When looking for an open frame petrol generator to power your construction work, there are several aspects to consider. In a bid to make this process as easy as possible for you, we've put together this quick guide on what to look for when buying a petrol generator for a construction environment.
How Much Power Do You Need From Your Petrol Generator?
Before you even think about buying a petrol generator for construction, you need crunch the numbers to calculate how much power you’ll require on a work site. Generators are measured in kW and kVA, which means you need to work out how much wattage your essential tools will use.
When calculating your wattage, keep in mind you will want to determine what tools you will need to be powered simultaneously. If your total wattage comes to 12kW, but you’ll only ever need to use 6kW of equipment at the same time, you will be able to save money by buying a generator that can power 6kW of equipment and switch tools when it’s required.
You should also always give yourself some headroom, since some equipment requires more energy to start than they do to run. For example, drills and welders would use a constant wattage, however air compressors or circular saws would need greater energy to start than they do to run.
This can lead to you having inadequate power if calculated incorrectly, so we suggest you add 10% to your overall wattage requirement. For example, if your equipment comes to 6kW, buy a generator that’s rated at 6.6kW or above.
You should also know how to convert energy in to wattage because some tools and equipment may have the power listed in amps and volts or even horsepower. The good news is you don’t need to be a maths genius to convert these yourself.
- If your equipment is rated in amps and volts, simply multiply the two to determine the energy in wattage. Amps x Volts = Watts.
- If you’re dealing with horsepower, you’ll have to remember that 1hp is equal to 746 watts.
A Large Or Small Petrol Generator?
Another element to consider is the size of the generator and your transportation needs. If you’ll be working in the same location for days or even weeks, then a larger generator would suit you fine. If you travel around several locations, you might want to consider purchasing a smaller generator that’s easier to transport.
The good news is even the large petrol generators are now fitted with wheel kits to make them portable. Depending on your vehicle, the size of your team and your power requirements, different sizes will make more sense for your situation.
How Clean Is The Energy Produced By The Petrol Generator?
If you will be powering any equipment that is considered “sensitive”, such as laptops, PCs or televisions, you will want to buy a generator that produces a pure sine wave output. Put simply, a pure sine wave output mimics the power produced by the mains, which makes it perfectly safe to use on electrical equipment that otherwise might be damaged by voltage fluctuations.
Look for a generator which uses an AVR (automatic voltage regulator) alternator, as these will produce a pure sine wave output.
Sensitive electronics are capable of handling a sine wave distortion of up to 10%, however generators without an AVR alternator can produce a distortion of up to 40%, which would cause serious damage to the equipment.
Will It Take The Knocks and Bumps of Construction Environments?
Construction sites are great places to work in, but it’s undeniable that they can also be tough on a lot of equipment. When buying a petrol generator for use on construction sites, you should look for one with rugged build quality.
The frame around the generator will vary depending on the model and brand, but simply put you want to look for a frame which is large in diameter and built out of sturdy materials, such as powder-coated steel.
Now You’re Ready To Shop!
Armed with this knowledge and preparation you’re ready to choose the best petrol generator to power your construction site.
You can view the full range of open frame petrol generators here, and if you require any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01437 700 123.