Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator: Which is Best?

So you’ve decided to buy a generator. Great, generators are fantastic! But which one do you need?

What’s the difference between an inverter and a conventional generator? And how much power do you need for your home or business needs? This blog post is all about helping you make that decision.

Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator

In many cases, we use generators for backup power in the event of a power outage. You can connect Generators directly to your home or business with an AVR, or they may use inverter generators to produce AC electricity.

 

Generators without an AVR will not provide stable voltage, and you should only use them when necessary. However, generators with AVRs will regulate the electrical output according to the requirements of whatever it is supplying, so you should always prefer them over other generators.


How a Conventional Generator Works

A generator converts mechanical energy into electricity. When it comes to powering a house, electric generators are usually sufficient.

 

Nuclear, coal, or natural gas can power large electrical generators. To create energy, portable generators frequently use gasoline or diesel fuel, burned on the job site or in a building when there is no power to the area.

 

Generators can produce either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). Still, alternating current (AC) is more commonly utilized in power plants and smaller applications.

 

A conventional portable generator does nothing but this, even though conventional generators produce power. A transformer is required, for example, if the electrical voltage needs to be swapped.

 

Power Generators with AVR

An automated voltage regulator (AVR) is a solid-state electrical device that maintains the generator output terminal voltage at a predetermined value. As the generator load or operational temperature changes, it will attempt to do so. The alternator’s excitation system includes the AVR.

 

Typically, the alternator manufacturer will include an automated voltage regulator with their AC alternator in a generating set. Stamford AVK, Mecc Alte, Leroy Somer, and, more recently, WEG are the leading makers of alternators for diesel generators.

 

The alternator and any accessories installed will determine the type supplied, which may necessitate a different AVR. A PMG or auxiliary winding is an example of such an accessory.

 

Usually, the AVR generator is positioned in one of three locations. You can find it in the generator’s main control box, the alternator’s terminal box, or (typically only on very tiny portable units) beneath the alternator’s back cover.

 

Electricity flows in two directions when it is AC, but just one way when it is DC. It loses less energy when traveling over long distances because of its more excellent voltage capability. As a result, the majority of homes and buildings rely on AC for electricity.

 

To power a gadget using the AC electricity provided by the building or residence, an AC to DC converter is necessary. Most personal computers use direct current (DC) and a rectifier to make the switch. A power supply is a more common term for a rectifier in this context.


How Does an AVR Work?

An AVR regulates power output by measuring the voltage at the generator terminals and comparing it to a constant reference. The error signal modifies the field electrical current by increasing or lowering the current flow to an exciter stator, resulting in a lower or higher voltage at the main stator terminals.


How an Inverter Generator Works

An inverter converts direct current (DC) power to alternating current (AC) using a transformer. It passes the electricity through switches that route it in different directions depending on which one is pressed. Once the wave has been smoothed out, it may be given a stable frequency using filters.

 

Because of their small size and some degree of efficiency, power inverters are pretty standard nowadays. When it comes to inverter generators, several filtering techniques are used based on the desired output smoothness (or lack thereof). A rectifier changes AC power into DC electricity.

 

Many inverter generators are commonly used to generate electricity for various automotive electronics, including navigation systems and entertainment systems. Unfortunately, cars often emit direct current (DC), incompatible with most electronic gadgets designed to plug into standard residential outlets.

 

Inverter generators may be connected into an accessory port on most contemporary automobiles, providing electricity for a cell phone, small TV, or other electrical equipment. Inverters as small as those designed to connect to a car’s cigarette lighter are available.

 

On construction sites, larger inverter generators provide energy for power tools and other equipment. In addition, solar and wind energy producers use inverter generators to convert the power they create into something used at home.

 

Generator versus inverter generators refers to the difference between a conventional generator and an inverter. A generator can generate electrical energy, but an inverter generator can only work if an electrical power source is present.

 

Portable Inverter generators can only convert DC to AC if they’re part of a combination machine; a regular generator, on the other hand, may modify the current form.

 

Generators with Inverters

Conventional generators create AC power, which is subsequently converted to DC power before being converted to AC. Most inverter generators do the same thing. As a result, the generator delivers electricity more consistently and smoothly. In addition to being more fuel-efficient, the change also makes the generator quieter than standard ones.

 

Power Converters

Some people even use the phrases inverter and power converter backward. To get from one voltage level to another, you’ll need a converter. For example, to use electric shavers and hairdryers when traveling to other nations, you may need a converter to handle the different voltage levels used in those locations.


Inverter vs Conventional Generator Comparison

We’ve now covered the basics of conventional generators and inverters, and it’s time to compare the two. If you want the essential power backup to help you the most, you must analyze many factors. In this section, we’ve outlined the critical distinctions between conventional generators and inverter generators to help you make an informed decision:

 

The Fundamentals of Conventional and Inverter Generators

It is possible to use a generator to supplement your home’s electrical supply in the event of a power outage or other emergency. Mechanical energy from outside sources is used to transfer mechanical energy into electrical energy via a generator. During a power outage, it is mainly used to distribute electrical power.

 

When converting direct current (DC) from solar panels, batteries, or fuel cells to alternating current (AC), portable inverter generators are the electrical equipment used. Battery-powered household electrical devices s can be powered by a small, portable device that connects to a battery or a group of batteries.

 

Comparison of Generator vs Inverter Power Sources

A generator’s engine, which runs on propane or gasoline, is the primary source of mechanical energy. Larger industrial engines, on the other hand, run on natural gas, diesel, or propane. The use of gasoline dramatically enhances the mobility of compact generators as a fuel source.

 

On the other hand, inverter generators change the form of the stored energy into a conventional form of electricity. For example, since AC is better suited for long-distance transmission, a grid-connected inverter transforms solar panels and wind turbines into AC power.

 

Generator vs Inverter Capacity

Conventional generators are large, heavy-duty electrical machines that may do a variety of tasks. They are convenient when there are frequent power outages, and they are better capable of handling sudden power spikes. If there’s a little power spike, it’ll keep operating. Despite this, starting a conventional generator requires some patience and work on your part.

 

When using inverter generators, there are fewer power spikes, making it a good choice for the average family home. However, to prevent harm to the device, it has auto-shut capabilities that cut the power if there are any abrupt power spikes. In addition, when the electricity goes off, inverter generators start up automatically.

 

Generator vs Inverter: Maintenance Considerations

Most engine-powered conventional generators use gasoline or diesel, which needs routine maintenance such as oil changes, distilled water replacements, and the like. Fuels like gasoline and diesel have a short shelf life of 12 to 24 months if properly cared for.

 

If you do not employ a fuel stabilizing agent, gasoline cannot be stored in significant volumes for more than a few months. Conventional generators generate more noise. On the other hand, inverter generators require little to no maintenance since they use simple circuitry to convert DC to AC.

 

Also Read: Best Inverter Generators [2022]


What Type of Generator Do You Need, Inverter vs Conventional?

Inverter? Does it matter if it’s AVR or a conventional generator?… It’s easy to become lost in the technical terminology while trying to choose the correct generator type. Fortunately, determining which generator is appropriate for your needs is more straightforward than it first appears. What kind of generator am I going to be using?

 

To summarize, finding the proper voltage control is critical. If you follow our cheats method, you’ll have the correct generator in no time.

 

  1. Condenser Type

The conventional portable generator has a voltage control of the condenser type suited for power tools and resistive loads such as a kettle, toaster, lights, and other equipment requiring a high degree of precision in power delivery.

 

Due to their minimal maintenance requirements, brushless conventional generators are a fantastic choice for contractors, farmers, and builders who need power tools and equipment, including drills, saws, pumps, and other power tools, because they do not regulate the voltage.

 

However, they are not suited for sensitive equipment to power surges, spikes, or “brownouts” (partial blackouts). This means that charging computers, mobile phones, or tablets is not advised.

 

Another disadvantage is that conventional generators run at a single-engine speed no matter what load is attached, resulting in low fuel efficiency. Hence, if your regular commerce generator is rated at 5kw continuous power output, it will consistently deliver 5kw regardless of the load. So, despite being less expensive to purchase, standby generators are not the most cost-effective option.

 

You can install conventional generators with optional safety features such as welding or mining-specific operations to meet Work Cover Approvals.

 

  1. Automatic Voltage Regulation

AVR (automatic voltage regulation) generators do precisely what their name implies: they regulate the voltage output. This ensures a steady supply of electricity with no brownouts or spikes in the voltage.

 

As a result, AVR generators are the ideal option for starting electric motors and delicate equipment. However, even though they regulate the voltage, voltage regulators do not provide the pure sine wave power needed by today’s high-tech equipment; instead, you want an inverter generator for this type of electricity.

 

However, AVR inverter generators produce a modified stable sine wave, which can power most household equipment. Generators of this size are typical for backup power in homes and businesses. They are available in portable and fixed models.

 

Many typical trade generators may also be equipped with AVR to operate heavy machinery and sensitive electronics. In addition, home solar backup and automated mains backup auto-start generators are also equipped with AVR alternators.

 

  1. Inverter (Electronic Voltage Control)

It’s safe to assume that the more technology advances, the more likely it becomes to demand a pure sine wave. An inverter generator is a solution to this problem inverter generator.

 

The inverter generator control system keeps voltage and frequency changes to a minimum while having a high level of precision. As a consequence, you’ll get electricity that’s just as smooth as grid power – if not smoother.

 

Another significant advantage of inverter generators is that they automatically vary their engine speed in exact proportion to the load supplied, allowing for optimal fuel economy. Inverter generators provide clean, pure electricity.

 

Inverter generators are ideal for modest household electronic devices and outdoor activities like camping, fishing/boating, caravanning, and 4WD-touring when power is premium. Mobile businesses like coffee carts, food vans/trucks, and market stalls are especially fond of these generators.

 

Inverter generators are minor, light, and easy to move around. But, on the other hand, they aren’t designed for big loads or industrial applications because they don’t produce as much power as conventional and AVR generators.

 

The Champion 4250 watt inverter generator model is among the most popular in the My Generator inverter series, which comprises units ranging in power from 800 watts to about 7000 watts.


Best Inverter Generators

Champion 2000 Watt Inverter Generator

The Champion 2000 Watt Generator  stands out in that it’s the most affordable option on this list. No lack of compromise with performance because this generator gets up to 11.5 hours of run time at 25% load. It’s also the lightest generator in its class at under 40 lbs. This, along with its convenient top handle makes the Champion 2000 easily portable.

 

Features

  • 79 cc 4 Stoke OHV Engine
  • Includes two covered 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD)
  • Starting Watts: 2,000/Running Watts: 1,700
  • Noise level: 53 dB
  • Demensions (in): 17.3 x 11.5 x 17.7
  • Weight: 39.5 lbs
  • Includes USB Adapter, battery charging cables, engine oil, and oil funnel.
  • CARB Compliant
  • EPA Certified

PROS

  • Lightweight and easily portable
  • Affordable
  • Quiet

CONS

  • Run time is not as long as others
 

 


Yamaha 2000 Inverter Generator

 

The Yamaha 2000 inverter generator is fit enough to run several electrical appliances quietly with ease. The Inverter generator has a very cool retro design with compactness expressed by its 19.3 x 11 x 17.9 inches dimensions (2.2 Cu. Ft.) It can easily fit into the trunk of your car or back seat without taking up much space.

 

It has appeared on many generator users as one of the best inverter generators on the market. And with that endorsement, it has earned a spot on our list.

 

You can utilize the two 120V AC outlet and one 8A 12V DC outlets for powering your electrical devices. The generator’s peak output is 2000 Watts while its running power output is 1,600 continuous Watts.

 

Interestingly, the parallel capability allows the generator to combine with another generator to provide more power. To access this function, a twin tech cable is used to connect this generator to another Yamaha EF series generator. This becomes extremely handy when the power delivered by this Inverter generator isn’t enough to run very powerful equipment.

 

It gives out 51.5 – 61 decibels of noise at 25% – 50% load. This is due to the US Forest Service certified spark arrestor and sophisticated muffler. Additionally, the generator is also EPA and CARB compliant.

 

A smart throttle gives room for variability in engine speeds based on the amount of load the generator carries at any point in time.

 

This can be likened to the idle control system. On zero load, the generator produces 51.5 dBA as compared to the 61 dBA produced on 50% load. At the feet of the Inverter, there’s a rubber isolation that helps in reducing noise and serving smooth operation. As a plus, the smart throttle plays a role in the fuel economy.

 

Its operations are dished out by Yamaha single cylinder 79cc OHV engine. The air cooling technology present allows the regulation of the generator’s temperature, thus, preventing extremes of the temperature range. The cast iron cylinder liner and steel camshaft of this 4-stroke engine do well to provide sturdiness to the generator.

 

The portable inverter runs for as long as 10.5 hours (25% load) on a single fill of the fuel tank. This tank can take in a maximum of 1.1 gallon. Gasoline, an easy-to-access fuel is the source of power compatible with the generator. The level of gas can be seen without hassles as a result of the fuel gauge’s presence. Also, the auto-decompression system decreases the engine’s compression to aid easy starting of the generator.

 

Another impressive feature on the generator is the oil watch warning system. This system showcases the oil level to avoid the damage of the engine and expensive repairs.

 

Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) is one sleek feature of its inverter technology that puts voltage stability at plus or minus 1%, and frequency stability at positive or negative 1%. As a result, the generator produces very clean and quality power.

 

Transportation and storage of this generator is pretty easy due to its 44.1 pounds lightweight. Once you purchase the generator, you get three years limited warranty from the manufacturer. Needless to say, this is one of the best inverter generators on the market.

 

Pros

  • High performance- 10.4 hour run time at 25% load
  • Quiet operation-51-61 dB
  • Easy to use

Cons 

  • Expensive for its power class

WEN 2000 Watt Generator

 

The WEN 56200i Generator is an inverter generator you can bank on for the delivery of quiet operations. This Inverter generator has been tailored for safe operations when camping, hunting, construction sites, tailgating or even as a backup power source. An ideal choice for the best inverter generators on the market that is portable enough to fit into the trunk of any car size.

 

The generator produces 51 decibels of noise at 25% load; a very impeccable one at that. The 79cc single cylinder 4-stroke engine powering the generator uses an Over Head Valve technology as well as air cooling technology to regulate the temperature range of the generator.

 

This engine helps in disbursing less than 1.2% sine waves of the THD at full load, making it safe to power sensitive devices like laptops, tablets, flat screens, etc.

 

Thanks to its inverter technology, the generator can produce very clean energy. The energy generated can be supplied through these outlets – two three-prong 120V receptacles, one 12V 8.3A DC receptacle and one 5V USB port.

 

Alongside the outlets found at the power panel, there are other exciting technologies present. You have the efficient Economy mode feature that helps in dropping the engine’s speed automatically once the load on it is reduced.

 

This not only reduces noise production, it also maximizes fuel efficiency, thereby saving extra money. There’s also the low-oil shutdown and overload protection indicator lights at the panel.

 

The running Watts of this generator is pegged at 1600, although it has a maximum of 2000 Watts upon ignition. Nonetheless, parallel capability makes sure that more need for power doesn’t get you stranded.

 

With the use of a parallel cable and adapter, you can easily connect the generator to another generator through the parallel connection to provide more output singly.

 

Turning on the inverter is pretty easy as the pull cord needs to be pulled gently. Immediately the generator starts running, and it can operate for as long as 6 hours provided the fuel tank is full. You get to smile to your pocket anytime you want to refuel the tank. There’s no other reason other than the economic 1 gallon capacity of the gasoline tank.

 

Given the firm structure of its portable design and the 48 pounds weight, its mobility is of little worry. At the top of the inverter, a holding handle is available while the base is anchored by rubber isolation feet. Its firmness is defined by the 18 inches length, 11 inches width and 18 inches depth.

 

Not to worry, the generator meets the EPA III and CARB compliance standards. It also comes backed with a 2-year limited warranty for technical defects. One of the best inverter generator money can buy.

 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High performance- 9.4 hour run time at 25% load
  • Quiet operation-51 dB

Cons 

  • Poor customer service

Wattage Demands

ApplianceStarting WattsRunning Watts
Blender650300
Furnace (1/4 HP)1000600
Sump Pump (1/3 HP)1300800
Refrigerator2200700
Washing Machine22501150
Window AC 13K BTU28001800
Well Pump21001000

 

Also Read: Best Inverter Generators [2022]


Inverter Generator vs Conventional Generator

 

Although conventional generators and inverters are the most commonly used technologies in the power generating business to decrease energy deregulation, their function and capacity differ significantly.

 

Generators are complex, heavy-duty devices with high capacity that use mechanical energy from external sources, convert it to electrical power, and create electricity.

 

Inverters are low-power accessories that receive power from a fixed DC source and use a microprocessor to convert DC power to alternating current (AC power). Inverter generators can power all contemporary household electrical appliances such as televisions, lights, refrigerators, and so on. 

 

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