Overview | Best Inverter Generator
Before listing what we feel may be the best inverter generator available on the market today, it’s important to understand what inverter generators are as well as how conventional generators work. It is also important to understand what inverters are and how inverters work. Conventional generators have been around for a while and for many years, they have worked on the same basic concept i.e. they have an energy source which is usually fossil fuel like gasoline, diesel or propane. The generators also have a motor attached to an alternator that produces electricity. The generators also have motors which run at a constant speed usually 3600 rpm to produce standard current ideal for most household applications i.e. 120 volts AC @ 60Hertz.
Inverter generators are relatively recently created generators made possible thanks to advancements in electronic circuitry and high-tech magnets. Inverter generators are 3-phase generators like most conventional generators but the AC current they produced is converted to DC current first before being converted back (inverted) to clean AC current which maintains a single phase pure sine wave at a specific voltage and frequency.
How do inverters work?
Inverters take the raw power produced by generators and use a special microprocessor to condition that power via a multi-step process. The power generation process starts when a generator’s alternator produces high voltage multi-phase AC power which is then converted into DC power. In inverter generators, the DC electricity is converted back to AC by an inverter. Apart from conversion, the inverter smoothes, stabilizes as well as cleans the power to produce high quality electricity. Inverters feature a special microprocessor which controls the entire process among other things i.e. the speed of the motor. In the end, inverters help to produce power which is clean enough to run the most sensitive electronics.
Top benefits of inverter generators
There are many reasons why you should choose inverter generators over conventional/traditional generators. Below are some of the top reasons;
1. Better quality power
This is by far one of the most notable benefits of inverter generators over conventional generators. It’s worth noting that conventional generators are simply engines connected to alternators. The engines run at a specific speed to produce the desired AC frequency regardless of the load. The output from the alternator is directly connected to the load without any processing. Inverter generators have a more efficient alternator which produces AC power like the conventional generator but features a rectifier which converts the AC electricity to DC, capacitors which smoothen out the electricity and an inverter which converts the DC electricity back to very clean and consistent AC power of a desired frequency and voltage. Inverter generators also do a very good job in regulating power.
The power produced is independent of the motor speed. The quality of power produced by inverter generators is similar to what power companies distribute to homes making it safe to use even for the most sensitive appliances/electronics. Inverter generators can power computers, printers, Smartphones, TVs, DVD players, Kitchen appliances and many other appliances/electronics that require high quality and stable power. This makes inverter generators the safest power source for sensitive appliances and electronics. Using unstable and/or unclean power to power sensitive electronics may cause malfunctions or even complete damage.
2. Better fuel efficiency
Inverter generators also have better fuel efficiency than conventional generators. The best inverter generators can run for 7 to 8 hours on 1 to 1.5 gallons of fuel. The generators feature fuel efficient technologies that allow the generator motor to adjust speed automatically producing power only when it is needed. While conventional generators have to run at a constant speed, usually 3600 RPM to produce 60 hertz electricity, inverter generators are capable or running much slower while maintaining the frequency and power needed at any given time. The best inverter generator will consume less fuel (sometimes up to 40% less than conventional generators) since their motors don’t have to run full speed constantly. This also attracts other benefits such as reduced exhaust emissions.
3. Silent operation
Inverter generators also produce less noise than their older counterparts. The best inverter generators are designed to be comparatively quiet from the ground up. They feature quieter engines, sound-dampening technology and special mufflers to reduce noise to very low levels. In addition, they produce less noise since they don’t have to run full speed.
4. Lighter and more portable
Inverter generators are way smaller and lighter than conventional generators which makes them more portable. Most measure a few cubic feet and weigh 30 to 50 pounds which is way lighter than all conventional generators. The generators also feature great portability features such as handles and wheels that make it extremely easy to carry them from one place to another by hand. Most conventional generators are bulky and heavy. They also don’t have great portability features which makes them ideal for few applications.
5. Parallel operation
Inverter generators also allow parallel operation i.e. one inverter generator can be paired up with another to double the power capacity. You can connect two inverter generators with the same wattage and amperage to come up with a larger generator and all this can be achieved without compromising the benefits i.e. the generators will still be quiet and fuel efficient. All you need is a special cable for connecting your two inverter generators. Conventional generators don’t have this unique capability. The only way to increase power capacity is to buy a larger generator.
Inverter generators may cost slightly more, however, their benefits clearly outweigh those of conventional generators.
Choosing an inverter generator | best inverter generator
There are many considerations you need to make to ensure you end up with the best inverter generator for you. Below are the main factors to consider;
1. Your needs/application:
There are many types of inverter generators mostly depending on capacity. To choose the best inverter generator, you need to assess your needs as well as possible applications. For instance, are you buying an inverter generator to power your home during emergency situations or you are buying one to use for small powering applications when you go camping, fishing etc.? There are all kinds of inverter generators for meeting any kind of application you can think off. It’s therefore important to assess your needs first.
2. Customer reviews:
You also need to consider what other people are saying about the inverter generator you want to buy for you to be sure it is the right one for you. Customer reviews are great sources of first hand information about products. Once you have a list of potential inverter generators that appear to meet your needs or potential applications, you can go online and look for reviews on those generators to be able to make an informed decision. Review let you know everything you should know about something before you actually buy it. You should however stick to customer reviews from verifiable sources/real people since there are many biased reviews online. Amazon.com is a great source of accurate reviews. You can start there.
It’s also important to consider the price when choosing an inverter generator. Although inverter generators tend to be more expensive than conventional generators, this shouldn’t be mistaken to mean that you should be exploited. The best inverter generators are reasonably priced based on similar generators in the market as well as other factors such as their features. It’s always good to stick to your budget but don’t be afraid to get value for money. Pay attention to the features to establish if you are getting value for your money. For instance, an inverter with a lower noise level, higher run-time, remote capabilities is bound to be more expensive than a generator lacking such features.
Now that you know the most important things to consider when choosing inverter generators, it’s time to look at the best selling/top rated inverter generators on Amazon.
Best inverter generator | Product Reviews
1. Honda EU2000I 2000-Watt Super-Quiet Inverter generator
The Honda EU2000I inverter generator has to be the best selling/top rated inverter generator on Amazon given its impressive rating of 4.6/5 after 134 reviews. Is it the best inverter generator on the market? Lets look deeper at the specs. Almost everyone who has bought this inverter generator loves it and here’s why;
· Super silent operation: The generator produces 53-59 decibals of sound only during operation which is less noise than your typical inverter generator
· Impressive run time: The generator can run for 8.1 hours on a full tank of fuel (0.95 gallons)
· High power output: 120V, 2000W Max
· Lightweight: Weighs 46 pounds only
· Small and compact: Measures 11.4 by 16.75 by 20.13 inches
· Recoil starting system
· Automatic oil alert: The generator shuts down automatically when the oil level is very low
· Circuit protection: Has features to prevent overloading
· Parallel operation: Can be used alongside another identical generator to offer twice as much power.
· Produces high quality and stable power ideal for the most sensitive appliances, electronics and gadgets.
· Reasonable price: The Honda EU2000I is very cheap compared to other inverter generators with less impressive features.
2. Champion Power 75537i 3100-Watt RV Ready Portable Inverter Generator with Wireless Remote Start
The Champion Power 75537i 3100-Watt generator could be the best inverter generator on Amazon given the fact that the generator has a 4.4/5 rating after 118 reviews (at time of writing). The generator is highly rated because of its impressive features which include but aren’t limited to;
· Wireless remote start: You can start and stop the Champion Power 75537i remotely provided you are within 80 feet of the generator.
· Powerful engine: Runs on a 171cc Champion engine.
· Quiet operation: Like the Honda EU2000I costs, the Champion Power 75537i is also quiet producing a maximum of 58Dba.
· Multipurpose: The Champion Power 75537i is perfect for campsites, cabins, RVs and any other typical indoor and outdoor lighting/powering application you can think of.
· High power: Produces a maximum of 3100 watts starting power and 2800 watts running power
· Impressive run-time: Runs up to 8 hours on a full tank of fuel (1.6 gallon tank)
· Parallel operation: Can be used alongside another identical generator to offer twice as much power.
· Has RV-ready outlets: The generator has 120v, 30A RV, 2-120V household and 12v DC outlets
· High quality, clean and stable power: <3% THD. Ideal for powering sensitive electronics
· Lengthy warranty/FREE technical support: Comes with a 2-year limited warranty as well as FREE lifetime technical support.
· Affordable price
3. Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart Series Portable 2200 Watt Inverter Generator with Parallel Capability
Definately among the best inverter generator on Amazon. The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 has 4.4/5 rating out of 71 customer reviews.
· Fuel efficient: Features a 11 cc OHV engine which produces 2200 watts starting power and 1700 watts running power.
· Parallel capability: Can be used alongside another identical generator to offer twice as much power.
· Produces high quality power: The Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 produces less than 3 percent total harmonic distortion which makes the generator extremely safe for powering the most sensitive electronics from laptops to gaming systems and Smartphones.
· Fuel efficient: Takes 8 hours to consume one gallon of fuel when operating at 25% load
· Unmatched usability: Has USB ports to allow charging portable electronics like Smartphones while on the go.
· Quiet operation: Produces a maximum of 59db of noise which is quieter than your typical inverter generator.
· Portable: Weighs 55 pounds only and measures 19.9 by 14.4 by 22.4 inches in length width and height respectively. Also features a handle for easy transportation from one place to the other.
· Very affordable: Great price compared to most inverter generators in the market today with fewer outstanding features.
4. Generac 6866 iQ2000, 1600 Watts/2000 Watts starting, Gas Powered Quiet Portable Inverter Generator
Another top / best inverter generator in the market today. The Generac 6866 iQ2000 boasts of having a 4.0/5 rating after 71 reviews on Amazon. Here’s why the generator is one of the best inverter generators in the market today.
· Quiet operation: The generator’s engine regulates speed depending on the electrical demand which results in very little noise overall. The generator is CARB Compliant. Meets the strictest clean air guidelines. Has been 3rd party tested and proven to produce less noise than most competing models.
· Portable: The Generac 6866 iQ2000 weighs less than 50 pounds making it easy to carry around. The generator is also compact (measures 20 by 12.6 by 16.9 inches in length, width and height) which is sizeable for applications requiring movement.
· Good runtime: The generator can run for 7.7 hours straight on a full tank at 25% load.
· Easy to use: The generator has an easy PowerDial startup feature that makes it very easy to start, run and stop. The generator also features turbo, standard and economy switches which make it easier to regulate fuel consumption and noise.
· Parallel ready: Generator can be connected to another identical generator to double the capacity.
· Status indicators: The Generac 6866 iQ2000 has indicators that warn you when the generator is overloaded, overheating or has low fuel/oil.
· Smart LED dashboard: The generator also has an LED display that displays the remaining run-time and fuel level. This dashboard helps you verify status indicator information. Generator also indicates wattage being produced.
· Great price: The Generac 6866 iQ2000 is way cheaper than many competing inverter generators in the market today.
I hope this guide help you fine the best inverter generator for your needs. Continue your research by reading lots of customer reviews on Amazon or other sellers.