What Is an Inverter Generator? Your Ultimate Guide
Your Ultimate Inverter Generator Guide
If you’re an outdoorsman, you know how important it is to carry a generator wherever you go, especially if you like your creature comforts. Whether you’re camping, fishing, snowmobiling or venturing off-road, you can be sure you always have power if you have a generator.
But, do you know the difference between a conventional generator and an inverter generator?
This guide will explain the basics of inverter generators, so you know exactly what they are and how you can use them on your next adventure.
What Is an Inverter Generator?
Inverter generators are more like high-tech appliances than conventional generators. Like a regular generator, inverter generators output AC. The difference is they convert the power to DC and then invert the power back again. This gives cleaner power.
This inverter process might seem complicated, but it’s actually more streamlined for generating power to your appliances. For example, if you use a conventional generator, you use it with an inverter to change DC power into AC. With an inverter generator, it finishes the whole process without the need for a separate inverter.
This is why they’re called inverter generators. They are quieter and more eco-friendly than conventional generators.
How You Can Use Inverter Generators
Since inverter generators make pure sin wave power, you can run more types of equipment and appliances with these generators. The power they produce is similar to the local power company’s output.
Here are a few benefits of running your equipment on inverter generators:
- Generates less noise
- Prolongs the life of your equipment and appliances
- Appliances run cooler
- Equipment runs more efficiently
- Computers less likely to shut down
- Conserves fuel
Inverter generators can run more tools and appliances that require refined power, such as microwaves, telecommunication devices, cell phone chargers, laptops, electronic equipment, and tools.
One drawback to these generators is they have more of a limited capacity than regular generators. But, this is what makes them lighter and easier to carry around wherever you want to go. In fact, their lighter weight lets you bring two along with you, rather than one large, hard-to-handle traditional generator.
Another game-changer is they run quietly, so you don’t disturb nearby campers. Also, you don’t want to scare all the fish away.
Finally, when you research inverter generators, most likely they’ll be more expensive than conventional generators. But, think long-term. An inverter generator is cheaper to run, and you don’t have to buy a separate inverter for it.
How to Fuel Inverter Generators
Most portable inverter generators run on four-cycle gasoline engines. You can operate a few two-way models with gasoline or propane gas. Of course, gasoline is still the easiest fuel to get and is more efficient than propane.
You can tap into your propane cylinders on your trailer or RV to refuel, but refilling your 30-pound LP cylinder can be inconvenient.
Sizes of Inverter Generators
To give you a better idea of the inverter generator sizes available, this guide breaks them down into three groups.
Small inverter generators generally weigh from 50 to 60 pounds. They’re mostly used as recreational generators that you can carry with one hand. You can get a max of 2,000 watts with these small generators, which is enough if you’re tailgating or going on a camping trip.
Midsized inverter generators weigh about 80 pounds. Some of them are heavier. This size produces from 2,500 to 4,500 watts. You can plug in your appliances and electronics directly into this generator.
The medium size makes this generator suitable for your recreational vehicles. It can give you all the power you need for appliances, such as your microwave, coffee pot or toaster.
Large-sized inverter generators weight about 250 pounds and sometimes more depending on the model. They come equipped with wheels so it’s not too hard to move around.
The large size makes these generators inconvenient for tailgating or other recreational activities. But, they can connect to your home’s electrical panel using a transfer switch for powering your whole house. They produce 5,000 watts or more at 220 volts.
How to Choose an Inverter Generator
Before you go shopping for an inverter generator, make a list of the things you want from a generator. This will help you choose a generator that does everything you need.
Calculate the Power You Need
The most important thing to calculate is the power you need. What do you want to use the generator for? For example, is it for your entire home, recreational use or for an RV air conditioner? All these things will make a difference in your power requirements.
Determine Needed Fuel Capacity
Check the fuel capacity of different generator models. Do you want one that holds more fuel for longer running time? Or, do you want one that uses less fuel for more portability?
Check the Brand
Since you depend on your generator for providing power during storm outages or on the road camping, it has to be reliable. Read the reviews of different inverter generator brands. Reviews from real customers can give you honest information about the features, power, and reliability of all types of inverter generators.
Generator Safety Tips
A backup generator gives you the power you need in case of an emergency or t when you’re travelling off the grid. But, when you run your generator, make sure you’re following all the generator safety requirements for your model.
- Use the right size generator for your purposes
- Pay attention to the electrical load instructions on the appliances you hook up
- Read the generator hazard cautions in the instruction manual
- Be aware of the carbon monoxide (CO) dangers from toxic exhaust
- Never use the generator inside your camper, RV, garage, basement, crawlspace or other areas of your home
- Install a CO detector in your home, RV, trailer or wherever you use the generator
- Keep the generator at least ten feet away from window, doors and vents
- Avoid using extension cords
- Don’t overload with too many appliances
- Keep it well maintained
- Always have an approved fire extinguisher nearby
- Make sure the generator cools before you add fuel
Make sure you follow all these generator safety tips when using your generator. But, if you feel sick, dizzy or weak, get to fresh air right away. You could have carbon monoxide poisoning. Call 911 immediately for medical assistance.
Quiet, Lightweight and Fuel-Efficient Power
In summary, inverter generators can power up your electronics and appliances with refined power. If you want a generator that’s quiet, portable and lightweight, then an inverter generator is your answer. You can even double your power by connecting two together.
Contact us for sales and service for all your power sport’s needs. We’d be happy to answer all your questions and help you choose the inverter generator that’s best for your needs.