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Old 07-12-2009, 12:03 AM   #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)


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Old 07-12-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by deeze View Post
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?

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Old 07-12-2009, 09:45 AM   #3
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


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 10:01 AM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
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
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by dcopps View Post
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!!!
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Old 07-12-2009, 11:49 AM   #6
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by deeze View Post
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.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:35 PM   #7
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
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
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by deeze View Post
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.
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Old 07-12-2009, 04:58 PM   #9
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
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.
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by deeze View Post
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
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:12 PM   #11
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
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!
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Old 07-12-2009, 05:14 PM   #12
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


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 05:45 PM.
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:42 PM   #13
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


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
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Old 07-12-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


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?
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Old 07-12-2009, 07:14 PM   #15
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How can I see the watt draw from a generator?


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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