Regular or Inverted Power- Differences between Inverter Generator and Regular Generator

Choosing the appropriate generator for your specific needs is a must regardless of whether you are preparing for unexpected emergencies, or you just want to deal with the issue of backup electricity once and for all.

The hardest thing about preparing for the unknown is determining exactly what you require. After all, it is tough to figure out the exact tools you should have in hand if you don’t know what you’re going to encounter.

Generators come with different engine types and various power output ratings. There seems to be a lot of confusion on the differences between different options due to their similarity in usage. Two popular variants are regular generators and inverter variants.

For many years, people have been using regular generators to keep their power going at all times. The fundamental principles used to make and run them remains the same.  However, inverter generators have become popular in the recent past. They produce consistent and reliable power as conventional generators, and they each have great applications.

We are going to look at how these two options differ so that you'll have a better idea of how the units work and which one may work for you.

Key differences between a Regular Generator and an Inverter generator

Type of Current

The primary technical difference between a regular generator and an inverter generator is the type of current that each produces. While regular generator only generates AC power, an inverter generator produces multiphase AC power. This power is then converted to high-frequency DC power, which is then inverted to a stable AC current.

This inverter technology is what makes inverter generators produce clean electricity. There is less harmonic distortion making them a safe source of power for sensitive devices such as laptops and mobile phones.

This is in contrast with standard generators where the entire process tends to be messier, leading to more harmonic distortion. Although they are still a perfect source of power for many electric devices, more sensitive appliances are likely to be damaged by the current they produce.

Parallel Connections

Inverter generators have a lower power output and to make up for this, they are designed to allow for parallel connections. A parallel connection means that you can connect two similar inverter generators to double the amount of power that is produced. Regular generators do not allow for parallel connection although, essentially, they do not require such because they are powerful enough.

Fuel Efficiency and Power Capabilities

Fuel efficiency means that less fuel is needed for similar runtimes. Inverter generators tend to have greater fuel efficiency thanks to their small fuel tank. Standard generators, on the other hand, are not as fuel efficient because of the large fuel tanks. The bulk fuel tanks, however, allows for more power output.

When it comes to power capabilities, regular generators are on the higher side, and this has to do with several aspects which include the apparent large fuel tanks.  Inverter generators, however, tend to be more energy efficient as a result of how AC power is produced in phases. An inverter generator engine is designed to adjust to the load using microprocessors, something that is not possible with a standard generator.

Portability Aspect

Inverter generators are generally highly portable than standard variants which have to do with the size of the fuel tank and the amount of power they produce. More power means the larger the engine and the fuel tank which is why conventional generators are bulkier than inventor generators.

Inverter generators have a lower power output which means that they don’t have a large engine and their fuel tank is relatively small. This makes them quite light, and most can be hand-lifted and moved with a handle.

Noise and Emissions

Regular generators are generally noisy even with the application of various noise-minimizing mechanisms. Inverter generators, on the other hand, run quieter thanks to the inverter technology. Noise level is measured in decibels, and usually, it will be presented at half load.

Most conventional generators tend to produce about 65 decibels or more, which is far noisier than most inverter generators that tend to produce less than 60 decibels.

Most state regulations require that a generator be EPA and CARB compliant. This has to do with acceptable greenhouse emissions, especially if you intend to use your generator in areas inhabited by wild animals.

Most inverter generators meet these standards as they produce less greenhouse emission than regular generators.

​​​​Price Factor

The extra benefits that come with inverter generators make them more expensive than conventional generators. The benefits include quiet operation, minimal harmonic distortion, and outstanding fuel efficiency. Conventional generators on the other are simple machines, and they are the most affordable option, especially when you need a lot of power.

When to Choose a Regular Generator

If you want something that can power your entire house in a power outage, then you should consider a regular generator. A regular generator produces more power that is needed to keep your home up and running. They are also probably the way to go if you do not want a more straightforward machine to pay for upfront and to fix.

You may also want to consider a conventional model if you don’t want to refuel every few hours. You can just turn it on and leave it to run all day long thanks to the large fuel tank. The only disadvantage here is that regular generators are less fuel-efficient. They are also bulkier, noisier, and they produce more greenhouse emissions.

When to Choose an Inverter Generator

Inverter generators are more convenient when you want to be at two places at the same time. You only need to connect two inverter generators and that way; you can watch your TV and keep the party going at the same time.

They are also truly lighter than regular generators making them more portable to be carried even in the trunk. Also, they have a smaller environmental footprint, and they are a safe bet for charging sensitive electric equipment. The main disadvantage that inverter generators have over conventional generators is that they are more expensive and they don’t house as much power.

An Inverter Generator or a Regular Generator- Which is better?

The best way to decide between the two variants is determining the amount of power you actually need and where you need it. A regular generator may be the better option when you want to stay off the grid or when you want backup power for your home or a work site.

An inverter generator is a more suitable option for occasional use, specifically for camping and other outdoor activities. As such, whether it is a regular or inverter generator, the bottom line is what the generator will be used for.

William Phillips

William Phillips was born and raised in Keller, Texas. He is a licensed general contractor, and he has been a home improvement specialist for two decades. His passion for the trade led him to freelance writing to share his life experiences with his readers. Phillips enjoys thoroughly researching DIY tools and writing guides at ToolsHaunt as a way of giving back to the community.

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