Following years of consumer feedback and research, Generac unveiled the latest generation of its market-leading Guardian® Series home backup generators at the 2013 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.
These redesigned backup power systems feature the new Evolution™ controller for easier operation, as well as numerous innovations intended to streamline installation and improve the user experience.
“With more than 70% market share, Generac has an extensive installed base of customers we can tap to learn how to make our Guardian Series even better,” said Jake Thomas, senior product manager, Generac. “We combined their feedback with formal consumer research to bring even more innovation to the Guardian Series. It’s more user-friendly and easier to install than ever before. All told, more than 80 innovations—large and small—were made across the entire product line.”
At the forefront of the product’s redesign is the Evolution controller. Replacing the Nexus™ controller, the Evolution controller builds upon the strengths of its predecessor. Its sleek, membrane-pad interface is backlit with LEDs that identify the generator’s status at a glance. The two-line, multilingual LCD display delivers the maintenance log and reminders so popular with customers, while adding new information about the generator’s battery condition, eliminating any questions of battery health in advance of a power outage. In fact, the Evolution controller offers over half-a-dozen additional alarms than the Nexus controller—including overload, battery charger, and fuse warnings—all of which help the homeowner identify potential issues before they become a problem. The Evolution controller also features a USB port that technicians can use to update controller firmware in the field, making future updates possible without the time and cost associated with replacing the entire controller.
Upgrades were made to the Guardian Series engines, as well. For example, the fuel system was modified and the choke eliminated to improve engine starting across all ambient temperatures. A common throttle body was implemented across all models, as well; not only does this make the units easier to service, but it makes selecting between natural gas and LP fuel during installation—which had already taken only minutes to complete and was among the fastest fuel selection procedure on the market—even faster and easier, with no tools required.
To further reduce installation time and costs, minimize errors, and accommodate current and future electrical code interpretations, Generac re-engineered many wiring connection points within the Guardian Series generators and the related smart transfer switches. They also modified the enclosures of both products to make it easier to connect wiring and fuel supplies. An improved hinge design makes it easier to remove the roof of the enclosure if major service is required.
As with all Guardian Series generators, this new series meets NFPA 37 requirements for allowing installation within 18” of a home’s exterior wall. It has been certified and listed by one of the oldest and largest independent applied research and development organizations, Southwest Research Institute, a nationally recognized third party.
“The home backup generator is becoming the new standard feature on homes,” Thomas said, “particularly in the wake of such severe storms over the past couple of years. With the innovations we’ve made to our Guardian Series, we at Generac are confident that when customers choose a home backup generator brand, they will continue to choose us.”