Selecting a suitable generator for your application- Part 1

Ever tried to buy a generator? No? Then, you are saved a potential existential crisis, by God’s grace!! Ask someone who has tried to buy and actually landed with one.

And, he or she would tell you about the trials and tribulations involved in the process. It’s like trying to decode the proverbial riddle: horse before the cart or the cart before the horse!

Do you need a standby generator, single-phase, three-phase, kW, KVA, welder, or motor starting generators? Or, do you need a diesel run or a petrol run generator?

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Do you need a generator for use at your home, or at office or your big manufacturing plants? How you calculate your power requirement and make the right choice to purchasing one with your hard-earned money.

Making a well calculated choice keeping in mind your specific needs and a little bit of consultation with a certified electrician before purchasing the generator will go a long way in ensuring that you buy a generator that is closest to meeting your specific requirements and without any operational hiccups.

As thumb rule for doing so is: always buy a generator set with capacity in excess of your calculated consumption. Under seizing may come at a great peril to the appliances being run with the generator and cause damage to the set that will need high spending on repair works.

So, how to zero in on suitable generator?

  • The first and most crucial first step would be to find out the exact application of the generator. Is it meant to be used for prime power supply to a major installation or industrial unit? Or, is it for standby, camping or hire purpose?
  • Further, it will be good to know: if it is a single or three-phase, petrol or diesel run, open frame or silent model, AVR or normal type, portable or stand by set you are looking for. Or, if the generator you plan to buy is within your budget, size good enough to meet your need, has recoil, rope or electric to start, AMF, MMF or direct connection?

For the prospective buyers, the generator market often poses a typical problem of plenty. There are generators with capacities ranging from 5 kW to 50kW for personal and home use.

Industrial generators come with 50kW to 3 Megawatts capacities. Then, there are portable and easy to use gen sets. For higher power needs of industries, big businesses, buildings and plants high capacity industrial generators are available.

Things to be aware of

Given the scenario, being aware of your specific needs thus assumes significance. It is, however, erroneous to assume that small generators can be used as standby as they are not required to be run for a longer period of time.

This brings us to the common problem of generator under sizing. It can damage your newly bought generator, reduce its output and create hazardous situations. Better, then, to have more rather than lesser capacity generators.

I will continue this topic in my next post –> Selecting a suitable generator for your application- Part 2. Stay tune and have a nice day.

Jeson Pitt

Jeson Pitt works as a sales representative for D&F Liquidators, a leading supplier of electrical products. He has a keen interest in everything “electrical” and loves to learn about new techniques to polish his electrical skills and knowledge. Jeson also loves to share his knowledge while enlightening people about electrical products and solving their electrical dilemmas.

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Comments

  1. We calculated out how much each row of servers in our datacenter uses per hour, and estimated that we would need to generate enough power to run them for 12 hours. In case of emergency, that should give us plenty of time to work out a solution and warn critical customers. Last time we had a major outage, we actually ran out of gas and had to borrow generators from the warehouse next door while we sent someone for gas.

  2. Hi Jeson,

    As you mentioned, we need to answer the question “What size generator do I need?” before purchasing a generator. However, there are plenty of generator type are available on the market. So, In order to find out the best one, we also need to think about such factor like Fuel Efficiency, Safety features, Easy use … Anyway, thank for the article!

  3. Hi Jeson,

    I haven’t needed a portable generator yet, but there’s always the possibility that having one could be useful. Are there any specific makers or models you like to suggest?

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