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Generator requirements - Electrical Supplies

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Vernon Taylor

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You have posed a very vague question with no details about the application and have even omitted to tell us whether you have a generator set or whether you have the alternator and wish to build your own generator set?

In the case of a generator set the requirements and precautions will be found in the owner's instruction handbook.

Posted on May 29, 2020

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Should the green light stay on on my regulator that's bolted to my generator on my 76 Harley Davidson Sportster


Hi Bryanfryman, yes the green light indicates your charging system is operating normally within factory parameters. If only the red light is on then the generator is not producing enough to charge the battery and service is required. If the red and green lights are on at the same time, then you have limited charging and if they stay on for an extended period of time generator service is required. If no lights come on while the engine is running your generator is not charging and service is required. If you have any other questions about your charging system or any other issue on your Sporty you can reach me at [email protected] Good luck and have nice day.

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Generator had been running for 3 hours with a/c and refrigerator and lights (on concession trailer)when we experienced a loss


the unit has gone into over load
The total power requirement has exceed the output of the generator
for example if the generator is a 2.500 kw or kva then it will generate well at 1.8 kva or kw but it will not run forever at 2.5 kva -kw
When a ac is running the power requirement will be constant on the generator and with the fridge as well then the load will be at the maximum out put of the unit.
when the fridge starts again the extra load will exceed the max out put of the generator and it will slow down ( lights dimming ) and eventually go into overload mode
have an accredited electrician calculate your maximum load requirement for an external power supply and then get a unit that is at least 15.. kva kw better that required
generally fridges use 1000watts , ac conditions will draw over 3000watts and any thing else adds up . I am guessing that your generator is only 2500 unit

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What size generator do you need to run 19100 watts


if you're talking RESISTIVE (like incandescent light bulbs and radiant electric heaters), then you need about a 20KW generator. If you're talking REACTIVE (like electric motors and fluorescent lights), then you need a 40KW to 100KW generator - higher if you're starting all the motors at once, lower if you're stage-starting the motors. If you're talking about a mix of resistive and reactive loads, then you'll need something between 20KW and 100KW depending upon the mix.

If you're talking about MAXIMUM 19100W but realistically only a small part of that load is actually likely to be required at any given moment, then you can use a much smaller generator. For example, my own house has a 100A 240V breaker panel, for a total capacity of 24KW. I can realistically run what I REQUIRE from a 3.5KW generator, though, by intelligent load switching.

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Your question doesn't make sense as it is written, but if the real question is what size generator do you need to start the air conditioner I might offer the following....

Look on the air conditioner product label and you will find information concerning the supply voltage and current. This is a 2 ton unit and it probably requires 220VAC power. Also on the label will be a value for the maximum OPD (over current protection device). This indicates the maximum fuse or circuit breaker that can be installed in the power feeder line for the air conditioner. You will need a generator that is capable of supplying this amount of current during the start up of the air conditioner. The value is usually about 2-1/2 times the normal operating current that the generator will need to supply continuously. This is because the air conditioner is full of motors that draw a lot of current when starting up. If the generator can't supply sufficient start up current, the motors will not start and the AC will not operate. As a result, the generator size is usually relatively large in comparison to the actual size required to keep the AC running after start up. This is also why AC units are not typically powered from generator power. Good Luck!

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The power is out because of Hurricane Gustav. I have a 6500 watt portable generator and would like to use our clothes dryer which has a 220 volt requirement. Is that possible, and is there a special...


Dryers require a 40A circuit breaker to handle the current. According to Ohms Law: Watts = Volts * Amps. Therefore, you require a power capacity of 220V * 40A in order to safely run the dryer, which is 8800 Watts. This means your generator does not have enough capacity to run the dryer. If we consider the full power of your generator at 6500 Watts, this only allows for 29.5A, which is not enough to run your dryer.

If it WAS possible, you would need to ensure that you ran a 30A heavy extension cord with the correct 220V plugs and receptacles on the end. This would require at least 10gauge 3-conductor wire, which is quite expensive.

However, that point is moot, since your generator does not have the capacity to run your dryer. You could try it, but I rather suspect that the dryer will trip the 30A breaker on the genset circuit. If you do try it, make sure you run a 10-gauge, 30A extension cord or you could have a fire.

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