DWQA QuestionsCategory: GeneratorsHow do I choose kVA for my generator?
Pi Team Staff asked 5 months ago
Choosing the proper kVA for your generator requires calculating your theoretical total power requirements, accounting for practical variations, and considering future expansions. Here are the steps to follow before choosing the proper kVA:  

Identify How Much Power You Need

List all the appliances and equipment that are expected to be powered by the generator simultaneously. The power requirements of these devices are calculated in watts (W), but combined, they should end up in kilowatts (kW). You should find these on the labels or user manuals.   

Convert the Power

Since diesel generators utilize kVA, and the powered devices are measured in W or kW, you’ll need to convert the kW to KVA. To do that,  you need the generator load calculation formula, which goes as follows: kVA = kW Power Factor The power factor is a dimensionless number between 0 and 1. It represents the ratio of kW to kVA. Most residential and commercial appliances and devices use a power factor of 0.8. So, let’s assume that the collective kW of your appliances ended up as 50,000 W or 50 kW and that the power factor of your appliances is 0.8.   Accordingly, substituting into the formula will go as follows: kWPower Factor = 500.8 = 62.5 kVA. Generators with a kVA of over 62.5, like the PI 110C and the PI 150C, should theoretically be enough to power up your devices. The reason we said theoretically is because we still have other factors to consider.   

Account for the Starting Surge

Many appliances draw considerably more power when they start than when they’re continuously running. This should be taken into consideration. For example, if your theoretical calculations concluded that you need a 110 kVA diesel generator, you should opt for a 150 kVA generator instead to compensate for that starting surge. If you want to calculate exactly how many kVA you need to account for, you should check the starting surge ratio for each application in its user manual. Typically, the starting surge kVA is 2-3x times the working kVA.    

Consider Future Expansion Needs

Future expansions may require purchasing high kVA generators even if you’re not going to utilize them at full capacity right now. This can be an economically better option, as purchasing in bulk may yield a price reduction. It’s also better to purchase what you need with today’s price before inflations raise it.   

Final Words

Finding the proper generator you need can be a little confusing. You don’t want to end up with a generator that can’t handle your power load or an overly powerful one that has too much power (and cost).  Reach out to us at PI Dubai to get customized power solutions tailored exactly to your needs.