Selecting a generator that can handle all your power generation needs is one of the most important aspects of the purchasing decision. Whether you are interested in prime, temporary, or standby power, if your new generator can’t meet your specific requirements then it simply won’t be doing you any good because it can put undue stress on the Generator and even damage some of the equipment connected to it. Unfortunately, determining exactly what size of generator to purchase is often exceedingly difficult and involves a number of factors and considerations.
Making a choice amongst single-phase, three-phase, kW, KVA, welder, standby, or motor starting generators can be confusing. To prevent such confusion, Powerlite has written this article to help you get a better idea of how the sizing process works and some key things to keep in mind. This is not a substitute for a certified electrician, which we always suggest talking to before Purchasing (Powerlite can assist you here), but it should provide you with enough information to get an understanding of some of the key factors that are involved.
Generator Size Variations:
With the latest advancements in the field of power generation, Powerlite supplied and built generators are now available in a wide range of sizes. Powerlite Generators with power supply capacities of 1Kva to 80Kva are readily available for home use, while Australian industrial generators are anywhere from 50Kva to over 3 Megawatts. Powerlite can build multi set applications where up to 32 generators can be synchronized to work as 1 (96 Megawatts). Portable Generators are available for homes, caravans and small offices, but larger businesses, data centers, buildings, and mining applications need to use a much larger sized Diesel generator/generators to meet their power requirements.
Many people believe smaller generators can be used for standby power because they are not running all the time. This is not only wrong but can be very damaging. Unfortunately, the generator under-sizing is one of the most common mistakes committed by purchasers. Not only does it involve the risks of damaging your new generator, but it can also damage other assets connected to it, create hazardous situations, and even limit the overall efficiency of the unit and/or the business relying on it. If nothing else, the key thing to remember here is that more is always better than less.
How to Determine the Right Generator:
While there is no substitute for the services of a qualified electrician (Powerlite can assist you here) the following information will allow you to make a more qualified decision with a better understanding for choosing the right generator for your application:
Know You’re Requirements:
Going to an auction site or a dealer and buying the cheapest or the best (so they say) is not the option.
- Make a list of the items that need to be powered by the generator
- Make a note of the starting and running Current of the respective items
- Calculate the total power requirements in Watts or KW
- Phone or Email Powerlite and one of our technical representatives will be able to assist you.
How to Find the Starting and Running Current:
Getting the right starting and running current of the devise you require to run is very important, these can be found on the manufacturer’s plate or in the hand book provided with the item. If these cannot be found call Powerlite and we will be able to assist you.
Power Requirement Charting:
It often happens that you lose the owner’s manual or for some reason cannot find the power requirement specification of the tools and/or other electrical devices you’re running. Below is a sample power consumption chart.
|Appliance / Power Tool||Average||Appliance / Power Tool||Average|
|Air Conditioner (reverse cycle)||Iron||900-1200|
|➦||Small – 1 HP||2000||Kettle||1200-2400|
|➦||Medium – 2 HP||4000||Lighting|
|➦||Large – 3 HP||6000||➦||Fluorescent||40|
|Air Cooler (evaporative)||150-800||➦||Compact Fluorescent||9-15|
|Angle Grinder (100mm)||1200-1800||➦||incandescent||40-100|
|Angle Grinder (230mm)||2400||➦||Halogen||250-400||Electric Motors|
|Brick saw||2400-5000||➦||Floodlights – small||250||The average Watts that have be used to size a|
|Clock Radio||60||➦||Floodlights – large||500-1500||generating set takes into account the power|
|Clothes Drier||2400||Microwave||1300||lost within the electric motor, the extra power|
|Coffee Machine||600-2400||Oven||required by the motor each time it is started|
|Computer||150-300||➦||Mini||800||and the additional power that the generator can|
|Concrete Mixer||1200-2400||➦||Conventional||2400||provide above its normal rating.|
|Drill – Hammer||650-1400||Radio||60||The Watts shown here assume that the motor|
|Drill – Power||450-800||Range||will, once started, be required to operate at its|
|Fan||➦||Small hotplates||1000||full output power continuously.|
|➦||Ceiling||100||➦||Cooktop – Ceramic||1000-2000||Watts on||Average||Average|
|Food Blender||450||➦||Cooktop – Electric Solid||2000-4800||Motor Name||Input Power||Watts|
|Food Processor||450||Refrigerator (4 star rating)||150-650||Plate||Required|
|Freezer (4 star rating)||150-300||Sewing machine||75||180W (¼HP)||240W||720|
|Frypan – electric||1350||Shaver||15||250W (⅓HP)||340W||1000|
|Hand Saw||2400||Television||75-300||550W (¾HP)||740W||2200|
|➦||Oil filled column||1000-2400||Vacuum Cleaner||1000-2400||1100W (1½HP)||1475W||4400|
|➦||Radiators / portable fan||600-2400||Washing Machine||500-2400||1500W (2HP)||2000W||6000|
|➦||Space||3600-7000||Welder* (240V/140 Amp)||Min 6000||1870W (2½HP)||2500W||7450|
|Hot Water Service||2400-4800||2200W (3HP)||2950W||8500|
Different ways of Calculating: Depending on the number of items to be run by the generator, the starting sequence, and the type of item (motor start, multiple motor starts, UPS, heaters or lights).
All the above needs to be considered to make the correct selection for your needs.
Advantages of choosing the right size generator: Now that you have an idea on how to choose the appropriate size of generator to suit your needs, here is just a few of the benefits obtained by going through that process:
– No unexpected system failures
– No shutdowns due to capacity overload
– Increased longevity of the generator
– Guaranteed performance
– Smoother hassle-free maintenance
– Increased system life span
– Assured personal safety
– Much smaller chance of asset damage
Where to Buy a generator or power solution package: Since you are not only purchasing an asset that is costly, you have taken into consideration the implications to your home or business of selecting
(A) the wrong size (B) from the wrong supplier.
The people at Powerlite have been in the business for over 50 years.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should always consider Powerlite. as your first stop for all your power generation and servicing needs:
- 50+ years of industry experience
Full service from multiple locations – Sydney and surrounds
Highly qualified technicians
Testing equipment and installation tools
Helpful support and knowledgeable staff
We test all our products prior to dispatch
Always competitively priced!
There are obviously numerous considerations to account for when selecting the appropriate generator for your needs. If you are having a difficult time with it or would like more specific suggestions and recommendations for your situation, Contact Powerlite today 1300 436 738 and one of our knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to assist.