How to Select a Generator to suit your power Load &
How to Test a Generator for Off-Grid Load requirements
Select a GENERATOR and Follow the Test procedures or use the below Calculator to estimate the watts required when using equipment.
Commonly, a Generator will need to start if you invested in Battery storage as;
- Usually late at night or early in the morning, & Only when low battery voltage triggers the AGS function.
- Obviously after extended Bad weather, where there was inefficient Solar Harvesting.
NB: A 1kw~3.5kW Inverter Generators (best suited to Camping), are very fuel efficient, and if you happen to be harvesting & Compressing your own BioGas (Methane) from your own Residential BioGas Digester , you could run a 1kW generator for free, and produce up-to 3.5kW Energy per bag/day from the 3.4m3 Bio-Gas Digester.
For the Climate conscious: A Bio-Digester is a perfect addition to a Home. Our Residential Bio-Digester sit on flat Ground, Kits are very simple to Assemble. These digester’s harvest gasses that are normally Vented into the Atmosphere & Not captured, like in your Compost heap, Rural Waste products from Crops, Fruit, Piggery, Chicken Farms etc. and all other forms of Organic Waste disposal, like fish & Meat buried in commercial rotary compost sites. These Residential Digester’s do this naturally with the flick of a Switch, as you feed all your organic waste into the Digester Sink or Optional 20litre Stainless Steel Blender, then you slowly get FREE BioGas & Liquid fertiliser as a bye product, that is safe for use in Vegetable gardens or normal run-off onto the ground, said to turn Sand into a Garden bed with natural Hydroponic seepage irrigation.
Generator Power Management TEST: Follow these Safe Test procedures;
To prolong the life of your generator and attached devices, follow these steps when testing a generator load rating;
- Start the generator with no electrical load attached. Allow the engine to run for several minutes to stabilise.
First Plug in and turn on the largest load item. If the engine speed reduces, allow the engine to stabilise.
Then Plug in and turn on the next item. If there is little change in the engine speed after 10 seconds, plug in the next item.
Repeat steps 2 & 3 for each additional item. NB: When engine speed is momentary reduced, the engine is under strain to produce the power demand, if the engine does NOT stabilise quickly, it infers the Load is in excess of generators ability.
Never exceed the generator capacity when adding a load, when Generator is overloaded it will run rough and possibly stop the engine.
OVERLOADING: Can lead to permanently damage the Alternator or Equipment.
Commonly a 3.7kW Generator (GenSet) is all that Residential homes operate on.
- QUICK TEST: a) Disconnect Site any Mains input fuses. b) Connect site to the Generator. c) If the engine stabilises, the current draw is not exceeding the GenSet kW rating, if the Engine struggles to run smoothly, use the Test procedures below!
NB: The Start-up power required by electric motors such as drills, refrigerators, air conditioners and power saws etc. need an extra boost of watts at start up, this can be substantially higher than the operating figure printed on the compliance plate, and depends on the type of motor.
Converting Voltage and Amperage to Watts Volts (240) x Amps = Watts;
Example: 1'250 Watt 3.5amp Microwave requires840W to run (eg. 3.5x240=840W), so, a 1kw generator.
With a 3.5kW generator, 15A load x 240V =3'600W, if you exceeds Generator rating, it may only deliver this rating for a short time.
If 240V x 13.3A = 3'200W is the continuous rating of this Generator !
STILL NOT SURE WHAT SIZE GENERATOR ?
Then please feel free to email us, tell me what you want to power up and I'll gladly give you a recommendation on which model to chose.
However, commonly MOST households are Single phase, 15A max. draw, and limited to 15 (Amp) x 240 (Volt) =3'600W (3.60kW).
So, basically using a generator smaller than 3.5kW may be suitable, for System Stability & Efficiency, it is better to first sending the energy (power) from the Generator directly into a Hybrid Inverter, and then draw the energy from the Inverter's 240V Output circuit.
The good thing with wiring the GenSet into the Inverter AC input circuit, then the Inverters Automatic Generator Start (AGS) circuit, can be programmed to start the Generator if the stored battery energy goes the voltage you set !
So, why buy or convert a Petrol engine to Run on Bio-Gas or LPG instead of petrol ?
Well many reasons, not the least of which is safety.
- Bio-Gas and LPG generators have virtually zero carbon monoxide emissions (9 ppm CO2 as opposed to 568 ppm CO2 with petrol).
- Petrol generators should only be operated when more than 25 metres away from humans, pets or open door/windows. Whilst we don't suggest you run an LPG generator in your kitchen, it is many more times less toxic than petrol fumes, and can be used closer to the house.
- Carbon Monoxide is odourless, colourless, tasteless and invisible. A silent killer.
- No stale fuel problems. Unlike petrol (especially unleaded) sitting in a carburettor or fuel tank that solidifies over time if unused, BioGas/LPG generators completely exhaust all fuel from the system before they shut down. Additionally, Bio-Gas/LPG can't "spoil" if unused and can remain in its manufactured state indefinitely. That mean when you need it in an emergency, it's ready to go.
- Petrol generators can run on BioGas. Where LPG and Natural Gas (NG) can be hard plumbed at home or commercial gas supply line.
- No messy jerry cans. All our generators run off a 9 kg Swap 'n' Go gas bottle, the exact same bottle you currently have connected to your patio BBQ. So when there's a power outage, and the local servo can't pump petrol, just pick up a gas bottle and power up!
- Ever refilled a generator or a lawn mower when it's run out of fuel midway through a task? Volatile, highly flammable fuel being poured into a small hole in the fuel tank, with a good portion of that fuel splashing onto a red hot engine or exhaust system. A potential disaster waiting to happen but with LPG, just swap over the bottle, it's that simple.
- LPG costs are roughly half those of a petrol generator, particularly when you also take into account servicing costs and longevity of the engine.
- Greenpower BioGas, CG or LPG generators also have a triple lock safety system – Lock-1 closes the LPG gas supply, Lock-2 closes the engine switch cutting off the gas supply and Lock-3 automatically vacuum cuts off the gas supply inside the air-fuel mixer when the engine stops running.