What size is a small diesel generator?

In a world where power supply is paramount, small diesel generators emerge as reliable and versatile allies. Whether you seek backup power during outages or a portable energy solution for remote locations, these machines play a vital role. Welcome to our comprehensive guide on small diesel generators, where we will unravel the mysteries surrounding their size, power production capabilities, and how to find the ideal one to meet your unique requirements.

Are you curious about the dimensions and specifications of a small diesel generator? Throughout this guide, we will provide the insights you need to answer the burning question, "What size is a small diesel generator?" Our in-depth exploration of various models will help you understand the diversity and suitability of these efficient powerhouses.

Furthermore, we understand the importance of selecting the right generator to meet your power needs. That's why we've crafted a thorough examination of the power production capabilities of small diesel generators. From deciphering power ratings to providing real-life examples, we will equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Finding the perfect small diesel generator for your specific requirements can be an overwhelming task. But fear not! We've assembled a comprehensive guide to assist you in this process. By the end of this journey, you will be empowered with the expertise needed to select a small diesel generator that perfectly aligns with your energy demands.

Join us as we begin this informative journey into the world of tiny diesel generators, and let's provide you with the knowledge you need to make the best decision when obtaining a dependable source of power whenever and whenever you need it!

Section 1: Understanding Small Diesel Generators

Small diesel generators, ranging from 2.5kVA to 15kVA, are compact yet powerful devices that provide a reliable source of electricity in various settings. These generators are designed to efficiently convert diesel fuel into electrical energy, making them ideal for backup power solutions and portable applications. Let's dive into the fundamental aspects of small diesel generators and explore their defining features.

Definition and Components of Small Diesel Generators:

Small diesel generators are self-contained power units with several essential components working together to generate electricity. The primary features include:

a) Diesel Engine: The generator's heart, the diesel engine, converts the energy from diesel fuel into mechanical energy.

b) Alternator: Also known as the generator head, the alternator transforms the mechanical energy from the engine into electrical power.

c) Fuel Tank: Small diesel generators have built-in fuel tanks to store the required diesel fuel for uninterrupted operation.

d) Control Panel: The control panel houses various controls, indicators, and switches to start, stop, and monitor the generator's performance.

e) Cooling System: Small diesel generators are equipped with cooling systems, including air or liquid cooling, to regulate engine temperature during operation.

f) Exhaust System: The exhaust system channels harmful gases away from the generator and ensures safe operation.

g) Voltage Regulator: The voltage regulator maintains a steady output voltage, ensuring a stable power supply to connected devices.

Advantages and Disadvantages compared to other generator types:


  • Fuel Efficiency: Small diesel generators are known for their fuel efficiency, providing longer runtimes on a single tank than gasoline generators.

  • Durability and Longevity: Diesel engines are built to withstand heavy loads and tend to have a longer lifespan than their gasoline counterparts.

  • High Power Output: Despite their compact size, small diesel generators can deliver considerable power, making them suitable for various applications.

  • Versatility: These generators are well-suited for continuous and standby power applications, making them valuable assets for homes, businesses, and outdoor events.


  • Initial Cost: Small diesel generators may have a higher upfront cost than gasoline generators due to the durability and complexity of diesel engines.

  • Noise Levels: While modern small diesel generators have reduced noise levels, they tend to be slightly noisier than some alternative generator types.

  • Emissions: Diesel generators produce higher nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter, making them less environmentally friendly than some eco-conscious alternatives.

Typical Applications and Use Cases for Small Diesel Generators:

Small diesel generators find widespread use in various scenarios where a reliable and continuous power supply is essential. Some typical applications and use cases include:

a) Residential Backup Power: In areas with frequent power outages, small diesel generators provide a dependable backup power source for essential appliances and systems like refrigerators, lights, and sump pumps.

b) Construction Sites: Portable and durable, small diesel generators are commonly used on construction sites to power tools, lighting, and equipment, even in remote locations.

c) Outdoor Events: Whether it's a festival, camping trip, or outdoor gathering, small diesel generators offer the power needed for lighting, sound systems, and other event requirements.

d) Telecommunication Towers: Small diesel generators provide backup power to telecommunication towers, ensuring uninterrupted communication during emergencies.

e) Small Businesses: Many businesses rely on these generators to maintain essential operations during power outages, safeguarding against potential revenue losses.

Section 2: Determining the Right Size for Your Needs

When choosing the size of a small diesel generator, several factors come into play. These factors include the power demands of your appliances and devices, the types of equipment you wish to run, and the overall load you expect the generator to handle. Additionally, consider the frequency and duration of power outages in your area, which can impact the generator's size and fuel efficiency.

Calculating Power Requirements for Various Appliances and Devices

To accurately determine the power requirements for your appliances and devices, start by checking their wattage ratings. Add up the wattage of all the equipment you intend to run simultaneously during a power outage. Remember that some appliances have a starting surge of power required, so it's essential to account for this in your calculations.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Selecting the Appropriate Generator Size

Step 1: Create a List of Essential Appliances and Devices

List all the appliances and devices you want to power during an outage. Include their wattage ratings to understand the total power needed clearly.

Step 2: Identity Starting Surge Requirements

Identify appliances with starting surge requirements, as they may need additional power during the initial startup. Consider this factor while calculating the total wattage required.

Step 3: Determine Simultaneous Usage

Estimate which appliances and devices you will run simultaneously during an outage. Sum up their wattages to find the peak load the generator should handle.

Step 4: Add Extra Capacity

To ensure your generator doesn't operate at maximum capacity, provide a safety margin by adding some extra wattage to your calculated peak load. This precaution will prevent potential overloading issues and increase the longevity of the generator.

Step 5: Review Manufacturer's Specifications

Check the specifications provided by the generator manufacturer. Match the required power capacity with the calculated peak load to find the most suitable generator size.

Step 6: Consider Future Needs

Anticipate any potential changes in your power requirements over time. If you plan to add more appliances or devices in the future, it's wise to select a generator with a bit more capacity than your current calculations.

Section 3: Unveiling the Power Output

Understanding power ratings and terminology is crucial when selecting a small diesel generator. The primary terms are kVA (kilovolt-ampere) and kW (kilowatt). kVA represents the apparent power, which combines both the active power (kW) and the reactive power. kW, on the other hand, indicates the actual power output that the generator can deliver.

Analyzing Wattage, Kilowatts, and Other Units of Measurement

Wattage (W) is the basic unit of power measurement, representing the amount of electrical power an appliance or device uses. Kilowatts (kW) are a thousand watts, whereas kilovolt-amperes (kVA) refer to a thousand volt-amperes. It's essential to differentiate between kW and kVA, as the latter accounts for both active and reactive power and can be higher than the actual power output.

Real-Life Examples of Power Output for Different Small Diesel Generator Models

Here are some examples of power output for different small diesel generator models:

  1. Model A: 2.5kVA Generator

  • The generator has an actual power output of 2.0 kW (kilowatts).

  • It can power essential appliances like a refrigerator, lights, and a few small electronics during an outage.

  1. Model B: 5kVA Generator

  • The generator delivers an actual power output of 4.0 kW (kilowatts).

  • It can handle additional appliances such as a microwave, a small air conditioner, and a television, along with the previously mentioned devices.

  1. Model C: 10kVA Generator

  • This generator has an actual power output of 8.0 kW (kilowatts).

  • It can run more significant appliances like a washing machine, a more oversized air conditioner, and additional electronics simultaneously.

  1. Model D: 15kVA Generator

  • With an actual power output of 12.0 kW (kilowatts), this generator offers even more capacity.

  • It can power a well pump, a water heater, and other heavy-duty appliances in addition to the previously mentioned loads.

Remember that the real-life power output can vary based on fuel type, altitude, temperature, and load conditions. It is essential to carefully evaluate your power requirements and compare them to the generator's power output to ensure it can handle your needs efficiently.

Section 4: Top Small Diesel Generators in the Market

In this section, we'll provide in-depth reviews of three top small diesel generator brands:

  1. CAT 2.5kVA Generator

  • Power Output: 2.5kVA (2.0 kW)

  • Features: Comes with Compact and rugged design, low noise operation, and electric start.

  • Pros: Reliable and durable, suitable for basic household and outdoor use, easy to start.

  • Cons: Limited power capacity for heavy loads, lacks advanced features like digital display.

  1. Denyo 10kVA Generator

  • Power Output: 10kVA (8.0 kW)

  • Features: Have AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator), soundproof enclosure, fuel-efficient.

  • Pros: Ideal for small businesses and construction sites, stable power output, reduced noise levels.

  • Cons: Relatively heavier, may require professional installation, higher initial investment.

  1. Perkins 15kVA Generator

  • Power Output: 15kVA (12.0 kW)

  • Features: Equip with a Digital control panel, low fuel consumption, and weather-resistant enclosure.

  • Pros: Powerful and versatile, suitable for both residential and commercial use, advanced monitoring capabilities.

  • Cons: Larger and heavier, have higher upfront costs compared to lower capacity models.

Pros and Cons of Each Model, Including Power Output and Features

  • CAT 2.5kVA Generator:

Pros: Reliable and durable construction, easy to start, suitable for basic household needs.

Cons: Limited power capacity for heavy loads, lacks advanced features like a digital display.

  • Denyo 10kVA Generator:

Pros: Stable power output for various applications, soundproof enclosure reduces noise levels, fuel-efficient.

Cons: Heavier and may require professional installation, higher initial investment.

  • Perkins 15kVA Generator:

Pros: High power output, versatile; for residential and commercial use, advanced monitoring capabilities.

Cons: Larger and heavier, have higher upfront costs compared to lower capacity models.

Comparison Chart for Easy Decision-Making











CAT 2.5KVa 




Compact, low noise, Electric start. 

Reliable, suitable for essential household use, durable

Limited power capacity, lacks advanced features

Denyo 10kVA Generator



AVR, soundproof enclosure, fuel-efficient

Stable power for small businesses and construction sites, reduced noise

Heavier, may require professional installation, the higher initial cost

Perkins 15kVA Generator



Digital control panel, low fuel consumption

Powerful and versatile, advanced monitoring capabilities

Larger and heavier, have higher upfront costs compared to lower capacity models

Consider your power needs, budget, and intended usage to make an informed decision. Each model offers unique advantages, so prioritize what aligns with your requirements to find the best small diesel generator.

Section 5: Maintenance and Care

Essential Tips for Maintaining a Small Diesel Generator's Performance

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your small diesel generator, follow these essential maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Inspections: Conduct routine inspections to check for fuel and oil leaks, loose connections, and signs of wear or damage.

  1. Change Filters: Regularly replace air, fuel, and oil filters per the manufacturer's recommendations to maintain fuel efficiency and prevent engine damage.

  1. Fuel Quality: Use clean and high-quality diesel fuel to prevent clogging and ensure smooth operation.

  1. Oil Changes: Follow the recommended oil change schedule to keep the engine properly lubricated and extend its life.

  1. Battery Care: Clean the battery terminals, check the electrolyte levels, and charge it when needed to ensure reliable starting.

  1. Cooling System: Inspect the cooling system regularly, including the coolant level and radiator condition, to prevent overheating.

  1. Run Regular Load Tests: Periodically run the generator at total load capacity to ensure proper functioning and identify potential issues.

  1. Keep it Clean: Regularly clean the generator's exterior to prevent dust and debris buildup.

Preventative Measures to Extend the Generator's Lifespan

To prolong the lifespan of your small diesel generator, consider these preventative measures:

  1. Proper Storage: Store the generator in a dry and well-ventilated area to protect it from the elements and prevent rusting.

  1. Correct Loading: Avoid overloading the generator beyond its capacity to prevent engine strain and potential damage.

  1. Regular Exercise: Run the generator for a short duration periodically, even if there's no power outage, to keep its components in good working condition.

  1. Fuel Stabilizer: If the generator isn't used for an extended period, add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent fuel deterioration.

  1. Follow Maintenance Schedule: Adhere to the manufacturer's maintenance schedule for timely servicing and component replacements.

Troubleshooting Common Issues and Quick Fixes

Here are some common issues with small diesel generators and their quick fixes:

  1. Issue: The generator Won't Start

Quick Fix: Check the battery connections, charge the battery if needed, and ensure enough fuel.

  1. Issue: Generator Overheating

Quick Fix: Clean the radiator, ensure proper ventilation, and check the coolant level.

  1. Issue: Low Power Output

Quick Fix: Inspect and replace clogged filters, verify the fuel quality, and check for exhaust blockages.

  1. Issue: Unstable Voltage

Quick Fix: Test the Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) and adjust it if necessary, and ensure proper grounding.

  1. Issue: Engine Vibrations

Quick Fix: Check for loose bolts and connections, and inspect the engine mounts.

By following these maintenance tips, preventive measures, and quick fixes, you can keep your small diesel generator in excellent condition, ensuring reliable performance when needed and extending its overall lifespan.


In this comprehensive guide, we explored the essential aspects of selecting, understanding, and maintaining small diesel generators. We began by understanding the factors influencing the size of a generator and calculating power requirements for different appliances and devices. We then provided a step-by-step guide to help readers select the appropriate generator size.

Next, we unveiled the power output of small diesel generators, deciphering power ratings and units of measurement like kW and kVA. Real-life examples of various models, ranging from 2.5kVA to 15kVA, were presented to showcase their capabilities and limitations.

We proceeded with in-depth reviews of three leading small diesel generator brands, including CAT 2.5kVA, Denyo 10kVA, and Perkins 15kVA, highlighting their pros, cons, and standout features. To aid decision-making, we presented a comparison chart that allows readers to assess their requirements and align them with the most suitable generator model.

The guide further emphasized the importance of maintenance and care for small diesel generators to ensure their peak performance and extend their lifespan. We provided essential tips for maintenance, preventative measures, and troubleshooting common issues with quick fixes.

By empowering readers with this knowledge, we enable them to make informed decisions when selecting, using, and maintaining small diesel generators. Whether it's for powering essential appliances during power outages, supporting small businesses, or ensuring outdoor activities, small diesel generators are reliable and valuable assets in various scenarios.

In conclusion, small diesel generators are essential backup power solutions for homes, businesses, and recreational activities. By considering their power needs, understanding generator ratings, and following proper maintenance practices, users can confidently harness the full potential of these versatile devices. A well-chosen and well-maintained small diesel generator stands ready to provide peace of mind and support during unexpected power interruptions. It is a valuable investment for any situation that demands a reliable and continuous power supply.

Call to Action:

We hope you found this guide on small diesel generators informative and helpful in making informed decisions. If you think it could benefit your friends and family, don't hesitate to share it with them. Together, we can empower more people with the knowledge to tackle power outages and emergencies effectively.

For those interested in delving deeper into generator resources, explore our Blog for more comprehensive guides on various types of generators, fuel options, and maintenance tips. We are committed to providing valuable information to help you make the best choices for your power needs.

If you have any personalized inquiries or need assistance in selecting the right generator for your specific requirements, feel free to reach out to us. Our team of experts is ready to offer guidance and support. Visit our contact page at www.sustainablemaintainance.com and let us help you find the perfect solution to your power challenges.

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