ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Guide to Buying a Diesel Generator

Updated on May 28, 2016


A diesel generator is an electro mechanical machine that produces electricity. It comprises of a diesel engine coupled to an alternator. Its primary purpose is to provide power when the electrical grid is not available due to several factors (remote areas, grid stability, fault). Developing nations have grids that are not stable and as a result have a large requirement of diesel generators. Developed nations grid supply is generally stable and hence the applications are limited to areas such as critical power (hospitals, data centres, airports), commercial cases where loss of power will incur significant costs and remote areas (mines, communities) where grid supply is non-existent. Other applications include military, marine and telecom.

Selection criteria

In order to select the appropriate generator, the following factors need to be considered:

  • Application
  • Prime or Standby Power
  • Operating Conditions
  • Commercial impact

The ideal diesel generator would have the following features:

  • Reliability
  • High performance
  • Support
  • Efficiency
  • Durability
  • Competitive pricing
  • User friendly
  • Functionality

Diesel Generator Features

Generator range

Today there is a large range of generator manufacturers in the market place producing high quality product to simpler low end product. For the purpose of this article we will define the range by the following categories:

  • Tier 1 – high spec custom build generators for severe environments and for prime power applications. Eg. mine site no grid, dust, high temperatures, continuous operation where loss of power will cause large financial costs.
  • Tier 2 – quality mass produced generators that can be used for prime power applications and critical standby. Eg. emergency power for high traffic airport.
  • Tier 3 – low end massed produced product for minimal operation in standby application. Price sensitive. Eg. Standby power to a local restaurant that operates under a reliable grid.


Tier 1 generators are manufactured by companies who are based locally. They will either modify tier 2 product or custom build a generator. Components used will be specific to the application reliable and have high levels of support. The end product will be able to meet the demands of the application. Pricing can be 5 x tier 2 product however provides the best return on investment.

Tier 2 generators are manufactured by large engine companies based in the US and companies operating in large markets such as China and Europe.

The large US engine companies are conglomerates with several divisions. Their generators come under their power generation division. They are able to produce consistent reliable product and local support. However due to their structure they are limited on their ability to produce tier 1 product. Typical constraints are:

  • Company manufactured components
  • Approved suppliers
  • Mass produced
  • Design variations limited

Large manufacturers based in Europe and China are not tied to any particular brand of component given them scope to assemble diesel generators that meet the requirements of the majority of the market. Due to their large plants they have scalability and can acquire componentry at competitive pricing. They are able to provide local support via subsidiary, distributors and component manufacturers . Labor costs are lower than that of developed nations. The ability of their resources restricts them from producing tier 1 product. Any variation from their typical designs can reduce reliability. Their pricing is generally 30% lower than US engine conglomerates.

Tier 3 generators are produced by companies based in China. They use replicated components of well-known brands. They are not build to any particular standard. Reliability is low and support out of China is non-existent. Procurers can be attracted by the low pricing these generators are on offer for. Pricing in general can be up to 40% lower than top tier 2 counterparts.

Tier 2 - Diesel Generator



In conclusion it is important to understand the application and environment that the diesel generator will be operating in. This will provide guidance on which manufactures should be consulted providing the best return on investment.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)