What does kVA mean?

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WHAT DOES KVA MEAN?

There are technical terms aplenty when it comes to generators, and they can be confusing if you’re not familiar with them. A term you’ll see regularly in power generator specifications is kVA. This is essentially an indication of the power output. We explain in more detail below, with advice on what kVA rating you might need.

WHAT DOES KVA MEAN ON A GENERATOR?

Essentially, the higher the kVA rating, the more power the generator produces.

A kVA is 1,000 volt-amps. It’s what you get when you multiply the voltage (the force that moves electrons around a circuit) by the amps (electrical current).

Kilovolt-amps measure what’s called the ‘apparent power’ of a generator. This is different from kilowatts (kW), which measure the ‘true power’. The difference between the two is the power factor (PF), which is given as a ratio or percentage.

You can calculate kVA into kW by multiplying with the power factor. The PF is usually 1 for single-phase generators, which means kVA is the same as kW. For three-phase generators, the PF is usually 0.8.

That means a 20 kVA three-phase generator has a true power of 16 kW (20 x 0.8 = 16).

WHAT SIZE GENERATOR DO I NEED?

The kVA rating is important as you need to make sure you buy a generator with enough power to run the equipment you intend to use with it. An overload could damage the equipment that’s connected to it, as well as the generator itself.

You can work out the expected load by adding up the number of watts needed to power each of your appliances or pieces of equipment and comparing this with the expected output of the generator in watts.

WHAT KVA RATINGS ARE AVAILABLE?

Generators come in all sizes and power outputs, so the kVA will differ to reflect this. It is important to choose the right-sized generator for your needs.

You’ll find a range of power generators on our site, from 6 kVA all the way up to 500 kVA. Most fall into the 20 kVA to 100 kVA range. We have models suitable for home use, as well for rental, events, construction and a huge range of industries.

For example, our Inmesol Rental 500kVA model provides plenty of power and is ideal for sectors such as construction, events, quarrying and mining.

If you want to know more or have any further questions about kVA, please contact our team, who will be happy to help.