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How To Determine Your Generator Voltage

Generator Voltage Calculation - Vital Power

In this day and age, pretty much every business relies on a form of power to operate – and therefore can benefit greatly from having a diesel generator reinstalled. Knowing that you have a standby power source that will kick in if there is ever an issue with your main power supply is a real relief. It can save vital processes and keep important machinery working during an outage. So, once you’ve decided to invest in a standby generator, the next step is deciding on the size that you require.

Generator size is also known as generator voltage. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as choosing a large or small diesel generator – there is slightly more to it. Understanding the amount of voltage you require is the main thing you’ll need to do to choose the right generator.

It’s important to get generator efficiency right, too. Under-sizing a generator means you won’t be able to power your equipment sufficiently, and a generator will mean that you’re wasting money. To help you work out the generator voltage you require and ultimately invest in the correct sized generator, our specialists have put together a handy guide for you to follow.

How to calculate the right generator voltage

Calculate your power requirements

The first thing you need to do is make a list of everything that you plan to power with your backup generator. This can vary widely depending on what type of business you operate, so don’t make the
mistake of rushing through this step. You will be able to find the wattage for all of your equipment either on its nameplate or in the manufacturer’s guide.

You then need to add up the total wattage of these appliances. This total will then tell you the amount of electrical power required by your equipment. Once you have this number you can then work out the minimum electrical input needed from a generator.

Convert your required load

When calculating the maximum required wattage for your equipment, you will end up with a total power requirement in kilowatts (kW). This is the ‘actual power’ that will be used by the equipment to produce a useful working output.

Generators, however, are rated in kilo-volt-amperes (kVA). This is the measurement for ‘apparent power’ and it tells you the total amount of power in use in a system. In a 100% efficient system kW = kVA, however, this is rarely the case.

So, you need to convert your equipment’s total kW to get the amount of kVA that you require from your generator. For example, if the equipment you want to power has a total wattage of 52kW then you will want to get a diesel generator with a minimum of 65kVA output. Read our blog to find out more about kW and kVA.

Define your generator running requirements

Ideally, you shouldn’t operate a generator at maximum capacity for more than 30 minutes. For this reason, you should always go for a higher capacity generator. If you’re potentially going to be using the generator as your main power supply until your mains power is back on, you’ll need to ensure that you have 70-80% capacity available throughout this time. Then, for improved performance, we recommend that you leave a 20-30% safety margin – this also allows for any future power requirements.

So, now that you know how to calculate the size required for your generator you can start to browse for the best generators to meet all of your needs.

At Vital Power we stock the leading names and types of generators so you get an unbeatable selection at great value. Not only can we advise with size and troubleshooting, we can also supply and install the generator for you. We offer an all-round service and will ensure that you get an uninterruptible power source that will work well for you.

Ready to find the right diesel generator for you? Contact Vital Power today to get started.

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