Choosing a Generator

Kohler generators span the full range of generator needs – from an 8.5kW portable generator you might take camping to a 4.3MW generator that can power a hospital. To find the generator that is right for your needs, calculate the power needed and evaluate which fuel type is right for your scenario. Our Power Calculators page to help you do this. Then, please be aware of the common generator pitfalls that are discussed below.

PORTABLE

  • 1.8kW – 12.3kW
  • Compact and Light: Fits in most cars and trucks for easy portability
  • Take anywhere: campsites, tailgating, home appliances, etc.
  • Runs on commonly available fuels like gasoline and diesel
  • Easy to use: Just add oil and fuel and go. No installation required.
  • Affordable for any budget
  • High-quality power — won’t harm your electronics

Download Portable Generators Selection Chart – PDF

HOME

  • 6kW – 150kW
  • Ideal for backing up your home
  • Automatically starts and restores power in seconds
  • Powers your home, including critical hard-wired systems like AC, heat, sump pumps, well pumps, security systems and large appliances
  • No refueling — runs on your home’s natural or LP gas

Avoid Generator Pitfalls

To select the right gas, propane or diesel generator, you must do more than add up the sum of needed “run current” for the things you wish to power. Real-world operating constraints are a big piece of the equation. If you don’t evaluate the operating constraints, problems like nuisance tripping and reduced generator life can occur, even though the generator specifications say the unit is adequate to handle the load. Here are two keys to avoiding problems and maximizing your investment.

  • Evaluate Environmental Conditions
  • Avoid Installation Pitfalls
Evaluate Environmental Conditions

The environment in which the gas or diesel generator will operate will effect the unit’s performance. The available power of any engine is reduced as the altitude, ambient temperature and humidity increases. A reduction in engine power reduces the generator output. For most applications, moving up by a generator size usually ensures enough power is available for all conditions, but not always. This is why a proper evaluation of the power needs and environmental conditions is needed to determine the most efficient and cost-effective power solution.

Avoid Installation Pitfalls

The two most critical considerations when planning a generator installation are proper exhaust air-flows, and cooling. The most common reason for poor generator performance is insufficient air flow. Sometimes in their efforts to reduce noise, unaware users restrict the air flow into and out of the generator housing. This limits the performance and capability of the unit, and can even cause a generator to fail. It is critical that the heat from the AC generator and the engine cooling system be removed in a way that prevents it from re-circulating back into the generator housing.