Generator Management

For how to choose and set up a generator, see this section:  Generators.

Establish a Schedule

Establish a set daily schedule when the generator will be on and off.  (e.g. for the office, on from 8:00 – 12:30, 13:30  – 18:00)

Publish the schedule so staff can make plans around those times.

All generators require a rest period each day, but quality large-capacity generators should be able to run up to 18 hours a day.  If there is no external grid power (that is, you’re your generator is supplying all of your power) consider either or both of the following setups:

    1. Two generators in rotation.  These would generally be of equal capacity but you could decide to have one of lower capacity and use it only for off-peak supply.  Having two generators is also a good idea if the field office location is remote, making it difficult to get maintenance or spare parts.
    2. Generator and inverter system.


Running a generator requires careful regulation of supplies and maintenance of equipment.

Assign one staff person to manage the generator.

The generator operator will:

    1. Do a daily generator inspection. (Checklist – Generator Daily Inspection.)
    2. Turn the generator on and off according to the schedule.
    3. Refuel and check the oil in the generator as needed.

The person should use the following tools, if the country program doesn’t have their own, to do these things:

    1. Checklist – Generator Daily Inspection
    2. Generator Log

And someone other than the generator operator must check them on a regular basis.

Generator Fuel

    1. Appoint someone other than the Generator Operator to be in charge of the fuel.
    2. The fuel custodian should keep a record of the fuel dispensed from the drums for the generator, to compare with the periodic reports of the fuel used by the generator.
    3. Keep fuel supplies near the generator, in a secure area with restricted access.
    4. Keep fuel in two (or more) sealable drums of a given size.  When all the fuel in one drum has been disbursed, use the fuel in the second one while you take the first drum to the fuel station for refilling (or have the fuel delivered).
    5. Designate a specific jerry can of a set size (e.g., 5 liters) to use for refilling the generator from the drums, to reduce potential error in calculating fuel quantities used.