What is an Inverter Generator?
Inverter generators are a newer type of portable generator with an electronic upgrade. An inverter generator automatically adjusts its engine speed to the current electrical demand, rather than running at a constant speed no matter the load size. This significantly reduces fuel consumption and noise level.
Pros and Cons of Inverter Generators
When deciding whether an inverter generator is a suitable option for your off-grid electricity needs, it’s important that you consider each aspect of the generator and your specific situation. Here are the pros and cons of inverter generators to help you assess and evaluate your options:
Advantages of Inverter Generators
- Fuel Efficiency: Inverter generators are much more fuel-efficient than conventional fuel-powered generators. An inverter generator automatically adjusts the speed of the engine to only what is required by the load, unlike conventional generators which operate at a constant speed. Running the generator at a lower speed saves energy, so less fuel is needed.
- Cleaner Power: The inverter’s electronics technology produces a sine wave that outputs fewer fuel emissions and much cleaner power than a traditional generator. Higher quality electrical output means a safer environment for electronics. The quality of output also lends itself to parallel capability.
- Low Noise Level: Most inverter generators produce noise at less than 60 decibels, which is the volume of a quiet conversation. The small engine operates at a slower and steadier pace, producing less noise than a conventional generator. Inverter generators are constructed with a noise-reducing design that involves enclosed casing and installed mufflers for sound insulation.
- Easy Maintenance: Inverter generators require very little maintenance compared to their conventional counterparts. Maintenance is limited to battery inspection, which should be performed each month to ensure smooth operation.
- Portability: Inverter generators are more lightweight than standard fuel-powered generators due to the smaller fuel tank. Most portable inverter generator models are designed with carrying handles and wheels for easy mobility.
Disadvantages of Inverter Generators
- Cost: Inverter generators tend to be more expensive than conventional portable generators. The upfront cost of the unit can be hefty, but the unit provides plenty of advantages that make the investment worthwhile in many situations.
- Lower Power Output: Inverter power generators are not as powerful as larger conventional generators, with outputs ranging in the mid to low thousands of Watts. The standard inverter generator is capable of running some small household appliances, RVs and outdoor equipment. To increase power output, the inverter generator can run in parallel mode with a duplicate generator.