New York City and the surrounding cities are of course among the oldest cities in the United States. Accordingly, they have some of the oldest electrical grids in the USA as well.
One result of power grids being of early origins is the widespread use of 208 volt electricity instead of 480 volt electricity. As one travels west of the Boston, NYC, Philadelphia region, 480 volt electricity is used commonly in buildings, factories, schools, and most everywhere large electrical services are required, not so in the older cities.
208 volt electricity requires double the amperage of 480 volt electricity to receive the same amount of power. Power panels must be larger, power cables, conduits, and diesel generators all must be large enough to produce the higher amperages necessary when utilizing 208 volt electricity.
The impact of 480 volt being more common across the USA on the diesel generator rental market is that most generator sets manufactured and available in the US marketplace are only capable of producing 480 volt electricity. Only one National fleet has any units above 500 kW which produce 208 volt, and none beyond 750 kW. In order to meet 208 volt needs, end users are required to rent, https://www.controltechme.com/ or otherwise supply, large transformers which convert the 480 volt output of the generator set to 208 volt, which the building can use. The labor costs, space, and additional power cable required to accommodate large transformers have just been a fact of life with respect to renting large capacity 208 volt electricity.
OSEC lives and does business from the New York City area. Accordingly, its customers use 208 volt electricity most commonly, and frequently ask them for large generator sets capable of producing 208 electricity.They recently contracted with a company from Carson City, California, to build two very special portable diesel generator sets, each capable of producing 1,000 kilowatts of power, at 208 volts.
The units can produce 3,400 amps of power, fed from very large bus bars accessible from the outside of the container. They carry 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel in a double wall tank, allowing the V-12 electronic Cummins diesels, which can consume 75 gallons of fuel per hour, to run for relatively long periods of time without re-fueling.
Again because NYC is a typical environment for these large generator sets, the units employ the latest technology in sound attenuation, with sound deadening hoods in the roof for both air intake and exhaust. The units are equipped with the latest technology in switchgear design, including motor operated main circuit breakers and paralleling controls to operate with other generator sets or the Utility Company power grid. The units include a sound attenuated control room, keeping personnel safely away from the engine and generator, as the engine produces over 1,400 horsepower, rotating at 1,800 RPM.
Other features of these unique packages include automatic oil level regulators, oversized radiators for operating in hot weather, Tier 3 engines meeting the latest air pollution specifications, removable ladders for fueling and operators, and oversized diesel starting batteries.
At this writing these unique generator sets have been deployed twice in New York City and once in New Jersey. One is currently providing power at 208 volts to a New York City supermarket 24 hours a day as the building has suffered severely damaged feeder cables, it is expected to remain in Manhattan for the next 30 days.