The idea of producing electricity from an engine has been around for nearly a century. Over time, large expansive electrical grids were built, creating a reliable and dependable source of power for residential homes, however, portable generation has come a long way as well.
Here is a short-list of the best inverter generators on the market in 2017.
The biggest and most recent technological innovation when it comes to portable power is inverter generation. It is better than conventional power generation in so many ways but one downside is the cost.
Conventional Versus Inverter Generation
A typical portable generator is powered by a small engine that is connected to an alternator. The alternator takes the energy produced by the engine and turns it into usable power.
The power is pulled through several circuit breakers and, often, a voltage regulator that will maintain the level of power. In an inverter generator, the energy created from the engine is still sent to an alternator but it is then sent through an inverter that changes the electrical current from Alternating Current, known as AC power, to Direct Current, known as DC power and then converted back into AC power.
This helps clean the electrical current by evening out any power variations. You will end up with a perfect sine wave of 60 Hertz of electrical power.
Clean Power is Sensitive Power
Mondern electronic devices including laptops, smartphones, tablets and medical equipment run on clean, stable power. This means that power with variation in the total Harmonic Distortion could cause problems when powering electronic devices.
Even a small variation, as little as 5 percent, can fry these electronic devices and cause system failures. Standard generators deal with this variation by using an Automatic Voltage Regulation system to limit the variations to between 1-6 percent depending on the model.
An inverter generator will keep the variations to less than 1 percent. That doesn’t mean that standard generators will fry your phone or latop, but it means that you will get a much better performance from your electronic devices with an inverter generator.
Small and Compact
Another positive of owning an inverter generator is that they are smaller and more compact than traditional generators. A 1000 Watt contiunous inverter generator can weigh up to 45 percent less than a comparable traditional generator.
The small size makes inverter generators perfect for camping, road trips, RV use or job sites. Even the large inverter generators can be used as a portable generator.
On a standard generator, the power output is steady. For example, if the generator has an output of 4,500 watts, it will produce that amount consistently. If you only use the electrical output, then you’ll experience a longer run time. This is why most run time estimates are at a half load.
Inverter generators have a longer run time because then idle based specifically on the load. This means that they can do a better job of matching the mechanical energy to the electrical demand. There are two modes of operation on inverter generators – economy mode and high mode. Economy mode or eco mode is for when you don’t need as much power while high mode is for when over half the energy output is needed. Overall, inverter generators offer a better fuel economy and a longer run time than standard portable generators.
When you purchase and use a standard generator, what you see is what you get. There is no way to get more power by linking two machines together. However, if you have two or more inverter generators, then you can link them together to increase the power output.
For example, if you have four 2,000 watt inverter generators, then you can link them together to get a final output of 8,000 watts. This means that the power output is scalable depending on how much power is needed which is something a traditional generator cannot do.
This is a great option to have if you are camping with multiple families or you need more power on the job site. Just link generators together to increase the amount of power output until you get the watts you needs.
It Isn’t All Cupcakes and Sunshine
Nothing is perfect and inverter generators are no exception. Their biggest downside is cost. They are very expensive and can often cost double the price of a standard generator. Of course, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. An inverter generator will get you better fuel efficiency, longer run times and more power so they are worth the extra cost.
View more of the top rated inverter generators on Amazon.com
Overall, Inverter generators are a wonderful option when it comes to portable generators. They are light weight, very portable and produce plenty of clean power for sensitive electronics. They are convenient in that they respond to demand needs and can scale to meet a larger demand by being linked parallel.
As far as the negatives, as time goes on and as more companies begin introducing inverter generators to the market, the price should eventually fall.