circuit breaker

How to Manage Generator Loads

Posted in: Business Continuity Diesel Generators Performance

Standby generators can provide electrical power during outages. With an automatic permanently-installed generator, the engine starts when it detects an outage. The transfer switch migrates part or all of the home’s electrical system to the generator. This transfer isolates the home from the electric utility lines in order to protect the generator from overload and the utility workers from electrocution.

Power requirements

The amperage ratings on the branch circuits inside your service panel add up to a higher number than the main circuit breaker rating. There are many branch circuits inside the house with a circuit breaker for each to protect the wires from circuit overload.

A typical home has 200-amp service with a mix of 15-amp and 20-amp breakers. Most electrical circuits do not operate at full throttle, and the main panel rarely works at its top capacity.

Power management

You will need to manage your power if you have a lot of appliances that need to run on a generator with a 16-kilowatt capacity. If you run all of your appliances at once, the total consumption could exceed the 16-kilowatt maximum.

Power management will allow you to use various electrical appliances, but not all at the same time. You will need to find out the power consumption of each of your electrical devices and do the math to ensure that if you are running multiple devices at once, you will not exceed your generator’s capacity.

Power management requires prioritizing.  You will have to decide which appliances are critical and which can be left idle at any given time. Load management will prevent you from operating too many high-consuming devices simultaneously.  And don’t forget that 240-volt appliances consume much of the current.

Power management is best implemented using a smart controlled transfer switch and external relay modules.

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