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Sizing Your Generator:

When sizing the generator you want to first select the season with the greatest demand for electricity in your  operation. For example, if you use electricity for grain drying, the fall season is likely the time with greatest demand. Increase the required capacity of your generator by at least 10 % if you want to use your generator for long periods of time (not just during power failures.) Finally, increase the required size of your generator to allow for future anticipated electrical loads.

Generators need to be sized correctly to prevent overloading. Overloading a generator can cause poor power quality, and may damage the generator and electrical appliances in your barn and out-buildings. In order to determine the generator's size, make a list of what will be operating, and add the wattage of all the equipment. Be particularly cautious when calculating and connecting motor loads as starting wattage can be considerably higher than operating wattage. Refer to motor nameplates when making these calculations. Otherwise, horsepower (about 850 Watts per HP) can be used to determine the generator size. Motors require three to five times more current for starting than for continuous running.



Running Wattage Requirement

Starting Wattage Requirement




Electric Fence, 25 miles



Feed Conveyor

800 5,000

2,700 18,000

Feed Grinding

1,000 7,000

4,000 25,000

Feed Mixing

800 - 2000

2,400 7,000

Grain Cleaner



Grain Elevator



Kango Hammer



Milk cooler (bulk)

1,500 12,000

7,500 60,000

Milking Machine

500- 5,000

2,000 17,000

Milking Machine, 2hp



Mixer  3 cu ft.



Portable Conveyer



Silo Unloader

2,000 7,500

7,000 26,000

Space Heater

1,000 5,000

1,000 - 5,000

Stock tank De-icer



Ventilation Fans

300 1,000

1,000 3,500

Water heater



Water Pump

500 2,500

2,000 10,000

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Last modified: April 17, 2010