Best Generator 2017. Generator Buying Guide

Gasoline, diesel or gas?

The first thing you need to decide on is what kind of fuel the generator will work from. To date, power plants for the home can be diesel, gasoline, gas, and inventory. Which option is better to choose for home use, it ‘s hard to say, because everything depends on individual conditions of use. To make it easier for you to decide the choice, let’s briefly review the advantages and disadvantages of each power generator.

Gasoline power plants are the cheapest (the price is from 250$ at a power of 3 kW), besides they work quietly and have compact dimensions. Due to their size, they are easy to transport, so it is better to choose this option for a summer residence. The disadvantage is the higher cost of gasoline and consumption, which is greater than that of alternative options.

Petrol models are working in a more economical mode – inverter. Such generators are better, but they are more expensive. The undoubted advantage of inverter generators is the compactness and supply of equipment with a high-quality current. If you want to choose a portable power plant for connecting sensitive electrical appliances, the best option is an inverter device.

Diesel power generators are more expensive (from 500usd) and work a little louder, but the advantages of such models are efficiency, reliability and the ability to function in a continuous mode if a stationary power plant with liquid cooling. Also, I would like to note that diesel generators generally operate at a temperature of at least -5 ° C, since diesel thickens in the frost.

Gas models are the most economical and quiet, but the cost of such power plants is an order of magnitude higher than other options (from 700usd). Besides, it is advisable to select a gas generator only if gas is supplied to the site. Otherwise, there are difficulties with the constant refueling of the cylinder. Another significant drawback – the connection of such a power plant to the central highway should be performed only by specialists.

Also, there are combined models – gas-petrol, and gas-diesel. The bi-fuel system allows to carry out autonomous power supply at home with the help of two types of fuel. At the same time, it is not necessary to switch off the generator during the fuel switching. If you liked this model, you can choose it, especially since the cost is not too different from the previous power plants – from 700usd.

WEN 56682, 5500 Running Watts/7000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator
WEN 56682, 5500 Running Watts/7000 Starting Watts, Gas Powered Portable Generator

Equipment Capacity

To correctly select a power generator, you need to calculate the load that will be included when the house is supplied with electricity. It’s clear that you can have a 5-kilowatt stove, a powerful submersible pump, and an electric floor heating system in all rooms in your country cottage, but this does not mean that you need to choose a power plant for all these consumers. If you rarely visit the villa site, it is enough to choose an electric generator that will be designed for lighting in some rooms and on the porch, a refrigerator, a laptop charger, and a TV. For example, for these purposes, it is quite enough to choose a power plant for 3-5 kW. If you need a device for autonomous power supply of a private house, the power must be at least 10 kW.

Calculating the power of all electrical appliances in the house is not difficult, but it should be borne in mind that in such a technique as a vacuum cleaner, air conditioner, submersible pump and even a refrigerator, the starting current is higher than the rated current, which is due to the peculiarities of the work of electric motors. This means that for normal operation of the generator when starting these devices, the power should be higher.

Additional functions

Also, we want to pay attention to those functions and possibilities that must be taken into account when choosing a power station for a house:

  • There are single-phase and three-phase power generators. If you enter the house at 220 volts, you must choose a single-phase model. If the connection to the network is three-phase or there are three-phase consumers in the garage, it will be correct to select a 380-volt generator.
  • Noise level. The standard value is not more than 74 dB for gasoline devices and 82 dB for diesel. In this case, if a casing protects the power plant, the noise level should not exceed 70 dB.
  • Presence of a protective casing and the silencer of noise. Some manufacturers supply additional noise insulation. Well, if in the model you choose they will be.
  • Volume of the fuel tank. It’s all simple, the more you choose the tank, the longer the generator will work until the next refueling, but, accordingly, the overall dimensions/weight will increase.
  • Protection against overvoltage and short-circuit. When choosing, be sure to make sure that your power plant has additional protective devices that will prolong its life.
  • Cooling system: air or liquid. The second variant is more often found on expensive stationary models, because liquid cooling is more efficient.
  • Startup type: manual, electric starter or auto start. For a summer residence, it is possible to choose an inexpensive variant – with a cord which simply needs to be twitched for inclusion. If you want to choose a generator for autonomous power supply of a private house, it’s better to stop on the model with the autorun. Besides, the automatic transfer reserve (AVR) system allows you to display information about how long the power plant will last.

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