‘Generators’ and ‘inverters’ are often confused with each other because these terms are often used interchangeably. Because of this, many consumers fail to differentiate and thus often get confused. Here is a comprehensive guide to help clear up the misconceptions.
Generators are the most popular choice for many users, probably because they have been around a long time. The basic concept behind traditional generators remains unchanged and is still used in contemporary designs. A typical generator consists of an energy source (typically a fossil fuel like propane, diesel, or gasoline), which powers the motor that attaches to an alternator, which then produces electricity. The motor should run at a constant speed (ordinarily 3600 rpm) in order to produce the amount of standard current the users require.
Inverters, on the other hand, draw power from a DC source, typically a car battery or some other fixed source like a solar panel. They use electronic circuitry to invert DC power into AC. This converted current can be at any required frequency and voltage, depending on the equipment. These machines can produce enough AC power to supply energy required by various everyday appliances and devices.
Recent developments have led to the invention of inverter generators, which consist of high-tech magnets and advanced electronic circuitry. This hybrid technology is 3-phase generators designed to produce AC current, which is converted to DC and then back to cleaner AC power that maintains a single phase sine wave at the needed voltage and frequency. Inverter generators employ the technologies utilized by both inverters and generators, providing users with the best of both worlds.
The type of generator you should use depends largely on the kinds of devices and equipment you plan to power with the machine. As such, many factors should be taken into consideration when choosing the right unit to purchase, such as its size, weight, portability, power, run times, reliability, and efficiency.