Question: How to choose a generator


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Main question: why do you need electricity generator
Some buy it as an aid during construction, others — from-for rolling blackouts of light and trivial accidents local power grids. Because of the hurricane, maleyshego trees and terminating wire, nobody is immune. Your goals depends on the answer to the question “which generator to choose for home or garden”.

How the generator is
In fact, the generator is a generator. It has a fuel tank, the engine and the actual generator (alternator) and the electrical outlet on the housing or frame. In a tank of fuel and the output (via the sockets on the device) the voltage is 220V — so much needed appliance.

Phil Kean Designs

Who will use the generator
In the presence of an inexpensive generator of all the manipulation (take out and start the generator, unwound and cut wire, plug and switch) will have to be done manually. Those who are not ready to solve such problems, you can buy the generator with additional options: built-in electric starter, battery and the control connector AVR. And by placing the generator at the stationary phase (“house”), to connect the home power station directly to the house mains.

Manufacturers and suppliers of generators, interested primarily in promoting expensive equipment that requires professional installation and service operations — often with redundant options. If you don’t panic in front of appliances, sellers can’t listen to: buy the cheapest petrol variant with two-stroke engine. This will be enough for most summer tasks. That’s just unlikely with equipment to handle your wife and mother — in-law for fueling, starting and stopping of generator they would need handy neighbor. Realizing this, many prefer to play safe and buy a model “automatic”.

Explain how to avoid overpayments.

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Step 1. Compute the desired power for your task
The main criterion when choosing a generator for the home and garden — performance (nominal power). To understand exactly how many kW you need, you need to answer the key question: what exactly do you buy the generator.

Generator for construction. For example, did not have time to spend on the object of electricity, and a work time to go to the Playground. For this task suitable generator with a nominal power of 6 kW, which will pull welding machine, concrete mixer and heat the shed tram stove.

Photo: a special category of generators the so-called welding generators allows you to connect not only the equipment, but also directly to the wires and electrodes for welding

Kayron Brewer, CMKBD / Studio K B

Generator to hold out until electrification. If your in the holiday village there is no electricity, but promise that soon will be. Here the minimum required capacity depends on your idea of country comfort. The best option is 3-4 kW. However, to use the washing machine, you will probably have to turn off power hungry heating appliances. But this is a temporary inconvenience. More powerful generator, a significant portion of time will burn fuel for nothing.

The generator is wired with electricity. For example, your cottage is a log cabin in the backwoods. And electrification there is not exactly planned.

  • If the area is not protected, it is better to choose a compact, portable model up to 1.5 kW, which can be carry in the trunk.
  • If it is assumed stationary unit, fit the unit from 3 kW.

Important: when Choosing a generator, you should not rely on four-digit numbers that are present in the names of most units. This figure is almost always denotes the maximum power (which can give the generator at short-term peak loads). Nominal (if constant work is usually 70-80% of the maximum) can be viewed in the data sheet.

On the photo: generator BG 4000 e “Resanta”. Photo from

Step 2. Select the fuel
Here there are three options: gasoline, diesel and gas.

For short inclusions — gasoline generators. These are the most common and affordable models. They are easy to start in the cold and have a low noise level. But almost any engine you need to arrange breaks at work.

Most low-end models with two-stroke petrol engine run on a mixture of gasoline with an octane rating of A92 or A95 and special oils. Such generators require accuracy and is suitable mainly for those who are in trouble with such tools as chainsaws and benthamii. As they have generators with two-stroke petrol engine limited life: four hours — half an hour of rest. Then a new refill.

photo from

Forgot to add in gasoline oil / broke the manufacturer’s recommended dosage — “ruined” engine.

Four-stroke gasoline engines (petrol and oil separately) have more resources and are able to work without interruptions for up to eight hours (although manufacturers recommend a four-hour cycles, with half hour breaks).

For a continuous operation diesel generators. They are expensive and bulky (almost two times heavier and more expensive than gasoline with similar characteristics), noisy, but unpretentious: able to “thrash” a day without a break.

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In previous years the main argument in favor of a diesel engine was considered economical. Today, when the price of diesel on par with the price of gasoline, this advantage is not so obvious.

Photo: diesel ggenerator for the house or garden CHAMPION DG6501E. CENES on diesel generators, which are the set of options correspond to the most inexpensive petrol, start at 40 thousand rubles. Next (with increasing prices) can also increase the function of electrostart and ABP. Photo from

Photo: a block of ATS 9000D/400 TSS 190034. Photo from

The main advantages of the diesel engine — efficiency and long work time. But having a diesel engine in the cold — more difficult. Therefore, when a fixed installation requires special blocks of automation — with the option of heating the intake manifold.

Photo: a gas generator Generac. Photo from

Caring about the environment and gas generators. Manufacturers of such models declare almost silent operation and the cost per kilowatt-hour, comparable to the price of electricity “on the counter”. But this decision, that is, not for truckers. First, because of the high cost of the equipment, its connections and approvals (it’s not dozens, but many hundreds of thousand). Secondly, because it is hardly possible today to find gasified, but elektrifizierung holiday array.

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For savings — hybrid generators. They can operate from the main or bottled gas, slightly more expensive than petrol units (in fact, it’s the same chetyrehkantnye with minor alterations) and significantly more economical than all other types of generators. When running on mains gas, they can achieve a cost of electricity close to the rates of utility providers.

Highline Partners, Ltd

Step 3. Consider the cost
Actually to compare the cost obtained from the generator of electricity tariffs “on the counter” (in kilowatt-hours) would be incorrect, too large will spread, depending on the connected load.

Usually in the data sheet indicates the fuel consumption (liters per hour) when working with a load of 80% of nominal (this is the most economical mode). For example, for petrol and diesel power 3.5 kW this value usually lies in the range 1.1–1.3 l/h. Thus, in terms of fuel, the hours of operation of the generator will cost 50-60 rubles.

At the same time, according to user reviews, when operating a hybrid generator on the balloon the gas the difference in the price of gasoline is almost non-existent. But when you connect the main gas fuel costs reduced several times.

Fact: At low load (for example, a few led bulbs plus charge your mobile phone) powerful generator will become unstable, and the fuel will “eat” a little less than in operating mode. That is to purchase a generator with power reserve, much higher than your needs, it makes no sense. And when using the unit with insufficient power you will have to choose to use the kettle or, for example, to connect a room heater. But a couple of times a year when abnormal outages, it can survive.

Photo: gasoline inverter generator for home or garden DDE DPG1101I. Photo from

Step 4. Compare copopchi
Inverter generator is a power system, where generator (actually alternator) the voltage is removed the unstable parameters: is the rectifier into a DC current 12V, and then (via a built-in digital inverter) due to the electronics in the “sterile” according the options 220V / 50 Hz. Such parameters are suitable not only appliances, but also the most capricious of electronic devices.

Inverter generators are quieter and much more economical than traditional, because electronics considerably reduces the speed of the engine at idle speed the run.

Some models of generators-inverters are available in compact packages, shaped like a canister with a nozzle for fuel and a carrying handle on top. The photo compact inverter generator FUBAG TI 2000

Cummins Onan Generator Transfer Switch

Starter, built-in battery, built-in AVR this set allows you to build the generator in-house network by implementing the AutoPlay feature. A special control unit ATS (automatic transfer switch) is located near the in-house switchboard. During the outage, he immediately starts the generator you will not even notice that the neighbors sit without light.

Tip: If you live in the “there is no electricity, but it will be,” just hold on a year or two, it makes sense to buy a generator with autostart and ATS (later you will have a backup source of electricity).

Step 5. Looking for where to place
Variants of the “house” for the generator at the site quite a lot. List the main.

  • Under a canopy or in a permanently ventilated fireproof building — for example, in the garage.
  • In a special protective casing, can be homemade. The most low-cost option welded frame of metal profiles and sheet metal with removable wall or lockable door. Minimum size a little more than a doghouse (when wall is removed / door is open; at your departure at the castle).
  • In a shipping container will fit b/y and the smallest (three-ton). This “house” you can decorate according to your taste and also be used for keeping tools, spare parts and fuel cans.
  • “House” for the generator at the cottage can be done DIY shed made of profiled sheet about the size of 2х2х2 m, exhaust pipe and apertures for air inflow at the bottom.
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On the photo: the “house” for the generator, it is desirable to place near the entrance to the site (stopped started) and away from the neighbors (quiet generators to testify is not the case)

Important: do Not forget about the protective grounding of “house” and the housing of the generator. It may be a point, in the form of the downtrodden in the land of the metal rod (connected to the metal frame and the housing of the generator).

On the photo: circuit breaker with motor drive OTM63F3CMA24D ABB. Photo from

Step 6. Plug-in
It’s simple, the key is to remember two things.

  • It is impossible to connect the generator directly to the line outlets, bypassing home the fuse box.
  • Can be connected to the power line (between the meter and the fuse group) by an external rocker switch, three-way reversing switch on a DIN rail or block of ATS.
  • On the photo: generator “bisonZIG-3500

    Instead of conclusions

    If you need cheapest” — will fit a range of compact budget models up to 1.5 kW open execution with socket 220V on the case. Power socket 12V in most of these models also present, but to use it is inconvenient: you have to choose between charging your car battery and watching TV.

    The advantages of such generators (in addition to the price) compactness, mobility and ease. You can take them with you on a picnic or fishing in the forest hut.

    Fact: The cheapest compact generators (up to 8 thousand rubles) are equipped with two-stroke petrol engines.

    Livingstone Design Group

    What can compact alternator:

    • power a few light bulbs filament, or an almost unlimited number of led;
    • to provide electricity to the refrigerator, TV;
    • to charge the batteries of gadgets and power tools, and if necessary to charge the car;
    • work a thin tool with soft start (maximum power 1 kW it is a real 0,5–0,6 kW), but there are no guarantees.

    That is, the compact generator this is a lifesaver for emergencies. For fixed connection it is not designed.

    Price: 6-10 thousand rubles, or even less if you buy on a seasonal sale.

    Sarah Greenman

    Tip: Power extension cable, length 20-30 sq. m, with earthing the protective conductor will allow you to place the generator in the far corner of the precinct and have him (via extension cords) to connect the devices in the house.

    If you need a generator for construction sites suitable household models with a capacity of 2.5–3.5 kW. They will cope with the lighting of the construction site, charging the battery tool, work with power tools that have the soft start mode (power drills, grinders, jigsaws). As well as helping builders to resolve domestic issues (to heat the shed oil cooler, boil the kettle).

    But when using household generators will have to choose: either work or boil the kettle.

    Photo: welding power Fubag ws 230 dc es. Photo from

    To connect the power equipment (inverter welder, air compressor, circular saw, mixer, heat gun) require models with a capacity of 5.5 kW from a gasoline or diesel engine and preferably a three-phase socket 380 V. These units are used not only on non-electrified sites, but also with a shortage of generating capacity in construction (for example, when the power supply on a temporary basis from the neighbors). Or if a single-phase network, and it is necessary to power a three phase machine.

    The price of budget generators with similar characteristics start with a mark of 60 thousand rubles petrol and 80 thousand. diesel. But if you are planning to open at home woodworking or create a team building, this generator will be redundant.

    Lord Design

    If you need a generator just a week, for example, during planned repair of electric systems, you can take the generator to rent. These services are provided by the builders, and specialized rental tools. Generator for domestic use, construction or production cost of approximately 1-2,5 thousand rubles per day depending on the lease term and the model. Sometimes it is cheaper than buying.

    Tell me, do you have in the country a generator, what is it used for and when helps


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