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Are you searching for the best portable generator to buy? There are many in the market, and hence you need first to research so that you can make an informed choice. First things first, a portable generator should be easy to carry as you move to where the power is needed. If a generator can only be carried by truck, it is not portable despite what its name may suggest.
Best Portable Generator Reviews
Honda EU2200i Portable Generator
🏆 Our Electrician's TOP Pick 🏆
Westinghouse WGen7500DF Dual Fuel Generator
Dual Fuel Choice
DuroMax XP12000EH 12000-Watt Dual Fuel Generator
Plenty of Power
WEN 56310i-RV Super Quiet 3100-Watt Generator
Good for RV
WEN 56225i Super Quiet 2250-Watt Portable Inverter Generator
Low Budget Choice
There are still many types of really portable generators in the market. This article will equip you with all the crucial information you need to buy the top rated portable generator suited for your specific needs.
Honda EU2200i Portable Generator
You have probably heard of the famous Honda EU2000i portable generator, right? Well, prepare for new-born legend EU2200i! Introduced in the spring of 2019 as the successor to most Honda’s victorious portable generators, the EU2200i is just the best portable generator for frequent use.
The EU2200i generator is the result of 20 years of innovations and advancements. It is durable, light and can generate 10% more power than its forerunner EU2000i. It is covered in a wrapped housing that keeps the noise level down. While many portyable generators which are job site end up supplying uneven electricity because of the surges and sags in the power supply, the EU2200i supplies electricity which is steady. This makes it a perfect choice for home use, particularly for running electronic devices like TV, refrigerators on it. It is also used when you have limited power during an emergency, can be used in outdoor camping, trailers, hunting and fishing trips if you are remotely working along with your power equipment somewhere.
It can be used for your camping trip as well or can be used in a trailer or for fishing or hunting trips if you are working remotely along with your power tools somewhere. This generator can also be useful when you have limited power or when you need power during some emergency.
This portable generator is quite light in weight for easy transportation and extremely quiet. It has an Eco-throttle technology for optimal fuel usage efficiency and adjusting engine speed. It has a maximum output of 120-volts, 18.3 amps and 2200 watts, and has an auto shut-off choice which stops the portable generator in case of low gas. It runs easily for 9.6hrs with just 1.1 gas fuel and with proper maintenance it can guarantee you 5 hours.
Read our full review of the Honda 2000 Generator
- Portable and easy to carry about
- Extremely quiet operation when compared with others of the same capacity
- Can run till 9.6hrs on a full tank, which is perfect for overnight camping.
- A rugged build for easy transportation, making it simple for you to throw it around without feeling concerned about its control panel sensitivity.
- Lacks a fuel gauge to indicate the amount of fuel left.
- Lacks an electric button.
- Lacks an oil extension, making oil maintenance and checking hard
- It is priced a bit abruptly (> $1000)
Westinghouse WGen7500 Portable Generator
If you’re searching for the best 7500-watt generator for RV, home or outdoor camping, then the Westinghouse WGEN7500 Portable generator will definitely get the job done. This easy-to-use and a dependable portable generator is the best power solution, whether you’re searching for an emergency power supply for your house, recent home improvement project, or you want to power your tailgate party and campsite. With only 9500 of peak power and 7500 watts of continuous power, the Westinghouse WGEN7500 is able to start and run about anything you need when the power goes off, including fuel shut-off, electric start household lighting, several appliances and sump pumps. Its engine is able to start using a remote start and could be switched on using a recoil or an electric start. The whole capacity of its gas tank is 6.6 gallons and if it is totally filled, it is capable of offering you a 10hr runtime at 50% of the load.
The Westinghouse 7500 features one twist lock receptacle and two GFCI household duplex receptacles that are concealed with rubber for further protection. It is among the generators which are easily plug-and-play. The stupendous part is it needs minimal assembly and a user manual to assist you through the procedure. It even comes with a 12V battery charger, oil funnel, toolkit, and a remote start key fob. It is also equipped with a digital hour meter.
This portable generator have 420cc 4-stroke OHV engine covered by a durable iron cast sleeve. It also offers an automatic low oil shutdown, meaning that when the level of engine oil is below a safe level, your portable generator will shut down automatically.
Also, you can be interested in our westinghouse 7500 generator full review
- Comes with a key fob which allows you to remotely start the motor
- Rubber covers over each outlet keeping others from unintentionally unplugging your appliances
- Has a superb engine and emits low noise
- Could run for 10 hrs on one gallon of fuel
- Comes with a 3-year warranty
- Does not efficiently or effectively work at higher attitudes.
- Its manual features are not that useful
- No push button with an electric start
Champion Power Equipment 46539 Portable Generator
The Champion power equipment 3500-watt 46533 RV Ready Portable generator is designed with your convenience and safety in mind. For your RV, you will have adequate power to start and run a 15000 BTU air conditioner. In case of an outage, 196cc Champion one-cylinder OHV engine will offer the power you require to back up you home fundamentals. Its cold start technology guarantees a rapid start in cold weather, the Volt Guard surge built-in protector prevents overloads and keeps protects your equipment from spikes in voltage, and the voltmeter permits you to simply observe power output anytime. At 3500 running watts and 4000 starting watts, this rugged generator, with its long-lasting steel frame could take care of your fundamentals during an outage; refrigerator, DVD/TV, fan, router or modem, refrigerator, sump pumps and lights. There are outlets available including a 120V 20A (5-20R) household outlet, a 120V 30A (TT-30R) RV outlet, and a 120V 30A (L5-30R) locking outlet. You can fill up the 3.8-gallon tank of fuel and enjoy up to 12 hrs of power at 50% of the load. From 23-feet, the level of noise is 68 DNA, almost as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Made for safety/protection with useful push-to-reset circuit breaker and a low shut-off oil sensor, this unit contains a 0.6-quart oil capacity (preferably 10W-30), and comes with an oil funnel for simple alterations.
Equipped with stupendous features such a wireless start from up to 80 feet away, an RV ready to power up an RV air conditioner, a cold start for simple start during cold weathers, a volt guard to prevent power surges and a touch start push button that includes battery, the Champion 3500watt is just the best durable and reliable portable generator that enhances your experience of working with it.
- It is semi water resistant
- Could run for 12 hours on a single tank
- Overload protector
- Has a 2-year factory warranty
- Has an RV connection
- Has a wireless remote start for ease and comfort
- Has an affordable cost
- Changing oil is somehow hard because of its dipstick position
- It is quite noisy for several users
- Lacks a 240V outlet
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable Generator
If you’re searching for a portable, lightweight generator which is quiet, but can still power all types of items from your smartphone, microwave to even your refrigerator, then the Briggs & Stratton 30651 PowerSmart Series Portable generator is the best to fulfil your needs.
Besides its fuel efficiency and impressive power, the P2200 delivers 1700 running watts and 2200 starting watts. In a single full gallon, it runs for 8 hrs at 25% of the load. It functions at less than 60 dBA loud and generates a clean sine-wave output. Its performance parameters are guarantee satisfy to fulfil your needs.
It has some amazing features like a stable and clean power that generates 1700-watts of running power with less than 3 per cent total harmonic distortion. This makes it safe when using it with sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones. It also has a quiet power technology that adjusts the engine speed to correspond the applied loud, thus decreasing noise. An easy-carrying design has been included and combined with the 55lbs weight that makes it portable. It is also parallel ready which permits you to simply connect 2 PowerSmart Series portable generators together for excessive power.
Although this portable generator offers a 2-year warranty and is not near as comforting as the Honda’s 3-year warranty, its quiet, lightweight feature is the best to keep your family entertained with mobile devices, trailer trips and outdoor camping. What’s more, it has an affordable price as compared to most portable generators.
- Has a useful parallel connector port in case you have two Briggs & Stratton 30651 for comparable power.
- Can run air-conditioning units or heaters up-to 15000 BTUs.
- A quiet power technology that emits loud noises.
- Its compact size and moderate weight make it perfect for travel trailers or mini campers. An H-handle has been added for ease and comfort.
- Can be filled with regular unleaded fuel which is often readily available in many gas stations.
- Has a long running time of consecutive 6 to 8 hours.
- You can charge many items from refrigerators, heavy air conditioning units and smartphones, all thanks to its produced low harmonic distortion and clean power.
- Has an affordable cost
- Long-term dependability issues
- Hard to start; needs around 3 pulls on the recoil
- Non-CARB compliant
Champion Power Equipment 100302 4000-Watt Power Generator
Power outages could always accumulate issues for you and what you require is a reliable long-term solution. It is a portable generator which is capable of producing up to 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts. You won’t have to go to its reach to restart it annually like other traditional generator, just its remote button and it will be up and running.
This portable generator 4000-watt is a digital generator and is a powerful beast as compared to its predecessor, Champion 3500-watt generator. It has advanced open frame design that is 50 per cent quieter and 20 per cent lighter. Its engine life is long and has the able best fuel economy could be gained by functioning the portable generator at Economy Mode. It generates the sound of 64 dBA that is perfect for camping, RVs, tailgating and even at home for powering up electronic appliances.
It is also powerful that it will run for up to 17 hours on a single-full gallon of fuel. If you are planning to use it for big power consuming applications, you could easily connect it with a 2800-watt or higher inverter because it is parallel ready. It even has one 12V DC outlet, two 120V AC outlets, and two 120V AC RV outlet, the two AC household outlet offers electricity with less than 3 per cent total harmonic distortion. Besides these, it also provides a dual USB adapter. It also offers a lifetime free technical support from its professional technicians.
With such amazing features like economy mode, quiet technology and extended run time, clean electricity for sensitive electronics, parallel ready, Champion support with a 3-year limited warranty, and an enhanced open frame design, the Champion 4000-watt portable generator is among the most innovative products on the market.
- Has a clean and steady control panel
- Has a Cold start technology
- Has a 4000-watt of clean power
- Fuel efficiency
- RV ready
- Relatively quiet operation
- Reliable and Powerful
- Simple to start and operate
- Has a limited warranty and does not cover all parts
- It is quite heavy since it weighs about 81.6lbs with no wheels
- It is not a PGMA G300-2018 compliant
- Does not have a wheel kit
Yamaha EF2000ISV2 Gas Portable Generator
The Yamaha EF2000iSV2 has been advanced to offer you with a lightweight, power-packed and quiet portable generator. Its optimal design is able to power a few of your crucial appliances in a power outage, but it is perfect for leisure applications like outdoor play, tailgating, camping, hunting and fishing.
The EF2000iSV2 gas-powered generator enhanced the controller and increased advanced programming to hold more devices but guaranteeing it is still efficient. Its Smart Throttle will manage the engine speed and will notify you the load required to allow you to continuously save fuel.
This portable generator provides a good amount of power with a 2000 starting watt and a 1600 running watt. It could continuously run for 10.5 hours on one full gallon of fuel. Very few small generators have the capability to run for a long time and this is partly because of the 10 per cent large tank size of 1.1 gallons (rather than 1-gallon tanks used by other models). It weighs 44lbs with just 2.2 cubic feet in dimensions and generates 51.5 dBA at ¼ load and has one 12V DC outlet and a two 120V outlet.
If you require additional power, you could attach two units in parallel to deliver up to 30 amps. You can also attach earlier model generator and could be connected in parallel with EF2000iSV2 or the EF2000iS. The generator EPA III and CARB compliant is fitted with a USFS authorized spark arrestor. Its unit also involves a 3-year warranty on parts through the global worldwide Yamaha network of qualified services centres.
Although the Yamaha EF2000iSV2 is most likely to damage your wallet compared to other generators, it is still a reliable, well built and a worth the price.
You can read our full Yamaha EF2000is 2000 watt inverter generator review.
- It is a super quiet generator, which does not emit much noise
- It is reliable and powerful
- Has a good fuel efficiency with an economy mode switch
- It has a lightweight; easy for storing and carrying
- It is safe and clean for highly sensitive electronics
- Has extendable connectivity for curving to another
- It is very expensive
- It only has a 2000W Power Output
- Does not provide enough electricity to power up heavy duty mechanism
- Has an oil consumption issue
Westinghouse iGen2200 Super Quiet Portable Generator
Whether you want a portable inventor generator to charge your electronic devices while tailgating and camping or power up your household during a blackout, the Westinghouse iGen2200 portable generator is the easiest, convenient method for camping needs, emergency backup and hurricane survival needs. It is the best way to make your life running smoothly during a power outage. Firstly, it is lightweight and its compact design makes it really portable. Weighing only 46 pounds, this model is much lighter and smaller than most traditional generator. It could be simply carried with a built-in suitcase-styled handle which allows easy transportation. It is very quiet in economy mode and starts simply right up on the first pull.
Secondly, it is made for quiet operations. At a 50% of the load, this generator functions at a volume quieter than a normal conversation, making it perfect for in sound-sensitive surroundings and use at night-time. It is safe to use with other sensitive electronics like TV/DVDs, laptop computers, and cell phones. It is also simple to use, featuring a quiet operation, plug and play functionality, built-in USB outlets and 120V 20 amp outlets for convenience and safety. In case you want to amplify the power with more wattage for an RV or a bigger appliance, the iGen2200 is parallel ready capable and could be connected with another Westinghouse iGen Series portable generator by the use of a Westinghouse Parallel Cord (which is normally sold separately).
It is equipped with amazing features like a US forest service authorized spark arrestor, functions quietly, safe for sensitive electronics, are parallel cable with a Westinghouse Parallel Cord, and are compact or lightweight.
- It weighs only 46 lbs
- Has 2 USB outlets
- Runs for 12 hours at a 25 per cent load
- Has1800 rated and a 2200 peak watts at less than 3 per cent THD, which makes it extremely safe for every portable electronic device.
- Has an extremely fuel efficiency mode for maximum fuel relevancy
- Parallel ready
- Has a 3-year warranty and a free lifetime technical support at CARB, USFS, and EPA compliant.
- Has a competitive price
- It can be a bit difficult to start during a cold weather
- It does not have a 24 Hour customer service, mostly operate only from 8 am to 5 pm
Wen 56200i Super Quiet 2000-Watt Portable Generator
The Wen 56200i portable generator is equipped with 79.7cc 4-stroke which is extremely quiet and generates only 51 decibels of sound while functioning at a 25 per cent load capacity and 55-decibels at 75 per cent load capacity. It is silent that the noise it produces is compared to an average human conversation, thus makes it a perfect portable generator for camping or outdoor hunting. It is also CARB and EPA III compliant that generates environment-friendly clean energy.
The WEN 56200i is an excellent generator that replicates a pure sine wave and limits the harmonic distortion to less than 0.3% when there is no load and to less than 1.2% at full capacity, making it ideal to run your delicate electronic devices such as computers, tablets, laptops and mobile phones.
This generator is the best as it replicates a pure sine-wave and limits the harmonic distortion to less than 0.3 per cent when there is no load and less than 1 per cent at complete capacity, making it perfect to run your sensitive electronic devices like mobile phones, laptops and TVs/DVDs.
Equipped with amazing features like an economical mode that permits the generator motor to automatically adjust the fuel consumption while you plug-and-play electronic devices and appliances to the panel and assists the regulation of fuel consumption. It is parallel ready, hence you can pair two Wen 56200i portable generators easily with the Wen parallel connection kit. It has an automatic shutdown and a low oil indicator when the fuel is low. It has a USB port and is lightweight, weighing around 48 pounds. Has an overload protection to protect the generator from damage and is backed up by a 2-year warranty.
You can read our full WEN 56200i generator Review.
- It offers safe and clean energy without any fluctuation which could damage your sensitive electronic devices like mobile phones, computers etc.
- It has a super quiet operation
- It could be used for outdoor purposes such as at construction sites, camping and tailgating.
- It is fuel efficient
- It is convenient, portable and lightweight, so it can be easily carried anywhere
Putting oil to the generator can be a bit hard
Honda EU3000iS Portable Generator
If you’re searching for an ideal portable powerhouse which could deliver dependable power on an efficient, clean and quiet manner, then you can choose the Honda EU3000iS portable generator. The exclusive inverter technology generated by Honda means that you will have access to a steady power source to operate even the most sensitive electronics. While running, the strong EU3000iS operates quietly that a normal conversation, making it ideal for hunting, fishing, outdoor camping and at home. It has an Eco-throttle which guarantees that you receive most of your fuel which means that your tank could last up to 22 hours on the load.
The EU3000iS is run by a GX200 engine along with a displacement of 196cc. Its power output is 120V or 3000-watts when running at full capacity. Power receptacles include a 30A 120V locking plug as well as 20A 120V duplex. To add, it provides you access to a 12V 144W DC output. The starting system for this model is both recoil and electric, and it stands in around 25.9” × 17.6” × 22”. While the EU2200 is arguably more portable and lighter, which means that you can simply connect wheels to the EU3000iS to make moving it around a little less strenuous.
This portable generator has a run time of up to 22 hours on a single full gallon of fuel and comes with more typical smaller wheels as well as a folding handle to pull it around with. This generator is the best portable generator if you are searching for a brand with a good reputation, need an electric start, or the selection to parallel with another unit. It is also the best if you need a portable generator that can run the longest without requiring to fuel up.
Here is our full Honda 3000 Generator Review.
- It has an affordable price
- It emits less noise; can be compared to produce a sound like that of an average conversation
- It has an extended run time
- Has an Eco-throttle system
- It is a bit heavier than its counterparts
- It has no remote starter, although it could be modified to input one.
Generac 6866 iQ2000 Super Quiet Portable Generator
One of the many issues that most generators encounter is that you do not know how much energy you are using at a given time. You could calculate how many watts based on the devices you have switched off, but there is no way to ensure that they are all using the maximum electricity amount. But with the Generac 6866 iQ2000 portable generator, you will get both a power level indicator and a fuel level. These gauges are very helpful to guarantee that you will not overload the system or run out of fuel before you get a chance to refill it. What’s more, it even comes with a digital built-in clock for added ease and comfort.
The Generac 6866 iQ2000 is a feature packed, lightweight portable generator. It not only weighs over 46 lbs but also has a 9-hour life on a single full gasoline tank at a ¼ load. With around 1600 running watts and a 2000 starting watts, it is more than capable of managing your essential power needs. It also has an excellent feature of controlling the engine speed relying on the needed electricity requires resulting in a quieter operation. It can even be simply connected to another generator of the same kind to closely double your power output.
This portable generator is also equipped with an array of electric features; permitting you to inform your wattage output at any given time, observe your recent level of fuel, and adjust your power output based on the requirements of the load.
While the features of this unit have could be rather unstable, they are a great step forward to more functional generators and could be fixed in the event they do act up.
You can be interested in our full Generac IQ2000 Review.
- Has a 2000 maximum watts
- Has a 1600 continuous watts
- Has a super quiet operation
- Has an electronic fuel gauge
- Has a Power level indicator
- Has a digital built-in clock with an LED display
- Has a lightweight and compact design
- Has a parallel power compatible
- Has two standard outlets
- Has three power modes (economic, regular and turbo).
- It lasts up to 7.8 hours at 25 per cent of the load
- It weighs only 45 pounds
- It has a limited fuel supply
- In some rare cases, the motor might get short out over time
What Factors Should You Consider Before Buying a Portable Generator?
It can be a very expensive mistake to buy a portable generator and later realize that it does not meet all your power requirements. You, therefore, need to take your time and buy the best-suited generator for your current needs otherwise you will regret later. Below are tips which will aid you to choose the best.
How Can You Know the Specific Power Requirements of an Appliance?
To be able to estimate the overall power required to run all your appliances, you need to know the power consumption of each device. It is straight forward to know the power rating of any machine; just check the bottom of the gadget, and you will get a product stamp which has the rating. All appliances have this rating. However, you may be confused by some because they may have their wattage in amps. This is because the voltage can differ depending on your country and the intended market of the appliance. Do not worry, use the below equation and you will get the power in watts.
Watts = Volts x Amps
Watt is the power of your generator. It is the figure you will use to buy a portable generator which will run all your appliances simultaneously as we are going to see later.
If you are wondering what the value of the voltage is, put 120V, at least for most of the gadgets. However, before you start calculating power using our generator wattage calculator, check the voltage of your devices because there are some which use 240 V. In addition, you can find some appliances with a small switch which you can use to set the voltage. Do not attempt to change the voltage of the appliance because this can make them malfunction when switched on. In brief, you can quickly get the value of voltage by reading it on the tool.
The Quietness of Operation
Generators that produce earsplitting noise while in operation are environmental hazards due to noise pollution and also pause a health risk as they can cause hearing impairment. You are therefore advised to invest in a portable generator that operates as noiselessly as possible, or alternatively, use long cables to facilitate setting up your generator at a reasonable distance in order to minimize the noise hazard. Portable generator should run at 60 decibels noise level. Anything above that is unacceptable. This level allows normal conversations to be held comfortably and helps avoid being a public nuisance by breaching peace in the neighborhood through noise pollution. You can be sued if you produce noise above 60dB. The following are noise levels of various objects measured in decibel:
Whispering – 30 dB
Refrigerator – 50dB
Vacuum cleaner – 70dB
Blender – 80dB
Industrial generators used in factories are usually louder due to their high power voltage. Therefore, those operating or using industrial generators are recommended to use protective ear gear to avoid damaging their hearing. You should, therefore, read instruction manuals and do extensive research on how to safely use a generator without endangering your health or causing an environmental hazard.
Inverters modulate engine speed thereby making them up to 40% better than ordinary models at fuel consumption, in relation to ongoing power needs. This is the main reason why inverters are small in size and a bit more costly.
An ordinary generator needs to sustain an unchanging RPM to supply the required amount of power, which is normally about 3600 RPM. Increased power demand leads to more fuel being used to ensure efficient running. However, the engine must sustain a minimum 3600 RPM even under minimal loads.
Inverter portable generator can operate at much lower momentum since the technology used in its design enables them to continuously maintain the frequency of power release with no corresponding engine RPM increase. Due to this, an IG uses less fuel corresponding to low power demands, thereby conserving fuel to cope up with increased load requirements. It also means that the inverter portable generator are less noisy compared with the conventional generator.
Due to the differences in their designs, the operation duration of the two models of generators differs a lot. Ordinary generators are modeled to give a particular power supply irrespective of their size. Therefore, their fuel tanks are generally larger than those of IG. A larger tank means that the generator will be heavy.
IG’s are, as a rule, modeled with the intention of being smaller and easy to carry. This dramatically determines the fuel it can hold. Despite the smaller fuel tanks, a great number of IG’s can operate for up to 10 hours without adding fuel because their engines are highly efficient.
The more efficient an engine, the more it has added benefits of less air pollution that results from exhaust emissions. It is, therefore, true that IG has far much less carbon footprint than the conventional ones.
You may have realized that inverter portable generators are smaller in size and smarter than the conventional generators. They are also more portable due to their lightness than the common generators. However, this comes at a cost. The tank has to be smaller to make them light. Since there is nothing much which can be done to make the engine small, the tank has to be minimized.
Consequently, the capacity of the inverter generators holds up to two gallons of fuel. But this should not be an issue in the first place because inverter portable generators consume less fuel than the conventional ones. After all, you may not exhaust all the tankful fuel in one sitting if you have a generator as a standby as you wait for the mains power to return.
The other reason why the inverter generators are petite is that they have other electronics which aid in converting the current to DC then to AC before supplying it to your appliances. They also have a microprocessor which ensures that every drop of fuel consumed is converted to electric energy.
On the other hand, conventional generators cannot regulate the engine speed with the power demand. For example, a 4000 watts conventional generator will use the same amount of fuel to power a 3500 watts appliance and a 2000 appliance. This makes them unrealistically inefficient.
It is therefore prudent to have an inverter generator because of the fuel you might lose with a conventional one in the long run.
The main difference between the inverter portable generator and the conventional is the quality of the power produced. The conventional generators have a straightforward design; the electric energy is produced from the alternator which revolves using the fuel power. The electric current generated is then directly connected to the cords which supply the power to your appliances. This has the main disadvantage; the power produced can destroy your electronics.
However, the inverter generators go an extra mile to make the power produced superior and safe for your appliances just like the main grid power.
The power output of the inverter generator does not pass directly to your appliances. Instead, it is channeled to a rectifier which changes the AC to DC. It also has capacitors which prevent current fluctuations. After this, the inverter converts the DC again to AC. This current has the required frequency of 60Hz and hence cannot destroy your appliances because it does not change with the engine throttle of the generator.
In a home setting, maybe the portability is not a big issue. This is because once you buy a whole house generator and find a safe place to store it, you are done. However, portability because vital if you are moving out. Generators which are designed to produce maximum power like the 10000 watts generators are usually very heavy. Some have a room specifically made for their storage. These are conventional generators.
On the other hand, if you need a simple generator to run your home, you can buy an inverter one because you can move it to other paces should a need arise. The design of the inverter generator ensures that they are low in weight and compact. One person can carry them around. They are therefore ideal for outdoor activities. You can use them in your RV, picnics or camps without feeling that you have extra baggage.
There are many factors which influence the cost of any generator. It all boils down to your own need. Sometimes you have to pay more to get a generator which will satisfy you. Below are some of the factors which determine the price.
- The power generated.
- How easy it is to use.
- The noise level.
- The manufacturer.
It is up for you to decide the features you want in a generator before you head to the stores. Many people nowadays prefer portable inverter generators to the conventional ones because of the design, the level of noise produced and the weight. If you have more power needs than what a single generator can produce, you can combine two. Generators from well-established companies like Honda and Yamaha are more expensive than others, because these are the best generator brands. However, there are some genuine new companies which make excellent generators.
Design and Repair
As far as design and repair are concerned, conventional models take the day. This is because conventional generators are just a motor and an engine. They, therefore, do not breakdown often, and when they do, it is easier to repair them than the inverter type which necessitates specialized personnel.
Inverter generators also do not breakdown when easily. However, when they do, it is more costly to repair them than the conventional. This is because they have intricate electronics besides the engine and the coils.
How to Determine the Amount of Power You Need
Majority of people use generators as a backup option during power outages. However, you can also use a generator to get power in other places like in construction sites, camping, to power up an RV or to extend electricity where the main power does not reach.
To determine the amount of power you need, it is, therefore, necessary to put into consideration the type and number of appliances you need to power. General home appliances, for example, will require less power than construction sites.
To get a realistic estimate of the amount of power you need in each situation, below are four essential guides.
Power Requirements in Homes
The type of appliances and electronics you have will definitely determine the amount of power need. However, if you have a lot of gadgets which are power intensive, you can decide which appliances are mandatory to run and which can wait for the power situation to normalize. For example, you can choose to do away with electric heaters. It is vital to understand each appliance’s power rating so that you can come up with the total power you need to run all your electronics and appliances.
Because some appliances consume far much more power than others, Consequently, it is critical to choose what to use and what to switch off. Some of the household equipment which you should consider includes:
- Many furnaces consume about 3000W of power.
- Clothes drier at 5400W.
- A Washing machine has a 3600W rating.
- Heaters are above 4500W.
From the above common appliances, it is now clear that it is hard to run all the devices simultaneously with a single simple portable generator. This is because the majority of them are rated from 3000 to 5000 watts. If you choose to operate only the necessary appliances, a single generator will keep your home running until the main power is back.
Power Requirements in Recreation
Power is needed everywhere you go. It is hard to do any meaningful activity without electric power. To make your outdoor activities effective, you need to have the power to charge your phones and laptops. This will ensure that you will still be connected to your work and family when you are out. Some recreational activities will require gadgets which need the power to run. Portable generators become handy in such cases. For example, you can carry your radio and speakers when you are out enjoying nature.
Power Requirements in Camps
When it comes to camping, you need to have as much comfort as possible. This comfort cannot be possible if you do not have a power source. Majority of camps do not have a main grid power connection. To be comfortable, you need a portable generator. Majority of cottages are not heavy power consumers, and a portable generator of about 1000W will suffice. However, some heavy campers will require a more powerful generator. To now the best portable generator you should have in your camp, you have to consider the rating of all the appliances you will carry. For a modest camp, you may need to take cameras, phones, laptops, lights, and cooking aids. You only need a small generator for such items. However, for more earnest camping, which has the following gadgets; you need a more efficient generator.
- A coffee maker has a rating of 600W
- Blender 300W
- Multiple lights bulbs each at 100W
Power Requirement in RV
A motor home is almost as power hungry as any home. You, therefore, need a more powerful generator than in a camp. For an RV to be comfortable, you need appliances like air conditioners, heaters, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and electric cookers. Without these, your RVing experience will not be fulfilling. If you are staying in RV with your family, you must consider each person’s power consumption so that they can have a home away from home experience. You will still need the TVs and the Pcs for the entertainment.
All in all, the most significant consumer of the power in RV is the AC which runs on 2000W of power alone. To make matters worse, it sucks 3000W when starting. It is, therefore, necessary to have a generator of more than 3500 watts in your RV.
However, if you need more power than this, you can connect two or more generators to get the required wattage because it is convenient to move with two portable generators than one which is massive.
Power Requirements at Construction Site
When it comes to construction, the tools used are usually very power-hungry. Tools like a standard 10-inch saw will require a power of 4500W when starting and 1800W when running. That is one machine. A construction site has several such types of equipment.
Furthermore, a majority of constriction tools work under load and therefore consume far much more power to overcome the strain. Luckily, some of portable generators can regulate the RPM of the engine otherwise you can spend a lot of fuel if you use the conventional generator. Because of the power demand, construction sites generators have a rating of over 7500W.
Generator Types and Specifications
There are several types of generators all meant to produce electric power to power appliances. All of them have one thing in common; they need external energy to rotate the magnetic field to convert rotational energy into electric energy. The source of this power is the main factor what makes generators different from each other. Conventional generators are known to destroy the complex electronics of appliances like phones and digital televisions. If you do not want to burn your appliances, get generators whose power output is clean.
Below are the types of portable generators you can find in the market.
Gas-powered generators are the commonest generators. They are very common because they use gasoline which is cheaper than other fuels. This fuel is available everywhere mainly because it is also the main energy source for the cars. Furthermore, gasoline engines are relatively smaller and lighter than diesel, which makes this type of generator convenient to use in a home and office settings.
However, gasoline-powered generators score poorly as far as safety is concerned — their emission when in operation is dangerous especially when operating in an enclosed area. Carbon monoxide poisoning is possible when gasoline generators are run in places where the circulation of air is reduced. Since the lifespan of gasoline is shorter compared to other sources of energy for generators, you can not store this in the generator tank for long. Lastly, these generators start poorly in winter.
Diesel-powered generators are the second most common in the market. This is because diesel is still relatively available in every part of the country. Diesel-powered generators are very efficient because they produce more power at a lower cost compared to gasoline-powered generators. This makes them ideal for heavy-duty tools. If you want to power up your construction tools, go for the diesel-powered generators because to maintain them is easy.
However, since diesel is the least flammable fuel, these generators have machines which are heavy to increase the compression. This makes them heavy and noisy when running. However, because of their dense compactness, they last longer and can run for more hours than their gasoline counterparts. They also emit dangerous fumes hence it is advisable to run them away from your home.
Propane-powered generators are not common. Their main advantage compared to the above is their quietness when running and their efficiency. Propane fuel is relatively available but not as much as gasoline or diesel. Propane-powered generators are cheaper than diesel and more durable.
However, if you want to power big machines, propane-powered generators are not ideal. They may do well in your home setting, but they fail miserably to run power-hungry machines. Besides, propane gas under is highly flammable, and so they are prone to explosions. These generators have complex fuel systems which make them fail frequently.
All the above type of generators uses energy which you must buy. Solar generators use the sun as the source of energy. This means it is free to run them. Furthermore, solar energy is renewable and dependable depending on your climatic region. Since these generators use a solar panel to harvest the solar energy, they are almost maintenance free and noiseless. Besides, you can run them inside your house because they do not produce fumes like the generators as mentioned earlier.
Unfortunately, you cannot use these generators to run heavy machines. The amount of power they produce is meager. You need them for keeping some of your home appliances running as you wait for the power outage to end but not for commercial purposes. During winter, when electric energy is much needed, these generators are entirely useless. They cannot operate at night or on cloudy days. Every time you want to harness power from the sun, you have to move them to places where there are no shadows. These inconveniences are what make solar-powered generators rare to find.
There is one critical disadvantage of all conventional generators; they can destroy sensitive electronic due to the power surges they produce. It is, therefore, dangerous to charge your laptop, for example, using power produced by a conventional generator. Inverter generators, on the other hand, produce the current in a sine wave which can not burn up your electronics. Also, these generators can alter their RPM depending on a load of power required. This alteration makes them very fuel efficient.
Features to Lookout for when Buying a Generator
There are many generators out there. Do not rely entirely on your salesman. Below are six critical features you should look out for when searching for the best portable generator for home use and not only.
Generators are not stored inside the rooms you live for obvious reasons. When there is a power outage, you shouldn’t go out to start the generator. Buy a generator which has an automatic start so that it will ensure that there is a continuous supply of power.
Although generators are not used frequently, you still do not have to pull that string every time you want to start it. No everyone has that energy anyway. You should, therefore, ensure that the portable generator you buy has an electric start button.
Alternative Fuel Capacity
Your generator should run on many fuels. You should not rely on one fuel because you do not know when it can lack. You should have a dual fuel generator which runs on gasoline and propane or natural gas to be on the safe side.
Your ideal portable generator should have a gauge so that you can know when you need to add the fuel.
Low oil in the engine is dangerous to the engine of the generator. Best generator shuts off when the oil level is low. This prevents engine seizure.
Since you are not powering a single set of appliances, your generator should have more than two power outlets. This ensures that you will spread the wattage more evenly than when you have one outlet.
Make sure the portable generator you buy has a removable console. This ensures that you will not have cords running haphazardly in your compound.
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