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Old 08-22-2014, 02:16 PM
wisconsin_newbie wisconsin_newbie is offline
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Default Inverter generator vs normal generator



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I am wondering what the benefits of a inverter generator vs a normal generator are? Is it worth extra money for a inverter generator?
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:30 PM
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A inverter generator can idle down when the load is low thus saving fuel. This also makes them quieter. A inverter generator produces a more pure sign wave (less harmonic distortion) than most 2 pole small generators that you find in the old regular generators. This makes for better motor starting and less problems with some electronic devices.

Now whether those are needed benefits could be debated when it comes to total economic cost of use. Most of the old style will do just fine and some have rather sophisticated voltage regulation and governors added.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:38 PM
technoprepper technoprepper is offline
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Less fuel consumption under light load
Less noise under light load
Cleaner more stable power but there is some high frequency noise
Some allow multiple generators to be synchronized and ganged together

Inverter generators throttle back the engine to low speed under light load. This reduces fuel consumption and noise. Other generators can't do this as it would change frequency.
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:39 PM
Mtnhooch Mtnhooch is offline
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Depends on your needs. A normal generator produces power and the production of that power depends on the alternator turning at the proper speed. So when you load it that is why you hear the governors open on the engine in order to keep it turning at the proper speed. The power it produces is fine for most things you will power with a generator such as a freezer or power tools. The problem comes in when you want to power sensitive electronics such as charging your cell or laptop. The power is "dirty" and can cause real problems and damage to sensitive electronics. An inverter generator uses an alternator to produce 3 phase AC power. It then feeds the AC into a rectifier which converts it to DC. A microprocessor is used to "smooth out" the DC current and "clean" it up. The DC is then fed thru an inverter which converts it back to 120/240 AC for your use. The AC produced by the inverter is a nice clean, smooth sine wave which is safe for your more sensitive loads. Another benefit to an inverter is that they don't sit and scream along at 3600 RPM all day long. Since the voltage is regulated thru the rectifier/inverter it produces proper voltage even at a lower rpm. So when you don't load it heavily it doesn't need to operate as fast. That is kinda oversimplified. but that's the jist of the difference. An inverter is of course considerably higher priced. It depends on what you need it for. I hear that the price has become more reasonable on the smaller models.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:10 PM
VictorHill VictorHill is offline
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I know this is an old post, But I jus had to comment for anyone else may need the answer.
It depends on your using purpose. If you use it as home backup power, the answer is a portable generator (normal type) or standby generator (it tends to cost much more money). The portable unit provides more powerful performance at reasonable cost, however, it always comes with a common issue: Noisy. and It's relatively bulky.

On the other hand, The Inverter units provide the safest source of electric power for expensive and power-sensitive appliances such as TVs and computers. The reason is such equipment require pure sine-wave type and hence stable-AC power source that does not surge at all. but it slightly higher price.
Below are the two reviews about Portable & Inverter Generator, you may want to take a look, to find out the best one suit your need:
Best Inverter Generator Reviews: http://trustworthypower.com/best-inv...rator-reviews/
Best Portable Generator Reviews: http://trustworthypower.com/best-por...rator-reviews/
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Old 07-26-2016, 02:05 PM
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I used my Inverter generator the other night . Worked great, was very quiet and used hardly an gas. Had it on for about 2 hrs till power came back on. Had very low draw.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:02 PM
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Used mine today for ab couple of hours. Lost power. Ran the fridge, tv, Internet. Eco mode
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:15 PM
Wellcraft1 Wellcraft1 is offline
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I just bought a Model #100302 3500-Watt Digital Hybrid for a backup for my 20+ year old unit. It is 50% quieter and it's a inverter generator. It's an open design so a little louder than the small ones. It's great on gas too. Any way I really like it and I think you will see more of them in the coming years.
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Old 01-17-2018, 07:26 PM
rmaples rmaples is offline
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Inverter generators have more parts to break but are quieter and give power similar to a utility. While higher quality non-inverter generators can be repaired fairly easily, inverter generators are much more expensive to repair and some models are cheaper to replace than to repair. Normal generators provide 60hz power by running at 3600rpm so they have to run at full speed to be functional. Inverter generators only need to idle up full speed if the load makes it necessary.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:43 PM
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Couple of things alternators and generators are 2 different animals. One makes DC and the other makes ac. A cheaper solution and safe power for sensitive electronics maybe as safe or better, get a small horizontal shaft gasoline engine 5 plus hp depending on hp needed for automotive alternator. Buy some good deep cycle batteries and an inverter. You can make the charging system portable and it can be used to boost cars etc. Just an alternative solution for the DIY folks. There are plans right here on the forum someplace.
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Old 01-18-2018, 05:50 PM
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also for noise reduction plumb your exhaust into a barrel of water, all you hear is bubbling.
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Old 01-18-2018, 07:36 PM
rmaples rmaples is offline
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Gulcher, I've been using an auto alternator connected by belt to a 5hp motor for years and really love the way it works. I've made a dozen of them for friends and relatives and sold a few. It's a great battery charger but also can be used as a 12vdc power source for people who have 12volt loads like people with RVs. I'm using cs130d and ad244 alternators and on the larger units pull the 3phase power off of the stator and use a wind generator rectifier so if there's a rectifier failure you don't have to take the alt apart to do repairs. Most people refer to generators and alternators as the same device because when you buy a generator you are really buying an alternator.
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Old 01-18-2018, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmaples View Post
Gulcher, I've been using an auto alternator connected by belt to a 5hp motor for years and really love the way it works. I've made a dozen of them for friends and relatives and sold a few. It's a great battery charger but also can be used as a 12vdc power source for people who have 12volt loads like people with RVs. I'm using cs130d and ad244 alternators and on the larger units pull the 3phase power off of the stator and use a wind generator rectifier so if there's a rectifier failure you don't have to take the alt apart to do repairs. Most people refer to generators and alternators as the same device because when you buy a generator you are really buying an alternator.
A generator produces dc which is excited to ac. an alternator produces a/c only which is rectified to dc. You can have a a/c generator which is a specialized generator, actually an induction motor used to generate ac under special application. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6R0lWflTss
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Old 01-19-2019, 05:05 PM
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One way to use a regular generator and get "clean" power for electronics is to connect a Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) between the generator and the sensitive electronic load. Depending on the type of UPS you buy it can produce a pure sine wave or simulated sine wave, for most sensitive electronics either will work.

Using a UPS doesn't help with the fuel savings or quietness of a true, high quality inverter generator but for the many hundreds of dollars cheaper it is you can burn a lot of gas to make up the difference.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:05 AM
vf750rider vf750rider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorHill View Post
The Inverter units provide the safest source of electric power for expensive and power-sensitive appliances such as TVs and computers. The reason is such equipment require pure sine-wave type and hence stable-AC power source that does not surge at all.
I'm no electronics expert - dangerous knowledge at best. So I think ...

These "sensitive" devices are always listed as computers or computerized appliances. But these devices all take 120vAC and convert to 12v+/- and 5v+/- DC within their own internal power supplies anyway. Doesn't this internal power supply regulate incoming AC voltage through capacitors or whatnot to produce clean DC output voltage anyway? So ... is such a "clean pure sine wave" really needed? Or could this all be just hype so you'll be vary and buy more expensive generator?

I'm sure someone somewhere has ran a Radio Shack TRS Model III for many hours on a standard old 1980's generator without issue.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:13 PM
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Just got my 3000 watt Coleman generator running yesterday. Cost me a new carburetor. Had not been started for 5 years.
I had used it to run power tools and lights. Now that I have retired, the only use is to keep refrigerators running. My question is - Is this generated power clean enough for the new refers? Ours have electronic control, led lights in the doors, etc.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:48 PM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulcher View Post
A generator produces dc which is excited to ac. an alternator produces a/c only which is rectified to dc. You can have a a/c generator which is a specialized generator, actually an induction motor used to generate ac under special application. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6R0lWflTss
I think the guy who posted this video on Youtube is retarded. Most likely a cab driver who dreams of being an engineer. Don't believe everything posted on this site, since it's easy to act like an expert if no one can check your qualifications.
If inverter generators are the only ones suitable for essential, life-threatening tasks like charging phones, then you are risking your life if you plug your phone charger into a wall socket, because public utilities do not use inverters. If non-inverter generators could damage "sensitive" devices, then there wouldn't be any sensitive devices left.
I used to work for a company that installed commercial backup generators in places like hospitals and nursing homes, and I've never even heard of an inverter generator being used.
People who post buzz phrases like "cleaner power," and "lower harmonic distortion," are quoting the advertisements manufacturers propagate to try to get you to pay twice as much for an inverter generator. If you want to see what harmonic distortion is, plug an oscope into your wall outlet during a thunderstorm. If you needed "clean power" to charge a phone, then you had better not use chargers that plug into your vehicles electrical system, since what's coming out of the alternator is about as unfiltered as you can get. Consider the number of people who charge phones, laptops, DVD players, portable TVs, tablets and who knows what else using adapters that plug into a cigar lighter.
Remember that the main cost of manufacturing both types of generator is labor and parts, and it doesn't cost anywhere near twice as much to build an inverter generator. I know because I've repaired dozens of both types. The main advantage of an inverter generator is that it is quieter and uses less fuel as long as you do not utilize its total capacity. A generator is a very simple device that converts mechanical energy provided by a gasoline motor into electrical energy provided by the generator, in this case. Hydroelectric generators use water to spin the generator. Fossil and nuclear plants use steam to spin a turbine which spins the generator.
If you think that normal generators are too loud, and cost isn't an issue, then buy an inverter generator. The same goes for fuel burn. They are very popular at campgrounds and other places where people don't want to hear the constant 3600rpm growl of a non-inverter generator.
If ruggedness, capacity and repairability matter more than noise, or cost is the dominant factor, buy a non-inverter generator.
I have a small inverter generator that I use for things like camping trips and family, church and other social gatherings. The lower noise was worth the extra cost.
For power outages and heavy duty work, I stick with the other version because noise isn't a controlling factor, I get more watts for each buck, and I can repair most problem using parts that are available locally.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:08 AM
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I manage utility maintenance for a southern city in the U.S. I just spec'd and ordered 10 more emergency generators for pump station backup. All are diesel, none are inverters and all will power sensitive computerized electronic controls for the pumps. I have diesel primarily (30kW-1750kW), some smaller portable gasoline (5.5-6.5kW), and one propane (22kW). I do however have one small gasoline inverter unit (2kW) used for my portable diesel fuel maintenance trailer...and our annual Christmas parade float.
Inverters aren't really needed except for noise reduction and decreased fuel consumption.

Folks would be horrified at the quality of utility power. I've had quite a few issues with supposedly clean utility power until I confront the utility rep with data from my power analyzer/logger. Only then will they make adjustments. Normal 3600 rpm gensets are fine for short term emergency use. They are not designed for "prime" or long term 24/7 power generation however. 1800 rpm water cooled diesels use the least amount of fuel for this application and will run with no issue indefinitely...if properly maintained.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:10 AM
chuckklr98 chuckklr98 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randolphrowzeebragg View Post
I think the guy who posted this video on Youtube is retarded. Most likely a cab driver who dreams of being an engineer. Don't believe everything posted on this site, since it's easy to act like an expert if no one can check your qualifications.
.

Wow, you hit the nail on the head. The ones claiming to be experts , also tend to be prolific posters with higher than normal post counts, bash you if you dare to question their wisdom.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:42 AM
Brettny Brettny is offline
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You can get the same quality of power and better fuel economy than the honda Eu2000i with a quality mep 802 diesel generator. Its actualy cheaper to buy per KW than a honda, have filters (thats a good thing) and an hour meter.

Many of these consumer grade generators dont even have a oil filter or hour meter. Its one thing if your buying new but buying used is a coin flip. Does it have 10hrs or 1,000hrs..
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