GENERATOR SUITABILITY FOR THE CARIBBEAN ENVIRONMENT
On my many trips around the Caribbean we have noticed that, when visiting customer’s generators, they routinely have additional fuel tanks, rusted enclosures and OEM panels that had been replaced with non-proprietary panels, typically from Deep Sea Electronics. On some, the back-ends (alternator) had been replaced. Occasionally, we see generators inside buildings that had clearly once had an outdoor / soundproof enclosure.
On discussing these observations to the owners, they often say that the fuel tank supplied was too small, so they had been forced to purchase an additional tank. The steel enclosure had rusted and so it had been patched many times. In some cases, especially near the sea, they had finally erected a building around it. The panels supplied by the generator manufacturer had been complicated, required passcodes and proprietary programs the manufacturer would not share, and had stopped working. So their local mechanic had to replace it with a Deep Sea controller for which they could get free support and troubleshooting advice. Some back ends had burned out, usually due to the high humidity present throughout the Caribbean.
The vast majority of generators available on the market today were not designed with the Caribbean in mind. The market for most manufacturers is major metropolitan areas where there are lots of customers. In such locales, outages are short and seldom exceed 8 hours. So they come with 8-12 hour fuel tanks. The enclosures are made of low cost powder coated steel. They use proprietary controls that require passcodes and special programs to lock the customer into using the manufacturer’s dealer network, locking-in after-market parts and service. They tend to be complicated to accommodate the many requirements and options available in major metropolitan areas. Due to the lower humidity, they don’t often suffer corrosion related alternator failures.
Of course, our Caribbean environment is quite different from most major metropolitan areas. After more than 40 years of dealing with generators in the Caribbean, we have seen all the problems and shortcomings of the products being manufactured. Living in a very active Hurricane Belt, and often having somewhat unreliable Utilities, it makes sense to have at least 72 hour fuel tanks. Enclosures made of marine grade aluminum never rust and will last forever, even near the sea. If customers routinely need to replace their original panels with Deep Sea Controllers, why not just start out with one? And the cost to install an anti-condensation space heater in the alternator is negligible when compared to replacing the entire back-end.
So why not build a generator with these features? In addition to lasting longer and having a more trouble free life, it is more user-friendly. The customer is not locked-in to having to deal with one specific service provider. It that service provider does not supply the service the customer needs or expects, the customer should be able to choose the provider of his or her choice. That’s the way it should be, right? Regrettably that is not the case with almost all the generators on the market today.
10 years ago we decided that if the major manufacturers were not interested in building a Caribbean-friendly generator, we would. The Caribbean is a very small market for the big guys, but it is everything to us. It has taken us many years to get the right combination to make this work, but we have finally come up with the ideal solution.
One of our biggest challenges was cost. These features and benefits required are premium, but customers can be reluctant to pay the slightly higher prices. Finding the right suppliers with high quality standards and increasing volume, were the key, and we have done so and made it work.
The need for local service throughout the Caribbean to be able to address potential warranty issues was also key. Today Parts & Power are proud to provide a truly unique generator designed for the Caribbean, with long service life, excellent service support that is customer friendly and cost effective. So when considering investing in a diesel generator, whether it is for Standby, Prime or off-the-grid Power, give our team a call to discuss your needs. We will find a competitive solution that will work for you and last a lifetime.