Need More than a 20kw Generator can Provide

Need More than a 20kw Generator can offer? A Look at Larger Units and Who Needs Them

Air-cooled standby generators top out at 20 kilowatts, a little more than 83 amperes at 240 volts. Most new homes have 200-amp service. Normally, most homes don’t use the quantity of power their service is capable of supplying, and seldom come close―most of the time. Actually, most homes don’t exceed 80 amperes apart from short periods or when large motors on air conditioners or well pumps start. In the 1940s towards the 1970s, 60-ampere service was usual and 100-ampere service became common within the 1970s.

With power management features available for most residential standby generators, in addition to conservative power use practices, most homes can perform comfortably on 20 kilowatts or a reduced amount of standby power.

Higher Power Requirements

Larger homes have higher power requirements. It isn’t uncommon to wish 300- and 400-amp service in large homes, along with the largest luxury homes are often supplied with even larger electrical service. They have multiple, high-capacity air conditioners and furnaces, and in general, larger appliances.  Power use exceeding 20 kilowatts may be the normal, everyday a higher level use within these homes.

Smaller businesses and manufacturing facilities will also be higher users of electrical energy. In the case of larger facilities, multiple standby generators can be used to produce enough standby electrical energy in order to supply emergency systems which don’t include everyday operational requirements.

Liquid Cooled Generators

Liquid-cooled standby generators use engines similar to those within cars. There is a fan-cooled radiator stuffed with coolant that is pumped from the engine to chill it. They do not depend upon the ambient air temperature to directly cool the engine, and since their air conditioning is active rather than passive, they have got less downside to overheating and provide more reliable operation.

Standby generators of this type can be obtained with as many as 60 kilowatts of power for residential use, and greater models all the way to 150 kilowatts for commercial use. A capacity of 60kW can supply as much as 250 amperes of current continuously, enough to keep most luxury homes operating without resorting to judicious usage of power.

The bigger, commercial standby models will handle the requirements of most commercial facilities and can supply electricity restaurants, office buildings, apartments and condos, and retail facilities. Facilities which need more power can install multiple units.


For residential use, Generac Power Systems manufacturers the QuietSource line of home standby power generators. The QuietSource models can be bought in 22, 27, 36 and 48 kilowatts, enough power for most larger and luxury homes. QuietSource generators include models in 240-volt single-phase,  208-volt three-phase, and 480-volt three-phase standby power.

Generac’s Commercial compilation of liquid-cooled standby generators include 22 to 150 kilowatt models for business or commercial use and are avalable in 240, 208, or 480 volt models in both single and three-phase configurations. Models with aluminum or steel enclosures can be obtained.

Briggs & Stratton has three models available for whole house standby power in 35, 45, and 60 kilowatts to power the most important of luxury homes throughout a power outage. With this sort of power available, you don’t need to forgo any of life’s necessities or conveniences.


Homes that depend upon high-demand electric appliances such as ranges, dryers, hot water heaters, well pumps, electric heating, and central air conditioners may need more power than an air-cooled standby generator can supply without extensive management and careful using of power. These homeowners must look into a greater, liquid cooled generator.

Businesses and commercial operations ought to have the reliability and better power advantages that larger, liquid-cooled standby generators can offer.

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