What Is An Inverter Generator

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TrustedHints is reader-supported. When you buy through our links we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. The technology has reached far beyond what we can imagine and as a result, there are so many great machines are being developed, which makes life a whole lot easier and the generator is no exception.

Generators are around for quite a while now, and they are very useful when the light goes out or when you go camping. In this article, we will explain what the inverter generator is, and how does it work.

Both conventional generator and inverter generator uses fossil fuel to run an internal combustion engine which drives the rotor of the generator. This rotor cuts the electric flux, and voltage is induced through the movement of the conductor. This whole phenomenon is known as electromagnetic induction.

The inverter generator is the same as the conventional generator except for some extra circuitry which makes it superior in every aspect.

Champion 2000 Watt Dual Fuel Inverter Generator

The conventional generator produces AC power directly but the inverter generator produces AC power, then converts it to DC power, and then again converts it to AC power for clean power and maximum fuel efficiency.

Drawbacks Of Conventional Generators

Let’s understand this in detail. As I said earlier, the inverter generator produces the AC power then the rectifier converts it to DC power, and then the inverter circuitry converts it back to AC power.

This process has a lot of advantages which are following. First of all, take a look at the below equation. It’s not too hard, just simple math and by understanding this, you will understand all the things.

Here p is the number of poles used in the generator. Poles consist of winding of coils, and they are responsible for producing electricity. All the generators and alternators have two poles.

What Equipment Can 2,000 – 3,000-Watt Inverter Generators Run?

F is the frequency of current and countries like the USA and Canada have 60Hz frequency. And the frequency of power must be 60Hz otherwise, it will damage your electric appliances.

N is the speed of the rotor. By varying the speed of the rotor you can get the power of different frequencies.

So in order to produce the 60Hz of power supply, the generator speed must always be 3600 RPM (rotation per minute) no matter what.

Now because of the inverting circuitry of the inverter generator, it does not need to run at a constant 3600 RPM to produce 60Hz of supply.

The inverter circuit of this generator can convert any amount of DC power be it 20 volts or 100 volts to 120-volt 60Hz AC power. So the generator will produce the AC power according to load demand, then it will be converted to DC and then to AC.

So that is why the inverter generators are very fuel-efficient. But in the case of a non-inverter generator, it does not have any inverting circuit and hence it produces direct AC power.

So that is why it has to run at a constant 3600 RPM to produce a 60 Hz supply. Let’s take an example.

Use In the Home to Keep Things Ticking Over During a Temporary Blackout:

Suppose you want to run a 100-watt light bulb using the non-inverter generator. In order to run this bulb, it has to run at 3600 RPM speed; thus, it wastes a significant amount of fuel.

But the inverter generator will decrease its speed as per the load demand, and thus it will waste less fuel. The inverter generator has so many advantages that the list endless. We encourage you to check out our article, the difference between inverter and non-inverter generator and which one to choose to know all the advantages of an inverter generator.

Now we will talk about some of the drawbacks of an inverter generator. First of all, the inverter generator is relatively expensive when you go for high power output or features like dual-fuel capability, parallel capability, electric start, and so on.

But if you don’t want such features, then you can opt-in for a simple inverter generator with minimal features, and it will do the job. Please note that the operating/running cost of the inverter generator at maximum load is more when running it on the maximum load.

So if you have occasional use of a generator or you are running your generator at maximum load then you are better off buying a non-inverter generator such as a dual-fuel generator, RV generator, or portable solar generator.

But if you are running your generator fairly often at lower loads, then it is better to buy an inverter generator because at lower loads you will be saving a great deal of money on fuel. Are you wondering "what is an inverter generator?"

If so, you have come to the right place. A generator is a piece of equipment that converts mechanical energy to electricity using a method called electromagnetic induction.

Electromagnetic induction induces voltage by the movement of a conductor (coils of wire) inside a magnetic casing.

Wattage Demands of Inverter Generators

Almost a decade ago, Honda introduced a new type of generator known as an inverter generator.

It's compact, lightweight, quieter, and much more efficient than the conventional generator. The salient feature of an inverter generator is its ability to produce more alternate electricity per engine rotation.

This current isn't in a form that could be used directly. In fact, the raw electricity produced by the inverter generator should be converted to DC power before using it.

The inverter generator operates like this:. Step 1 - The raw or alternate current (AC) produced by the generator is converted to direct current (DC). Step 2 - There is a built-in electronic inverter in the generator to convert it back to the AC power rated at the standard US 120V and 60Hz.

The current produced by an inverter generator is more stable than the current produced by a conventional generator.

Inverter electricity is delivered in steady sine waves to create less harmonic distortion - which makes it safe to use in most of the power-sensitive devices such as medical equipment, laptops, refrigerators, and more.

The AC current produced by conventional generators is unsteady. The harmonic distortion is much more than the one created by inverter generators. The total harmonic distortion (THD) is the total amount of harmonic distortion occurring while the generator engine is on.

Fuel Saving Due To Longer Run Times

In fact, THD plays a big part in the safety of your electrical equipment. Most of the old school electrical appliances could handle higher levels of total harmonic distortion extremely well.

For example, electric saws and drills that were manufactured during the times when the electricity grids were less advanced than today can handle higher levels of THD pretty well. You can safely use these tools even with high total harmonic distortion levels.

"Clean energy" is a term used to describe the type of power that could be safely used with more sensitive and high-tech electrical appliances. Experts agree on "3% THD" as the maximum threshold for electricity to be termed "Clean."

Modern electricity grids in the United States operate below this threshold most of the time. Microprocessor-powered electronics are safe when THD is less than 6%. An inverter generator can easily accomplish this task while a conventional generator run in 9% or more THD.

The power from an inverter generator is ultra-clean and is ideal to power sensitive electrical equipment and medical devices. A conventional generator produces much less stable power. The THD level of a conventional generator can be as high as 9% which makes it unsuitable for high-tech electronic appliances and medical devices.