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How to Determine Generator Size

Aug 17, 2007
Buying a generator is a mind boggling decision. Which fuel is to be used to what type of generator is required for your unique needs all are the questions that must be assessed carefully prior to the purchase. But determining the exact size of the generator seems to be most difficult.

There are a range of confusing factors and considerations that must be kept in mind at the time of determining the size of generator to get.

But you might ask, why should I know the size of the generator? Knowing the proper size of the generator is important because it should supply you the right wattage of electricity. What is the right wattage? Right wattage refers to just enough power to operate all your essential appliances. Too little wattage makes the generator overwork and this damages both the generator and the appliance. If the wattage is greater than required, you waste costly fuel to run it and also waste money on the initial purchase as the generators with greater wattage cost more.

Now how can you determine the right wattage? You can do it through a very simple device called ammeter. An ammeter will help you to know exactly how much watts of electricity a particular electrical device at your home is consuming. Now add up the watts of each item which you plan to power by the generator. This will give you the idea about the total wattage required by your generator.

You can work out the required wattage in a different way. You will find in the manuals or faceplates the power requirement of the appliances. In most of the cases they are given as the Amps at a given voltage. Now in order to get the wattage, simply multiply the amps and voltage.

Sometimes dealers tend to give you a vague idea about the required wattage on the basis of the square feet area of your home. But it is a wrong approach and never purchase a generator without measuring up the total wattage required by all the appliances you want to power with the generator.

Also check what kind of electrical equipments you plan to run with the generator. The appliances like refrigerator, air conditioner, pump etc requires almost three times more electricity to start up than running. Because of this start up feature your generator needs to supply more power. You must consider this point at the time of calculating wattage. So it is also important to calculate the difference between the running load and startup load. This number has to be added again to the running load of all the appliances to get the actual wattage requirement.

Now that you have got the wattage requirement, buy the generator with a rated capacity of around 20% more than that number. This will prevent your generator from overworking, you will be able to power few more small devices and it will also add to the longevity of the generator.
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Jason Uvios writes about on How to Determine Generator Size to visit :- portable rv camping generators , rv generators and home generator
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