Constant interruptions in power supply make us think about an alternative power source for home, office, or cottage. Popular solutions include powerful external batteries, portable power stations, and various types of generators. If in the first case the battery or station needs to be periodically charged (when there is light), then in the second case it is a completely autonomous device that runs on fuel (gasoline, diesel, gas). Today we will talk about choosing a generator for powering home appliances.
What type of generator to buy?
Such equipment is of different types. However, not all consumers understand which generator is worth buying. Let’s take a look at the most common questions.
Generator power calculation
This indicator is measured in watts (W), which means the more powerful the device, the more watts it produces. At this stage, it is necessary to understand that a very powerful device is not needed at all to power household devices and lighting. But, the weak one is also not worth choosing, because it will not pull a large number of connected equipment. There is a universal calculation that will help you decide:
- Up to 3 kW (3000 watts). The most common options for home use. Such a generator can power, for example, a refrigerator, computer, microwave oven, vacuum cleaner, etc. And also completely illuminate the house.
- From 3 kW to 5 kW (5000 watts). Also used to power a small house, apartment, or office. They have a power reserve for the simultaneous use of a large number of devices.
- From 5 kW to 7 kW (7000 watts). Professional generators for large houses, offices, and shops. Allows you to connect industrial refrigerators, boilers, electric boilers, and other equipment.
- From 10 kW (10000 watts). Industrial generators, the power of which is enough to power a supermarket, workshop, construction equipment.
Correctly calculating your equipment will allow you to correctly calculate the required generator power. I recommend that you make a list of equipment that needs to be powered, and write out how many watts it consumes. Such information is always indicated on the stickers or in the technical specifications. For example, a MacBook consumes 45 to 100 W (depending on the model), a refrigerator about 700 W, a TV 250 W, a computer 400 W, an iron 1000 W, and a washing machine 2000 W*. Add up all these numbers and get the total power. Also, do not forget that some devices require starting voltage, for example, a vacuum cleaner at the beginning of work requires a factor of 2-2.5 times more.
* These are indicative figures.
Thus, the best option for home use is a 3-5 kW generator. It is also important that such devices are as economical as possible in fuel consumption. Most often, the flow rate is from 0.7 to 1.0 liters per hour. It should also be noted that single-phase generators are the most common.
Fuel for the generator
The next question is the choice of fuel type. Gasoline generators are the most popular (about 60% of the total), followed by diesel (about 25%), as well as gas (15%). It is the gasoline that is considered the best option, they have a fairly compact size, reduced noise level, and lower cost compared to others. Diesel engines are also popular but are recommended for large homes or commercial premises due to their size and power. They are more durable (the resource of motor hours is 2-3 times higher), and economical. However, they have a high price and require a separate place for installation. Gas generators are not very popular, they are professional machines for highly specialized conditions.
What is better conventional or an inverter generator?
Now there are more and more inverter generators on the market. Despite the high price, they have several advantages. Firstly, it is high stability without power surges, safety, compact dimensions, low noise level, which allows you to install the device even on the balcony of an apartment. Among other advantages, one can single out maximum efficiency, small harmful emissions, and moisture protection. There is, in fact, only one drawback — a rather high cost compared to analogs of the same power. However, if the budget allows, I recommend buying just this type of generator, because it is a modern, technological device.
I hope these tips will help in choosing, also do not forget about the safety rules when handling this type of equipment.