Have the details from your generator nameplate or data tag at the ready.

To specify the right equipment for the job, your chosen supplier is likely to ask you for the capacity rating of the generator you wish to test. This information can be found on the nameplate (or data tag) on the generator itself. The capacity rating will be specified in KVA and kW at a specified power factor and maximum output voltage.

The primary difference between kW (kilowatt) and kVA (kilovolt-ampere) is the power factor.  kW is the unit of real power and kVA is a unit of apparent power (or real power plus reactive power).  The power factor, unless it is defined and known, is therefore an approximate value (typically 0.8), and the kVA value will always be higher than the value for kW.

The nameplate will also have information on the voltage, operating phases and configuration of your generator, all of which will impact the load bank your supplier will specify. Having a photo of the nameplate on your mobile phone will mean you have all the information to hand when talking to your supplier.