Active power is the amount of watts that a load demands continuously. This power makes sure that a connected appliance can keep on running.
Starting power is the amount of watts that a load demands in order to start up (a few seconds). This amount is very high for inductive loads.
Starting current can be up to six times higher than the rated current. When the appliance demands too much starting power and the generating set cannot supply enough, the set becomes overloaded. Appliances with high starting current are e.g. electric motors. To prevent an overload, you will have to calculate the apparent power of your appliances correctly, so you can choose the right generating set.
 

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