Which Power Generator?
Deciding which generator is right for you
So, you can't decide which Generator to buy? Choosing the right generator can seem like a daunting task. Use our Generator and Watts Guide and in just a few easy steps, you should be able to decide which Generator is right for you. Remember, if in doubt simply contact us for advice or assistance in choosing the best unit.
Firstly it's important to identify all the machines, products, tools or appliances that you will power from the Generator. Then you can determine the required power for each item and the total the required amount of watts required to power the item(s) if they are all used at the same time (Allowing for motor starting). Choose a Generator that has rated watts that at least meets or exceeds the current usage total.
Choosing what size of power generator you require
Start with looking at the machine or power tool as most electrical equipment should have a serial plate or data sheet with information regarding their power consumption. Power tools such as drills sanders etc their listed wattage is all the power they require to run, however due to different types of motor they use some items can require a much greater requirement on start up.
For all normal power tools, that have brushed motors, a generator is required with a rated power (Watts) which equals or exceeds the power tool wattage. For example a 2,200 Watt angle grinder can be run from a generator with a rated power of 2,200 Watts or greater. However, they also say that common sense suggest that wherever possible a slightly higher rated generator would be preferable.
Check with the manufacturer
If you are unsure as to what power usage a machine or tool is rated to then it is always advisable to contact the relevant manufacturers sales or technical dept, quoting model number and requesting the START UP wattage & RUNNING wattage of your item. With this information you will be able to determine accurately the size of generator you require.
All about motor starting
Motor Starting is an important factor when buying a Generator. Consideration should be given to the fact that induction-type motors, typically require 2-3 times their listed running watts to start while power tools using universal brush type commutator motors do not require additional startup power. Induction motors are fitted with capacitors and are often used in pressure washers, steam cleaners, pumps, industrial equipment and compressors etc. To help you calculate the power, and determine the watts required to start up motors of various sizes and types check out our Power Usage Calculator.
Start up Power
Certain electrical equipment requires additional power for start-up. Such equipment may include water pumps, compressors, winches, cranes, cement mixers and industrial equipment fitted with induction motors such as some table saws, milling machines etc. On such equipment a rule-of-thumb estimate suggests that the start-up power drawn is 2 to 3 times the running power, however, it is always best to ask the equipment manufacturer (which we will be pleased to do on your behalf). Since the start-up is only of a short duration, the generator maximum KVA rating (25% higher than the Wattage) can be used as a guide to its motor starting capability.
Industrial and/or Site use
This is a product that will typically be used in the work place or on site where the output is restricted to 110volt. Key features again can also be silent running, ease of transportation, low oil warning systems, three phase supply, petrol or diesel powered, run time and very importantly robustness.
Leisure & Home use
This is a product that will typically be used either in camping, caravan, small exhibition situations and around the home and office. Key features required will include silent running, weight and size, ease of transportation, run time, 230volt and 12volt output and maybe Inverter technology.
Long run generator power
Generators are available in either standard run or long run versions. A standard tank will last for 2-4 hrs, where most long run generators can run through the night, if you are looking to purchase a generator for back up for power cuts then we would recommend a long run tank machine.