Powerful Generators and Sizing Guide

Generators come with different size engines and are used as an alternative source of electricity for both residential and commercial properties. The generator comes in different sizes, from small to very large (industrial size). It is very important to select the right size generator, because choosing one too small may harm those appliances and devices pulling power from the generator, as well as to the machine itself.

To determine the size of the generator needed, compile a list of all the electric appliances and devices that will be pulling power from it. Next, estimate your total power requirements in KVA or KW. This descriptor can be found on any electrical appliance or device, and if difficult to find, may also be found within the operator’s manual. When in doubt, contacting an electrician is a safe bet. To calculate how much power will be running through your generator, use the following formula:

For personal and home use, the smaller generator is ideal for providing power with capacities ranging from 5kW to 50kW. For businesses and large buildings, the bigger generators are capable of supplying power from 50kW to more than 3 Megawatts. The two types of fuel to choose from include diesel and natural gas.

When choosing a diesel or natural gas generator, you can trust the big brand names such as Caterpillar and Cummins. These brands are known by businesses and property owners for their performance. These are brands to trust when you need a primary source of electricity, or for a temporary supply in case of a power outage. Single-phase generators can be used for home use, but the three-phase is generally used for industrial and commercial purposes.

The diesel powered generator performs well for both small and large loads. Diesel fuel can power homes and RV’s and diesel engines can also run larger generators to support commercial buildings, hospitals, and industrial plants. Natural gas is best used for the portable generator used in emergency situations. The pipelines are already in place and it is the cheapest form of fuel next to coal. In either case, it is imperative to know the total wattage needed from your generator to supply enough power for your residential or commercial property.

Once you know the estimated wattage needed, the generator size is easier to choose. Electrical capacities vary between 5 and 30kW for smaller needs and from 30kW to 6 Megawatts for the larger loads. Finding the running and starting wattage will help decide what size generator you need. Here is quick definition of these terms:

  • The running watts are the watts needed to operate your appliance, tool, or device.
  • The starting watts equal the maximum wattage produced by the generator. Motor driven items (such as a refrigerator) typically require additional power, or starting watts. You’ll want to estimate 1-2 times the number of maximum running watts.

Note: If your appliance or tool doesn’t have the running watts, you can estimate by converting amps to wattage.

Amps, or amperes, are often the unit of power represented on tools. Use the following formula to convert amperes to wattage for resistive and reactive loads:

  • Resistive Load: Wattage = amperes x volts
  • Reactive Load: Wattage = (amperes x volts) x load factor

Generators come with different size power capacities and are used as both a primary and alternative source of electricity. The power source can be used for both residential and commercial properties. The generator can be found in different sizes, from small to industrial strength.

Choosing the right size generator can be a daunting task. It is better to choose a machine that is too large rather than too small, because operating from a unit that isn’t equipped to run higher wattage may harm those devices pulling power from the generator, and may damage the machine itself.

Contact WorldWide Power Products in Houston, Texas for your generator needs. WorldWide Power Products offers a variety of brands, including the trusted names, like Caterpillar and Cummins. Generator sets come in various sizes from 20kW – 2500kW. Having an efficient generator at the ready provides peace of mind for weathering storms, power outages, or any other unforeseen and sudden lack of power.