Electric-Power-3516E-3500kVa Understanding Generator Set Load Type | Tractors Singapore (Maldives)

Understanding Generator Set Load Type

07 May 2024 Hits: 190


When selecting a generator set (genset) for your power generation needs, numerous factors come into play to ensure optimal performance and efficiency. Genset load type is an important factor that you need to consider when you are choosing a suitable genset.

Genset loads can be typically categorized into linear and non-linear types based on their current draw and voltage waveforms. This classification is essential for determining the compatibility between the load and the generator.

Load Types

Linear loads are defined as alternating current (AC) loads which draw current proportional to voltage. All loads are different in their power quality needs. A simple incandescent light bulb does not demand high quality power.

Loads are typically defined as linear or non-linear. One of the first steps is to separate loads into linear and nonlinear loads.

Type Current Drawn Voltage & Current Waveforms Examples
Linear Proportional to voltage Sine Wave
  • Incandescent light bulbs
  • Induction and synchronous motors
  • Electromagnetic devices
  • Resistance heaters
Non-Linear Non-proportional to voltage Pulses
  • Silicon controlled rectifiers
  • Variable speed drives
  • Uninterruptible power supplies
  • Battery chargers
  • Fluorescent lighting


Linear Loads

Linear loads draw current proportional to voltage and exhibit a sinusoidal waveform. They include devices such as incandescent lights, resistance heaters, and induction motors.

Typical linear loads are:

  • Incandescent Lights
  • Resistance Heaters
  • Induction Motors
  • Synchronous Motors
  • Electromagnetic Devices
  • Transformers (non-saturated)

Non-Linear Loads

Non-linear loads modify the current or voltage waveform, resulting in non-proportional current draw. Typical examples include silicon controlled rectifiers, variable speed drives, and uninterruptible power supplies.Non-linear loads introduce distortion to the source voltage, which can impact the performance of other connected loads and the overall power system.

Typical non-linear loads are:

  • Silicon Controlled Rectifiers
  • Variable Speed Drives
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies
  • Battery Chargers
  • Computing Equipment
  • Fluorescent and Gas Discharge Lighting
  • Transformers (saturated)

All of these devices require current, which cannot be provided without causing some distortion to the applied source voltage. Non-linear loads in the system can cause problems for other loads

Selecting the right genset involves a careful consideration of various factors, from load characteristics to technical specifications. By understanding the unique requirements of your application and the nature of the loads being powered, you can choose a genset configuration that ensures reliable and efficient power generation.

See our full range of generator sets here and speak to our Engine Sales Team to determine your generator set configuration!