After multiple experiments, we are now finally here to answer your questions like, How to parallel generators? Can we parallel two different sizes or brands of generators? Is it safe to do paralleling instead of buying a bigger unit? And many more.
Without further wasting time let’s dive in;
What is Generator Paralleling?
Paralleling is the process of connecting two generators of the same or different brands with the same or different sizes to get double or triple wattage. Paralleling can be done with a dedicated parallel kit.
E.g.: I have a Honda EU2200i that can produce 2200 starting and 1800 running watts, now I need to parallel it by utilizing a parallel kit with a similar or bigger unit that should be compatible to get more wattage
How to Parallel Generators?
Step 1: Take two parallel compatible inverter or non-inverter generators of the same or different sizes. Make sure to check out the frequencies and voltage especially if they are non-inverter.
Step 2: Get a compatible parallel kit of a similar or different brand. Most of the kits have 6 terminals 4 for parallel connection and two for grounding. You just need to read the manual and take care of the plus-minus ports before making the connection. Also, ground the grounding cable as well.
Step 3: Keep an eye on both generators especially if they are non–inverter generators.
Things We Should Consider Before Paralleling the Generators
The following things should be monitored or considered before paralleling the generators.
Check Out the Load Sharing:
Make sure to check out the output voltages and frequencies of both sides, there should be the same voltages and frequencies.
Note: If they are not balanced you may damage both of the units.
Make Sure to Have Compatible Engines:
Though modern technologies allow paralleling the different-sized generators, still the manufacturer stresses parallelling the same-sized generator because the total output depends on the smaller generator.
If you parallel a 3000 and 6000-watt generator, you will not get 9000 watts because you can’t overload one of the sides.
Ensure That Both Generators Have Compatible Alternators:
Similar alternators produce similar frequencies to mitigate the unwanted motoring, in case you have parallel a lower frequency unit with a higher frequency you may face motoring which can’t only overload the generator but also the distribution system.
Match the THD of Each Generator (For Non – Inverter Units):
THD means the total harmonic distortion if it is high your voltage-sensitive appliance may be damaged, the THD levels of inverter generators are pretty low compared to the non–inverter generators which is why I encourage our users to get a generator with the same THD levels if one of the generators have higher THD you may not get satisfactory results.
Some of Our Tested Parallel Kits
|Champion 50-Amp RV Ready Parallel Kit|
|Briggs & Stratton 120 Volt Parallel Cable|
|WEN GNA36i 30-Amp 3600-Watt Parallel Connection Ki|
|WEN GNA50i 50-Amp 6000-Watt Parallel Connection Kit|
Is Paralleling Generators Safe?
If your generators are parallel capable you are good to go, always stick with the user manual please don’t apply DIY hacks, my brother has damaged a generator by using some hacks. Make sure to parallel the generator which is approved by the manufacturers with compatible voltages and frequency.
What Are The Advantages of Paralleling Generators?
Paralleling two inverter generators could not only provide you with decent mobility but also provide you with great control over the load. Well, as per my experience, I have listed some of the unique advantages of paralleling the generators below.
- Offers you greater portability since you don’t have to carry a larger unit.
- Two small units can be maintained easily compared to a bigger one.
- If your one unit fails, you still have others to operate your essentials.
- With greater control over power, you can operate a single unit in case you don’t have to draw more power.
- If you have o smaller unit with the parallel capability you don’t have to sell it for half price and spend on another bigger one, you can simply get another one and parallel them.
- Newer parallel mechanisms are designed to add redundancy, if one generator fails, the whole power is distributed to another one. This means you will get constant power even in emergency conditions.
What Are the Disadvantages of Paralleling Generators?
- It requires more wiring and time to set up the connections, however, with a single unit you just have to start it with a remote control or push button. In case of paralleling, you have to set up the kit start both generators, insert some plugs, etc.
- Paralleling is not feasible for higher wattage needs.
Should I Buy a Larger Generator Instead of Paralleling?
Well if you have an inverter generator of 2000 or 3000 watts and you are going to purchase a bigger one you will face the following disadvantages.
- You have to spend almost double the cost to get a bigger one, however, if you are going with a parallel option, you can spend a few hundred bucks to get the same unit and double your power.
- You have to compromise with noise since larger units are roar compared to the smaller ones.
- Your maintenance and fuel costs may increase since bigger units are expensive.
- You may face difficulty in transportation.
NOTE: if you are going to get a unit for the whole house and your power needs are more than 15kw then you have to get a single big unit instead of multiple small units.
Can You Parallel Two Different Brand Generators?
Yes, but they should have the same voltages and frequency and if one of them is overloaded you will lose the connections. I have a Honda EU2000i (2000 watts) and a WEN 56380i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator (3800 watts), I used to parallel them but once the Honda exceeded its wattage limits, I lost the connection.
The bottom line is you can parallel any brand, as long as you’re balancing both sides, if one generator is only able to draw 1800 wattage and the other can draw 3000 watts, you will be able to only get 3600 watts, however, the remaining 1200 watts could be utilized by attaching the connecting load to the bigger unit alone. Not in the parallel kit.
Below is the video of Gavin’s Garage for a better understanding
Can We Connect Two Generators of Unequal Power Capacity?
Yes, there will be no harm to connecting two different-sized generators unless they have parallel ports and compatible voltages, frequencies, etc.
As per my experience, the Inverter generators are more convenient and safe for paralleling compared to the non-inverter generator, I am operating a Honda EU2000i (2000 watts) and Eu3000IS (3000 watts) with a parallel kit of WEN, I just need to connect a parallel kit between the generator and grounding them that’s it, even I don’t have to match the frequencies, voltage outputs, engine compatibilities, etc.
Can You Parallel Non-Inverter Generators?
Yes, it is possible to connect two non-inverter generators but it is a complicated process, you should have to search for a few things like engine and alternator compatibility, load sharing, etc. In simple words, it is not the process for newbies. A minor mistake could damage both of the generators.
Wrapping – Up
Hope we have answered your all queries related to paralleling the generators; you just have to follow the proper safety measures and our step-by-step guide to get your work done.
Still, if you have some quires that we are not able to answer please list them below we will be more than happy to answer them.
Josh is a highly skilled electrician with specialized expertise in the field of generators. With years of experience under his belt, he has established himself as an expert in all aspects of generators, ranging from installation and maintenance to troubleshooting and repairs. Josh’s in-depth knowledge of electrical systems and his commitment to staying updated with the latest industry advancements make him a reliable and sought-after professional.