To take preventive measures before a terrible hurricane or maybe for organizing the camping trips, a portable generator can be both comfortable and no doubt a smart investment. It can keep your room temperature change according to the different varying weather conditions. You can prepare your meals or even charge your smartphones with these electronic devices. Different kinds of these portable electric heaters are available; some are powered by gas while few are solar generators. So selecting the best portable generator at times becomes a difficult decision for us. Many factors should be considered depending on the purpose and functionality of our houses.
Top 10 Best Portable Generator
Plumbing professionals & Master Natural Gas experts have often helped us in understanding the requirement of water generators according to the dimensions of our house. With their advice, we have selected the top 10 Best Portable Generators which will help you to choose the appropriate product for your home.
1- Wen Quiet Super Inverter Watt 2000 Portable Generator
Wen Quiet Portable Generator is designed as the most noiseless device as compared to other traditional generators. Delivering proper and clean operation without any voltage drops is easily achieved. The generator is very light in weight (48 pounds) and is portable to different places. You can carry it in your car and travel to other sites. There is an Eco mode function which can be adjusted with fuel consumption. The simple regulatory button on the engine can determine the speed for a complete fuel optimization to 6 hours. This saves the unnecessary use of gasoline too. There are presences of invertible handles which are delicate and sensitive.
If you love traveling or hiking, this is an ideal product for you with a backup power supply. For any sensitive electronic systems or devices, you can also use this generating machine. You can also connect two generators to get more power supply in your house; there is a parallel connection kit separately sold for this purpose.
Approximately 2000 watts of a power surge is derived from this tool. When you operate the machine, you won’t get any sound. The quiet electrical generator can be performed at a quarter load of 51 DCB. While any outdoor activities like camping, hunting, or even restoration of power back up, this noise-free benefits the user a lot. The harmonic distortion is limited under 0.3 percent without any load. So, during any power outage, you can charge your laptops, tablets, ac, etc. safely. There are two outlets, each of 12 volts DC receptive and also a portable USB of 5 volts.
- Safe and clean
- Noise-free operation
- Increases fuel efficiency
- Fast and efficient performance
- Suitable for camping trip activities
- Durable with a brilliant performance is guaranteed
- At times it is hard to refill the engine oil in the generator.
- Few consumers have opined that this product won’t be much ideal for radio communication purposes.
2- Generac Running 26250 Watt Start Electric Gas Portable Powered Generator
The manufacturers have built this most robust portable generator. For a simplistic electric start, you can click on the switch with the battery (12 volts) plugged in charger. You can use it anywhere both for housing or camping purposes. A 16-gallon tank also comes accompanied with the product which can uncomplicatedly close the oil levels. So engine protection is ensured by this method. This generator can enhance fuel effectiveness. The kit includes flat wheel and lifting tools for smart transportation.
To get a noise-free generation, there is a muffler in the device. Gasoline power efficiency is increased with the fantastic engine power of 992cc. To understand the refueling of the generator, you can check the fuel gauge tab. Again for extra fuel-efficient, there is an idle refutation method incorporated here in this unit. For long term usage, this device can work up to 10 hours run time smoothly.
If you are looking for a brilliant performance of the generator power back up, then this is an accurate product for you. It is highly suitable for job sites. For a smart shutting down, there is a low fuel feature. The spin oil filter also helps to save the filter from getting damaged. Both manual transfer switches and cord operation can be done with the help of this inverter.
- Push on to start
- Auto oil shutting
- Flat wheels
- Fuel efficient
- Engine power 992cc
- Long 10 hours of run
- Superb performance
- Secure power back-up for pumps, refrigerators tv, and even computers.
- Smart and smooth installation
- Wonderful compressor system
- Battery life is not at all impressive
- For maintaining the engine, you may be required to hire experts which again involves extra costing
3- Westinghouse Portable Remote Gas Start Powered Generator
The manufacturers have developed this inverter with a strong built. There is a power range of 7500 watts running operation, and for peak, it is around 9500 watts. For fast service, there is a smart knob system. The electrical recoiling is smooth in this device for starting up the unit. You can run this generator for around 16 hours approximately in a day with a total capacity of 6.5-gallon fuel tank accompanied with the fuel gauge. A transfer switch is installed with which you can connect any breaker box to power the entire house during any load shedding or outage condition.
There is a presence of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (2) for the duplex household. A twisted lock is provided, which is again replaceable. So if it is damaged or broken, you won’t have to worry much. For user safety, all parts of this system are made up of robust plastic material. For fast start-up and shutting off the knob have remote sensors in it. You can also check the status of the fuel from the device. There are two receptacle ports, both 120volt ranges.
A 12-volt battery is sufficient for this power source. In this kit, you will get a few supplementary things like an oil funnel, fast charger, and a user manual guide. The built of this electrical device is very much durable. The automated less oil shutting mechanism is another crucial factor to opt for this product. Carb, EPA certificate has been provided with this item. A 3-year warranty is also there for service coverage and user benefit. It has been approved and certified by CARB, EPA, and CSA team.
- Fast service
- 9500 Peak operation and 7500 watts running
- 6.5 water fuel capacity
- 12 Volt batteries compatible
- The kit has a fast charger, manual, etc
- 3-year warranty
- Carb compliant
- Easy transferring switches
- An effective and sufficient supply of power can be generated
- The remote system is beneficial
- With high surge loads, this product does not bog down easily
- Gas shutting off method is also nice
- Clear manual instructions on the guide are also beneficial
- Affordable generator
- Heavy and large built
- Few users have opined about the noise issue
4- Honda Quiet Companion Watt Portable Generator Inverter
It is crafted with an inbuilt 30 AMP outlet for a brilliant performance. The lightweight of the product helps in the portability of the item in an uncomplicated manner. It weighs around 46 lbs. With the use of this inverter, you can get the power back up whenever you want it. There is an automated fuel shutting down option. This valve can help the engine to work even the amount of fuel residing in the carburetor is used already. So to prevent excess fuel issue and to store them in the inverter; this particular valve plays a major role.
The inverter can cool down rapidly, and the airflow can be balanced brilliantly once the ventilation area is increased by around 2.30 sq inches. The reasons to go for this item would be the large-sized oil filler, a long length spout and a big oil drainage gutter made for more comfortable and neat oil changes.
This inverter is pretty good for RV applications. The noise production while it’s working is close to zero. So your neighbors won’t be able to get any annoying sound from this device. Sound generation is calculated at a range of 47-58 DCB. You can connect all the laptops, tablets, air conditioners, and lights with this portable generator during power outage safely. There is a 30 A receptacle which is very beneficial for parallel connections smoothly. USDA has certified it as a safe and convenient product to use for household purposes. The circuit breaker is also present to save your generator from getting damaged.
- Inbuilt 30 AMP engine
- Light in weight
- Weight 46lbs
- Fuel shutting technique automatic
- No excess fuel flow
- Large oil drainage and oil filler
- Long size of the spout
- Easy to install
- Super quiet, noise-free service
- Amazing backup power product
- Fuel leakage is one of the major issues
- Few users have faced issues with starting up their portable ac with this power back up option
5- WEN Portable 1800 Watt Carb Compliant Generator
The brand itself is well known for producing numerous technologies for its different engines. It is one of the innovative items generated by them. Portability and gas-powered supply for smooth operation is the main feature to opt for this generator. High-quality tools have been sued for the construction of the generator. The power supply produced is around 1500 watt without any hazard.
The function of the single cylindrical engine is to produce a four-stroke OHV. Fuel efficiency and reliability of this engine are excellent. There is a forced air cool technology induced in this device so that overheating can be stopped. The lightweight and portable nature make it wanted amongst many consumers.
For more portability, there are two handles attached on each side of the inverter. Super engine mounds are strong enough to be placed on the structures you want it to reside. A noise muffler is there to bring in the quiet operation as much possible. This generator can work nicely for 7.5 hours with a filled 50% tank load. The capacity of the gas is around 1.45 gallons. Automated oil shut down method is also incorporated in it.
Another unique function is the spark detector, which can keep a check on the device in situations like combustion or burning. Two Ac outlets are there with a capacity of 120 Voltage. It can attach the other applicatory tools for camping or constructing a purpose. Carb has approved it as a safe item.
- Superior tool function
- Power supply 1500 Watt
- Four-stroke single engine
- 7.5 hours long operate
- Spark detector
- Suitable for camping
- Carb approved
- Less fuel usage
- Affordable and pocket-friendly backup power
- No or less noise during operation
- Brilliant portability
- Quality control tool is weak
- Wheel movement is hard at times during transportation
- Few users have noticed oil spillage and leakage
- Some consumers have reported during the cold temperature the inverter works slow.
6- Briggs & Stratton Series Power Smart 2200 Watt Portable Generator Inverter
One of the silent and fuel-efficient large engine device for maximum power back up operation. The power range of this inverter is around 2200 watts, and for running, it is around 1700 watts. Complete safety was kept in minds while building this product. You can easily use it for laptops, TV, or even gaming stations.
There are 3 led lights which can tell you about the present status of the generator. So whether the generator is running out of fuel or is overloaded can be checked. Overheating can be prevented in this way. The two sources of power receptacles can connect with other electrical tools. Both of these ports are 12V DC, which works on a plugin method with the phone or tablet chargers.
You can also link this generator in a parallel way to achieve more power back up till 4400 watts approximately. However, the power cable is sold separately and does not comes along this kit. For a complete 8 hours of running operation, a 1-gallon tank of fuel is sufficient. A muffler is attached in this electrical inverter to control the unwanted noise. The sound rating is about 6.5 meters away 59 dB with a proper 25% load. Your neighbors won’t get disturbed while this product is working at your home.
An overall efficient portable e inverter which has a smart, compact design for superb transportation. The handles are H shaped so that two individuals can carry it.
- Noise-free technology
- Smart handles for carrying
- Various outlets ensuring flexibility
- Parallel connectivity
- 8 hours of operation
- Excellent built and quality materials used in the construction
- Suitable for camping and other outdoor purposes
- Maintenance is easy
- Value for money product
- The durability of this generator is one of the disadvantages noticed by few users
- Some customers have observed that the inverter does not connect well with RV/AC units.
7- Champion Power Equipment Ready 3500 Watt Remote Portable Wireless Generator
To get a hassle-free power back up, the manufacturers have developed this smart generator equipment for you. The best feature about this tool is the remote sensor and fantastic portability. It has sufficient power to load an Ac with a power range of 15000 BTU RV. Starting on and off is a straightforward method in this device with a remote tab. A battery is included in this kit. Cold Start technology is incorporated well to fasten the start-up process.
The smart folding technique ensures that the inverter can be transportable to different places without any hazards. During an outage, you won’t have to face any difficulty at all with this equipment. The tank can be filled with 3.8 gallons of gasoline. With this device, you will see the rapid operation of power back up to 10-12 hours.
Both Carb and EPA have certified the generator as the safest of all the regular items for power back up options. There are two outlets of 120V for smooth drainage facilities. The manufacturers have provided a 3-year warranty for ensuring better service to the users.
- Remote wireless system
- Start electrical product
- Two outlets
- Brilliant engine speed
- 3.8 gallon of gasoline
- 3-year warranty
- The cast-iron cylinder is very durable and long-lasting
- Helpful customer service
- Powering electric heaters, ac, lights, etc. can be smoothly done
- Fast and smooth operation and installation
- Few customers have observed weak built of the remote.
- Although during camping, this device can be nicely used, there are problems faced during elevated heights during the installation and power back up.
8- Briggs & Stratton Portable Running 8750 Watts, Gas Induced Generator
During an outage, you won’t have to face any difficulties anymore with the use of this inverter. Clean and immediate power can be supplied to electrical appliances. Extensive tools can be powered with the 25 percent of surge wattage extra. The twisted lock with breaker prevention and rubber coating for further safety is installed.
For a superb 9 hours of running operation, the tank should be 7.5-gallon fuel filled. With the help of a single start button, you can begin the device. The engine is incredibly strong and provides no sound while working. So your neighbors won’t even get any sound from outside while the power back up option is going on. Safe, low oil shut down is allowed through this device. Hence engine damage is restricted. Both manual and cord operation with the help of this generator is possible.
There is an inbuilt meter with which the oil status can be checked in the engine. So it will help you to get notified that how much oil is left or even the current state of the fuel.
This brand is well known for its durable and reliable products for long years. The manufacturers have provided a 3year extended warranty to the customer so that they can get benefits of repair and replacements if anything goes wrong in the device.
- Other appliances connect
- 25 % power surge
- 7.5-gallon fuel
- 9 hours of work
- 3-year warranty
- Inbuilt meter
- Descent Bluetooth capability
- Large oil staining box is present
- Smooth assembly of the parts
- Affordable costing
- Smart control panel
- Few users have faced unsaturation of the oil in the tool
- Some customers noticed there were issues while starting the generator. Even shutting down resulted as a result of weak surges.
9- Westinghouse Portable Quiet Generator 220 Watt Carb Inverter
It is a powerful and unique inverter which has been constructed thinking about any recreational user. There is the presence of two USB ports which can be attached with personal electronic appliances like mobile phones. You can use this inverter for any outdoor purpose. The less noise won’t disturb any of your nearby neighbors. The level of sound production is 52 DCB at a fuel load of 25%.
It is even safe for your cameras and high-end laptop while connecting during power outage times. The surge power is counted as 1700-1800 watts for power supply. Size of this inverter is small and compact. Mainly it is seen 5000 watts is sufficient for essential home tools like portable heaters, ac, etc. So if you are looking for a small generator during the emergency period, then this is an apt product for you.
With this tank, you can fill up only one gallon of fuel to get an efficient supply of backup power. The run time is around 7.8 hours, with a 50% load approximately. It can start with the manual recoiling process. For customer benefit, the portability is brilliantly designed. Automated monitoring of the electrical unit is effortless. Low fuel shutting off is another striking feature to go for this product. There is an automatic breaker for the circuits for overloading purpose. Control panel includes the necessary components like fuel warnings, levels of low oil, etc. to help you to keep a check continuously on the operation. Carb, EPA has certified this item. The manufacturers have given a 3year limited warranty for repair and replacements.
- 2 USB ports
- No noise
- Compact size
- 7.8 hours of smooth work
- Brilliant power back up
- Control panel
- Uncomplicated maintenance
- Approved by Carb, EPA
- 3-year warranty
- Rapid start technology
- Calm power generating product
- Superior quality and high end built
- Weak remote system
- Durability was another problem faced by few consumers
10- Pulsar Gas Carrying Powered Handles Portable 1200 Watts Generator, (White/Black)
Now bring your home an extensive designed strong power backup system which can work all day long without any complication. The power of the engine ranges around 1200 watts approximately. A single-cylinder can operate the whole system smoothly. This cylinder can be attached to other home electrical appliances, and your ears won’t get affected too. Recoiling start with the two-stroke engine method also ensures long-lasting durability for the users.
It has a small and compact design. For any outdoor activities or function, if you want, you can carry this lightweight generator with you. With the help of 1.1 gallons of fuel inside the tank, this machine can work for long 5-6 hours without any hazard. There are two outlets with the power back of a range of 120 V DC each for giving you enough space for powering the devices. The manufacturers have provided a one-year limited warranty on the product for user benefit. Very minimal noise is produced, which can be measured as 65DCB of sound.
There is the presence of a 12 voltage battery and a power cable for fast recharging option. Recoiling can be done anytime you want. The built of this generator consists of both steel and high-end plastic, which ensures long-lasting capability. An ergonomic handle and a plugging tool are there for moving the inverter in the house whenever there is any power outage.
- Black and white
- Engine power 1200 watts
- Singular cylinder
- Recoils fast
- 120 Volt Dc charge
- Two outlets
- 1-year warranty
- Overall nice generator
- Worth for money
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Superior quality and descent finish
- Few customers have opined that there is a smell of gasoline from the device
- Durability was also one of the issues
- Some users have faced difficulties in starting up the generator especially in the colder regions
The main thing which should be considered for any generator is the power measurements, run time, etc. Various types of portable generators are available in the market. However, before investing in the best portable generators, keep a check on the reviews that are available online. You can go through the price comparisons and specifications as well to get the appropriate item for your home.
Best Portable Generator 2020 Buying Guide
Electricity has become one of the peculiar things in our day to day life, and it has almost become impossible to live without it. Today, in the digital world, where everything works upon the electricity, a power outage can not only create hindrance in our work but can also, virtually, cease our life. In order to, not let the power outage create a barrier in our life, electricity storage units were made. These electricity units were called generators which converted the mechanical energy, acquired from an external source to electrical energy. Generators became the go-to solution for people facing trouble because of the electricity shortage or power cut.
Though useful, the original generators were very bulkier, and it was a task to get them to a start. With the developing technology, came the portable version of the electricity storage unit known as Portable generators. The introduction of portable generators created a bit of a sensation amongst the people as they were an appropriate solution to the power outage problem. Being portable, it was easy to carry them anyplace due to which the lack of electricity was hardly a problem.
A portable generator comes with an ample amount of uses, and in today’s world, where you cannot afford to have any interruption in your routine, these generators come handy. Though with technical advancements, there have been numerous elevated versions of a simple portable generator available in the market. While a portable generator can ease out many things for you, it becomes a tedious task to select one. With several variants available in the market, choosing the best portable generator for oneself can take a while.
In this guide, we have tried to consolidate all the information related to the portable generator that might help you in choosing the best portable generator.
Types Of Portable Generators
The portable generators can be categorized through various means like categorization based on fuel, categorization based on the mode of input, categorization based on start or classification based on size. While it is vital to own a portable generator, it is of utmost importance to understand its different types and then choose the best portable generator.
Categorization Based On Mode Of Input
Firstly, we will elaborate on the types of portable generator based upon their mode of input. As per the method of input, portable generators can be divided into three categories:
1. Conventional Portable Generators
These types of generators are the classic types. The conventional portable generator uses the mechanical energy produced by the consumption of fuel to generate the output of electrical power. A combustion engine is used in these types of generators to produce electricity. They are built in an open frame and thus, create noise during usage. A conventional generator works upon the old technology and uses the copper windings to produce electricity, which makes it bulkier to use.
Though being heavy and loud, the conventional generators offer a better ratio of price to power and can be used to serve countless purposes. Amongst the numerous uses of the conventional generator, few of them are enlisted below:
- Can be used at remote job sites
- As a backup power solution for emergencies
- At holiday homes or cabins
- Used by the companies that provide generator on rent
- For general home usage.
Also, while using conventional portable generators, few things should be kept in mind. It is crucial to maintain a speed of 3600 Rpm while using the generator to provide the standard amount of current. To manage or control the speed of the engine, a governor can be used.
2. Inverter Alternator Generators
The inverter generator works with the help of an engine to generate AC power output. Unlike other generators which use DC as their input and convert it into AC, inverter generator uses a rectifier which allows it to transform the AC into the DC. These generators depend upon the high technology magnets to produce the flow of charge and use advanced electronic circuitry. This sophisticated circuit works in three phases to produce electricity. It generates AC as of the output which is converted into DC using a rectifier, which is finally inverted gain into AC with the help of an alternator.
The inverter generator is built and stored inside a case which helps to reduce the noise. Thus, they tend to be noise-free and come in the compact sizing as compared to the conventional portable generators. Also, these generators are energy and fuel-efficient as they maintain a constant flow of current to an appliance and the engine adjusts its speed depending upon the amount of current required. Other than that, using proper equipment, we can alter the voltage and frequency of the AC as per the need.
Being light weighted and quiet, the inverter generators find their use in many places. Few of the applications of inverter generator are as following:
- Being portable can be used on a camping trip.
- Can be fitted into a car or a boat.
- It can be used in Tailgating
- Are perfect while planning a weekend party
- Have significant regular use at home and can be used as a power source for small appliances like TV, laptops, etc.
3. Solar Generator
The solar generator runs on the electricity which is produced using solar energy. These generators constitute of solar panels, battery charger, solar batteries, and inverter. Solar panels use solar energy and generate electricity as output. Battery charger uses the electricity generated by the solar panels to charge the generator battery. The batteries installed in this generator are solar batteries and power generated by the batteries is converted into the AC to be used by the appliances utilizing an inverter.
Though solar generators are noise-free, they come with solar panels handling which can become a task while carrying the generator. Also, the amount of energy stored in these generators is quite less as compared to the inverter or conventional portable generator. While being user-friendly, the solar generator can only be used to charge small devices or appliances like phones, lights, camp fridge, etc. If you are planning a camping trip at a remote location where you have minimal electricity requirement, a solar generator is the best choice for you. The lower levels of recurring electrical load make a solar generator the best portable generator to be used at remote locations.
Categorization Based On Fuel Source
Now, emphasizing upon the types of portable generators on the basis of the fuel used, these can be divided broadly into five categories:
1. Gasoline Fuel Generators
Gasoline fuel generators are the most common types of portable generators. It is due to the easy availability of gasoline along with the lower cost price of these generators. These generators use combustion engines to burn gasoline to produce electricity.
- Appropriate for portable generator models as they come in a compact size
- Easy availability of Gasoline
- Lower cost
- As electricity is required to pump gasoline, it is often unavailable during a power outage.
- Gasoline as a fuel is highly flammable
- The price of Gasoline is comparatively higher than other fuels
- Combustion gasoline produces high emissions.
- These generators do not have a long shelf life, and even gasoline can also be stored for less than a year.
- The Gasoline generators might create a problem while starting in cold weather.
2. Propane Fuel Generators
Propane fuel generators are less common as compared to gasoline fuel generators. This generator runs exclusively on propane gas. The propane generator comes with varied fuel tank sizes, which cause an impact upon the run time of the generator. These generators can be used to provide power backup for tankless water heaters as well.
- Burns with low emission
- Propane comes with a longer shelf life and can be stored for an infinite period. This reduces the chances of you running out of fuel at the time of power outage.
- Suitable for any environment and works well, even in wet places.
- Propane burns in a clean manner
- Fewer chances of spilling due to cylinder packaging
- Propane is required to be stored under pressure as it is highly flammable and can turn explosive at times.
- These generators have a complex fuel system and thus, are more prone to failures.
- The cost of installation of a propane generator is high.
- Propane fuel generator is comparatively expensive and requires triple the amount of fuel as compared to other fuel generators.
- Susceptible to low temperatures
3. Dual Fuel Generators
Dual fuel generators are one of the most versatile generators. These generators generally have two fuel tanks, where two different fuels can be stored and as per the necessity, the fuel can be chosen. There are numerous versions of dual fuel generators using a different combination of fuels. While most of the fuel combinations can be used in these generators, the most popular and efficient fuel combination is gasoline and propane. On the one hand, gasoline is readily available, and the usage of gasoline provides efficient results, and on the other hand, propane is more environment-friendly and has a long storage life.
- Provides you the choice on fuel to be burnt as per the need.
- Depending upon the size, dual fuel generators can even provide backup power supply to air conditioner
- Supplied with a transfer switch to change the fuel source
- Highly efficient
- The technology used varies with different variants, and at times it might be required to shut down the generator to change the fuel source
- Dual-fuel source can sometimes cause confusion
- Needs to be taken care while using outdoors
4. Hydrogen Fuel Generators
Since the past many centuries, research has been done to use hydrogen as a power source to generate electricity. Hydrogen has been quite a preferable source because of the benefits associated with it. Hydrogen can be found in abundance in our environment, which makes it readily available and does not have any harmful reaction, thus non-toxic. Also, apart from burning cleanly, the quantity of energy produced per pound is more than other fuel sources.
Despite being cheap, the hydrogen fuel generators are extremely rare in the market. Though having a minimal presence in the market, hydrogen fuel generators are incredibly safe to be used in any environment and even in laboratories as well. With their compact structure, they are portable and highly efficient.
- Abundantly available Hydrogen
- Burns in a clean manner leaving behind minimal residue
- More amount of energy produced as compared to other fuels
- Safe to be used
- Portable and highly efficient
- Minimal market presence
- Continuous experiments upon the generator raise reliability issues
5. Diesel Fuel Generators
Diesel as a fuel is as readily available as gasoline but is the least flammable compared to any other fuel source. If appropriately maintained, diesel fuel generators work efficiently and can last a long lifespan even when used rigorously. When compared to gasoline fuel generators, the diesel generators are a bit more expensive, but they provide an excellent ratio of the price to performance, making them affordable. Though compact in size, the diesel fuel generators use massive engines to operate, which makes them bulkier and less portable.
- Readily available fuel source
- Long lifespan
- Works efficiently even in adverse conditions
- Easy to use in cold environments
- Excellent power output and can be used to provide a backup power source for the heavy-duty appliances, including the air conditioner. Are also considered the best electric garage heater generator.
- Diesel can only be stored for 24 months
- Expensive while stored in large quantities
- Cannot be available at the time of power outage as diesel can only be pumped using electricity
- Produce high emissions, thus, impacting upon the environment
- Cannot be used in a wet environment as the fuel is ruined by moisture
- Bulkier due to heavy engines
Categorization Based On Size
Thirdly, portable generators can be classified based on their size. Here the size of the generator is not referred to as its dimensions but to the power of the generator. Based on the power output of the generator, it can be classified into three parts:
1. Lesser than 2000 Watts
The portable generators with the power output of 2000 Watts are very light in weight and can be easily carried in hand. With more secondary power output, these generators are best for providing backup power supply to smaller devices like charging the phone or lighting a bulb or heating infrared heaters. Since these are compact, they are perfect while traveling and provide electricity in emergencies. These portable generators can be inverter-based or fuel-based depending upon their design and configuration.
2. 2000 Watts to 7000 Watts
The power output of these portable generators can lie anywhere between 2000 to 7000 Watts. These generators come in varied sizes and designs depending upon the quantity of power generated. Most of the best portable generator lies in this category as they are not heavy enough to not to be carried around and provide an ample amount of power to light up a weekend party. The use of these generators also varies as per their size and the amount of power consumption. They can be used from charging a phone to proving power in a camping trip to providing backup power supply in an emergency at home.
3. More than 7000 Watts
These portable generators are the heavy-duty models, and their power output starts from 7000 Watts and can go to any maximum value. Since these generators generate a high amount of power, they can be used as a power backup for heavy electronics like an air conditioner, fridge, etc. They can also serve as the best electric garage heater generator as well. Though more the power generated, more prominent will be the dimensions of the generator. Being the most powerful, these portable generators are generally massive and often are enclosed in a protective design.
Classification Based On Starts
Numerous portable generators come with varied designs and technology. The one thing that is of significance while choosing a generator is the mode of start.
While dividing the portable generators based on the types of starts, there are three main categories:
1. Electric Start
These portable generators come with an electric start and have a circuit build within themselves that can be triggered using a switch. The switch provides the electrical signal to the engine to start its working. Most of the small portable generators come with an electric start.
2. Pull Start
Most of the heavy-duty or gasoline fuel generators come with a pull start mechanism. In these generators, recoil spring is attached to the clutch and the crankshaft of the engine. So, when the rope is pulled, the spring stretches out, thus engaging the clutch and turning the crankshaft resulting in starting the engine. These generators are required to be started manually every time they are needed.
3. Remote Start
There are a few of the portable generators which have access through the remote. They catch the signals of the remote and ignite the engine of the generator.
Voltage Regulation Types Used In Portable Generators
While using a portable generator, it is essential to consider whether or not it is providing a constant supply of current to the electronic devices. Since the generator in itself is rotating, it may become a task to provide a continuous power supply. However, it can be achieved using voltage regulation.
There are two main types of the voltage regulators available in the portable generators:
Automatic Voltage Regulation: The technology of the automatic voltage regulation (AVR) uses an assembly of sensors to monitor the speed of the engine. These sensors are also responsible for stabilizing the voltage of the generator.
Inverter Technology: Current portable generators use inverter technology to regulate the voltage, and the inverter technology is being considered as the best means for voltage regulation. The tension generated by the alternator is used by the electric components of the generator and is recreated. Thus, the recreated current by the inverter is considered to be a clean sine wave and is reckoned the perfect current flow. This technology is observed as the best solution while powering sensitive electronic devices like mobiles or laptops. It is also incorporated with the injection mechanism, where the speed of the engine is reduced during the lower loads.
Calculate The Run Time Of The Portable Generator
Portable generators are developed in a way to provide backup power supply at the time of power outage. Every generator is designed to run, uninterrupted, for a particular duration of time depending upon their design and fuel tank capacity. This time for which the generator can run uninterrupted is referred to as the run time.
The run time of the fuel-driven generators are measured in “Watts” and are often calculated at either half load, i.e., running the generator at 50% of its power capacity, or quarter load, i.e., running the generator at 25% of its power capacity, with a tank filled with fuel.
However, in the case of the solar generator, the run time is calculated in “WH” or Watts per Hour. In solar generators, with no fuel tank availability, the bigger the connecting loads, the more is the run time. Also significant is the number of sun hours required by the solar generator to charge completely. In solar generator with rechargeable batteries, the run time also depends upon the number of hours for the battery to fully charge.
Running Power and Surge Power
Every generator has two marks or levels in terms of power, referred to as running time and surge time. Both of these power levels are measured in “Watts.”
Running time, also referred to as running watts, is described by the capacity of a generator when ran over a continuous period.
While every appliance requires a continuous flow of power, they tend to consume more power while turning on. Surge power, also known as starting watts or starting power, is that extra amount of flow, held by the generators for a few seconds only, to cater to the need of the increased power by the appliances.
A transfer switch is an integral part of the generator which connects it to the home’s wiring through a utility grid. Often with a regular supply of electricity, there is a risk of the generator to turn on simultaneously. This may act as a circuit breaker and result in blown circuits or even fire. Transfer switch blocks the electricity supply to the generator, when not needed, to prevent it from starting gradually.
Another important reason to install a transfer switch in your generator is to prevent the backfeed. Backfeed is referred to as the movement of electric waves in a direction opposite to the normal flow. This can create life-threatening situations. It can occur if the generator is directly connected to the main outlet of the house or is plugged into the primary grid of the area.
Thus, to prevent any damage, it is always recommended to connect the generator to the main utility grid of the building using a transfer switch.
Types Of Outlets
Different portable generators come with a varied number of outlets. However, these outlets can, into two categories:
- 120 Volt with 20 Amp Plug
- 120/240 Volt with 30 Amp Plug
These outlets refer to their limit of the volts and amps to be fed. Each device and appliance requires a particular amount of amps and volts to get charged. It is to be kept in mind not to exceed this limit. Also, it is recommended to get a circuit breaker fitted into your generator to protect both the generator and the devices connected, in case of overload.
Also, regarding the number of outlets, it is advised to have multiple outlets in the portable generator. This is because different outlets help in spreading the load. So, when numerous devices are connected to a generator, several outlets help in stabilizing the power of the generator. Also, more the number of outlets with different limits, more devices with varied power requirements can be connected.
Add-On Features For The Portable Generator
Though it is difficult to get a perfect generator for yourself with all the features, it is crucial to have the best portable generator suiting your needs. In your quest to find the best portable generator for yourself, you can add some extra features to the generator to make it more user-friendly.
Following Features Can Be Added To The Portable Generator To Enhance Its Working:
Fuel Gauge: Fuel gauge helps you keep track of the amount of fuel left in the generator. It is essential to keep track of the leftover fuel tank not to let your generator run out of the fuel and leave you helpless in noise-free. As the design of each portable generator varies, it might become a cumbersome task to know the exact amount of the fuel left in the portable generator. This can be eased by installing a fuel gauge into your generator to allow you to keep visual track of the depleting levels of fuel.
Fuel Stabilizer: Though running out of fuel becomes a problematic situation; the same is the case with the leftover fuel in your generator. Every fuel has a particular lifespan to which it can be stored and after which it is ruined. The ruined fuel can have adverse effects on the portable generator. Also, it becomes an even clumsier task to try and empty the fuel tank. Thus, fuel stabilizers are added into the fuel which safeguards your generator from possible corrosion and also prevents the potential starting issues.
Mufflers: Unlike the solar generators and inverter generators, most of the fuel-driven generators make enormous noise while running. Even more the power of the portable generator, louder the noise becomes. This noise can create a nuisance, and even your neighbors can object to this unpleasing noise at the time of power outage. To reduce the sound of the generators, mufflers can fuel-efficient in various designs. Though mufflers don’t make the generator completely silent, they do reduce the noise to a great extent.
Push Start Battery: As studied in different types of starts, many portable generators come with a pull start mechanism. Pulling the rope requires excellent strength and can become a laborious task, especially when it is expected to be drawn numerous times. It can become a roadblock, particularly for older people. Though various portable generators, nowadays, come with electric start. However, if that is not the case, a battery can be installed in the generator with all the necessary wiring being directed to a button, which will act as a push start button.
Wireless Remote Start: Apart from the electric or pull-start, the present-day portable generators come with access to a wireless remote. This is a new feature and can be installed in your portable generator depending upon the design compatibility of the generator. Establishing this feature allows you to control your generator, from a distance, using a wireless key. The range can be extended anywhere up to 80 feet. These wireless remotes are beneficial for portable generators at the worksite.
FAQs On Best Portable Generator
With all the necessary information, we have tried answering a few frequently asked questions associated with the portable generators.What size of a portable generator do I need?
The size of the portable generator needed depends upon the utility of the portable generator. If you require the generator for heavy-duty purposes, it is advised to go for the one with maximum power capacity.What fuel is most efficient for a generator?
Diesel is reckoned to be the most efficient fuel for a generator offering the most energy per gallon as compared to any other fuel source.What appliances can you run on a 2000 Watt generator?
Almost all of the small electronic devices including the infrared heaters, mobile phones, laptops or lights, can be run on a 2000 Watt generator.Are Inverter Generators better?
Inverter generators have some advantages over the fuel-driven generators worksite including fuel efficiency, environment-friendly as they do not leave any residue and noise-free.What are the best portable generator brands available?
Few of the best portable generator brands available in the market include DuroStar, Honda, WEN, Westinghouse, Yamaha, PowerPro, Champion and Briggs & Stratton.What is the best home generator you can buy?
Numerous brands provide best in the market home generators, including Kohler, Champion, Generac, and Briggs & Stratton.
With varied designs and varieties of portable generators available in the market, it becomes imperative to choose the right one for yourself. It can only be done when you are entirely aware of the usage for which you require the portable generator. Different designs of the portable generators cater to an altered use. Thus, to extract the most out of the portable generator, it is crucial to understand your need and then shortlist the generator, keeping in mind all the above specifications.
We have tried to assimilate all the necessary information about the portable generators, including their various types and the fundamental features required to be included in them. We hope that this information will help you find the best portable generator to cater to every need of yours.