators run on propane or natural gas, so there’s no refueling.

A powerful choice for a spring storm generator
Industrial Generator

For larger commercial applications Kohler industrial generators can power large-scale data centers, sports stadiums, concert venues, skyscrapers, office buildings and airport facilities. These industrial generators run on diesel, natural or propane gas. In addition to industrial generators installed onsite Kohler offers towable generators.

Towable generators from Kohler, a great spring storm generator
Towable Generator

Towable generators are designed to be used for powering remote locations, sporting events or concerts. They can power hard-wired systems such as A/C, heat, computers, security systems and refrigerator/freezers. Towable generators run on diesel fuel or LP gas.

Backup power is important for every business; there are many benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Keeping the lights, A/C and heating on to provide a safe environment for employees and patrons
  • Protecting your revenue stream and inventory during an outage
  • Powering your communication, security systems and computing systems
  • Keeping operations running so your customers can rely on you

Power generators are a necessity for any business or homeowner alike. How do you decide which type is the best option for you? A towable or an installed commercial generator for your business? Standby or portable generator for your home? As an authorized Kohler Dealer, Steiner can help point you in the right direction with our wide variety of Kohler Generator options and experienced professional technicians. Whether you need help with installation, maintenance, repair or rental of a generator, Steiner Electric offers 24-hour service by simply calling us at 847-956-3098. An operator will be happy to assist and connect you with a seasoned professional generator technician.

The Skyscraper as a Small Town

Chicago_SkylineSeptember 3rd is Skyscraper Day, a date chosen in honor of Louis H. Sullivan, who is considered the father of skyscrapers. The first skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1885. It was a metal framed structure that reached a dizzying 10 stories into the sky. This was a time when most structures still relied on stone support and they worried that a human’s face would peel off if a train reached 60mph. Some continue to define a skyscraper as any building that reaches 10 stories, though most reserve the term for buildings that are at least 100 stories. Continue reading “The Skyscraper as a Small Town”

Planning for the Worst: No Electricty

Summer-Power-OutagesThe heat, the humidity, the storms: Summer in the Midwest. With the summer storm season in full bloom and a change of season around the corner (Sorry for the reminder), there’s no better excuse to make sure your home and business are prepared in case of a weather-related emergency. Continue reading “Planning for the Worst: No Electricty”

When the Lights Go Out, but Still Light Up the Sky

With summer officially here, many states across the country are launching Lightning Awareness Campaigns. While lightning can occur at any time of the year, thunderstorms tend to be more frequent during the summer months. Couple that with a winter-weary populace ready to enjoy the outdoors, and it’s no wonder that lightning is one of the top weather killers in the United States.

Lightning_awareness Continue reading “When the Lights Go Out, but Still Light Up the Sky”