# Introduction. Basic Electricity. Frequency. Direct Current. Alternating Current DIRECT CURRENT DC

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1 Generator Handbook

2 Introduction One of the most basic necessities on a jobsite is the need for portable power. The demand for clean, reliable power has made Multiquip generators the most highly regarded brand in the equipment industry. This handbook will cover basic electrical terminology and provide you with the necessary guidelines to help properly size a generator. Basic Electricity A generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. Electricity is commonly described in terms of voltage, amperage and watts: n Voltage The electrical pressure, or force, that causes current to flow in the circuit. n Amperage The amount of electrical charge, or current, flowing in the circuit. n Watts A measure of electrical power. Voltage can be compared to the flow of water. There must be a difference in pressure in order for water to flow from one location to another. In an electric circuit, if there is a pressure (voltage), and path provided, then electricity will flow (current) through the conductor. Voltage is the force that causes electricity to flow through wires, while current is the movement of electricity. Direct Current Direct Current (DC) is an electrical charge that flows in one direction through a circuit (figure 1). It is commonly used in consumer goods such as radios and automobiles. Dry cells and batteries are some other common sources of direct current. V O L T A G E DIRECT CURRENT DC CURRENT FLOWS IN ONE DIRECTION TIME NOTE: CURRENT DOES NOT CHANGE DIRECTION. Figure 1 Direct Current (DC) Utility companies generate electrical power at several thousand volts and send it hundreds of miles. It is converted to higher and lower values through transformers. Frequency The rate at which alternating current changes direction determines its frequency. Each time the current goes one way and then the other way is called a cycle. Frequency is the number of cycles that occur in a single time period. Frequency is also commonly referred to as Hertz (Hz) or CPS (cycles per seconds). One Hz is equal to one CPS. In the United States standard household current is 60 Hz while many foreign countries use 50 Hz current. In the construction industry 180Hz high-cycle current is used to power certain concrete vibrators. Some aircraft and ships use 400Hz power. Figure 2 illustrates the relationship between alternating current and frequency. A direct current source is marked with plus (+) and minus (-) symbols that indicate the direction of current flow in the circuit. The theory behind direct current holds that it flows from the positive (+) terminal, through the circuit and returns to the negative (-) terminal of the power source. Alternating Current Alternating current (AC) changes its direction of flow at regular intervals and is found in all residential, commercial and industrial applications. Multiquip GDP5H 60/180 Cycle Generator

3 MAX POSITIVE 0 AC SINE WAVE TIME V O L T A G E PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 MAX NEGATIVE 1/60 OF A SECOND Phase NOTE: 60 OF THE ABOVE REFERENCED CYCLE OCCUR WITHIN 1 SECOND, PRODUCING 60 CYCLES PER SECOND (CPS), OR MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS A 60 HERTZ SINE-WAVE OUTPUT. Figure 2 Alternating Current (AC) and Frequency (Hz) Phase is a term applied to designate the circuits of an AC system. In the single-phase system, the voltages are in the same time phase in all parts of the system. In the threephase system, the voltages are 120 apart. Single-phase power (figure 3) can be transmitted by either a two-wire circuit or a three-wire circuit. The single-phase two wire method is the simplest and most commonly used. The voltage associated with this method is 120 VAC and is used to supply lamps, small motors, hand tools and appliances. V O L T A G E ALTERNATING CURRENT AC CURRENT TIME Figure 3 Single phase power CURRENT SINE WAVE OF SINGLE-PHASE CURRENT NOTE: IN A 60-CYCLE CIRCUIT (60 HZ) THE CURRENT REVERSES DIRECTION COMPLETELY 60 TIMES A SECOND. The single-phase three wire circuit is really two single-phase circuits with one wire in common. The voltage associated with this method is 240 VAC. This application is used where more power is required can can be supplied by the two wire system. Multiquip GA-Series generators produce this type of single-phase power. Three-phase power (figure 4) is transmitted by three hot wires with one ground. It is more versatile than single-phase power and is commonly used in industrial and commercial applications. One reason for this is a three-phase motor Figure 4 Three phase power is easier to start and more efficient than a single-phase design. It is not used in residential applications. Construction equipment typically uses either single phase or three phase motors. The contractor should specify the phase required for the job. MQ Power has a full line of generators that provide both single and three-phase power. Output Gasoline-powered portable generators are rated in terms of maximum and continuous output. Maximum output is the total wattage put out by the generator over a short period of time. Once the generator has been running for about 5 minutes the heat created by the machine will lower its electrical output. Continuous output refers to the total wattage put out by the generator over a long period of time. Frequently referred to as rated output, it takes into account the effects of heat on generator efficiency. When sizing a generator, continuous output is more important than maximum output. There is also a difference between starting amperage and running amperage. Starting amperage is the amount of amps required to start an electric motor. Running amperage is the amount of amps required to continuously run a motor. Generator Sizing TIME SINE WAVE OF THREE-PHASE CURRENT The first thing you will need to do is determine what type of load your customer will be using with the generator. There are two types of loads resistive and inductive. Resistive, or reactive, loads are devices that use a heating element and require the same amount of power to start as to run. Examples include light bulbs and appliances such as heaters, toasters, irons and skillets.

6 Appendix A Electric Motors Approximate wattage requirements HORSEPOWER RUNNING WATTS UNIVERSAL MOTOR (SMALL APPLIANCE) REPULSION INDUCTION MOTOR STARTING WATTS CAPACITOR MOTOR SPLIT PHASE MOTOR 1/ / / / / X X 1-1/ X X X X X X X =This type of motor is not normally used in this power range. For larger motors watts = hp x 932 NOTE: For pumps, air compressors, air conditioners, add at least 25% to starting wattage. Appendix B Extension Cord Gauge Extension cords also present another factor that should be considered when sizing a generator. Cables should be sized to allow for distance in length and amperage so that the voltage drop between the generator and point of usage is kept to a minimum. Use the chart below as a guide for determining the proper size and length of insulated copper wire extension cord. AMPERES VOLTS MINIMUM GAUGE (AWG)

7 Appendix C Reference Chart for Construction Applications STARTING WATTAGE REQUIREMENTS* RUNNING Concrete Vibrator - 3/4 hp Concrete Vibrator - 1 hp Concrete Vibrator - 2 hp Concrete Vibrator - 3 hp Drill - 1/4" Drill - 3/8" Drill - 1/2" Drill - 1" Floodlight Heat (radiant, portable) Heater (portable, liquid fuel) - 50,000 BTU Heater (portable, liquid fuel) - 100,000 BTU Heater (portable, liquid fuel) - 150,000 BTU Impact Wrenches - 1/2" Impact Wrenches - 3/4" Impact Wrenches - 1" Mixer, 3-1/2 Cubic Feet Motors Refer to Appendix A Sander, Belt Sander, Disc Sander, Orbital Saw, 6" Circular Saw, 7-1/4" Circular Saw, 8-1/2" Circular Saw, 10" Circular Saw, Jig Saw, Cutoff Screwdriver Soldering Iron or Gun Sump Pump** Water Pump (Submersible) - 3,000 gph** Water Pump (Submersible) - 5,000 gph** Water Pump (Submersible) - 10,000 gph** Water Pump (Submersible) - 15,000 gph** Water Pump (non-submersible) - 3,000 gph** Water Pump (non-submersible) - 5,000 gph** Water Pump (non-submersible) - 10,000 gph** Water Pump (non-submersible) - 15,000 gph** * Estimated ** These items usually require slightly higher starting amperage.

8 Appendix D Reference Chart for Residential Applications WATTAGE REQUIREMENTS* STARTING RUNNING Air Conditioner** Amplifier Broiler Blender Clothes Dryer (gas) Clothes Dryer (electric) Coffee Maker Dehumidifier Edge Trimmer ½" Electric Blanket Electric Range Electric Skillet Fan Fan (attic) Fan (furnace) Fan (window) Freezer Food Processor Heating Pad Heat Lamp (infrared) * Estimated ** These items usually require slightly higher starting amperage. WATTAGE REQUIREMENTS* STARTING RUNNING Hedge Clipper Hedge Trimmer Hot Plate (per element) Humidifier Iron Juicer Lawnmower Lights, Incandescent (as indicated on bulbs) - - Lights, Fluorescent (at stated on ballast) - - Mixer (food) Radio Recorder Refrigerator Shaver Sump Pump** Television (Color) Toaster Vacuum Cleaner Washing Machine COPYRIGHT 2011, MULTIQUIP INC. MQGENHNDBK-452 (04-11) MULTIQUIP INC. POST OFFICE BOX 6254 CARSON, CA FAX:

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