Understanding Military Generator KW Ratings

The KW rating found on off-the-shelf generators is calculated differently than that of military generators. Consumer generators are priced based on their rated output. A higher number means a higher price. As a result, these figures are highly over rated and consumers have learned to believe they need units substantially larger than they actually do. The commercial market is much better at being true and accurate but the military is in a class of it's own. Military ratings are severely under-rated. A result of a number of factors including testing at high altitude, in extreme temperatures, running on poor fuel and the addition of a 20% margin for error.

Take for example our 10-18KW 4 cylinder diesel generator. The military model for this generator is a MEP-003a which they rate at 10kw. The engine on this generator is rated at 18HP. Yes, that's correct... a 2.3L 4 cylinder diesel engine rated at 18HP. Both the generator and engine world would likely be rated much higher in the commercial world... even higher in the consumer market. This is just one example of how the military severely under-rates their equipment.

I'll now give an example of how the consumer world severely over-rates things. I'm sure everyone can recall the days when Briggs and other small engine manufacturers used to stamp a horsepower raring on everything. At some point that stopped in favor of this useless CC figure. Cubic centimeters can give you an idea of how much power the engine produces but it doesn't compare to a true HP rating. Wondering why did they stop using HP ratings? In 2008 a lawsuit was brought against small engine manufacturers claiming their HP ratings were overstated. Major manufacturers including Briggs, Tecumseh, Kohler, Toro and Kawasaki would advertise engines to consumers with ratings as high as 6.75HP while reporting to the EPA the engine only produced 3.6HP. All lies. They now refer to the useless figure of CC's because of their deceptive marketing tactics. To read more about the lawsuit and how major manufacturers of equipment we've all grown to trust have lied and deceived us, visit www.lawnmowerclass.com. This just reaffirms the fact that if something is built for profit, there's room for fraud. Our equipment is built to a Military specification on a Military contract. Unless you build it yourself, you wont find a better built or more honest piece of equipment anywhere. Period.

We here at Battle Grade Electric will stand behind and guarantee voltage, frequency and output will remain stable at full rated load. If the military states 10KW, it's accurate. Put a 10KW load on it and let it run. With a 10KW load you'll read a steady 60HZ at the correct voltage. These generators are capable of sustaining a much higher continuous output but we choose to consider that capability as part of the "surge" capacity. As consumers we purchase generators based on ratings we're familiar with leaving a little overhead for growth or surge. If we buy a generator a little too small or have unexpected growth, we adapt. For the military this could mean the difference between having the lights on and the radar station running. For them it's life and death. Under rating their equipment to help be prepared for the unexpected is a just one of the many requirements considered when these units were designed. For us in the civilian world, it's a waste of money. When deciding what generator best fits your needs, we recommend using the surge figure when adding up your current requirements. We've love to sell you something larger for more money buy that just isn't how we operate. For help determining what generator best suits your needs, feel free to give us a call at 888-398-3259. We'll take the time necessary to get a clear understanding of your power requirements and recommend the generator which best suits your needs, not ours.

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