HOW DO YOU PLAN TO USE YOUR GENERATOR?
Generators are used to perform a wide variety of tasks, and we offer a variety of models to suit almost all potential users. Our generators provide a high quality power source that is reliable and convenient. Some uses include:
HOW QUIET DOES YOUR GENERATOR NEED TO BE?
Honda generators are known for quiet operation. Honda has engineered exceptionally quiet portable models, but offers less costly options that may serve your application at a lower cost. While a camping application may require a super quiet EU series choice, home standby and construction applications would be satisfied with a deluxe or industrial series models witch we assemble ourselves using a Honda engine and mostly Sincro alternators, and some applications will allow for the Economy series that do not have the additional
features required to provide quiet operation.
DO YOU REQUIRE EASY TRANSPORT?
While all Honda Generators are Portable by definition, many models include standard wheel kits for easy movement of the generator from storage to the work site. Consider the options when selecting the right model for your application.
HOW MUCH POWER DO YOU NEED?
Generators produce AC voltage, very similar to the voltage available in your home, however while your electric utility company produces sufficient power for all your electric powered devices, a portable generator is limited in power output directly relational to the engine horsepower. The amount of power that a generator can produce is rated in watts. Rated power is generally 90% of maximum power as certain components lose efficiency as they are heated from use.
To determine wattage requirements you should determine which devices need to be powered simultaneously and what the starting requirement of the device is. A Wattage Calculator is provided at the bottom of this page to assist you. Remember that with simple “Power Management” techniques, a small generator can provide adequate power for home or recreational applications.
MAXIMUM AND RATED POWER
A generator should never be operated at its MAXIMUM power output for more than 30 minutes.
RATED power, or the power that a generator can produce for long periods of time, is a more reliable measure of generator power. Typically the RATED power is 90% of the MAXIMUM power.
For Example, a 2500 watt generator produces a MAXIMUM 2500 watts of power. This means at maximum power this generator could light up twenty five 100-watt light bulbs at the same time. The rated wattage of this generator would be 2300 watts and should only be used to power twenty three – 100 watt light bulbs.
When considering your power needs, first determine the highest power application such as a well pump for home power or air compressor for the job site. The power required to start the capacitor motor on these applications will determine the rated power of the generator you should choose for your application.
TYPES OF LOADS
In the previous example, the light bulbs are the LOAD of the generator. A 2500 watt generator can handle a LOAD of no more than 2500 watts maximum.
RESISTIVE LOADS: The light bulb example is called a RESISTIVE type load and the POWER it requires is pretty easy to understand. Other RESISTIVE types of LOAD are things like toasters, convection ovens, hot plates, curling irons, coffee makers, stereos and TV’s. RESISTIVE LOADS are usually appliances that do not have electric motors.
RESISTIVE LOADS = 1 x Power
A REACTIVE load contains an electric motor. Some household appliances like a furnace or refrigerator have internal fans that come on intermittently, so extra wattage/power is needed to start the fan. Another example is power tools. An appliance or tool with a reactive load may require up to three times as much power (wattage) to START as it does to keep it running.
Examples of REACTIVE type loads:
REACTIVE LOADS = 3 x Power
The equation shows the relationship between watts, volts and amps in a PURELY RESISTIVE load. If you know any of the two variables, the third can be calculated.
Example: You want a generator to power a 1000 watt flood light. The light is 120V and requires 1000 watts of power. Using the equation, we can calculate that the floodlight will draw 8.3 amps of electrical current.
For REACTIVE loads, the equation shows only a general relationship between watts, volts and amps. That’s because the power requirements for REACTIVE loads changes with operating conditions.
Resistive Loads Volts x Amps = Watts
When determining the proper generator for REACTIVE type loads, you must consider three modes of operation:
STARTING – The electric motor requires more power to start. The starting power required can be up to THREE times the running amount.
RUNNING – The power required to run the electric motor once it has been started.
LOADED – When the electric motor begins to work (saw begins cutting wood, drill begins drilling thru a wall), its power requirement will increase. This is not applicable for most household appliances.
Method 2 requires a visual inspection of the data tag supplied by the electric motor manufacturer. All electrical motors have a data tag attached to their bodies that give volts, amps, phase, cycles, hp, and sometimes a code.
Volts (V) – The volts must be either 120 (110-120) or 120/240. 120/240 means that the motor can be wired to operate on 120V or 240V. Honda generators are either 120V or 120/240V.
Amps (A) – Indicates the amps required to RUN the electric motor but doesn’t consider STARTING or LOADED power requirements.
Phase (PH) – Honda Generators can power only single phase motors only.
Horsepower (HP) – Rating of how much work an electric motor can perform.
Code – This isn’t always provided on the data tag. It represents the maximum
STARTING power required of the electric motor.
Cycles (Hz) – All of U.S. electrical appliances run at 60 cycles per second.
Is a letter which represents Amps per Hp to start the motor. Multiply CODE (amps) times Hp of motor to determine starting amps. For example: The data tag on our electric motor shows a code of L. Our motor is 1/3 Hp. An L code is 84 amps per Hp x 1/3 (motor Hp) = 28 amps to start the motor shown.
|Code||Amps per Hp to Start|
|V||more than 186.6|
GENERATOR WATTAGE CALCULATOR
Depending on how you will use your generator, there are different categories to meet your needs. This can include recreation, home standby and construction. Honda also offers Inverter Generators. Inverter generators are smaller and lighter as power is created electronically and not through a conventional alternator. Inverter power offers the cleanest power output, ideal for sensitive electronic devices.
If you want a generator for home standby, for example, if you want to run your refrigerator, youll need at least 2500 watts or more. And if you want to use a transfer switch so that power can go directly into your home, youll want a generator with at least 3000 watts.
You’ll also need to consider the maximum and rated power of the generator. This is important depending on what items you want to run off of your generator. Items such as toaster, lamps, and coffee makers are resistive, or constant loads and their total load can be calculated at amps x 1. Items such as saws and drills are reactive loads and while the running load may be small, the starting load should be calculated at running amps x 3. Remember, after the initial start less power is required for actual operation.
Always remember that simple power management will allow a smaller generator to do a big job. Very seldom are all tools or appliances operating simultaneously. When calculating power requirements, consider the starting requirements are only for the initial start and then additional tools may be operated in addition.
Remember Ohms Law from High School Physics?
Watts = Volts x Amps
Amps = Watts/Volts
So if you have two of the numbers (e.g. volts, amps) then you can find out the other (e.g. watts). This can help you to determine the rated power that you’ll need from your generator.