The good ol’ conventional generators are quite useful for emergencies – powering up essential electrical devices during complete blackouts and outages. In fact, the generator market is at unbelievable heights, and you know what? It’s continuously rising.
While all of this sounds incredible, generators can sometimes be annoying. The hefty repair and maintenance, terrible noise, and danger to electrical devices make it a little inconvenient and less viable option.
But don’t you worry. There’s something new in the market that provides you with the utmost value. We are talking about INVERTER GENERATORS. Sounds fancy, right? Read along as we break down each and every aspect that you must know about them.
What is an Inverter Generator?
An inverter generator has a different mechanics process compared to its counterparts. It produces a continuous rhythmic flow of current, preventing any frequent ups and downs of volt that may destroy your electrical devices.
Nowadays, the current electrical devices such as mobile phones, laptops, microwaves, and bulbs are not too resistive to power surges, leading to their breakdown. All your devices will remain intact and protected from power surges with an inverter generator.
Let’s dig a little more deeply into the working mechanics of an inverter generator.
How does an Inverter Generator Work?
As a layperson, it’s not easy to understand the complete mechanics of a generator. Therefore, we have tried to explain the process and highlight the differences in the most simplified way.
Before we proceed, you must know that inverter generators produce power that is clean in a three-step process. Firstly, it converts the AC current into DC power, smoothing out all the disturbance and volatile frequencies.
Now, it inverts the DC power into AC power again, which is clean and operates in a pure sine wave structure, i.e., without any disturbance and noise. In contrast, the conventional generator runs on AC current, which has high spikes, increasing the risk of damage to electrical gadgets.
The high frequency is due to a high % of THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), which causes the variance from the standard 120 Volts. Most inverter generators resolve this issue by operating at a THD of less than 6%, ensuring a consistent energy flow.
Prominent Distinctions Between Inverters and Generators
Till now, you must have got a little hang of the working process of inverters. Here we will look at some more of their properties to help you clarify their usefulness and functionality.
With inverters, you can be sure of one thing: they operate quietly. Most of them range between 50-65 decibels (dB) which is similar to the noise of a normal person conversation. Inverters can adjust their speed and power according to the load demanded.
Hence, they will operate slowly and quietly when a machine needs a low load. Plus, inverters that have a low % of THD makes them operate at a constant current flow, preventing surges and heavy noise. Moreover, there are special mufflers in mufflers, reducing noise to a great extent.
On the other hand, generators produce noise due to fuel combustion and gear rotations. The noise rises as you raise the rotor speed, which can be too audible in some circumstances.
With inverters, you can now rest peacefully, which wouldn’t have been possible in the presence of a traditional generator and its terrible loud noise.
With inverters, you’ll save on fuel costs. They will use fuel as needed since they adjust their speed and modify it according to the power demand. So, if you operate only a single bulb, the inverter will use little current and operate slowly to power the bulb.
On the other hand, if you decide to use a 500 W appliance, the inverter will adjust its power and fuel consumption as per the requirements. Hence, you’ll definitely save on your fuel, which can be costly sometimes.
In contrast, you can never expect a generator to be fuel-efficient. Suppose you have a generator with a 1000 W rated output, and it operates at an engine speed of 3600 RPM. Whether you want to light a 5W bulb or operate a 700W toaster, the generator will continuously run at 3600 RPM.
Hence, there will be wastage because fuel will be consumed even if you aren’t consuming anything.
Indeed, most inverters are portable generators. You can even find inverters weighing less than 30 pounds, i.e., light enough to carry it for any of your adventures. They are compact devices equipped with user-friendly handles, and their superior portability makes it possible to tuck them in any bag for camping trips or tailgating.
Despite being lightweight, most of them can provide ample power, allowing you to operate most of your devices. Be it any picnic or fishing adventure you’re planning to go to, packing a nice compact inverter should be top on your list.
With inverters, you’ll never have empty charges or be left stranded in emergencies.
You can even expand your generator to get more power output. Using a parallel cable, you can connect two similar inverters to power large appliances such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, or televisions.
Even if you have a low power inverter, don’t worry. With parallel capability, you can always have the chance to increase the power output and operate as many devices as you like.
Inverters fail to compete with their counterpart in this criteria. Most inverters have a max power rating of 7000 W, which is huge but not enough to last for a power outage.
On the other hand, generators can go up to 17000 W, suitable enough to power your entire home.
Top Three Best Inverters to Take Care of Electricity Needs
The unique abilities of inverter generators mentioned above are definitely useful. But when it comes to purchasing appliances, especially inverters/generators, most people proceed carefully due to the high investment involved. They have questions running all over their mind, making them doubt their purchase decision.
- “Would it even work and not live up to its expectations?”
- “What if it stops working after a while?”
- “Are there any guarantees about the brand?”
If you also have these insecurities bombarding your mind, don’t worry. Here we have listed three noteworthy inverters of all time that will make sure your investment generates the value you were looking for.
1. WESTINGHOUSE WH2200iXLT Portable Inverter Generator
First on our list is the popular inverter by Westinghouse. It’s known for producing power at less than 3% THD, keeping all your precious devices safe from power fluctuations. If you’re planning for a night out with your friends at a distant off-grid farm and want to spend the time peacefully looking at the sky, Westinghouse is what you need for emergency backups.
This device has the option of parallel capability, allowing you to connect two similar WH2200iXLT to increase power output. With high-rated power, you can power most of your essential devices.
What’s more? You get a cover with the device, protecting it from outside elements. Plus, the velcro top makes it easier to carry it anywhere. Most people only complain about the limited number of ports.
- With a 2200 W power surge and rated power of 1800 W, you can power most of your home appliances. Even if you’re out, this inverter can easily take care of your electrical gadgets such as mobile phones, cameras, and electrical watches.
- It is extremely portable – weighing only 43 pounds. Therefore, you can easily take it along for your long-night road trips and beach picnic. With this inverter, you can be sure of fulfilling all your energy needs.
- It has two AC ports, allowing you to connect the inverter with your home’s circuit and power as many appliances as you want.
- The compact design of Westinghouse features a 1.3-gallon gas tank capable of running non-stop for an ample time of 13 hours. Plus, the device includes an eco-mode option, allowing you to maximize efficiency.
- Westinghouse is known for its quiet operation,i.e., 52 dB, lower than a normal conversation between humans. If you want a peaceful environment with no generator noise, this is the best for you.
2. WEN 56200i 2000 Portable Inverter Generator
Here we bring you another portable inverter for you. While the output power is lower than Westinghouse, WEN is popular for its numerous port options, allowing you to power most of your electrical devices.
Plus, WEN includes indication lights about oil usage and power, allowing you to monitor the performance of your device. Not only that, WEN has an automatic shut-off feature, making the device sleep when the oil is low.
Hence, the protection layers make WEN a safe and durable device, ensuring that it’ll last for a long time.
- Sporting five outlets, including 2 AC, 1 DC, and one 5V USB port, you’ll never be running out of options for powering your different devices.
- Usually, it’s one-gallon tank can work for six hours. But you can get an extended run-time of 9 hours by activating a-iPower extended reach. Plus, there’s an eco-mode feature, allowing you to maximize your usage.
- It has a rated output of 1600 W and a surge power of 2000 W, enough for powering most electrical appliances.
- It weighs only 48 pounds and acts as a portable generator enough for a seamless camping trip.
- The quiet noise of 51 dB allows you to have a good night’s sleep during your camp time.
3. Champion 100302 Portable Inverter Generator
Here we bring you something that can look after your heavy electrical needs, even up to 4000 W – the Champion 100302. With a 64 dB level, you’ll have a much more peaceful environment while running your inverter.
Plus, this massive thing can even power your RV electrical devices, even an Air-conditioner. If you want more power output, you can expand your device by linking it up with a similar one.
Champion also has a three-year warranty. So, if anything goes wrong, you can be least worried about replacing it yourself. Hence, 100302 makes a suitable device for powering large devices.
- Having a rated electrical power of 3500 W and a power surge of 4000 W, this is the best device for powering large appliances.
- The structure has a massive capacity of 2.9-gallon tank, enabling a run-time of 17 hours at 25% capacity. Hence, even if you’re out on a day-long adventure or have a long outage in your home, Champion is there to rescue you.
- It has a standard weight of 82 pounds. While it seems heavy, it’s still portable enough for outside adventures. Plus, you can always get a wheel kit to make transportation easier.
- With two 120V AC outlets, one 12V DC outlet, three circuit breakers, and a connection for RV, you will never run out of options for your electrical needs.
Buyer’s Guide: Things You Must Consider
Before you jump right in to buy your device, here are several factors you need to look into.
Knowing why you need an inverter is important before making a purchase decision. Large power output is useful if you plan to use an inverter for your home usage, covering up your major electrical devices during power outages.
On the other hand, if you require one for infrequent uses and have a low power need, WEN 56200i packs a power capacity of 2000W that is enough for your trips.
Inverters are usually available in compact, small, or medium sizes. Hence, portability plays a great role in your purchase decision. If you want one for your home, a medium or small will work since it will be permanently installed.
On the other hand, a compact inverter like Westinghouse will be useful if you plan on using it for your traveling adventures.
Planning on what you need is another important consideration. Some features you can think about before purchasing include:
- Number of ports
- Parallel Capacity Option
- Wheel kit and covers
- Protection layers
All these features will sum up your purchase decision. For example, if you want many ports options in your inverter, Champion and WEN are the best for you. Similarly, the Parallel option is considered when you want to increase your power output.
An inverter generator is a useful amenity that can come in handy in any emergency. Are you also looking to create a backup for any unfortunate storm or power outages? Or do you want to go on a camping trip and be least worried about electricity?
Check out the three best portable inverter generators listed above that can fulfill all the electrical needs that you can think of.
For surely, with inverters, never experience a moment of darkness.