When buying a generator one of the first questions you may be asked is, “Which size do you need?” If you’ve never bought a generator before this can seem like a complicated question, however you are not expected to instinctively know which generator is the right fit for your application, and you should never just guess. Generator sizing is fundamentally important; too small and you won’t power up your operation, or too big and you can risk damaging the generator due to low load.
So, the first step is knowing what you need to power and how much load that will place on the genset. Start by listing all the equipment you would need to run and add up the total wattage of all the items, making sure to note down the starting wattage.
You will then need to convert the kilowatts to kilo-volt-amperes (kVA). The kVA measurement considers ‘actual’ versus ‘apparent’ power required using a typical genset power factor rating of 0.8. For a more detailed explanation of Power Factor read our article here.
Once you know how many kilo-volt-amperes your operation or building will require, consider how the genset will be used. Will it be your main power supply? Or used in an emergency power outage scenario only? You should not operate your generator at 110% load for more than 1 hour in every 12 hour period. If it is likely to run for longer you will need to adjust the size to suit 70-80% capacity.
Ultimately, when buying a generator, you should always speak to experts who can guide you towards the correct equipment for your needs; often there may be a small, but crucial piece of information that can affect the whole picture. At Generators or Export, we are on hand to answer any queries you may have.