Imagining a world without electricity is nothing less than a nightmare. The advancement of technology has spoiled us to this that even an hour without it seems impossible. We assume that this very thought has brought you here too. There are plenty of types of generators available in the market- portable, standby, standard, inverter, and on and on.
So, with these many options, it is easy to get lost. Thankfully we have got you covered. Seeing your interest in inverter generators, we are here to introduce how to use an inverter generator. But before moving ahead, it is necessary to know what is an inverter generator and how it is different from the others.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is an Inverter Generator?
- 2 Why Should You Use an Inverter Generator?
- 3 How to Use an Inverter Generator
- 4 Pros and Cons of an Inverter Generator
- 5 5 Best Inverter Generator to Buy
- 6 Conclusion
What is an Inverter Generator?
To understand what an inverter generator is and how it works, we first have to know how all generators use power. Generators have two primary parts- an engine and an alternator. The engine in the generator consumes fuel like propane and gasoline. It then turns a shaft. The alternator has two components- a rotor and a stator. The engine shaft rotates the rotor, which then induces power in the stator. The energy then goes to the control panel from where you can use it to power whatever device you need.
A traditional generator feeds power directly to the control panel. In the process, there might be a regulator or some protective devices. However, it does not clean up the energy. Therefore, the THD or total harmonic distortion is higher in conventional generators. THD is a necessary consideration when you want to power sensitive devices. So, conventional generators are not fit for powering sensitive devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, etc.
On the other hand, inverter generators work differently. The alternating current (A.C.) produced by the alternator is sent to the rectifier. A rectifier is a device that converts A.C. power to D.C. power. A computer inside the inverter generator inverts D.C. power back to A.C. before sending it to the control panel. And because it inverts D.C. into A.C., we call it an “inverter.”
An Inverter generator offers much lower THD than standard generators. In other words, total harmonic distortion is lesser than conventional generators. This is why inverter generators are said to produce ‘clean electricity.’ You can compare the quality of electricity produced by inverter generators to the quality of electricity you receive from the mains electrical supplier.
Why Should You Use an Inverter Generator?
We have already talked about what an inverter generator is and how it is different from conventional generators. But how does it make any difference? And why should you use an inverter generator instead of a conventional one? These questions may still block your mind from making a purchase. So, here are some of the advantages that the best inverter generators offer you.
1. Electricity Generation
The stable sine wave makes inverter generators so unique. Inverter generators are known to produce ‘clean electricity.’ It means it has minimal harmonic distortion. Therefore, it is a safer energy source for sensitive electronic appliances like a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. So, the current produced in an inverter generator is safer.
On the contrary, conventional generators have higher THD due to a more messy sine wave. Hence, even though traditional generators are a suitable power source for many electrical appliances, they can damage the devices having microprocessors with the current they produce.
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2. Fuel Consumption
Inverter generators have more fuel efficiency than conventional generators. It has a direct relation to how the engine works. A traditional inverter requires constant running at 3600rpm to deliver 120 volts and 60 Hertz of current. In contrast, inverter generators can produce the same without such continuous running. Moreover, they can still provide clean electricity, which is safer to use.
An inverter generator operates more smartly. It adjusts the speed at which the engine runs to only what the load requires. Thus, the fuel consumption is low when there is not much load on the requirement. Thus it saves energy and also reduces the total harmonic distortion (THD).
3. Noise Level
Low noise level is a huge advantage of an inverter generator. They make a lot less noise than conventional generators. Two factors play a role in such reduction- mechanics and technology. The engine of an inverter generator runs slower and steadier. Thus, it plays a massive role in noise reduction in performance.
On the other hand, the manufacturers nowadays focus more on low-noise devices. Therefore, they use a design where the device produces lesser noise, ensuring living peace. Thus, you can see enclosed casing, installing mufflers, etc., in an inverter generator.
Portability is one of the most significant selling points of an inverter generator. These devices are a lot lighter than conventional generators. Conventional generators have a larger fuel tank and a larger engine. So, they are bigger and heavier than inverter generators.
On the contrary, inverter generators have a much smaller design owing to their smaller tank and engine. So, they are a lot easier to handle. You can move it around places by holding it using the handles. Their weight is even less than 100 pounds, with many of them weighing just around 40-60 pounds.
5. Parallel Connection
It is a unique feature available in most inverter generators. With this feature, you will be able to connect two separate inverter generators of the same model and deliver double the amount of power. This is such a feature that is not still available in any conventional generators.
6. Environment Friendly
Generators emit greenhouse gasses that are harmful to the environment. But thanks to the technology used in inverter generators, the emission is much lesser than the conventional generators. The states in the U.S. have their own regulations when it comes to the greenhouse emission of generators. In most of these cases, a portable generator must be at least ETA compliant. It is easier to find a portable generator that meets these regulations than finding a conventional generator that does not.
How to Use an Inverter Generator
By now, you probably have understood the many advantages of an inverter generator. They are not only user-friendly, fuel-efficient portable devices but a blessing of technology. But, operating these devices requires proper knowledge. Follow these simple steps to use your inverter generator safely.
1. Determine Your Home’s Power Requirement
Before installing your inverter generator, you must run a quick calculation of your home’s power requirement. Make a list of all the devices you want to power using your inverter generator. Then calculate their total consumption to get a fair idea of the absolute requirement. It will help you to get an idea of your device’s backup time.
Ensure the total wattage of the appliances and other devices you need to power doesn’t overload the generator. Overloading a generator can lead to permanent or costly damage to your appliances that you may never recover.
2. Find a Place for Installation
Now, as you have calculated and known the load, it is time to set up your device. For that, find a proper place at first. Place the generator outside of your home at least 20 feet away. Please keep it on a flat and stable surface with its exhaust venting away from windows and doorways.
Generators emit harmful, odorless carbon monoxide gas. So, don’t set it anywhere inside your home until your house has a C.O. monitor on every floor.
3. Fill Up Fuel
Now fill up your inverter generator with the right fuel. You must know whether your generator requires gasoline or propane. This information is vital, and you should know it before even making a purchase. Once you have the fuel, fill it in the tank.
4. Start the Generator
Before starting the generator:
- Make sure no cords are plugged into the unit.
- Ensure that the gas tank is full.
- Always keep the right fuel on hand as standby.
Now that you have started the generator start plugging in your appliances to it. Start from a device like a refrigerator that consumes more energy. Connect the machine to the generator extension cord. Then connect that extension cord to the generator.
Pros and Cons of an Inverter Generator
5 Best Inverter Generator to Buy
Finding the best inverter generator can be time-consuming, with a lot of things to consider too. To ease you, we have prepared a list of the five best inverter generators you can buy today.
Honda EU220i is one of the quietest and lightweight, portable inverter generators. It is an ideal choice for camping or extra R.V. power. The Bluetooth function also helps you to monitor its battery percentage on your phone. This inverter generator also lets your parallel two identical machines with an optional cable or cord for up to 4400 watts of power for time-consuming applications.
Amazingly quiet, this portable inverter generator from the renowned brand Champion delivers clean electricity of less than 3% THD. So, you can safely connect your sensitive devices like smartphones, tablets, computers to it. It features a quick touch panel for easy accessibility.
WEN 56200i from the famous house of WEN is a 2000-watt gas-powered portable inverter generator, ideal for camping, construction sites, and home purposes. It is an EPA III and CARB Compliant device. With a tank capacity of 1 gallon, the inverter generator can provide backup for 6 hours at a half-load and 9.4 hours at a quarter-load.
With assured durability, Westinghouse iGen2200 comes with a 1.2-gallon fuel tank. It can run for 12 hours at a quarter load. It is a CARB compliant, fuel-efficient inverter generator. With its two 20-amp outlets, you can also wire two Westinghouse generators in parallel for increased power. It has two 5V USB ports that allow you to plug in your electronic devices directly.
Yamaha is among the most reputed manufacturers of inverter generators. Yamaha EF2000iSV2 is of the smallest and quietest devices that weigh only 44 pounds. Its smart throttle technology saves fuel consumption and delivers noiseless performance. The Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) provides clean and consistent power.
An inverter generator is a new and more advanced way of powering your home during power cuts. Thanks to their portability, you can also carry them outside. It makes them one of the most suitable devices for campings, construction sites, and other purposes. Now that you know how to use an inverter generator and its advantages, it will become much easier for you to control one. Our best inverter selections have all the essential features of suitable inverter generators. That said, we hope with the right decision you will never have to live in the dark.
It all started when I lived in a place where electricity wasn’t still available properly. Frequent power cuts accompanied me till I turned 12 and started taking an interest in Generators. Since then, I have decided to bring out the best knowledge in me and make the world aware of generators. This website reflects the same and is on the way to cherish my dreams.