How to choose a gasoline generator

How to choose a gasoline generator?

Unexpected power outages occur several times a year, often at the wrong time.

In order not to suffer from the surprises presented by the power supply company, it is advisable to purchase an alternative power source.

The generator is a small private power plant that becomes the power source for various devices. The device works where there is no access to the electrical network and as a backup power source in case of a temporary failure.

We will recommend a gasoline generator - which one is better to choose for the cottage, home, other needs, what you need to pay attention to when buying.

Where is a generator useful?

The generator is useful in various situations:

  1. in the country;
  2. in the garage;
  3. in the tourist camp;
  4. on a rest area;
  5. at the construction site;
  6. in various places where there is no access to the power grid;
  7. allows the use of power tools, facilitates seasonal work in the garden;
  8. accelerates repairs;
  9. in the house as an emergency power source during power outages, which are often associated with the lack of heating, hot water, the possibility of cooking.

Before considering the possibility of buying a generator, it is worth thinking about whether this unit really is needed. If power outages occur often, burdensome for us - the costs are justified.

For home, cottage, it is advisable to choose small generators of low power, better mobile, for example:

  • in the shape of a suitcase,
  • on wheels.

Before choosing a specific model, you need to think about how we will use it to determine the optimal device parameters of interest. From the parameters depends on the price of the device.

What is a generator?

The most important elements of the device:

  1. internal combustion engine using gasoline, diesel or liquefied gas,
  2. generator.

These mechanisms are used to convert the movement of the pistons into the induction of electric current in the coil. Further, the electrical energy is transmitted to the selected part of the power supply network or directly to a specific device.The technical details of the unit differ due to the different characteristics of different types of engines, special equipment.

What type of engine to choose?

Generators are usually equipped with an internal combustion engine for:

  1. liquid fuel (gasoline, diesel fuel),
  2. gas (LPG - liquefied gas, natural gas).

There are also rechargeable devices. Models with an internal combustion engine with a full tank work for several hours, but are not suitable for placement indoors for 3 reasons:

  1. traffic fumes;
  2. the need for air cooling;
  3. high noise level.

Therefore, the generators are installed where the noise does not interfere with others.

Battery models are small devices that look like a suitcase. They are mobile, but even fully charged, they will work for a maximum of several tens of minutes. This option is suitable for:

  • camping,
  • power tools
  • small loads (radio).

The gasoline engine provides high performance, but with intensive use of the device, it is less durable than a diesel or gas-fired. Gas-powered units are becoming more and more popular; their operation is cheaper than gas-powered devices.

Interesting! Some gasoline generators can be easily converted to gas, small changes in the carburetor will be required (conversion kits are available).

Profitable idea - to buy a generator on the fuel, which is filled with a car. This will always have a supply of fuel in the car's gas tank. If the device is used occasionally, there is no need to store fuel in a separate container.

Before buying you should check:

  • Is the device equipped with a fuel sensor?
  • Does it have a catalyst for cleaner exhaust emissions?

Power selection

To select a certain power, you should decide which devices will be connected to the generator. The following devices usually have a special power requirement:

  • central heating circulating pump
  • automatic boiler,
  • hydrophore,
  • fridge,
  • part of the lighting
  • automatic garage doors, gates.

Before purchasing a unit, you should summarize the energy needs of all the devices you plan to connect, and select the appropriate power generation.

Keep in mind! At start-up, the power output is higher than during operation.Therefore, all connected devices should consume no more than 80% of the rated power of the generator.

The most important is the rated power of the device - the maximum value of the average power consumption during operation, which must be chosen to the expected load.

Each electrical appliance has a nameplate that indicates the rated power in watts (W) located on the bottom or back of the device.

Device Rated power in watts
Electric kettle 1200-2200
portable heater 1000-2000
drill 1000
garage door drive 200

Some models have the power specified by the manufacturer at full load, others - at a load of 75%, so you need to determine which value is indicated on the plate.

Attention! To calculate the maximum energy consumption, the maximum power is taken into account, but not the nominal one - it may take 4 times more current to start the motor than for continuous operation. Before determining the power of the device, you need to make its corresponding overstatement.

For most devices, it is safe to assume that power consumption is 2 times higher than the nominal power, although this is not the rule.

How to determine the power for different types of devices?

Devices without electric motors (ordinary light bulbs, electric heaters) may have a maximum demand for electricity 1.2 times higher than the rated power. It is necessary to take into account a similar transformation for non-linear devices:

  • energy-saving lamps,
  • computer equipment,
  • electronics.

The situation is different with inductive energy receivers - these are devices equipped with electric motors:

  • fridge,
  • Washer,
  • drill.

At start-up, their power consumption may be several times greater than the value indicated on the rating plate. Some devices have built-in soft start systems. On average, it is assumed that inductive devices during start-up have a 3-fold greater energy requirement than the rated power. These factors need to be considered when choosing power.

An example of calculating the required generator power

Suppose a system user wants to connect the following devices to emergency power:

  1. washing machine (power 0.6 kW);
  2. heater (2 kW);
  3. computer (0.2 kW).

Payment

  • the rated power of the washing machine must be multiplied by 3 (0.6 × 3 = 1.8 kW),
  • multiply the rated power of the heater, the computer by 1.2 (a total of 2.64 kW).

The generator that feeds these devices, theoretically, should have a power of at least 4.44 kW (1.8 + 2.64).

In private homes, units with a rated power of 2-20 kW are used. Devices of greater power have a large size, price, operating costs. At a reasonable price, you can buy a device with a capacity of 0.5-5 kW.

Single phase or three phase?

Devices in the house, as a rule, are connected to a single-phase network (220-230 V). There are large power tools and electrical equipment that require a three-phase network (380 V). If the unit will power the device single-phase and three-phase, you need to choose a universal three-phase generator.

It is necessary to consider 2 nuances:

  1. the load of the single-phase socket should not exceed 60% of the capacity of the unit,
  2. in the case of simultaneous connection of single-phase and three-phase devices, they must be loaded evenly.

Recommendations on the choice of a generator can easily lead to a decision to buy an overpowered unit - this in itself is not a problem, excess power may remain unused, but strong generators are more expensive, so you should determine your need for rational use of the device.

At the construction site

If the unit is designed for construction, it is better if it generates a three-phase current, does not interfere with a large power reserve for the most frequently used sets of tools, machines. It does not always make sense to sum up the power of all the instruments and devices used, because in practice they do not work simultaneously.

To give

At the cottage the most convenient three-phase unit capable of providing all the equipment. It should be remembered - the network does not include too many devices that generate simultaneous demand for electricity.

For home

A single-phase unit will be suitable for the house, capable of providing a considerable reserve of power for the needs of all devices that generate high energy demand for:

  • continuously operating refrigerator;
  • a washing machine that requires a significant amount of starting current for the electric motor;
  • computer technology.

For camping

A small single-phase model serving one device or a limited network is enough for a tourist camping.

Noise level

When buying a generator, you should consider the noise of the work (information is available in the specification prepared by the manufacturer):

  • the majority of commercially available devices have a noise level of 90-95 dB (95 dB - the sound of a passing motorcycle);
  • devices with an acoustic silencer operate at about 20 decibels quieter, the noise level is 65-75 dB (70 dB - the sound of the vacuum cleaner), they are more expensive.

A simple way to make the generator quieter is to trim. The body will reduce the noise level by 20 dB.

Security, additional features

It is necessary to check which safety functions, the unit has additional capabilities. If it is used as an emergency power source, it should turn on automatically. In a simple device, the starting element is a cord (for example, as in motorboat engines).

Each unit is equipped with security systems that protect it from damage, and nearby people - from electric shock.

Key security systems include:

  • overload protection;
  • protection against electric shock;
  • thermomagnetic switch.

A separate safety group consists of indicators of switches or emergency equipment, showing:

  • engine overspeed;
  • voltage fluctuations;
  • high coolant temperature;
  • low pressure;
  • low oil level, battery or alternator, starter failure;
  • Some devices inform about phase asymmetry.

Additional recommendations when choosing

  • To connect electronic devices, other systems that require significant changes in voltage, it is recommended to use inverter generators.
  • Four-stroke generators are more economical than two-stroke generators, but more expensive.
  • Which generator is better in terms of fuel consumption: gasoline or diesel? Fuel consumption does not directly depend on the type of engine - the type of fuel used is much more important. Below are the types of fuel in order from the most economical to the least economical: diesel → gasoline → liquefied gas. This mechanism, however, varies for units of different quality.
  • Choosing a generator "just in case", it is worth looking for three-phase models having separate outputs for one- and three-phase current.
  • Generators are fairly heavy equipment, so in most cases an integrated or additional cart will be a necessity.

Welding generator

The welding device has enough power to connect the welding inverter without relying on access to the power grid. The power of the generator must be 30-40% more than the power of the inverter so that the device does not work at the limit, otherwise its service life will be noticeably lower. Simply fill the fuel tank like a normal generator and the unit will activate the welding equipment. As a result, welding generators became the main equipment for:

  • construction sites,
  • farms
  • industry.

Which device to choose? Among such equipment, measurements are popular:

  • Honda,
  • Brima
  • Skat
  • ProMax.

Can a welder generator be used as a normal generator? One of the main advantages of the generator welder - it can be used as usual. It saves space, money. When not using a welding machine, you can use its power to:

  • work of lighting devices,
  • emergency power supply
  • power tools.

You can connect tools, devices directly to the outlet, as usual.

Conclusion
Generators are able to provide access to electricity in the event of a malfunction, power outages external network.It is important to choose a unit so that it can provide access to electricity to all or some devices, so the device parameters should always be evaluated in the context of the needs of specific users.

The choice of the generator begins with the determination of the required voltage, power in total. On this basis, choose the main technical characteristics of the unit. When choosing, you should always take into account the proposals of well-known brands - their products guarantee constant voltage, complete protection against voltage surges.

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  • How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

    How to choose a gasoline generator

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