Choosing a Generator? Here’s What You Need to Know

Choosing a Generator? Here’s What You Need to Know

When it comes to choosing a generator, your options can seem endless. There are so many different types of generators currently on the market that your decision is probably going to be a hard one. With the right research, however, you can feel confident in your selection.

The first thing you should do, when choosing a generator, is list your priorities. For example, if you are looking for a portable generator to take camping, then noise reduction and weight might be at the top of your list. Alternatively, if you are looking for an emergency backup generator, your priority might be maximising power output. If you develop your own priorities, then you can immediately narrow your list of possibilities.

What are your power requirements?

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a generator is look at its power output. Power output, in this case, is measured in watts or kVA. It is imperative that you match the output of a generator, with your required power. It is worth noting that power requirements vary significantly depending on your intended application of the generator. If you are a running a commercial operation and require a generator to run commercial freezers in a power outage, then your power requirements are likely to be quite high. On the other hand, if you are preparing for a brief power outage at your home, or even a remote camping trip, then your power requirements will be far less.

Should you choose a diesel or petrol generator?

Generators are typically powered by either a diesel, or petrol engine. Both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. There are many who commit themselves vehemently to one or the other, which means that their advice is a little bias. In truth, both generate power and are likely to satisfy your general needs. If you are looking to make a perfectly tailored selection, however, you may benefit from knowing a few of their respective advantages and pitfalls.

Running costs

Running costs are normally only an issue for larger generators that are being run continuously. If you have a smaller generator that you use quite sporadically, then running costs are unlikely to be an issue. Diesel fuel is cheaper, however, and often diesel engines are more efficient. This is one of the many reasons for which diesel generators are popular in the commercial sector. Essentially, if running costs are at the top of your list, a diesel generator is probably suitable.


Longevity is probably something that everyone is looking for when choosing a generator. It is hard to judge the longevity of a generator based solely on whether it is diesel or petrol. Different brands and models offer more reliable engines, so there are likely to be petrol models that would outlast diesel models and vice versa. However, in very general terms, diesel engines are widely regarded as more hardwearing. They are often subject to continuous use over long periods, and most withstand such use well.

Power output

You cannot effectively judge power output based on whether an engine is diesel or petrol alone. Generators are sold according to the amount of power that they create. This is measured in watts or kVA, so you will have a clear picture of your generator’s capabilities before you purchase it. Both diesel and petrol generators are capable of producing quite a lot of energy. Because of this, chances are that there is one of each that will fit your needs. Choosing a generator will usually be a matter of personal preference, combined with your practical needs. Of course, it is always prudent to seek professional advice as well.

Comments are closed.