The Definition of Generator Power Factor

Renting a generator can seem like a fairly simple thing. You just go into the rental company and point at the generator you want. The one you think will get the job done. If you are an experienced generator user, you know that this is not the case. You have to come prepared with how large the job is, the anticipated length of the job, and the power factor. Below we will discuss in greater detail what the generator power factor is and why it is important.

The Definition of Generator Power Factor

In short, the generator power factor is often expressed as a percentage that has been calculated by taking the difference between voltage and current sine waves. Based on the generator power factor that you calculate, you will see that it is the load that produces the power factor and not the generator itself. In other words, the power factor is created by the load and the generator has to be able to keep up with that load and be capable of reacting to the power factor that is being created. When it comes to generator power factor, this is a crucial piece to understand. It is important to note that the industry standard is a power factor rating of 0.8.

So when looking to rent a generator for your load, you need to know if your load is going to be at 0.8 or more than 0.8. If your load exceeds the industry standard, then an oversized generator will do the job just fine. As you can see, knowing exactly what the load of the job is will help to ensure that you are able to rent the correct power generator to successfully complete the job.

Leading or Lagging

When it comes to the generator power factor, you have to be aware that the power factor can either lead or lag. Below the definition of both of these power factors is outlined.

  • A leading power factor is caused by one of three things, capacitor-intense loads, an induction motor that is being driven by the load, or synchronous motor that is lightly loaded.
  • A lagging power factor is mainly caused by an induction motor.

When it comes to the industry standard, the most common power factor that you will find is a lagging power factor. This is because the motors used in these loads meet the industry standard of 0.8. With that being said, it is nearly impossible to find a leading power factor with today’s work culture and the loads that are used today.

Renting a Generator for the Right Power Factor

Now that you know about what the generator power factor is, it is time to pick out your generator rental. It is helpful to contact Allied Rental Company already knowing what the power factor is. In most cases, it will be at the industry standard. Then the generator selection comes down to how large a job or site you have. All of these pieces of information put together will help the sales associate set you up with the right generator to complete the job.