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Book: Wind Power
Induction Generators for Wind Power
Induction Generators
for Wind Power
At a time of great concern about energy efficiency and the future of energy supply comes an in-depth look at the technical aspects of producing wind power. The complexities of converting wind power into electricity that can be readily distributed through national power lines are discussed. This book analyzes a full range of simulated induction generators and grid conditions, and electrical engineering theory is also presented.
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Buying Guide for Generators

How to Choose the Right Power Generator

PowerMax XP4400 4,400 Watt 6.5 HP OHV Gas Powered Generator With Wheel Kit (CARB Compliant)© by Jon Groebner * ~

Generators put you in control of your power source. And when you're faced with an unexpected outage, standby power can be more than handy. Depending on your needs, you can buy a reliable generator for as little as $900 or spend up to $8,000 for a deluxe model. With such a wide price range, it's important to choose a generator tailored to your situation ... read more

Best seller: PowerMax XP4400 4,400 Watt 6.5 HP Gas Powered Generator

PowerMax 8,500 Watt 16 HP Gas powered Generator

Selecting a Size

Before buying, you'll need to determine how much power you'll require from a generator, which is rated in watts.
  • Decide which appliances you can't live without. Refrigerators, microwaves, furnace fans, lights, televisions, and radios head many people's necessity lists.
  • Calculate how much electricity those items need by checking each product's faceplate or owner's manual.
  • Find the total wattage of all your necessary appliances. The generator you buy needs to deliver at least that much wattage--and preferably a bit more.
Briggs & Stratton Elite Series 8,550 Watt 10 HP OHV Gas Powered Portable Generator #030241


Appliances with motors (such as freezers, refrigerators, and furnace fans) require additional wattage to start. A 700-watt refrigerator, for instance, could require an additional 2,200 watts when firing up.

If you plan to start a group of motors simultaneously, you'll need a generator with the capacity to supply the necessary starting current for the total wattage. Without sufficient starting power, motors can overheat, burn out, or trip the generator's circuit breaker.


Earplugs, anyone? With generators, noise is an issue. Some purr, while others roar. If peace and quiet is a priority, consider the generator's noise level, listed in decibels.
  • The low end of the noise range measures 50-60 decibels.
  • If a generator rattles at 80 decibels, you might have to raise your voice to be heard. That may be fine at a job site, but frustrating in a tent.
Encased motors and antivibration devices can bring the decibels down, but of course they cost a little more.
PowerMax XP10000E 10,000 Watt 16 HP OHV Gas Powered Generator With Wheel Kit And Electric Start (CARB Compliant)


How portable is it? Some generators come with wheels and move easily, others have handles and must be lugged around. So check the weight of the model you are considering, and remember that a generator without wheels can be awkward, if not impossible, to carry very far.

Fuel Tank vs. Run Time

Before buying, find out how long the generator can run on a full tank of gas. As a rule, the more powerful the generator, the worse the gas mileage. Between models, the run time can range from 2 to 10 hours. Fuel tank size varies, too, so check the tank capacity. This will give you an idea of how often you'll have to stomp out in the night, uncap the gas can, and refill the tank. Of course, you face a tradeoff: a bigger fuel tank guarantees a bulkier, heavier generator.

Start Your Engines

When choosing a generator, consider the starting device--recoil or electric?
  • The recoil method, featured on most inexpensive models, starts with a pull or two, much like a lawn mower.
  • If you want the ease of flipping a switch, then a more expensive model, with an electric starter, is the way to go.
Makita G6100R 5,800-Watt 11 HP Portable Power Generator

Beyond Y2K

Generators were hot Y2K sellers--but their usefulness didn't vanish with the (calm, as it turns out) dawning of the new millennium. With the right generator, you can make your power portable. Film crews, hunters, and campers have long relied on generators to power their sites and equipment. In addition, windstorms, ice storms, earthquakes, blizzards, and hurricanes--things far less predictable than Y2K was--all threaten to leave us in the dark without warning. But with a generator waiting in the wings, if the lights go out, you'll be prepared.
Blue Max 1,250 Watt 2 HP 2-Cycle Gas Powered Generator #3241


In the wrong hands, a generator is a dangerous thing. Even the smallest generator produces electricity at levels high enough to cause property damage, injury, and death. Always make certain your manufacturer provides clear safety and user guidelines.

* Jon Groebner lives in Seattle, Washington. His friends call him 'Heat Miser'.
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