Is an inverter the same as a generator? And is an inverter generator different from both of them? The answer to both questions is yes. It’s not as confusing as it sounds, though. Here’s what you need to know.
The standard gas- or diesel-powered portable generator has been around for a while—and it’s what most people think of when they want or need portable electricity. The RPM of the engine fluctuates, and so does the electrical output. Not necessarily good for sensitive equipment like computers.
Portable inverters usually aren’t power sources. You hook them up to a DC source—like your car battery—and they “invert” this direct current to the 120-volt AC power most things run on.
Inverter generators combine both of these processes. The power generation is created by a gas or diesel engine. It puts out AC current like a standard portable generator. But then the current is converted to DC (as if it were coming from a battery), and then finally “inverted” back to AC.
Why? It’s “clean” AC power. Sensitive and expensive equipment like computers need it.
Inverter generators use the technologies of both. If you want “clean” portable power, make sure you purchase a true inverter generator.
|Rank||Inverter/Generator||Watt Rated A/C Output||Continuous Operation||Noise Level|
|1||Yamaha EF2000i SV2||1600 Watt||10.5 Hours at 1/4 Load Rate||51.5 - 61 dBA||CHECK PRICE|
|2||Honda EU 20001||1600 Watt||8.1 Hours at 1/4 Load Rate||53 dBA||CHECK PRICE|
|3||WEN 56200i||1600 Watt||6 Hours at 1/2 Load Rate||51 dBA||CHECK PRICE|
|4||Westinghouse WH2400i||2100 Watt||11 Hours at 1/4 Load Rate||59 dBA||CHECK PRICE|
|5||Generac 6719IX Series||2000 Watt||4.7 Hours at 1/4 Load Rate||-||CHECK PRICE|
1. Yamaha EF2000i SV2
Customers love the equal amounts of power and quiet this inverter generator offers. It weighs less than 45 pounds and has a cool, retro design. But it’s packed full of the latest technology. The Yamaha EF2000iSv2 features Pulse Width Modulation (PWM). Generated voltage stability is within ± 1%, and frequency stability is ± 0.1 HZ. That’s as clean as or cleaner than public utilities power.
2. Honda EU 20001
Take this quiet 2,000-watt portable inverter generator anywhere with you. Tipping the scales at 46 pounds, it’s perfect for camping, or as an emergency backup in the house. A single tank of gas will provide power for anywhere from 3 to 8 hours, depending on the load. The top handle makes it easy to transport.
3. WEN 56200i
Not all portable inverter generators are CARB compliant. If you want to use one of these portable power generators in California, you’ll have to make sure it is. The WEN has that seal of approval, and it’s a wise choice if you’re looking for a portable power source to keep your electronic devices running. This model has what it calls an “Eco-Mode,” which maximizes fuel consumption based on the load.
4. Westinghouse WH2400i
[7Mavericks link is to a different product] The Westinghouse brand name has been around for generations, and it stands for quality. This compact, quiet inverter generator has a 1.3-gallon gas tank that delivers up to 13 hours of clean, dependable power when it’s at 25% load. It features 2 120-volt AC outlets, and one 12-volt DC power plug. You can run 2 of them in a parallel mode for up to 3,600 watts of power.
5. Generac 6719IX Series
Don’t stick your nose up at factory-reconditioned products. In the case of this Generac model, you’ll get an amazing deal on an inverter generator that’s every bit as good as ones costing almost twice the price. The compact design provides up to 2,000 watts of “clean” power. You’ll even appreciate the bright orange color. The unit is so small that you might otherwise trip over it!