Understanding Generator Capacity

In the hustle and bustle of life, especially when you’re planning an event or managing a construction site, the last thing you want is a power failure throwing a wrench into the works. To keep the show going, renting a generator is often a viable solution. But do you know how to choose the right generator for your needs? Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of generator capacity, so you can make an educated choice and keep your project humming smoothly.

Table of Contents

The Basics Of Generator Capacity: Understanding Watts, Volts & Amps

Before you jump into renting a generator, it’s crucial to know the fundamental elements that determine its capacity. Watts (W), volts (V), and amps (A) are the ABCs of electrical power. A watt is a unit of electrical power calculated by multiplying volts and amps. Generally, the higher the wattage, the more robust the generator will be.

  • Watts: Represents the total power output. It’s the magic number that you’ll be looking at most closely. For example, a 1000W generator can deliver power up to 1000 watts.
  • Volts: The electrical force, or pressure, that drives electrical current. Residential power is usually around 110-240V.
  • Amps: The volume of electricity flowing through the wires.


To get the wattage, you’d calculate: 

**Watts (W) = Volts (V) × Amps (A)**

Knowing these three elements will help you in determining the size and capacity of the generator you’ll need.

Factors Influencing Your Generator Needs: Load, Duration & Redundancy

Once you’ve got a grip on the basics, the next thing to think about is the kind of load you’ll be placing on your generator.

  • Load: Simply put, load is the total power requirement needed for all the equipment or appliances you intend to use. Add up the wattage of all the devices, and that’s your minimum generator requirement.
  • Duration: How long will you need continuous power? The duration impacts the fuel capacity you’ll need. For prolonged usage, opt for a generator with a larger fuel tank or multiple fuelling options.
  • Redundancy: It’s always a good idea to have a backup. If your project is mission-critical, consider renting two smaller generators instead of one large one. This provides redundancy and ensures that power is always available.

Tips For Choosing The Right Rental Generator: Sizing & Features To Consider

Sizing is key. Too small a generator, and you risk overloading; too large, and you’re wasting money on unused capacity. Here are some pointers:

  • Portable vs. Standby: If you need the generator for a small event or emergency backup, a portable generator might suffice. For larger needs like construction sites, go for a standby generator.
  • Features: Look for generators with additional features like multiple power outlets, electric starts, or built-in inverters for sensitive electronics.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Renting A Generator: Overlooked Aspects & Costly Errors

Even with all this information, people still make mistakes. Here are some to avoid:

  • Ignoring Fuel Costs: Don’t just consider the rental cost; factor in fuel costs too.
  • Wrong Sizing: Over- or under-sizing can lead to malfunction or wasteful expenditure.
  • Skipping a Site Inspection: Always make sure the rental company inspects the site to assess the right generator size and installation needs.

Powering Your Way Forward With The Right Generator

Choosing the right generator is no trivial task, but armed with this knowledge, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision. If you’re in Mackay and need expert advice on generators, look no further than Chaffey Power. Reach out via our contact page, and we’ll happily guide you through the complexities of choosing the perfect generator for your needs.

Remember, knowledge is power—literally, in this case. Choose wisely.