We contacted some of the major players in the industry and asked them to describe their most innovative offerings tailored to the farm market. Here's what they had to say.

Katolight's Controlled Environment Package (CEP)

Stationary and portable line of engine generator sets tailored for the harsh conditions often found in livestock confinement operations.

Size: 15 to 2,000 kW to meet the needs of the smallest family farm up to the largest corporate farm. Typical farm is in the 60- to 400-kW range.

Fuel type: LP gas, natural gas or diesel

Competitive edge:

  • Product geared to ag

  • An integrated system provides all the accessories and controls to complete a fully automatic, on-farm installation.

  • Company has 50 years of experience in ag and has its own ag division. Ag market accounts for 35% of its sales.

  • Company is a one-source provider of all the acces sories, switch gear, transfer switch and engine generator controls.

Suggested list price:

Smallest diesel unit starts at $12,000, up to $432,000 for 2,000 kW. Common range for farm is $12,000 to $60,000.

Contact Katolight Corp., Dept. FIN, Box 3229, Mankato, MN 56002, 507/625-7973.

Generac's PTO generator

Power takeoff generator designed to meet the needs of the smaller farm. Manual start/stop.

Hooks up to tractor via the output shaft or tractor PTO and spins drive shaft to generate electricity.

Size: 25-, 50- and 60-kW units

Fuel type: Not applicable

Competitive edge:

  • $4,000 to $5,000 less than an engine-driven unit

  • Portable

  • Heavy-duty

  • Conservatively rated so that it will put out more than indicated for starting motor load or additional applications without pulling down voltage.

Suggested list price: PTO 25 kW, $3,910; PTO 40 kW, $4,269; and PTO 60 kW, $6,028. Price includes alternator, gear drive and shaft extension to meet the shaft coming out of the PTO on the tractor.

Contact Generac Power Systems, Dept. FIN, Hwy.59 and Hillside Rd., Waukesha, WI 53187, 262/544-4811.

Generac's Standby Diesel (SD) 60

Engine-driven generator designed for typical farm. Permanently mounted, but can also be put on a trailer. Automatic system comes on line within 10 sec. if there is a power outage.

Size: 60 kW. Series ranges from 10 to 2,000 kW to meet the needs of small and large farms.

Fuel type: LP gas, natural gas or diesel

Competitive edge:

  • Company has 30 years of experience in farm market. It knows what is required to meet the harsh environments of agriculture.

  • Generac is a total manufacturer, not an assembler. It builds and gives warranties on the entire product and provides all service and support.

Suggested list price:

$18,000 to $20,000 for typical 60-kW model plus $6,000 for fuel tank and transfer switch, either manual or fully automatic.

Contact Generac Power Systems, Dept. FIN, Hwy. 59 and Hillside Rd., Waukesha, WI 53187, 262/544-4811.

Cummins, powered by Capstone microturbine

Permanently mounted microturbine designed for customers who want to run a generator a high number of hours or power their site around the clock, have access to free or “dirty” fuel, such as a gas well or digester-based fuel, or have high electricity rates or extremely unreliable power. Capstone will supply engine components, and Cummins will put up generator enclosure and sell the generators through its network of distributors and dealers.

Size: 30- or 60-kW machines that can be linked in an array of 20 units to provide from 30 kW to 1.2 MW

Fuel type: Natural gas, propone and diesel

Competitive edge:

  • Can run for long periods of time between routine maintenance checks and services because you don't have to change the oil.
  • The low-pressure combustion engine is able to make use of less refined fuels.
  • Good service support, with 31 distributors in North America and more than 200 branch locations.
  • Wide range of product offerings in the farm market, including a full line of reciprocating-engine generator sets in addition to microturbines, plus after-treatment systems for its diesel and gaseous fuel sets. Products run from 4 to 2,000 kW.

One-stop shop for all power-generating electronics and parts.

Suggested list price: two-and-one-half to three times that of a comparably sized reciprocating-engine-based generator set (fueled by diesel or natural gas).

Contact Cummins Power Generation, Dept. FIN, 1400 73rd Ave. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55432, 763/574-5000.

Waukesha Engine's VGF Enginator Series

A matched engine and generator set designed to provide customers with a small, easily packaged, high-speed, high-power generator that has low initial cost and long maintenance intervals.

Size: 300- to 800-kW electric

Fuel type: Natural gas, bio-gas (such as methane from cow manure, silage or landfill gases) or propane

Competitive edge:

  • Engine and generator are matched to take out the spec and size guesswork and simplify the permit process.

  • Can run on a variety of fuels to limit emissions and make it easier to get a permit than with a generator with a diesel engine.

  • Package uses smaller power cylinders and a smaller engine that run at higher speeds and create more horsepower in a smaller package than traditional large natural gas generator sets do to improve fuel consumption, lower emissions and lower customer's packaging cost.

  • Comes in 6-, 8-, 12- and 16-cyl. models. All have common bore-in stroke and many interchangeable components for use on other Waukesha engines.

  • Company manufactures large and medium-sized engine-generator sets that generate up to 2,000 kW.

Suggested list price:

$95,000 to $298,000 for a 300- to 800-kW modulator, which includes engine, generator, switch gear and enclosure. Installation is additional.

Contact Waukesha Engine, Dept. FIN, 1000 W. St. Paul Ave., Waukesha, WI 53188, 262/547-3311.

Caterpillar's small line of generator sets

Portable and compact generators of 250 kW and below designed to be simple to run and easy to move and to take up minimal space to meet the needs of the ag market.

Size: 250 kW and below

Fuel type: LP gas, natural gas or diesel

Competitive edge:

  • Simplified control panel makes it easier to operate and more accommodating to maintenance-starved situations.
  • Takes up less space and is easier to handle than existing lines.
  • Dragable skid base accommodates moving by a tractor.
  • Eliminates need for a fuel tank as a base tank because most ag operations run with their own tank.
  • Product is designed and built by Cat.
  • Large dealer and distributor network, with 70 distributors throughout North America
  • Largest parts supply in the industry. Turnaround time for parts is less than 48 hours.
  • Full range of product options to accommodate any farm size: 8 kW to more than 10 MW
  • Factory-trained technicians Priced competitively

Contact Caterpillar Inc., Engine Division, Box 610, Mossville, IL 61552, 309/578-2638, www.Cat.com.