How Can I See The Watt Draw From A Generator? - Electrical - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

 DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum How can I see the watt draw from a generator?
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07-11-2009, 11:03 PM   #1
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?

I have one of these (pic below) which shows how many watts my electrical devices use in Watts. Is there a similar device that would allow me to see how many watts my generator is using through the 240 plug?

It would be nice to just step out and read how hard my generator's working.

(For instance: If I was running several appliances... I could step out and see if I had enough free wattage to run my coffee maker)

07-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by deeze Is there a similar device that would allow me to see how many watts my generator is using through the 240 plug?
Assuming a constant ~240v just use a clamp-on ammeter and multiply the amps by 240. V x I is close enough to the wattage for this application.

How many watts is your gen. rated for?

 07-12-2009, 08:45 AM #3 Newbie   Join Date: May 2009 Location: Texas Posts: 26 Rewards Points: 20 I was looking into one of these for a standby generator http://nooutage.com/RMK.HTM I found another product that had a row of LED's to indicate amps but I can't find the link. It worked the same way. Edit. The LED meter is also by the same company. Just follow the link Last edited by dcopps; 07-12-2009 at 09:01 AM.

07-12-2009, 09:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yoyizit Assuming a constant ~240v just use a clamp-on ammeter and multiply the amps by 240. V x I is close enough to the wattage for this application. How many watts is your gen. rated for?
It's a portable 8000/13500 Briggs and Stratton

Here's a picture from a random web site:
http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....0210/p887.html

07-12-2009, 09:35 AM   #5
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by dcopps I was looking into one of these for a standby generator http://nooutage.com/RMK.HTM I found another product that had a row of LED's to indicate amps but I can't find the link. It worked the same way. Edit. The LED meter is also by the same company. Just follow the link
WOW... this is fantastic dcopps! Could I just attach this to my generator breaker switch and install it in the wall right beside my electrical panel (in garage)? That would be 100% perfect!!!

07-12-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by deeze It's a portable 8000/13500 Briggs and Stratton Here's a picture from a random web site: http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....0210/p887.html
So your wattmeter needs to handle 33A to 56A, assuming 240v, and double this current at 120v.

07-12-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yoyizit So your wattmeter needs to handle 33A to 56A, assuming 240v, and double this current at 120v.

Will this work: http://nooutage.com/RMK.HTM

07-12-2009, 03:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by deeze Will this work: http://nooutage.com/RMK.HTM
Apparently, but the disclaimer about 10 kW, min., is puzzling.
This link is very short on specifics. Be careful. If you e-mail them with questions but they call you back with answers, be especially careful.

07-12-2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yoyizit Apparently, but the disclaimer about 10 kW, min., is puzzling. This link is very short on specifics. Be careful. If you e-mail them with questions but they call you back with answers, be especially careful.
Brilliant thought. I can hear them now "put nothing in writing".

Are there similar devices out there? I've been Googleing around trying to find one with a better picture and more specs.

07-12-2009, 04:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by deeze Brilliant thought. I can hear them now "put nothing in writing". Are there similar devices out there? I've been Googleing around trying to find one with a better picture and more specs.
Same principle:
http://www.theenergydetective.com/index.html

07-12-2009, 04:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Yoyizit Assuming a constant ~240v just use a clamp-on ammeter and multiply the amps by 240. V x I is close enough to the wattage for this application.
Okay, so I got everything set up today and the generator easily turned over my 4 ton variable speed ac system (it does have a KickStart or something installed on heat pump... not sure exactly what they called it... dampens the initial electric kick when it starts.). I could also run my refrigerator and 60" plasma at the same time... AWESOME!

I have everything in my entertainment center running to two power strips... one that has only my TV, Dish Receiver and DVI Switcher and then a second power strip that says "turn off while on generator". that kills the power to all the other unnecessary stuff like computer, security camera hub and other stuff.

ANYWAY, I hooked the amp meter to the black wire within my emergency disconnect (only place I could access it) BUT is just reading that one wire enough? Isn't the white wire hot too? I'm a little confused and uneducated in this area. However based on the math equation you gave me Yoyizit, the ac system running alone was drawing 16amps or 3,840watts. Small price to pay for central air in FL!

 07-12-2009, 04:14 PM #12 Member   Join Date: Jul 2008 Location: NW of D.C. Posts: 5,990 Rewards Points: 2,000 Here's what inside of them http://electronicdesign.com/Articles...6411/6411.html Yes, 16A is plausible, yes, just the hot wire. The neutral wire has the same current in it unless you have problems. The current goes out on one wire and returns on the other. 10 cents/kwh in FL but 4600 Cooling Degree Days/yr in Miami. What do you pay for year round cooling in FL? If this 16A, 240v thing runs 8 hrs/day, it's ~\$3/day. But your engine/generator is maybe 20% efficient so depending on the price of gasoline you will be paying quite a bit more per kwh. 1 gal of gasoline converts to 38 kwh at 100% efficiency. With your setup, you could post back with how long one pint of gasoline runs your HVAC system. . . Not that I'm asking you to do this. . . Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-12-2009 at 04:45 PM.
 07-12-2009, 05:42 PM #13 Newbie   Join Date: May 2009 Location: Texas Posts: 26 Rewards Points: 20 Seems the RMK watt meter offered by nooutage is made by gen/tran. The following link is the manufacture website. http://www.gen-tran.com/eshop/10Brow...ategory=MTSOPT The price on nooutage website has not been updated since 7/1/08 so it might be safer to get it direct from gen/tran
 07-12-2009, 05:52 PM #14 Member   Join Date: Jul 2009 Posts: 56 Rewards Points: 75 Are they both reliable sources? The NoOuttage.com price (after shipping) is: \$65.28 The Gen-Tran.com price (after shipping is: \$81.75 \$16.47 difference Do you suppose I will receive the exact same product from either company?
07-12-2009, 06:14 PM   #15
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That's a good question.

I would call nooutage and make sure the price is current.

I going to order mine from Gen/Tran (the manufact) just to be safe

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