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Guide to Choose the best generator for you

I do not want you to complicate your choice, so i simplify the most important criteria you must take into account when looking for the best in the market:

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Look at the size and mobility

It is essential that you see the range of sizes when buying an electric power plant. If you will not move it from one place at all and need a continuous service, you should lean towards the fixed Plants. These are usually used in industries, local and companies.

But, if you need it for versatile activities such as going camping, welding, for a food truck or another outdoors, you must choose a small portable power plant or a mini electric generator. These come with built-in wheels, they are light and their charges range between 1000 W – 3500 W. That is why they are the best to be used in the home.

What power do you need?

If you want a device that has the necessary power capacity for all your appliances or power tools, you need to calculate the consumption for each device you want to connect.

First look for the power consumption of each appliance you connect, almost always expressed in W (Watts or Watts) or KW (Kilowatts). Then add the total, and compare it with the power supply of the generator. You may need a few formulas and conversions between Amps, Volts and Watts to be precise. Do not worry, I will teach you to do it step by step and in the simplest way in this article.

Noisy or Silent?

You will not want uncomfortable noises in your house, so when choosing your power plant you should look for a soundproof cabin and that it is made with noise-absorbing pieces, to meet the maximum decibels of noise.

What fuel is better?

Analyzing the type of engine and fuel you use is important, because that depends on your level of savings and the efficiency of the energy supply. If you are looking for something cheap and for simple tasks, the ideal is a gas or solar. On the other hand, if you are looking for something powerful and low cost, the ideal would be a Diesel one, because when you use it constantly, it will be cheaper to buy it and because it is more efficient you will save long-term maintenance.

gasoline vs diesel power plant

Are engine RPM important?

The revolutions of the engine per minute (RPM), will be a very important factor to choose your light generator. We have 3000 RPM motors, which are for domestic use because their time of use should not exceed 8 continuous hours, without giving you 40 minutes of rest between each day. We also have the 1500 RPM, which are of continuous use and you can use it up to 24 hours without problem.

If you need it for specific activities and not very constant, the 3000 RPM will be perfect and very cheap. On the contrary, if you need it very often, I recommend buying a generator of 1500 RPM, since you will save a lot in the long term.

Type of Electrical Voltage

I do not think you want to damage all your appliances in your house, so keep an eye on this point. There are the so-called single-phase, which work with a current of 220 V, compatible with almost all common appliances. And on the other hand, the Three Phase, which are recommended for special equipment and industries.

Inverter or AVR technology

Electricity plants that have this type of technology regulate the voltage fluctuation to stabilize it, so that the current variation stays below 4%. With this voltage modulation they manage to have a stable voltage for any delicate electronic equipment.

The public electricity services have between 3 and 4% variation in the signal, so the ideal is that your equipment does not exceed 5%. If you want a generator for a sound equipment, computer or any electronic appliance, this technology with stabilized signal and less dispersion is my recommendation for you.

How many cycle did I buy my light plant?

Surely you have heard that of 2 cycle and 4 cycle. What you should know is that the two-stroke cycle performs the complete cycle (intake, compression, explosion and ejection) in a crankshaft revolution. They are the most powerful, noisy, polluting, making them work is tedious and keeping them simple.

On the other hand the four-stroke complete the work cycle in two crankshaft turns. They are the quietest, with a long life, ecological, efficient and easy to start up.

Why should I buy an Electric Generator?

There are 2 basic reasons why I should buy an Electric Generator:

  • There is no electricity supply due to a natural disaster, because there is a blackout, because the power grid was damaged, etc.
  • Or the electricity that arrives does not have enough power to be stable and cover all our needs.

electrician power plant

How to calculate the electric generator that I need?

Now we can explain how to buy the right electric generator, in the first instance let’s review the concepts of KW and KVA.

KW = Kilo Watio = 1 KW = 1000 W

KVA = Kilo Volt Ampere = 1 KVA (For teams do not talk about 1000 VA)

Sometimes we confuse these values ​​because when talking about small devices there is no large power factor; To obtain the value in Watts, the operation of multiplying the electric current (Amperage) by the voltage (Volt) is performed:

A * V = W

First let’s look at the terms:

Amperage: (A) It is the electric current that a device needs to operate
Voltage: (V) It is the electrical voltage distributed by the Power Plants to our homes or companies. That can be 220 V ~ 440 V depending on the country.

If we have a laptop that has 1.0 A at 220 V, the consumption of that equipment with the previous formula would be:

1.0 A x 220 V = 220 W

There is usually a label on the devices or equipment that indicate that consumption. No need to calculate it.

Now, 220 W is the same as 0.22 KW, that is 0.22 KVA let’s review why.

In theory, we realize that 1 KVA = 1 KW, but the concept is more extensive. This happens because most small devices do not handle a Power Factor (FP) that must be calculated to obtain the real KVAs.

The Power Factor is determined by the devices, and refers to the efficiency in the power, for example, a PC has an efficiency of almost 95%

The formula of the FP is:

FP = KW / KVA

Or what is the same:

KVA = KW / FP

For this example it would be:

KVA = 0.22 / 0.95 (95%)

KVA = 0.23

What it leaves us:

KW = 0.23 is very close to KVA = 0.22

Practically in a computer to speak of KVA and KW is the same measure, and thus with several apparatuses. That is why it is assumed that these devices have an FP = 1. But if we talk about an engine in a machine, the efficiency can be up to 60%. Let’s use the same measure.

KVA = 0.22 / 0.6 (60%)

KVA = 0.36

In this case 0.22 KW became 0.36 KVA, or what is the same, 220 W in 360 VA. If you notice, the consumption increased, that’s why we should keep these values ​​in mind. The electricians have tables of consumption of each team, on the Internet you can find some. The Power Factors will indicate the actual consumption of the equipment.

As we already know this, the capacity that I need to buy would be the sum of all the charges of the devices to connect, for example:

PC 220 W
Laptop 40 W
Microwave 800 W
15 W bulb
Led TV 24 “60W

Now add everything: 220 + 40 + 800 + 15 + 60 = 1135 W or 1.1 KW, this would be the capacity we are looking for in an Electric Generator.

Remember if it is a device with FP, you must calculate it or know how much is the actual consumption.

How to choose the Electric Generator according to the power I need.

According to all the above, we only need to ask the following:

  • Fuel: It can be Gasoline or Diesel. Diesel fuel is cheaper, if I only want a small generator, one gasoline will suffice. Those of Diesel are Generators that can work continuous use, for days, months. The Gasoline in general are only to work 4 ~ 6 Hrs.
  • Fixed or Portable: If it is fixed it is because you need continuous service or what is called Prime Power, they are General Generating Groups with a very large KVA Electric Load, such as 17 KVA. Or they can be for use in Stand By mode if there are sporadic cuts as you can feed a large number of devices. Important the fixed ones generally have the switch of transfer to feed the electrical network of the place, without this device it can not connect the Generator directly to the house. If they are portable, they are devices with small charges such as 1000 W, 3500 W, among others. Ideal to carry in your hand, or even a little larger but with wheels and still portable
  • 2T or 4T: 2-stroke generators are noisier but consume less fuel, give more autonomy, are more economical. The 4-stroke ones are quieter but more expensive, however they have a longer lifespan.
  • Technology Inverter or AVR: This is a very important feature, since this technology allows a generator to behave in a stable and non-fluctuating way, fluctuations in voltage or voltage can damage your devices.

Some of the electric generators that might interest you

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