Whether you require standby or prime power, your specific requirements cannot be met by your new generator, then it simply will not be of any help to you because it can put a lot of strain on the unit and maybe even damage to some of the devices connected to it. Unfortunately, it is often challenging to determine exactly what size of generator to get and involves a number of considerations and factors.
Making a choice amongst KVA, kW, welder, single phase, three phase, motor starting or standby generators can be an overwhelming task. To avoid any confusion, it is important to know how the sizing process works and some key points that you need to keep in mind.
Variations in Generator Size
With the latest advancements in the electrical engineering field, there are a wide range of generator sizes available. You will find generators that have power supply capacities of 5kW to 50kW in the markets for home and personal use, while industrial generators ranging from 50kW to more than 3 Megawatts. You will find gensets that are portable and handy for RVs, homes, and small offices, but larger buildings, businesses, plants, data centers and industrial applications require the much larger sized industrial generators in order to meet their higher power requirements.
Many people believe they can use smaller generators for standby electric power because they are not running all the time. You should keep in mind that this can actually be very detrimental. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes that buyers make is under-sizing generators. It can not only damage your new asset, which is the generator. Other devices connected to it can also get damaged, and it can limit the business’ overall productivity as well as the unit. Under-sizing can result in hazardous situations, endangering your home and family. The key thing to keep in mind here is that it is always better to have more power.
Know Your Requirements
Going to a dealer and buying the cheapest or best generator available without considering any other factors is clearly not the best approach. It is always better to seriously consider your power generation requirements before you make a choice. You can do this by:
- Making a list of the items that need the generator
- Making a note of each item’s starting and running wattage
- Calculating the total requirements for power in kW or KVA
How to Find the Running and Starting Wattage
Getting the right running and starting wattage of the devices that require power is imperative for calculating power requirements accurately. Normally, these can be found in the identification plate or the owner’s manual of each respective appliance, tool, device or other electrical equipment.
Power Requirement Charting
There can often be times when for some reason, you cannot find the power requirement specification of the electrical devices you are running or you lose the owner’s manual. If that happens, there are sample power consumption charts that you can check out online. These charts demonstrate typical wattages that are used for common tools and appliances. They are simply provided to give you an example to demonstrate the difference between running and starting wattages, and the specific consumption needs of every device. If you have questions regarding any particular items, you can get in touch with an electrician or the manufacturer.
Different Calculating Methods
- No electric motors
- Single running motor
- Multiple simultaneously running motors
Benefits of Choosing the Right Size
Now that you have an idea on how to choose the right generator size to suit your needs, here is a look at a few of the benefits you gain:
- No unanticipated system failures
- No shutdowns as a result of capacity overload
- The generator’s increased longevity
- Guaranteed performance
- Smoother hassle-free maintenance
- Increased life span of the system
- Improved personal safety
- Small risk of damage to assets
Remember that choosing the right size for your generator can make a huge difference in meeting all your power generation requirements. As you can see, there are a number of benefits you gain when you choose the right size, so make sure that you take the time to size your standby generator properly before making a purchase.