What Is An Inverter Generator?

What Is An Inverter Generator?

Whether you need one to be storm ready or if you live in an area where there's frequent power interruption, or want a power source when camping, buying a portable generator makes sense. It used to be that if you needed to buy a generator, you're stuck with just one option: the bulky, noisy, gas-guzzling type. These days however, inverter generators have quickly become the popular backup power source among homeowners and outdoor enthusiasts.

Before we dive into how inverter generators work and answering common questions about it, we need to do a little refresher about how a generator works, in general.

How do generators work?

Generators traditional and inverter types work by converting energy from fuel into electricity.

Traditional generators are effective sources of electricity BUT the quality it produces is unrefined or raw. On the other hand, the electricity you get from your power company is cleaner and more stable.

Appliances that you use on the daily like hair dryers, lamps, electric stoves, kettles these aren't sensitive to the quality of electricity used to power them. This is why in the past, using traditional generators for home appliances is common (as long as you don't mind the noise).

Nowadays, many gadgets that you use for work and study like laptops; cellphones, internet modems and power tools are very sensitive. In fact, using traditional generators to power them is dangerous and can cause damage to these devices. This isn't much of an issue if you have uninterrupted supply of electricity from your power company, but what if you don't?

What is an inverter generator?

An inverter generator works pretty much the same as its traditional counterparts. The main difference is inverter types produce clean, refined electricity - the same quality of electricity that you get from your power company.

Gentrax 3.5 kW Inverter Generator from outbax.com.au

Like traditional generators, inverter generators still generate unrefined electricity. After all, both types use fuel as power source. Inverter generators are simply designed to have one or two more steps to clean up the electricity it produces. This makes the electricity safe to use for both sensitive gadgets and appliances that aren't too picky.

How did it become so quiet?

Apart from producing cleaner and safer electricity, inverter generators are popular due to it being a lot quieter than traditional generators. Its case is designed to minimize noise and produce sounds that range from only 50-58dB, which is about as loud as a normal human conversation.

Gentrax Inverter Generator from outbax.com.au

Do inverter generators consume less fuel?

Yes. How? Inverter generators come with an Economy Mode function that is either built-in or as a feature that you can turn on or off from the generator's control panel. This economy mode allows the generator to adjust engine speed on demand, and burn only the amount of fuel it needs to power whatever appliance is plugged into it.

Traditional generators only run at one engine speed regardless if you're just using it to power a light bulb. Inverters will power up and down as your appliance use or don't use electricity, making it a more fuel-efficient option.

Are inverter generators portable?

Yes. Inverter generators are lighter and smaller than even traditional portable generators, in the sense that you can easily pick them up, put them in the back of your truck, and drive anywhere with it. Inverters don't stretch the boundaries of portability as traditional generators do.

Gentrax 800W Inverter Generator at only 8.5kg

In fact, you can easily find inverter generators that weigh less than 10kgs, which are perfect for camping. Just remember though, lightweight also means lower power output. So it's better to figure out exactly how much power you need before you decide on just how portable of an inverter generator you'd get.

So inverter generators are great. But¦.

Inverter generators, while no doubt have a lot of great things going for them, aren't perfect. In fact, there are a couple of drawbacks of getting one.

Smaller capacity Inverter generators aren't really equipped to power your entire house in case of an interruption. It can't power most of your house, to be honest. It just does not have that capacity. This means you cannot use inverter generators to power your fridge, dryer and water heater at the same time. It just can't take that much load. While it is possible to hook a second inverter generator to handle the same demand, it still would not have the same capacity as a traditional generator.

A bit pricey Inverter generators are more expensive. But come on they also produce cleaner, safer electricity; they are lightweight, smaller, more fuel-efficient and quieter. The extra cost makes sense, really.

Is it for you?

Quiet, fuel-efficient and portable, inverter generators are great to have around as a backup power source for your sensitive electronic devices during power interruptions, or to bring with you on camping trips. Sure, they may cost more than usual, but if inverter generators keep you from replacing all your laptops, modem and cellphones; not to mention keep you from going deaf, they're investments well worth making.

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