KV and KWA what?! If you’re looking for generator rental, you’re likely to be met with some technical language which will be familiar to people within the industry, whilst potentially causing a lot of confusion to people who aren’t au-fait with the lingo.

Most of us will have at least heard the term Kilowatt before. It’s often shortened to kW, and it’s the unit of power we see on our electricity bills. It’s a rating of actual power — or working power — which can be converted into a useful output. However, there’s another term — kVA — which tends to cause confusion.

The measurement of kVA related to apparent power, which tells you how much power is in use within a system. If a system is 100% efficient, this will be the same as the kW rating. No electrical system is 100% efficient, though, so these ratings will rarely be the same. In a system which is 80% efficient, for example, the kVA rating will be 80% of the kW rating. This 80% factor is quite crucial, as generators have a power factor of 80%, or 0.8.

If you’re still confused, there is a far more casual way of explaining it. If you order a pint of beer in a pub, you’re likely to get a pint which reaches the top of the glass and consists of both liquid beer and a frothy head. Arguably, the only ‘usable’ part of the pint is the liquid, which represents the kW. The entire pint full of ‘usable’ liquid and ‘wasted’ head, though, represents the kVA. It might sound rather a crude way of explaining the laws of physics, but it certainly works!

If you’re looking to hire a generator, understanding the difference between kW and kVA is crucial and will enable you to ensure you’re hiring the right generator for your needs. If the generator is too small, you won’t have enough power. If it’s too big, you’ll be wasting power and money.

For more information on our generator service contracts— or to find out a little bit more about what we can do for you — call us today, and we’ll be more than happy to talk to you about how hiring a generator could provide power for your home or business.  You might also like to read our blog about the National Grid

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