Top 5 Best Lightweight Generators 2021

The centralized electricity supply sometimes fails due to the weather and accidents, overload, and preventive work on the networks. And although an emergency shutdown is a sudden occurrence, and even employees of energy enterprises cannot prevent it, a lightweight power generator makes it possible to prepare for it in advance.

Overview

The best alternative to mains electricity is a lightweight generator. We use portable generators to ensure stable power in private houses, cottages, various enterprises in medicine, telecommunications, and the banking industry.

In the absence of a power supply in the area, lightweight generators such as the wen generator serve as a constant current source. In this case, it is essential not to make a mistake when choosing the type of small portable generator.

The choice of a compact portable generator for a home and an enterprise is different. Therefore, we recommend considering a powerful generator and the type of fuel on which it works when selecting the best small portable generator. A small portable generator can run on both gas and liquid propane.

Let’s say right away that these types of fuels differ in price. For example, the electricity obtained from a gasoline engine is more expensive than a diesel generator or gas power plant.

But on the other hand, gasoline portable generators have a lot of other advantages that buyers would consider during a generator purchase. It is not without reason that gasoline generators are the most common.

Their percentage of all generator sales is 90%, that is, the overwhelming majority. Diesel portable generators, in turn, have their field of application – this is production, where the loads are so increased that the gas portable generator cannot withstand them.


Top 5 Best Lightweight Generators


Champion 2000 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator


Westinghouse iGen2200 Generator


Honda EU2200i 2200 Watt Inverter Generator


Briggs & Stratton P2200 Inverter Generator


Generac GP1200i 1200 Watt Inverter Generator


Generator Fuel Types

Gasoline Generators

The lightweight gasoline generators are the most popular type of power generator. Due to its relatively low weight and compact size (especially an inverter generator that uses gasoline), it is very easy to move. Therefore it is the most common for household consumers. It is the best small portable generator for the home in terms of its structure, functionality, and principle of operation.

PROS

Relatively low noise level (up to 70 dB), especially if this is a model in a sound-absorbing housing, and the engine is equipped with a muffler. You should install such a small portable generator outdoors, and it does not need a separate room or container.

In addition to the closed version, manufacturers make home gas generators on a frame in an open form. It is cooled using air (natural) cooling, and you should install them indoors.

Gasoline generators are equipped with four-stroke internal combustion engines. The brand of fuel used is necessarily indicated in the passport for the small portable generator, mainly A-95 or A-92 gasoline is used, which depends on the specific generator manufacturer.

The technical design of any gas-powered generator is such that it can withstand long-term, uninterrupted operation without difficulty or do not “pull” at all. The limit of work without interruption is about 5-8 hours in different models. Then it is necessary to maintain technological pauses for at least two hours.

A diesel portable generator does not need such pauses. Still, gasoline generators are easy to start even at low air temperatures, which cannot be said about a diesel engine.

Another powerful argument in favor of gasoline power plants such as the wen generator is their low cost. But, again, let’s take the same technical characteristics as a basis. The model of a household compact generator with gasoline will be the cheapest compared to models with gas and diesel fuel.

Gasoline portable generators are used mainly as a short-term fuel-efficient backup power supply for private houses, retail outlets, camping trips, and repair teams.

CONS

– the need for technical breaks during work;

– low engine resource, which is no more than 4000 operating hours;

– often a large consumption of rather expensive gasoline, which leads to a high cost of one kilowatt of electricity;

– low high engine power for portable generators, which usually varies within 1-4 kilowatts. But for the power supply of a small house or office, it is pretty enough.

Based on such characteristics, we recommend operating gasoline generators in a private house or a country house; they are also appropriate for recreation: a camping trip or fishing.

This type of generator will perfectly cope with the task of powering an electric stove or connecting a light source at night or in the evening. Buying gasoline portable generators for your home is the right decision; you need not make a mistake when calculating its power.


Diesel Generators

Diesel generators are available in both stationary and portable versions. Natural air cools the latter, and stationary-type generators are provided with water (liquid) cooling.

It is a well-known fact that diesel internal combustion engines do an excellent job with heavy loads. Due to this property, diesel generators can deliver up to several megawatts of power.

Diesel lightweight generators are not only capable of short-term operation. People often use this particular generator as a permanent source of electricity at essential facilities in the industry, finance, and telecommunications providers. In addition, diesel generators are installed on construction sites, in private houses, and cottages.

With the help of these devices, films are shot, concerts are given, cultural events are held. In addition, generators are sometimes mounted directly on a trailer, making it possible to move them often without much difficulty.

PROS

The main advantages of lightweight diesel portable generators include a long service life, which reaches up to forty thousand hours. In addition, the economic consumption of diesel fuel (compared with gas-powered generators) is also an advantage.

You can buy a diesel generator for your home if you use it often or even constantly. It can handle long-term work without interruptions and the highest loads. But with such a purchase, prepare for discomfort.

CONS

Depending on the requirements for the device, the manufacturer can supply your generators in a noise-proof housing (hood, casing). However, we recommend installing it in a separate room with ventilation if the small generator is provided without a soundproof case.

You can also place the diesel compact portable generator in a special container with metal walls, outlet pipes, and a sound-insulating layer. Undoubtedly, the home should purchase models in noise-protective enclosures.

They reduce noise by 20-25 dB, but they are much more expensive than open-type models. Another disadvantage of diesel power plants is that they do not start well in the cold due to the peculiarities of diesel fuel. To avoid getting into trouble with a “frozen” generator in winter, we recommend buying a diesel generator with a heated engine.

A small electronic relay powered by a battery will keep the engine at a stable temperature of around 38 degrees and start easily. Unfortunately, low-power diesel generators are not equipped with a heating function, which will cause inconvenience in severe frosts.

Therefore they must be stored in a heated room. As a result, the price of a diesel generator is always much higher.

Models of gasoline generators with similar power are 20-40% cheaper. But the high purchase price pays for itself during operation, affecting the cost of one kilowatt since diesel fuel consumption is 20-30% lower than gasoline.


Solar Generators

The solar generator market is growing slowly but steadily. Solar portable all-in-one power plants are a new alternative to traditional portable fuel-fired generators.

What is a solar generator?

Solar generators are often battery packs powered by a solar panel. The principle of operation of these generators is very different from how other generators work.

The basic installation of a solar generator is a battery, inverter, solar charger, and solar panels. The energy received from the solar panels passes through the solar charger to a rechargeable battery. Then the inverter converts DC to AC electricity.

Another, more suitable label for solar panels is a portable power station. These devices are also called universal portable power stations. You can charge the battery via a regular wall outlet or car outlet.

PROS

No noise: A portable solar power plant does not have a motor and this makes them the quietest generators compared to traditional portable fuel-fired generators. Also, there are no moving parts in the solar generator – shaking internal components in the fuel generator is another reason they make noise.

Free energy supply: Using solar energy is free, so solar panels allow you to use a free and unlimited energy source.

Another cost-benefit is that solar energy is not subject to price fluctuations like gasoline and diesel. When you have solar power equipment, your fuel costs remain the same.

CONS

The smallest portable solar generators are not suitable as home backup generators because they contain much less energy than an inverter or the conventional smallest portable generator.

Solar-powered machines that provide enough electricity to power essential household appliances are much larger and heavier than fuel-powered alternatives. The size makes solar-powered machines making less portable option in this case.

Solar power is also not a reliable energy source in regions with limited hours of sunshine or unpredictable weather conditions. For example, a portable solar power plant will not get enough sunshine hours to charge in our country in winter fully.


What is a lightweight inverter generator?

Inverters generators usually come with a gasoline, diesel, or a dual fuel/tri fuel system. Making it possible to convert the AC mains current (220 V) to the DC input (12 V) through a semiconductor rectifier and, after smoothing out its ripples with capacitive filters, transform the DC voltage into AC with the specified parameters on the load.

Due to this conversion method, it is possible to obtain an output electrical signal characterized by high accuracy of voltage and current.

These are the smallest generators of periodic voltage, which in shape is most often as close as possible to the correct sinusoid. Thus, theoretically, inverters like the Yamaha inverter generator can obtain a current at the output that has any necessary parameters, independent of the input voltage.

In this case, it is possible to obtain not static current parameters but adjustable ones of various frequencies and voltages. The supplied rechargeable batteries generate the 12 V DC voltage.

What are inverters for?

One of the most popular ways to use an inverter is to operate it as an emergency or backup power source for powering household appliances and appliances that consume 220 V AC.

For example, they are often used to connect kitchen and office equipment, a TV, a refrigerator, and high-frequency equipment when there is a sudden power outage.

Depending on the total power of the load connected to it, this technique will work autonomously for at least several hours. Also, with the help of inverter stations, larger appliances (electric saws, drills, planers) are connected for repair and construction work in places with no 220 V voltage supply. Similar devices are no less in demand among fishermen-hunters.

Inverter stations are designed for occasional operation with a spontaneous power outage. They are purchased once and last for many years. The long service life is due to the reliability of the mechanism of these devices, provided by the following factors:

The presence of a unique ignition system guarantees a quick start of the inverter. Also, control of devices with the help of an automatic regulation system contributes to the economic consumption of fuel. As a result, the indicators of fuel consumption are reduced by 40%.


Two Types of Inverter Generators

Depending on the shape of the output signal, these devices are divided into two groups that differ in cost. The first includes units with a pure sinusoidal output voltage. The second are devices that provide a simplified output signal (trapezoidal sine).

Which lightweight inverter generators are better: pure sine wave or modified sine wave?

The advantages of models with pure sinusoidal voltage are:

  1. a minimal amount of harmonic distortion of the output current waveform;
  2. ensuring faster operation of inductive motors that are part of microwave ovens and other household appliances, due to which this equipment heats up less;
  3. It produces less “noise” in audio amplifiers, game consoles, fax machines, fluorescent lamps, and hairdryers.
  4. reduced likelihood of personal computers freezing, fewer errors when printing a printer;
  5. more reliable operation of the following types of household, office, and other equipment that are not able to function normally when powered by a voltage from a modified sinusoid:
  • laptop computers;
  • laser printers and other copying equipment, magneto-optical drives;
  • digital clock;
  • sewing machines differing in the variable speed of the electric motor;
  • equipment with microprocessor control;
  • fluorescent lamps;
  • some medical devices (such as oxygen concentrators);
  • a power tool based on transistors having a variable speed of rotation;
  • They are charging devices for cordless power tools.

Most modern sensitive electronics can generally function from inverter generators, which is modified sine wave.

Therefore, if you are faced with providing autonomous power supply to standard household electrical appliances, such as a refrigerator, mobile phone, TV, and lighting lamps. The most optimal and economical solution would be an inverter that generates a modified sine wave, and models with a “pure sine” are better for more sensitive equipment.

The main modes of operation of inverters:

  1. Long-term operation: Provides for the operation of the small inverter generator at rated power.
  2. Overload mode: most of these units allow operation for no more than 30 minutes at maximum power, the value of which can be 1.5 times the nominal. Such a large but short-term overload can occur when the refrigerator is turned on.
  3. Start-up mode: the power plant outputs within a few milliseconds of the increased instantaneous power necessary to ensure the usual start of the device and overcome the capacitive loads.

What is the best choice for an inverter or generator?

Many users will note that you can use a conventional generator to organize an independent power supply to electrical equipment.

However, devices with an inverter system have some advantages: practically quiet operation, lightweight, and small dimensions, which are very important when used in a domestic environment.

In addition, inverters do not contain moving internal components in their design, making them more reliable and requiring periodic maintenance.

In autonomous power supply systems for large objects (for example, large cottages), you can use inverter stations with an additional generator designed to charge batteries. This will increase battery life and produce twice the power.

Benefits of Inverter Generators

The essential advantages of a lightweight inverter generator are the vast possibilities expressed in the conversion of electric current and their high speed of response. Due to this, they have rightfully considered the best sources of independent power supply for welding equipment.

In addition, they are perfectly suitable for a wide range of electrical appliances. Therefore, these devices are equally suitable for household appliances, electric tools, and electronic equipment.

It was possible to achieve the most compact dimensions of inverters by replacing bulky electromechanical circuits with semiconductor boards. The use of semiconductor boards also significantly reduces their weight compared to transformer generators and semiautomatic devices.

The use of a more modern element base and automation could not but affect the price of such devices in the direction of its increase compared to the units made according to the classical scheme.

But, despite this, the benefits that portable inverter generators provide, consisting of broader possibilities in terms of current conversion, fuel economy, and mobility, are significantly more important than one-time savings.

In addition, the maintenance of such power plants is much easier and not as costly and laborious as analogs of other types due to the absence of an electromechanical part in them.

Consolidating all of the above, the most significant advantages provided by an inverter generator can be characterized by the following theses:

  • lightness, compactness, and mobility (according to these indicators, they are several times superior to other types of generators), which allows them to be considered portable sources of autonomous electricity;
  • high efficiency due to accurate calculation of the engine speed per the applied load;
  • silent operation due to the presence of a double sound-insulating body and special mufflers;
  • availability of models operating on draft types of fuel (diesel fuel, gasoline), which is very convenient and practical;
  • high reliability and durability, which were achieved through excellent adaptability and stability of internal parts and connections to external loads, as well as unfavorable factors influenced by the external environment;
  • Power generation of the highest quality.

Can you operate a portable generator continuously?

Yes, even the smallest portable generators can run continuously as long as the proper maintenance intervals are followed. Since gasoline is highly flammable, you must remember to turn off the engine before fueling or refueling any small generator.

In addition, it is essential to pay attention to follow the recommended maintenance schedule for your power plant and avoid running out of fuel while under any load. This can damage the sensitive electronics or even the portable generator itself.

Recommended running time

Typically, the smallest portable generators are perfectly suitable to be used as a backup power source. This means that almost all of them should only be relied on in the short term.

While some models have been built to provide power for several days, most small generators can run at 8, 12, or 24-hour intervals, and some can run 72 hours.

Kitchen Electronic applianceRunning (Contiguous Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Dishwashser
15001500
Coffee Maker10000
Toaster8500
Microwave10000
Electric Can Opener1700
Refrigerator/Freezer7002200
Deep Freezer5001500
Food Processor4000
Electric Stove (8" Element)21000
EntertainmentRunning (Rated Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Video Game System400
Laptop3000
Stereo4500
VCR/DVD player1000
Television5000
Security System5000
Heating/Cooling Appliances Running (Rated Watts) Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Light Bulb 60 Watt600
Space heater18000
Humidifier
1750
Furnace Fan Blower 1/2 HP8002350
Furnace Fan Blower 1/3 HP7001400
Window AC 10,000 BTU1200 3600
Window AC 12,000 BTU 32509750
Central AC 10,000 BTU15004500
Central AC 24,000 BTU380011400
Central AC 40,000 BTU 600018000
Heat Pump45004700
Well Water Pump 1/2 HP 1000 2100
Garage Door Opener (1/2 HP) 875 2350
Laundry Appliance(s)Running (Continuous Watts)Additional Starting (Surge Watts)
Iron 12000
Curling Iron 1500 0
Washing Machine 1150 2250

Conclusion

The features and advantages of small generators with an inverter circuit listed in this article make it possible to confidently declare high functional, technical, and operational characteristics and indicators of this equipment.

In this connection, their use in educational and medical institutions, offices, private houses, and dachas is justified. A small generator ensures the autonomous operation of household appliances, computing and multimedia equipment, burglar alarms, power tools, industrial devices, and other equipment requiring a constant electricity supply.

Inverters are valued for generating the correct quality of electricity to power the essential equipment, ensuring safe operation. In addition, buying an inverter helps forget about the problems of power outages, surges, and drops in the mains voltage.