backup generator

Backup generator. Credit: Australia-Wide Solar.

A generator is a device for converting chemical, mechanical, or some other type of energy, into electrical power. Electromagnetic generators are the main source of electricity in the world today. They may be driven by steam turbines, water turbines, wind turbines, internal combustion engines, or a moving part of some other type of machine. A generator is the reverse of an electric motor, which uses electricity to produce another form of energy. In the case of solar technology, a solar module, or a system of solar modules, is considered to be a generator.


Generators are rated by watts (W). To determine which size generator is right for your needs following these steps:


  • Find amperage and voltage information for each appliance or tool being used
  • Multiply the volts (V) by the amps (A) to determine the watts you'll need
  • Choose a generator that meets or exceeds your total wattage requirement

  • Sample tool and wattage guide
    Light bulb 100W
    Fan 200W
    Color TV 20" 400W
    Deep freezer 500W
    Computer 15" monitor 800W
    Refrigerator/freezer 18 cu.ft. 800W
    Sump pump 1000W
    Water well pump 1/2 HP 1400W
    Space heater 1800W
    Electric water heater 4000W