- Can You Parallel Two Different Size Generators?
- Can you parallel two different size generators if one isn’t parallel cable?
Can You Parallel Two Different Size Generators?
Parallel connecting a generator might be a new term to many, but it’s getting more popular each day. Unlike with traditional generator, modern generators can be parallel connected to increase their power load. In this post, I will be going through the various aspects of parallel connecting a generator. It’s an easier way of answering your question; can you parallel two different size generators?
What is paralleling generators?
As aforementioned, running generators in parallel or simply parallel generators connect two generators in parallel to double your power output. In general, it’s more straightforward to connect generators of the same output and from the same brand generators. That is superbly easy when the two generators are parallel capable.
If the generators are not parallel capable, paralleling the generators becomes a little different. The question I have to answer is, can you parallel non-inverter generators. I’ve also gone through various aspects to answer the question; can you parallel two different size generators. Read along.
Parallel Ready Generators
Most of the modern generators, especially the inverter generators, are parallel capable. That means they have a way you can connect two similar models in parallel to better the output. The generator will come with unique parallel ports to connect special parallel connection cables for a seamless parallelization.
Most of the brands that offer parallel capable generators will provide you with the parallel connection cables designed for the model. However, most of them are sold separately unless there is an offer. Understand that, while making your purchase, you must match your generator brand and output before picking the parallel cords.
Can you parallel non-inverter generators?
You can connect to non-inverter generators in technical terms, but it’s a complicated process, and you might need a lot of equipment to pull it off. You might need to match and synchronize the generators’ engines. Any mistake in the setup might damage both generators. High chances are, you won’t get the 100% output you want with non-inverter generators. I would advise you never to experiment this unless you know what you’re doing as a simple miss of step can destroy your generator.
Can you parallel two different size generators?
Yes, of course! You can parallel different size and brand generators. However, the generators have to be inverter generators to make the parallel connection seamless. It’d be best if the two generators are parallel capable, and you’ve got a parallel kit to join them together. You can get the ideal parallel kit on the brand’s website or get a universal type. It features four terminals, four for connecting the generators while two offer the grounding terminals.
If one of your generators is not parallel capable, then you can make them work together. All you have to do is connect the generator’s output port (non-parallel capable) to the other generator (parallel capable) and then connect the appliance to the other generator. (In which output of the first generator is connected).
Can you parallel two different size generators if one isn’t parallel cable?
Of course! If your generators aren’t parallel capable, it’s also possible to make them work together to give you more power. It would be best if you connected the non-parallel cable generator’s output to the parallel cable generator’s parallel port. Now you can connect your appliance on the other generator’s output.
First, start the non-parallel generator and then the parallel ready generator later. That way, it gets easier to connect these two generators and achieve a power boost. The parallel capable generator is more than capable of handling power generation, and it can also adjust the load applied. It’s quite a risky process, and if done wrong, it could damage your two generators.
Factors You Need to Consider for Paralleling Generators
In general, generator owners prefer paralleling two generators from the same brand and the same level to avoid all the connectivity hassle and the compatibility issue. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot safely connect two different generator brands or sizes.
The general rule of thumb to consider here is that both your generators can be parallel connected so long as their voltage and frequency are the same during the connection. While considering connecting two different sizes and band generators, it is best you check the engine and alternator compatibility, not forgetting load sharing and interface compatibility.
The generator engine capacity, measured in kilowatts (KW), must stay the same for a seam paralleling. Running generators with the same KW will help prevent system overload and operation of higher loads. For instance, if one of your generators is rated 400KW and the other is rated 200KW, you can only run load up to 200KW. That means the load supplying capacity depends solely on the smaller generator power-producing capacity.
Your two generators’ alternators are compatible if and only if the currents between the two alternators do not flow to the other circuits. Alternators come with protective relays that prevent this issue. However, at times, it may affect your generator operation. If the circuit feeds the other, the generator with the lower frequency will be the high-frequency generator load, commonly know as motoring. It’s a situation that can lead to an overload of both generators, leading to the whole system’s failure.
Load sharing compatibility
As aforementioned, both generators’ frequencies and voltages must much, and once the setup is done, it’s challenging to monitor the voltage and current for balancing the overall power output. If there is unbalanced power output, it can result in uneven reactive load distribution between your two generators.
Interaction Interface compatibility
Your generators must interact with each other via a clear communication channel while they operate in parallel. It helps with even handling during the paralleling process, thus helping maintain continuous operations. It helps with information relay, master control, and interaction with the external monitoring system.
Once you consider all the above factors, the best thing to do to have a successful generator paralleling process is to synchronize your generators. It would be best if you did this to this for your procedure to be viable, the generated power be usable, and you prevent any risk of damaging your generator and appliances. During synchronization, the generators’ frequencies, voltage, and phase must match. Here are some of the few ways on how you can synchronize generators when connecting in them parallel:
Waveform: Ensure the waveforms of both your generators is a sine wave
Voltage Amplitude difference: Ensure the two generators produce the same voltage level to match the sine wave voltage.
Phase Sequence: If you’re considering a 3-phase power supply, you should ensure your generators’ phase sequence is incorrect order. That means the voltage peak on the sine waveform needs to match.
Phase Angle Difference: Ensure the phase angle difference between the two sets of sine waves is zero when using a 3-phase system.
Using a Synchronoscope to check for synchronization
A Synchronoscope is a device that helps in checking the synchronization of the generators. It will help measure the phase angle difference of any phase between your two generators. It’s available in analog and electronic form.
Why parallel generators instead of not buying a large generator?
It might be the best idea to buy one high-capacity generator instead of a parallel. But what if you already have a smaller inverter generator in your possession. In this scenario, the best step is to get another similar size generator and parallel it with your previous model.
Another reason is you might be needing a portable generator for camping. The generator might provide enough power for use with your RV or all the appliances you carried with you while you camp. However, this power isn’t enough to power your essentials or run your power tools at home. That might force you to buy a second generator, still portable, and parallel it.
What’s more, most of the parallel capable generators are quiet-running and fuel-efficient inverter generators. You may want to go for these features, especially if you live in a close-neighbor residence.
Another thing, with two generators in your possession, you’re guaranteed of backup if one of the generators ever fails. That is mostly applicable to industrial applications where enhanced reliability is a must.
I should also mention, by paralleling two generators instead of buying one massive unit, you get to enjoy low-cost power generation. With larger generators, the cost of producing electricity is higher. Those massive units require higher maintenance costs, extra engine oil, more gas, and you might spend more on repair charges.
Can paralleling generators cause any damage?
Suppose the two generators are inverter generators with parallel capability. In that case, all you need is the right parallel kit to make the entire process super safe for you, your appliances, and the generators themselves. If the generators are non-inverters or generators of different sizes, there may be an issue with your safety and that of your generators. If the steps aren’t done right, and there is no synchronization, there is a danger and risk of damage. You must consider the generator paralleling factors and synchronize your units before paralleling them.
Can you run parallel non-inverter generators? Can you parallel two different size generators? The answer is ‘Absolutely!’ Most modern generators can be run in parallel even if they are of different sizes and from other brands. While looking for the best generator to parallel, consider your maximum power requirement. Also, place for a certain redundancy level into your system. You may also want to make sure your generators are as similar as possible; it will ensure you get efficient and effective output.