Generators on the Playa

Mudskippers Cafe Forums Miscellaneous Generators on the Playa

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      Here are some points to keep in mind when calculating how much power your generator will support when running on the playa. Black Rock Desert is approximately 4,000 ft. above see level.

      Altitude and Temperature
      Altitude and temperature can have adverse effects on generator output. Let’s begin by looking at the effects of altitude. Gasoline powered generators will decrease by 3.5% in power for each 1,000 feet of elevation above sea level.

      Example: A 6 KW generator in Denver, CO
      5,000 ft. elevation
      3.5 x 5 =17.5% decrease
      Maximum output is now 4,950 watts.

      High temperatures can also decrease the efficiency of your generator by 1% for each 10° above 60° Fahrenheit.

      Example: A 6 KW generator in Phoenix, AZ
      It’s Labor Day weekend; the temperature is 120°
      120° – 60° = 6 x 1 = 6% decrease
      Maximum output is now 5,640 watts.

      Now let’s see what happens when you combine high altitude and high temperature.

      Example: 6 KW Generator in Denver, Colorado
      Elevation: 5,000 ft. elevation
      Temperature: 100° Fahrenheit.
      Altitude: 3.5% x 5 =17.5% decrease
      100° – 60° = 4 x 1 = 4% decrease
      Total decrease = 21.5%
      Maximum output is 4,710 watts.

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