What is an Inverter Generator?

Inverter Generators

When you're choosing a genset, you need to know what to look for. Be it for protecting against power cuts or for powering away from the grid, understanding what types of small generator are available is one of the first steps. Two of your main options are conventional/regular gensets and inverter generators. It's easy to get confused between the two options, but understand what's what isn't too difficult. This guide will explain what the two terms mean and why you might choose one over the other.

Conventional Power Generators

A conventional portable generator uses an energy source to power a motor. The motor is connected to an alternator, which produces electricity. The fuel that the electrical generator uses is usually petrol, diesel or propane. The gen-set runs at a constant speed to produce energy at a consistent rate. This makes a conventional generator a great choice if you want something to keep your power running during a powercut or any other backup power situation. You might also use them for other purposes, like a power supply for outdoor events.

Inverter Generators

An inverter generator also has a motor that is powered by a fuel such as petrol or diesel. However, it is also combined with an electronic inverter board so that the motor can run at variable speeds. This means that an inverter generator produces energy more efficiently, as well as providing a cleaner energy option with stable power. The variable speeds of an inverter genset mean that you can always get the exact level of energy that you require, whereas a conventional genset runs at a consistent speed. The generator is able to run below its maximum power capabilities to save power and therefore fuel.

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Conventional Generator?

Conventional gensets can be useful for several different applications. You might choose one as backup power for your home, to power an outdoor event, or for tools and equipment while carrying out DIY. They have high levels of output and they can run for a long time too. However, the downsides include that they usually use more fuel and that they also tend to be heavier and more difficult to transport.

What Are the Pros and Cons of an Inverter Generator?

Because an inverter genset can vary its output levels, it's a more efficient and eco-friendly way to produce power. It uses less fuel than a conventional generator because it only delivers the amount of energy that you require at any moment, so you save money. An inverter gen-set also makes it possible to use more sensitive pieces of electrical equipment that could be overloaded by power fluctuations, such as laptops or televisions.

Should You Buy a Conventional or Inverter Generator?

You might still be wondering what type of genset you should buy. To work out which type is right for you, you need to consider your needs and your budget, as well as how often you might use your genset. If you need a gen-set capable of producing varying levels of power, you should make sure that you select an inverter generator.