Wattage and Voltage: What to Know Before Buying a Generator

Posted By : Aubrey Mead , on May, 2017


If you have been thinking about looking into generators in Chicago, you might be confused about voltage and wattage. Here is some information you can use:

Generator Voltage

The voltage of a generator is the measurement of the “pressure” that an electric current gives off. In the US, the standard voltage of a home is 120 volts. However, most houses have 120/240v capabilities, which help to power large appliances, such as water pumps, ovens, and central air conditioning units. Businesses also often use these 120/240v service. Larger businesses, and those with industrial properties might have even more power needs. The most important thing to remember is that you have to buy a generator that can be powered by what you have available.

Generator Wattage

On the other hand, wattage is the volume of electricity that a generator can create. With each object you have to power, the wattage that the generator has to provide, increases. Smaller generators might produce 800 watts, but large, industrial generators can produce hundreds of thousands of watts, which are shows as kilowatts, kW. Most small businesses will need a minimum of about 15kW, but might need as many as 100 kW, when looking for a generator.

Choosing the Right Generator

Before you choose a generator, you should take note of what objects you will need to power with it. The right generators for you will have the wattage to operate all of the equipment you have. This includes freezers and refrigerators, security systems, electric gates, sump pumps, and more. Remember, objects require varying wattages, too. A light bulb might only require 70 watts, but an air conditioner might require 4,000 watts.

If you have too few watts, you might overwork your generator. Too many watts, and you will just be wasting money. It’s best to talk to a professional about your needs before buying.

For generators in Chicago, contact Penco Electric Inc. Find them online at www.pencoelectricalcontractor.com.

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