Generators nowadays have evolved significantly. From the bulky, heavy ones usually used to power homes or small businesses, we now have smaller sized, portable ones perfect for a variety of setups be it camping, boating, caravanning, or as a home backup during short power interruptions. How do these portable generators work? The workings of a portable generator are pretty simple. Let's have a quick look at some of its main parts.
First, you need to feed fuel into the tank using the safety spout. Power up the generator using the starter to provide the engine with combustion energy, which is then converted into mechanical energy through the alternator. This alternator, or sometimes called the gen-head, usually has a drive shaft connected to the engine, which spins to the generator an electrical field. After this, the produced electricity is converted to a usable wattage or voltage using a regulator, then fed to built-in power outlets on the generator's body.
Portable generators for camping
Compact in size but big in power, portable generators definitely make the best camping generators. There are different types of generators for camping, but among your best options would be inverter generators. Known for their efficiency, inverter generators also have different types to suit various preferences—there are quiet generators, electric generators, battery generators, and more. Most of these come in lightweight units which can easily fit even in campsites with limited space or recreational vehicles.
Aside from the great outdoors, portable generators also stand out in worksites. In fact, when you need power but do not have a mains connection, a portable generator will get the job done! You can start up the motor and have access to 240v AC outlets, which can power your appliances or any of your tools. These small units can run most of the day on a single tank, from 5.5 hours up to 9 hours—they are truly the workhorse you've been looking for!
Quiet portable generators
Since they are handy and hold an ample amount of power to keep essential appliances running, portable generators are pretty flexible and can be used almost anywhere.
If you’re looking for something discreet, go for ones that are specifically designed to be quieter than other generators. Most of these are inverter generators, which have compact frames and a more efficient engine that can give you a sufficient amount of electrical power. Outbax has a range of these, so you might want to check out some of our best selling quiet portable generators or silent generators for more information.
When looking for a quiet generator, some of the things you have to consider include the engine size and specific features such as muffler, housing, and automatic throttle. It is also important to note that typically, the quietest generators are pricier compared to their louder counterparts.
Silent generators also make a good option when it comes to home backup for occasional power outages. Majority of smaller generators for households are lower at power and can support up to one or two basic appliances, which makes them ideal for recreational activities as well. When choosing a portable home generator, it's wise to consider the appliances you need the most in case of a blackout, add their combined watts together, and subtract the total from the rated power output of the generators you're choosing from.
The most ideal use of portable generators would be for camping, boating, or caravanning. Being both reliable and lightweight, they're best to keep you comfortable during outdoor trips and are easier to fit in narrow boats or small campsites. Specifically, quiet portable generators are the best type to take with you since some campsites do not allow larger generators that produce a louder noise to avoid disturbance to other campers.
What size portable generator do I need?
As with all generators, this will depend largely on the appliances that you want to use and what their starting and running wattages are. Most of the time for short camping trips, the popular 2000w generator will do, however, it’s best to calculate just to be sure that you won’t run out of power when you need it. Another good alternative would be to use the generator to charge a lithium battery and use that as your main power source. This can help limit the amount of time you’ll need to run a generator and make the amount of petrol you require less of a concern.
Portable generators are generally safe but as with all other items, it's best to use them with great care. Since they generate high voltages of electricity and some use combustible fuel for power output, they can also pose risks if used inappropriately or carelessly.
When you set up your generator, make sure there's plenty of open space around it. One of the basic rules when operating any type of generator is to never use it in any kind of enclosed area, or near establishments and vehicles. At the very least, you need to maintain around 20 feet of distance between your generator and car or house. To avoid the risk of electrocution, portable generators require proper grounding and should not be exposed directly to moisture while running. Another possible risk of using portable generators is overheating, although most small inverter generators in the market now are equipped with basic safety features to help prevent this from happening.
More from Outbax
Still curious about what type of portable generator is best for you? Check out our collection of inverter generators for sale. You’ll find lots of different portable generators there and even power stations if you don’t want anything that needs to be fueled. We also have a collection of solar panels and lithium batteries if you want alternative power sources.
For more details, feel free to contact our customer service team. We can live chat online through our website, answer your email enquiries or chat with you over the phone (02 888 10 333). We’ll go through our available range of portable generators and accessories that you might need, explaining how their wattage works and what you can do to maximise your output on any given product.