Most people are confused regarding what to pick between an inverter and a generator. The choice, however, depends on various factors like cost. Requirements, power availability, the frequency of power cuts, etc. one must always choose wisely between the both as the wrong choice can lead to other unwanted effects. Let’s take a look at which one is better for which time and which one you should pick based on your power requirements.
What’s A Generator?
Generators are age-old machines which comprise energy sources like gasoline, diesel, propane, or any other fossil fuel. Now the generator uses this energy source for powering up a motor which remains attached to the alternator and produces electricity. For standard household requirements, the speed of the engine should be about 300 rpm. Generators are cheap and are the easiest way to supply power to your household when there is a power cut. Some of the good features of generators are –
- Electric Start – Electric start generators are the best as they require no extra effort to start it.
- Fuel Shutoff System – This amazing feature of the generators save the fuel from getting stuck inside the fuel system, and thus it helps the fuel to be stored for a longer period.
- Cheap – Generators are inexpensive, so it’s a cheaper solution for power cuts.
- Portability – Not all generators are portable. However, the generators which generate lesser powers are often portable as they have wheels attached.
What’s An Inverter?
The inverter functions by drawing power from a DC source and then by converting that DC power to AC using a complex electronic circuit. Examples of DC power sources are things like car batteries or solar panels. The voltage can then be converted according to the requirements of the people using, they can be modified in various voltages, frequencies, etc. commonly inverters are found to convert DC supply voltage of 12 volts to 120 VAC power that is needed by most of the household appliances. Let’s take a look at some of the features of these inverters –
- Charging Time – Inverters have a charging time which they need to charge up the battery. Once charged fully it can power for hours.
- Battery Voltage – Inverters are available in various voltages of the batter, so one gets a wide range of options to choose from.
- Portable – Inverters are really easy to carry around. So they are mostly used for household purposes in urban areas.
- Display – Inverters have LCD displays which are a major benefit as one can check the amount of battery that is available and adjust the load accordingly.
Inverter Vs Generator – A Comparison
The differences between these two things are based on a lot of factors like the amount of money one wants to spend, the no. of appliances it can power and so on. Some of the most important factors which must be discussed are –
- Portability – Power inverters are really small as compared to the generators. So even if they carry a lot of power they are really portable from one place to another. The best part is that inverters can easily fit inside a car. Generators, however, are bulky and tend to be heavy. They are to be mounted on a frame that contains wheels. Thus if you need the power supply to be stationary buy a generator otherwise go for an inverter.
- Efficiency – Generators keep all the appliances running with the amount of power that they produce. However, inverters have shorter fuel tanks. So the runtime is also limited, but due to the engines which are fuel efficient, they can save as much as 540% of that fuel. 10 hrs is the average run time of inverters, thus making them suitable for household applications, for bit industries, generators are however preferred.
- Noise Level – Here is where generators lag behind inverters. Generators are really noisy as they run at a constant speed. It can cause harm to the environment and passersby. Inverters, however, are really silent and they produce a barely audible noise, they can also adjust the power production so they are a lot quieter than the traditional generators.
- Quality Of Power – Generators are simply engines which run at a constant speed to produce the desired electricity. The output of the alternator goes to the load directly without undergoing any kind of processing. In case of the inverter, since the DC is converted to AC current the DC capacitors perform the task of smoothing out the current before converting it into AC. So much cleaner power is generated by inverters. The power quality of both, however, is very similar.
- Price – Generators are really cheap in comparison with the inverters. The cost of repair, as well as maintenance, is also really less. Inverters can be a bit pricey but they are convenient and quieter give you the scope to control your power. Generators are used in a place where a high power output is required at low costs.
- Parallel Operation – Invertors can be connected with other inverters in parallel and then a lot more power can be produced by the parallel inverters. Generators cannot be connected in parallel so they will give a fixed power output.
Each of these two devices has pros and cos. It all depends on what feature the user needs. If one simply needs a lot of power and if budget is tight then one can consider opting for generators as they are best for them, however of quiet operation, cleaner surrounding, convenience to carry and clearer power are priorities than inverters are exactly what they should consider buying. Inverters are also for households while generators are more suited for factories and other places of high power requirement. Both of these devices will be of immense help to you in times of need. So choose according to your requirements and that way you will get the best option for yourself.