Do you want to know how food trucks get power supply? If YES, here are 4 sources of energy for food trucks and the best reliable option (inverter generator). Food trucks are becoming a very profitable in modern America, and the industry is growing massively. Many people are reaping the benefits of making their restaurants mobile, but one thing every food truck needs is adequate power supply.
4 Sources of Power Supply for Food Trucks
For anyone who is thinking of starting a food truck business, or for those who already have a food truck business, power is an important consideration. Food trucks can get power supply from various electrical sources in their zones or even choose to install solar panels, but the most common way food trucks generate adequate power is through the use of a generator.
Commercial food truck generators are designed to perfectly meet the needs of mobile restaurants. When sized properly, these generators can power your refrigerator, freezer, fryer, oven, drink fountains, and lights with the push of a button.
By far, the best type of generator for a food truck is an Inverter Generator. The Inverter is a lightweight microprocessor that replaces the old school heavy alternator in conventional-style generators. Inverter generators produce clean, pure power that is ideal for food vans. You get clean quality power with the peace of mind that there won’t be any spikes or surges.
How to Calculate the Amount of Energy your Food Truck Needs
However, the first and most important step when determining your power source or the size of your generator is to first know how many watts your food truck will require, then you can size your generator accordingly. If you’re planning to install a generator in your food truck that will pull fuel from the on-board fuel tank, you can use a standard gas-fuelled generator.
But if you’re installing a generator that will have its own dedicated fuel tank (such as a trailer or diesel vehicle utilizing a gasoline generator), you must install an EVAP generator to meet new standards. According to new emissions standards, if an EVAP generator is required, and an audit reveals a standard generator is installed, the fines can begin as high as $39,000.
Note that the new emissions (EVAP) standards apply not just to generators, but to all fuel system components, including the fuel tank, fuel lines, clamps, vapour canister, and so on. Even if you have an old trailer that requires a new generator with a dedicated fuel tank, it must be converted (along with all of its components) to meet the EVAP standards.
You also have to ensure that the generator you choose is the appropriate size for installation. Whether you’re installing the generator in the external storage compartment of your food truck, or you’re modifying your food truck to provide additional space for a larger generator, make sure it’ll fit before you place the order.
Also remember to make sure that the voltage meets your food truck’s voltage requirements. The voltages you will typically see are 120V or 240V. Coupled with being careful to provide ample air flow to and from the generator, it is also necessary to install a proper exhaust system for the generator. Ventilation and exhaust are important for two major reasons. The first reason is safety.
It will be bad for exhaust to seep into the food truck through the windows and subjecting occupants to carbon monoxide poisoning, but you also don’t want the generator to overheat. Proper air flow will keep the generator cool enough to operate safely, so don’t close the storage compartment to hide the generator while it is in operation. Leave it open and let it vent.
Why Inverter Generators are the Best Power Source for Food Trucks
Just like we already stated, the best type of power supply for a food truck is through an Inverter Generator. Instead of the heavy alternator found in conventional generators, inverter generators incorporate a lightweight microprocessor that provides a stable sine wave energy that is ideal for food vans. Built in a wide range of sizes to suit different uses, inverter generators are packed with features that make them a great choice for food trucks:
1. Clean Quality Power
Inverter generators provide peace of mind that there won’t be any spikes or surges, so you can power more sensitive equipment that you wouldn’t normally trust to a generator, such as laptops and tablets.
2. Very Portable and Light Weighted
These generators are not only easier to move into and out of the truck, they also don’t take up much space when you’re on the road. It simply means that you have more room for all the food and supplies that bring the money in.
3. Economical with Fuel
This particular factor makes it a must-have for food trucks, especially when you want a longer running time without the need for emergency refuelling stops. In an inverter generator, the engine speed automatically adjusts in direct proportion to the load applied. This means the generator maximizes the fuel efficiency while maintaining 240V (50 cycles) supply. More power for less money means bigger profits.
4. Less Noise
Whether you’re plying the streets or parked in the city, your food truck business needs a generator that doesn’t inconvenience you and your customers. Inverter generators are quieter than conventional generators and many are fitted with sound-proofed casing, insulators and mufflers.
Top 5 Inverter Generators to Pick for Your Food Truck
Just like other generators, inverter generators come in a whole range of sizes to suit different needs. That is why it is important you find out the wattage draw of your particular appliances so you get a generator large enough to power your food truck. Although there are different types for each set up, the most popular inverter generator models for food trucks are;
1. Yamaha EF2000iS
This generator delivers a maximum 2000 watts and is ideal for smaller requirements within your van; lights, cash registers, small fridges, blenders and other small cooking/kitchen appliances. You can also connect two of these units together via a parallel kit, to almost double the power output.
2. Cromtech CTG2500i
Note that this 2400 watt inverter generator is a ‘great value for money’ option, retailing at under $990! This generator is supported by Crommelins Machinery award winning national service and spare parts network and comes with a 1 year Cromtech warranty.
3. Yamaha EF2400IS
This Yamaha 2400w inverter generator is the premium offering generator of its size! The EF2400IS has won awards for its output performance; in fact it was the winner of the Caravan & Motorhome on Tour Magazine’s Mega Portable Generator Comparison, whereby they tested 13 portable generators across six brands. This generator is backed by Yamaha’s national service network and comes with a 4 year warranty.
4. Briggs & Stratton P3000i
This is also suited to run smaller food trucks, with 3000 watts of maximum power. This inverter generator comes with a very handy retractable handle and in-built wheels so it is very easy to move around. It is also compelling on price as a Yamaha or Honda model in the equivalent 3000w size is around double the price.
Like the Yamaha EF2000iS unit above, this Briggs P3000i can be paralleled with another P3000i unit to almost double the output if required. It is also a popular model to run Caravans.
5. Yamaha EF6300iSE
This set remains number 1 choice for mobile trucks and carts that run a coffee machine, coffee grinder etc. Especially since these appliances typically need a bit more power, you will need the 6300 watts that this model produces to run the coffee equipment as well as all your other associated appliances. This generator comes with a 4 year warranty and Yamaha products provide exceptional reliability.
Portable generators provide the power behind many of the food truck businesses you see around. The right electric generator means that as long as the customers are queuing, the food trucks can keep cooking. However, you need to be specific about what appliances you will be using.
For instance, if you have ovens and deep fryers, you will need 1000s of watts, which is more than you could get from a 12V inverter. You don’t want to keep your truck engine running, so consider an appropriate gas, diesel, or propane generator.