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Understanding Rated Power and Peak Power of Variable Frequency Generators


When users are in the process of purchasing a small variable frequency gasoline generator, they often come across product listings with titles like "2KW Variable Frequency Generator" or "3KW Variable Frequency Generator." This can lead to the misconception that these numbers represent the generator's actual power output. However, when you refer to the generator's user manual or detailed specifications, you will notice two different power ratings: rated power and peak power. So, which of these power ratings should you consider for a variable frequency generator?

Understanding Rated Power and Peak Power of Variable Frequency Generators 1

Rated Power: This refers to the actual, commonly used power output of the variable frequency generator. For example, if a 2KW variable frequency generator has a rated power of 1800W, then its maximum load capacity is 1800W, meaning it can handle devices like induction cookers, electric heaters, small space heaters, and more, up to this power limit. When you use the generator to power these devices, you can easily see its actual power output.

Peak Power: This represents the instantaneous power that the generator can handle. What does this mean? It's the power required to start up devices for a brief moment. For instance, if you want to start an electric motor with a power rating of 700W, you should know that electric motors require three times their rated current to start. Therefore, a 700W electric motor would need a generator with a peak power rating of 2100W to start it successfully. If the peak power rating of your generator is not greater than or equal to the power needed for devices to start up, the generator may go into overload protection mode (akin to tripping a circuit breaker) or, in the worst case, get damaged (Note: Noke variable frequency generators come with overload protection, low voltage protection, and overcurrent protection).

In summary, when purchasing a generator, the key specification to consider is the rated power, which represents the generator's actual continuous power output. Peak power is only relevant for brief moments (approximately 0.1-0.5 seconds) and is not intended for sustained use. Most scenarios require only rated power. For example, the Noke 2200W new variable frequency gasoline generator has a rated power of 2200W and a peak power of 2500W. This is sufficient to start an 800W electric motor. In contrast, many generators on the market with a peak power rating of only 2000W can only start a 650W electric motor (similar to an air conditioner compressor). Not all electric motors require three times the starting current.

When choosing the right type of RV generator, the next consideration is the specific power requirement.
Small generators have a wide range of applications and are used in various settings.
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