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Frequently Asked Questions

1) What does AMGEN offer that other suppliers don't?

2) Is Value more important than price even in a recession?

3) Why do I need a generator?

4) Will the supply of electricity by ESKOM improve or deteriorate further?

5) Benefits of a permanently installed generator over a hire generator?

6) Why do I need a Generator if I have a battery back up system like a UPS?

7) What size of generator do I need?

8) Why do I need a Generator Control Panel?

9) What are the Different Types of Generator Sets?

10) What is Continuous or Constant Power?

11) How can Power Disturbances affect Electronic Equipment?

12) What Effect could this have on my Business?

13) How long will it take before my Generator gets delivered?

14) How much will it cost?

15) Maintenance and servicing?

16) What causes Poor Power Quality?

17) What is Load Shedding?

18) What must I install? PETROL or DIESEL?

19) Do your Generators work on Bio diesel?

20) What causes Power Failures?

21) What is a diesel generator?

1) What does AMGEN offer that other Suppliers don't? (back to top)

Professional Consultation to ensure a correct constant power solution from 5 kVA to 5 000 kVA. We are engineer driven and have 35 years of hands on specialist knowledge. We will assess your site and propose a totally turn key solution from design, build, supply to delivery, installation, commissioning and servicing. A Generator - UPS solution will be selected for specific applications at the right price to meet our client’s requirements. Unsurpassed warranty and after sales service. With us the customer is KING and stays a KING. AMGEN’s goal is to provide quality, accuracy, reliability, excellent service, reputable products, integrity, honesty, transparency and fair pricing.

2) Is Value more important than price even in a recession? (back to top)

It is true that for some people price is the most important factor, but not ALL people.

Ask yourself the following questions. Why are they cheaper? Could be inferior components? Inexperienced salesman? Fly by night operator? (Someone who was not here yesterday is here today and won’t be here tomorrow). Are they distributors who have just climbed on the ban wagon and have no back up, service or specialist knowledge and import non SABS specifications products that are dumped in South Africa? Forgot or did not add all components required? Therefore Value for money is more important than price. Remember the maxims “you get what you pay for” a “Cheaper purchase is a more expensive purchase".

3) Why do i need a generator? (back to top)

Electricity outages or mains power failures are a common experience in South Africa and effect business's and householders daily. Diesel electric power generators on their own or used in conjunction with invertors/UPS units are the answer. Wise decision makers understand the need for a secure and constant power supply to their business machinery and IT installations.

4) Will The Supply Of Electricity By ESKOM Improve Or Deteriorate Further? (back to top)

ESKOM cannot supply the current capacity required by the economy. Let alone the current economic growth rate. No new power stations have been built in decades. These take 7 years to 10 years to build and cost R80 billion each. Moth balled power stations being re-commissioned use 50 year old machinery and equipment. They are too old to be reliable and are a waste of effort by all concerned. No nuclear power stations have been planned only old style coal fired stations that will contribute to global warming. ESKOM also has a major skills shortage with very few hands-on experts left. The transmission structure is over 60 years old and is deteriorating faster than our roads, railways and dams. ESKOM is in a nightmare scenario with no capital, no skills and no way out other than privatisation. Any one relying on ESKOM for a quality and stable power supply well into the future has a greater chance of seeing the abominable snow man.

5) Benefits Of A Permanently Installed Generator Over A Hire Generator? (back to top)

A permanent generator is automatic and suits the company requiring one as:  

The life span of a permanent generator can easily be 80 to 100 years and more. We service generators that were installed in 1928. The only reason to replace a generator would be if it became too small to handle an increased load. However even then it could still be resold. So as an asset to your business it is very beneficial. The generator is always on duty 24/7 and is completely automatic. You won’t even know the power has failed, as it starts and stop and transfers the load automatically.  

A hire set is manual and only suits the generator hire industry as:  

Fees are payable for Delivery, Rigging, Connection, Hourly hire, Diesel Used, Collection, Dis-connection, Power Cable. For a 350 kVA a weekly hire could be in the region of  R20 000. At an escalating yearly increment you would fork out at ridiculous amounts compared to owning your own generator. If you were to use this hire option for only six or seven occasions over the next year or two you would have paid for you own set. What about the next fifty years of sporadic electricity supply by ESKOM. Also for power failures of six to eight hours you would hardly want the inconvenience of ‘to keep hiring a generator’. In a major power outage you would be very fortunate to even find one to hire. The manual transfer switching is dangerous as a mistake will cause an explosion.

6) Why do I need a Generator if I have a battery back up system like an invertors/UPS? (back to top)

A UPS operates off batteries and lasts only for 10 minutes. It supplies electricity for small loads such as terminals, servers, Computers etc. It therefore must be used in conjunction with a generator which could supply the entire building, factory with power for weeks. As long as the fuel system is kept topped up.

7) What Size of Generator do I need? (back to top)

The correct unit for your application will depend on the exact current and voltage you require and of course your budget.

The more power you require, the bigger the Gen set required and the more your budget must stretch. You can drive your entire business or you can designate certain essentials loads to work on the Generator I.E. Tills, security, lights etc. (In order for me to know the exact size you must look at the Amps of your incoming circuit breaker from your network supplier and I can match the size to suit your incoming capacity) Contact us and we will advise you further.

8) Why do I need a Generator Control Panel? (back to top)

A well designed Manual or Automatic control panel is a necessity not a ‘nice extra’ to have. It should consist of the following:

9) What are the Different Types of Generator Sets? (back to top)

You can use a manual or an automatic generator. Generators are rated and ordered according to two categories

PRIME POWER (MANUAL) - supplies power when no MAINS power is available. This Generator requires a BASE LOAD CONTROL PANEL to operate with a manual change over switch. The Generator will only operate MANUALLY.

STAND BY POWER (AUTOMATIC) - supplies power when MAINS power fails. This Generator requires an AMF or AUTOMATIC MAINS FAILURE PANEL to operate. The Generator will start in auto mode only when there is a mains failure. It will first wait for 5 seconds, in case the mains returns. If not it will start the engine. The Generator will take load after 20 seconds when the auto transfer switch is engaged. When healthy main returns for longer than 60 seconds the auto transfer switch will change back to mains and the Generator will stop after 3 minutes (a cool down period).

10) What is Continuous or Constant Power? (back to top)

Your power never goes off. A Stand by Generator and a UPS are designed to work with each other. This is the latest and state of the art solution to sporadic power failures. A UPS Unit is energised from MAINS SUPPLY until a power failure or surge. The stand by- AMF Generator set starts up and supplies AC power to the UPS. There is no flicker or break in Power. This is definitely a marriage made in heaven. Note: not all UPS' and Generators are compatible.

11) How can Power Disturbances affect Electronic Equipment? (back to top)

Depending on the degree and frequency of the disturbances they can cause permanent damage to sensitive and even quite robust electronic equipment.

12) What Effect could this have on my Business? (back to top)

    Computer System down time

    Lost productivity

    Reduced turnover and sales

    Increased operating costs

    Lost profitability

13) How long will it take before my Generator is delivered? (back to top)

This will depend on the size, type (open or enclosed) and trade name you are ordering. In general, 10kVAVA and below take 3 days. 20kVA – 300kVA  1 – 2 weeks. 500kVA – 1000kVA 3 – 4 weeks and bigger 5 -7 weeks.

14) How much will it cost? (back to top)

This depends on your needs and your budget, however to give some kind of indication on your investment a basic generator would cost roughly R2 000 per kVA. Additional costs would be control panels, UPS, enclosures and any other special need you require. There are different ways to finance a generator such as leasing, bank finance etc. contact us so we can advise you further.

15) Maintenance and servicing? (back to top)

We provide full distribution, spares and service backup on all products throughout Southern Africa.

SERVICING – A generator care program will be entered into after commissioning. Whereby you’re set will be serviced quarterly by experienced generator technicians skilled in diesel, mechanical, electrical and electronic fields of operation.

16) What causes Poor Power Quality? (back to top)

Many people blame poor or unhealthy mains power on the local municipality or the national grid, when in fact, the problems may be within their own facilities, be it a factory, office block, apartment block or private residence etc. Of course, power shutdowns throughout the national grid and at municipal level contribute significantly to power outages, but they are not the only cause. Major causes of poor power in buildings are also:

    Overloaded circuits

    Fast switching of large loads

    incorrect, old or poor wiring connections

    Unprofessional additions to existing electrical reticulations

17) What is Generator Load Shedding? (back to top)

If you’re standby Generator is too small for the load.  IE: Your normal electricity load is 30kVA but your Generator is 15kVA. The unnecessary emergency load requirements such as Geysers, heaters, etc. are removed. Very much like ESKOMS load shedding. You can have but you can’t. This can be done by our technicians at your site.

18) What must I install? PETROL or DIESEL? (back to top)

Only experts and specialists should modify petrol construction generators for automatic operation as they are high revving, (3000rpm) unstable, unreliable and prone to blow electrical equipment due to voltage and frequency fluctuations. They are also not very compatible with AUTOMATIC MAINS FAILURE PANELS, as they need to be modified from manually choked to automatic in order to start. They also do not operate with UPS Units unless specially adjusted. However for smaller than 10kVAVA and considering the above they are a cost effective solution compared to diesel sets which are more than double in cost. Above 10kVAVA it is recommended to follow the DIESEL option.

19) Do your Generators work on Bio diesel? (back to top)


20) What causes Power Failures? (back to top)

In SA and most countries in Africa the generation capacity of Power Stations has been exceeded by the demand. This results in power outages due to their not being enough power for electricity users as the mains network is simply shut down to protect expensive equipment from over load. Local utilities carry out upgrades or repair damaged transformers, sub stations, cables, equipment etc. Theft of transmission cables. Some times only one phase is stolen. This causes damage to electrical equipment; such as electric motors, microwaves, fridges, hi fi's, etc. Lightning and wind storms. Power load shedding by the municipality especially in winter. Failure of sub stations, transformers and cables due to overloading especially in fast growing towns.  Traffic accidents knocking down power lines and poles etc. Note: All towns in SA will soon have ripple relays installed in houses. This is so that they can switch on and off your hot water systems. This is an irritating power failure especially if you don’t like washing your dishes, bathing or shaving in cold water.

21) What is a diesel generator? (back to top)

A diesel generator is the combination of a diesel engine with alternator to generate electric power energy. Diesel generators are used in places without connection to the network grid or as emergency power-supply if the grid fails. Small portable diesel generators range from about 1kva to 10kVAVA, while the larger industrial generators can range from 10kVAVA - 30kVA for homes, small shops & offices up to 2000kVA used for large office complexes, factories shopping centres etc. Power generators are selected based on the load they are intended to supply power for, and that load's "mission critical" needs (e.g. a hospital needs to have 100% redundancy and up-time, a backyard standby unit to keep a hot home under power isn't nearly as critical).