CHOOSING THE BEST GENERATOR FOR THE JOB
are the things to consider when selecting a generator:
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO USE YOUR GENERATOR?
Generators are used to perform a wide variety of tasks, and Honda
offers a variety of models to suit almost all potential users. Honda
generators provide a high quality power source that is reliable
• Home Standby
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 model, and some applications will allow for the
Economy series that do not have the additional features required
to provide quiet operation.
IS ELECTRIC START REQUIRED?
Honda engines are renown for the ease of starting, even when only
equipped with a manual recoil starter. Honda offers many models
with the convenience of electric start for applications that may
require remote start or where the ease of electric start is preferred.
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 loss 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 to assist you.
Remember that with simple "Power Management" techniques,
a small generator can provide adequate power for home or recreational
“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 25 100-watt light bulbs at the same time. The rated wattage of
this generator would be 2300 watts and should only be used to power
23 - 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
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
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
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:
• Refrigerators / freezers
• Furnace fans
• Well pumps
• Air conditioners
• Bench grinders
• Air compressors
• Power tools
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
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 - 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
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.