Portable Generators

For portable and relocatable power at outdoor events and festivals, and on construction sites, portable generators are the preferred solution.

About Portable Generators

In electricity generation, a generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy for use in an external circuit.

Portable generators give you the power you need when you don’t have access to traditional sources of electric power.  They are engine-driven power generators that are intended for multiple uses and designed for portability, though not necessarily with wheels.

Portable generators provide electricity by running an internal combustion engine that turns an on-board alternator to generate electrical power. Power outlets on the unit allow you to plug extension cords, electric-powered tools and appliances into it. In general, the more powerful the generator, the more outlet combinations are available.

A typical portable generator contains the following primary components assembled together onto a metal frame in a single unit:

  1. Internal combustion engine
  2. Alternator
  3. Starter
  4. Fuel tank
  5. Outlets (usually with built in RCDs)

Unlike standby generator systems, portable generators are not permanently installed, can be easily moved from place to place and must be manually started.

The Testing Process

There are two kind of watts:
Running Watts – The continuous watts produced to keep items running.
Starting Watts – The extra power needed to start large motor-driven appliances or multiple items.

Due to fluctuation of the power curve when Portable Generators start up Earth Leakage tests are not done, as the fluctuating power curve can damage the PAT tester.  Also for this reason the RCD Trip Time test is performed using a dedicated RCD tester rather than the PAT tester.

Consequently, the only tests that can be safely conducted without risk of damage to the test equipment are the Point-to-Point Earth Continuity and RCD Trip Time test.