Bas sics For r Selecting The e Right Genera ator Fo r Your App plication n
June 9, 2010 Le eave a comm ment Go to c comments “Wh hat size gene erator do i need?” n This is a very co ommon question and it t is easier to o answer or figure out o on your own n than you may th hink. The fo ollowing art ticle was wr ritten in Ren ntal Managm gment Maga azine by Vi ince Grober rg a Wacker r Neuson Co orp product t specialist. We thought he expla ained how to t select the e right size g generator ve ery well, ma aking it as s simple as possi ible. Selec cting the ri ight genera ator for the job By V Vince Grobe erg Vinc ce Groberg is i a regional product sp pecialist, uti ility for Wa acker Neuso on Corp., Meno omonee, Wis. W The info ormation in this article covers basi ic portable g generator sizing infor rmation. For r more detailed or adva anced inform mation, e-m mail appli ication.supp port@wacke erneuson.co om.

you can choose your generator. There are two types of electrical loads: resistance and induction loads. Capacitor motors require up to six times more starting power for longer periods of time. so this is not an issue. . Generator power. The most accurate method to determine wattage is to check the nameplate on the machine. saws and concrete flex shaft vibrator motors. but it does take planning. which use brushes. Selecting the right generator for the job doesn’t take rocket science. Universal motors draw 1½ to 2 times the running current for shorter periods of time. air compressors and table saws. Sometimes the customer knows his/her power requirements. you must determine from the customer the amount and type of power required and where and for how long that power is needed in order to pick the right size generator for the job. Universal motors. power hand drills. Portable power units can power everything from small tools to portable offices. However. which are brushless. Capacitor motors. total watts to be connected and power of the generator. Once you determine the wattage. The basic guide to follow is if the generator has enough power to start the load — its surge rating — it will have enough power to continually run it. Incandescent lights and heating units are examples of resistance loads. Type of load The first factor to consider when sizing a generator is the type of load being connected. It is important to understand that customers are asking for reliable. but all motors require more power to start than run. After determining the type of load.Generators are a necessity for most job sites. More often however. Three factors play a part in sizing a generator for the job: type of load. if this information is not available. temporary power for their application when they rent a generator. There are two types of induction load motors. the main difference is that the capacitor motors need about a third more starting current than universal motors. a customer only has a general idea of how much power is needed. In this case. the next step is to find the total watts of the load to be connected. Most construction equipment requiring generator power has induction loads for electric motors. wattage can be figured by the simple formula: amps x volts = watts Load requirements to electric motors differ. Wattage requirement. When sizing a generator to these motors. usually power submersible pumps.

simply divide the maximum wattage by 120: Maximum amps = maximum wattage/120. Let’s say a contractor wants to use a portable gasoline generator to power his temporary job shack. A premium construction-grade generator offers 100 percent duty and with an electronic automatic voltage regulator (AVR) can surge 2 to 2.050W and 5. the pump has a capacitor motor and will require 2.000W).600W portable generator. then assume surge capacity is equal to 1. small refrigerator (induction. You can compare the maximum amps of the tool to the generator. If you cannot determine the design of the generator. It is better to oversize the generator to be used by your customer. which has a 24/7 duration and 100 percent duty. The pump and vibrator motor require a total of 2. Generator designs have different surge capacities that vary between 1. If you need to calculate the maximum amps of a generator.000W. while the universal vibrator motor requires 2.050W.5 times its run rating. a coffee maker (850W). let’s say a 2-in.5 times their continuous run rating. For another example.050W. A 2-hp flex shaft vibrator runs on 2.5 x continuous rating.000W or 10. This will give the customer enough power to also add another tool.000W. A low-cost homeowner generator offers temporary duty with capacitor or rectifier excitation and can surge 1. Next.600W.313W for starting. 600W to run and 2. continuous rating.600W generator will be needed. the total wattage demand on the generator will vary between 3.313W (2. consuming 3. With the refrigerator cycling between off and start/run.2 to 1.000W to start) and a 1.7 amps x 115V).771W to run. which in this case would be 4. which has a duration of two seconds and instantaneous duty. coffee maker and radiant heater would run constantly. including maximum or nameplate rating. Another way to size a generator is to calculate amperage instead of the wattage. a 5.500W radiant heater.There are three power ratings for generators. A value construction-grade generator offers 100 percent duty with capacitor or rectifier excitation and can surge 1. the surge rating of Wacker Neuson’s GP5600 is equal to two times 5.2 to 2. He needs to connect seven 100W light bulbs (700W). which needs 1. which has a duration of 30 minutes and 10 percent duty. such as rotary hammer.5 times its run rating. To run the pump and vibrator. submersible pump requires 771W to run (6. [Generator Rentals]   . which can be handled by a 5. For example.100W to run and 1.600W to start. and surge rating or motor starting rating.5 to 2 times its run rating.313W + 2. determine what kind of generator you have. the same way you compare the wattage. The light bulbs. however. You should size the generator by adding the largest start load to the remaining running loads.

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