Picking The Best Commercial Generator For Your Property

Just about everyone understands that power outages can happen from time to time, but for some businesses and properties, even a few seconds without a steady power source could lead to a major catastrophe. Whether the power has been disrupted due to a minor incident, a severe storm, or some other catastrophic event, your business needs to have a continuity plan in place to ensure communications continue and operations are not disrupted.

The best way to ensure your property has 100% uptime is to install a commercial generator system to act as a failsafe for the inevitable. At Suncoast Power, we specialize in the installation of emergency backup power and power transfer solutions for commercial, industrial, and residential properties of all sizes. Not all commercial generators are created equally, so it's important to understand what type of generator or generators are best suited for your needs. Keep reading to learn more about the best commercial generators on the market today.

emergency generator 2

What Is a Commercial Generator?

Commercial generators are durable, robust, power-packed systems that automatically take over your property’s power whenever an outage occurs. Rather than relying on electrical companies to resolve the issue, which can take hours or days, commercial generators keep your building up and running until you can switch back to your primary power source.

How Does a Commercial Generator Work?

Commercial generators run on different stored fuel sources. The power standby generator detects outages and automatically supplies power when your property lacks it.

As long as your system has enough of its necessary fuel type, you can power industrial-sized facilities as long as needed. Once the power comes back on, the system switches your property back to the main line.

Types of Commercial Generators

Many types of commercial generators exist for various industries and purposes. Finding the right generator to fit your building’s needs will make all the difference during a power outage.

Emergency Backup Generators

Emergency backup generators are what most people picture when thinking of a commercial generator. Also known as a commercial standby generator, these units are a great way to ensure your business or property continues to operate at full capacity even when the rest of the city is without power. An emergency backup generator typically runs on some form of fossil fuel such as diesel, natural gas, or propane, however, there are some solar-powered options available. Typically when your location loses power, these units will usually takeover within a matter of seconds.

Portable Generators

While portable generators are not typically considered a “commercial generator”, they can be used in a variety of commercial applications. Portable generators are small and less powerful but easy to transport. Contractors who need to work at off-site locations may want to consider portable generators for their power needs. Portable systems can’t power entire industrial systems, though they’re great for smaller projects, ensuring you never miss a moment of work.

Towable Generators

Towable generators offer robust power output with portability potential, allowing you to transport it to any location. You may want towable generators for large off-site projects that don’t have access to a primary power source. Depending on fuel access and time limitations, you can use generators as your project’s primary or secondary power source.

Mobile Generators

Mobile generators work best inside utility vehicles that serve business purposes. For example, if you operate a food truck, you need a mobile system to power your stovetop, oven, microwave, register, air conditioner, etc. Mobile generators serve as a primary power source for utility vehicles that don’t have access to a standard power line.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are the classic type of backup power supply that most people imagine when they hear the term generator. Businesses permanently install standby generators on their properties to automatically turn on if the power goes out. Standbys offer the best safeguard for your employees, customers, and profits.

Prime Generators

Prime generators are primary power sources for projects that don’t have access to a standard power line. For example, if you’re beginning a construction project out in the desert, you’ll need something to power your tools. Prime generators operate 24/7 and require regular maintenance appointments.

What To Consider Before Buying a Commerical Generator

There are quite a few commercial generator options to choose from which can make picking the right one a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the space. Before trying to understand which system is best for you, we recommend considering your specification requirements. Once you know the type of power source you need, your power requirements, and your preferred fuel type, you can easily sort through our list of best options.

We usually recommend asking yourself two questions before getting started:

  • What power will my generator supply?
  • What do I look for in a generator?

What Are the Generator’s Power Requirements?

Your generator needs will directly impact which type of machine you purchase. Determining what power your generator will provide is the first step in choosing a commercial generator. The main usages for generators include emergency, standby, and primary power.

Emergency Power

Emergency power systems automatically turn on after a power outage but only power critical electronics. Critical electronics include anything that could put your life in danger when not powered on, like smoke alarms, fire detectors, elevators, and egress lighting. Your business won’t be able to operate solely on an emergency power source, though it will allow you to prevent catastrophic disasters.

Standby Power

A commercial standby generator automatically switches on after a power outage, though it controls non-essential electronics, like your air conditioner, heater, communication system, computers, lights, and so on. Standby power systems are excellent for businesses that want a backup plan in case the power goes out. Your building can continue operating at full force using a standby power generator.

Primary Power

Primary power generators act as the sole source of power for your project. Rather than switching on after an outage, primary generators stay on and consistently power your building or operation 24/7. Primary commercial generators are best for off-grid projects with extreme power requirements.

What To Look for in a Commercial Generator

Every business or contractor has different generator requirements to consider. Owners running a small apartment complex require much less power than industrial organizations, with multiple buildings constantly consuming high energy levels.

Generator Size

Determining the size requirements for a residential generator is as easy as calculating the square footage. Commercial projects don’t offer that ease. When figuring out the size of the generator needed to supply energy to your whole building correctly, many factors go into its calculation.

We recommend hiring an expert electrician to understand your required commercial generator strength. Our Suncoast Power electricians can analyze your property and power needs to help you find the best product.

Fuel Source

Generators run on various fuel sources, each offering different pros and cons. The standard commercial generator fuel types include:

  • Propane
  • Natural gas
  • Diesel

Diesel offers the best power efficiency, though each type has various advantages. Dual-fuel systems allow you to use two different fuel types, offering the most flexibility.

Single-Phase vs. Three-Phase Power

Single-phase generators typically power smaller residential properties, producing an average of 240 volts. Three-phase commercial generators work best for large industrial sites like farms or manufacturing facilities with enormous power requirements. Most commercial projects require three-phase power units, though we can examine your needs to help you determine the best system for your property.

Types of Generator Fuel

Like cars, different generators function on different fuel sources (aside from dual-fuel systems). Your preferred type of fuel will directly impact which system you can buy. Each of the different fuel types for commercial generator systems offers different advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences.

Propane Fuel

Liquid propane is the same fuel that often powers household items, like a grill. Propane is a clean fuel source, though it costs more upfront and produces fewer BTUs (British Thermal Units) per gallon than other options. Propane-powered commercial generators require a propane line, which can restrict off-grid projects.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is an excellent, inexpensive option if you have access to a natural gas line. Natural gas combines gaseous hydrocarbons (with methane) and other alkanes to produce incredibly efficient rates.

Larger projects with more power needs may not benefit from natural gas generators as smaller organizations would. Natural gas is only inexpensive for smaller-scale needs.

Diesel Fuel

Diesel fuel generators are efficient, long-lasting, and flexible. Diesel-run generators don’t need to be connected to any lines, allowing you to power your project from any location. Diesel offers excellent energy efficiency rates and convenience.

We usually recommend diesel systems to any clients that don’t have access to natural gas or propane lines. Even if you have access to these sources, you may still benefit from diesel, thanks to their robust capabilities.

9 Best Commercial Generators on the Market

After determining which type of commercial generator meets your building’s needs best, it’s time to find the best unit on the market. We created a list of the nine best commercial generators available to make your search quick and easy.

Best Prime Commercial Generator

prime commercial generator

The Gillette SP-3000 – 300kW (NG) / 170kW (LPG) Automatic Standby Generator (120/240V 3-Phase) is the best prime commercial generator, offering both emergency and standby use. The company requests potential buyers to call for pricing information. The retail price on this generator may vary based on a number of factors, but it will typically be somewhere in the range of $92,000 retail.

The top features of this generator include:

  • Natural gas or propane fuel applications
  • Circuit breaker protection
  • Automatic ventilation
  • Three-phase power
  • Long-term performance capabilities
  • Clean energy efficiency
  • Precise frequency regulation

Best Propane Commercial Generator

best propane gas generator


If you have a propane line and decide you want a propane-fueled generator, we recommend the Briggs & Stratton models. The brand offers propane-powered units with a wide range of power selections. While Briggs & Stratton offer a few models, their best propane generator is the 125kW Liquid Propane Vapor Standby Generator.

All of the company’s models include:

  • Wireless Monitoring to check your unit’s status and receive maintenance reminders on the go
  • Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Flexible installments
  • Automatic power distribution intelligence

Best Diesel Commercial Generator

1500kW Diesel Generator

Because diesel is a popular fuel option for generators, many excellent choices exist. However of the diesel generators we’ve looked at, the 1500kW Generac SD1500 tops our list. This generator provides efficient diesel power making this generator suitable for just about any application. It features the patented Generac Enclosure, an industrial alternator, and generator paralleling so you can chain multiple generators together if needed.

Best Natural Gas Commercial Generator

HiPower natural gas generator

Natural gas commercial generators are a very popular option because they can be connected directly to a city gas line. This ensures that the generator will always have a fuel source that never needs to be replenished. While there are a lot of great natural gas generators on the market, our favorite is the HiPower HNI-1000 T6U. This generator boasts 1000kW of soundproof standby power that could easily power a large commercial or industrial facility for as long as needed. In addition, because the generator connects directly to a natural gas source, you don’t have

Best Standby Generator

generac generator

The Generac Protector® QS Series 27kW Automatic Standby Generator (Premium-Grade) w/ Mobile Link™ (120/240V Single-Phase) is the best standby commercial generator. The system costs $12,997 and includes:

  • A five-year warranty
  • Natural gas or liquified petroleum fuel sources
  • Mobile device connections
  • Reduced power testing cycles
  • LCD screens
  • A four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine

This commercial generator works best for smaller commercial or residential projects.

Best Portable Commercial Generator

winco portable generator

The Winco WL16000HE-03/A- 14,000 Watt Electric Start Fuel-Injected Portable Generator w/ Honda iGX V-Twin (49-State) is the best commercial portable generator available. The system costs $5,759 and includes the following features:

  • Turn-key starting
  • Flywheel-mounted charger
  • EFI technology that boasts improved Hz control and fuel efficiency
  • A pressure lubrication system
  • Automatic shut-down on low oil to prevent damage
  • NEMA Class H insulation
  • Copper windings


Best Mobile Commercial Generator

The Cummins Onan QG 7000 – 7HGJAE-6758 – 7000 Watt EVAP Commercial Mobile Generator (120/240V 30A) is the best mobile commercial generator, costing $7,285. The top features include:

  • Quiet operating volumes
  • Voltage regulation for power stability
  • Easy troubleshooting with a self-diagnosing system
  • Remote controls and one-touch stops

While this system may be smaller and more suitable for mobile, it has the capabilities to power demanding commercial needs, including two air conditioners at once.

Best Mobile Light Tower

The Generac MLT4060KV-STD – 6kW Towable Diesel Vertical Mast Light Tower w/ Kubota Engine & Electric Winch is the best mobile light tower commercial generator, providing portable light for any of your projects. At $16,399, you can enjoy the following features:

  • Seven acres of light coverage
  • Separate on and off switches
  • Tempered glass lenses
  • Aluminum reflectors
  • Easy mounting for a quick 15-second setup
  • Compact storage when transporting
  • A fuel-efficient diesel engine running at 1800 RPM
  • Reliable and long-lasting engine life

Best Towable Commercial Generator

The best towable generator is the Generac Mobile MLG15M – 13kW (Prime) / 14kW (Standby) Towable Diesel Generator w/ Mitsubishi Engine. The system costs $15,899 and includes the following features:

  • Extreme performance reliability
  • Cleaner power outputs with a voltage regulation of +/- 1%
  • Extended engine life and fuel efficiency from the 1800 RPM (rotations per minute) design
  • A diesel engine for maximum efficiency
  • Rubber dampers that reduce system sounds
  • 86 hours of usage at a 100% load
  • 43 usage hours at a 50% load
  • Prime or standby applications

Each of these companies offers different convenience, efficiency, and durability features. We recommend reviewing your budget and power output needs before selecting a system.

Contact Us to Learn More About Installing A Commercial Generator In Florida

If you’re thinking about upgrading or installing an emergency backup power system at your property, we can guide you through every step of the process. Our team has installed a wide range of commercial generators throughout the State of Florida and has the experience to help you select and install the perfect backup power system for your location.

Give us a call today at (754) 200-5872 or fill out our online contact form to setup a commercial generator installation consultation with a member of our team. Our representatives are standing by to answer any questions you may have!