What is an inverter generator?
What is an inverter generator? You may probably someone talk about it, maybe heard about its high price, or may heard about its feature of low noise. Let me introduce it briefly, so you can have a general understanding of this generator. An inverter generator is an inverter that provides cleaner, safer power to your sensitive electronics. It is more compact, quieter and more energy efficient than traditional generators, but is usually more expensive.
If you’re still wondering what it is, we’ll analyze in more detail how variable frequency generators work, and how to properly select and use them.
The features of inverter generator
- The working speed of the inverter generator can be changed in a wide range, so it can be better matched with the generator to achieve the purpose of saving fuel.
- The generator can work in the high speed area, so it outputs the same power, and the weight and volume of the generator are much smaller.
- The working speed of the alternator is high, and the generator also reduces the weight and volume.
How does an inverter generator work?
Before explaining how inverter generators work, let’s first understand how all generators generate electricity.
Inverter generators are also called digital generators, it has two main parts – the engine and the alternator. The engine works by burning fuel, such as gasoline or propane, and turning the shaft, the generator uses gasoline or diesel power to drive the flywheel permanent magnet rotor to rotate at high speed to cut the stator magnetic field lines to generate induced potential, and output AC voltage, generally between 260V and 400V. At this time, the voltage and frequency are unstable. The rectifier converts the alternating current into direct current, samples the current and voltage through the chip DSP or SCM of the inverter, and comprehensively calculates and controls the PMW of the IGBT and the power throttle stepping motor to input a stable civil voltage and frequency.
In the entire power generation process of the inverter generator, the frequency converter plays a core role:
1. Rectification function, convert AC high frequency power into DC power.
2. The sampled output current and voltage signals are returned to the DSP processor.
3. Adjust the speed according to the different loads, try to achieve constant frequency and constant voltage.
4. Control the PMW pulse width output of the IGBT.
5. Set up multiple protection functions, short circuit protection, overload protection, overcurrent protection.
The core components of the inverter generator:
3. Wound stator
4. Permanent magnet flywheel
5. Stepper motor
What is the difference between a generator and an inverter?
A generator is an electrical device that produces electricity that can be used as an emergency power source for home power or high-power services. An inverter is an electronic device that converts direct current to alternating current. A portable device that connects to a battery or set of batteries.
Generators are the main source of mechanical energy and require fuel to work. General production uses gasoline, diesel, propane as fuel. An inverter converts stored electrical energy into standard current. Use inverters to convert power from solar panels and wind turbines to AC mains, as AC power is better suited for transmission over long distances.
Generators can withstand heavy loads of heavy electrical equipment and have high capacity. They are not trivial during power outages and are more tolerant of extreme power spikes. Inverters are low-capacity devices that are more suitable for home use and have an automatic shutdown function.
Generators running on diesel, gasoline require regular maintenance. Gasoline and diesel have a short shelf life, ranging from one to two years if properly maintained. And the generator makes more noise when in use. Inverters usually require little or no maintenance because they contain simple circuits that convert direct current directly to alternating current.
In general, generators are complex, high-capacity, heavy-duty devices that use mechanical energy from outside and convert it into electrical energy and generate electricity. An inverter is a low-power device that draws power from a stationary DC source and uses a microprocessor to convert the DC to AC. Inverters can be used to power all modern household appliances such as lights, TVs, refrigerators, etc. Generators typically run on gasoline, propane or diesel.
Is an inverter generator better than a regular generator?
Inverters and generators have different advantages and disadvantages in different usage scenarios, so whether the inverter is better or the traditional generator is better needs to be reasonably selected according to individual needs. The difference between them depends on factors such as the equipment powered, the number of equipment, and budget. The following comparisons are made from several aspects.
Inverter generators carry very little electricity, but they are small in size, light in weight, and very easy to store and transport, making them a great choice for small outdoor equipment that needs some power. Compared with the former, the generator is noisy, bulky and bulky, and is not easy to transport. While they are also portable, they lack the advantages of being smaller, quieter and lighter.
Efficiency and Uptime
The inverter generator has a compact and lightweight structure, a small fuel tank, and a shorter running time than traditional generators. However, the inverter has a fuel-saving function, which can automatically adjust the generated power to meet the power supply demand of the load, and also reduce exhaust emissions.
The noise of the generator is relatively loud when it is running, and the inverter is relatively quiet when it is running, so most of the households will choose a variable frequency generator. However, due to the less power generated and the less noise as soon as possible, commercial generators will also choose traditional generators.
Traditional generators are inexpensive and low maintenance costs. And its simple design and functionality make accessories easily available. Inverter generators are more compact, quieter, more convenient, more fuel efficient, and have controllable power output, but they are expensive and difficult to maintain later.
What is the advantage of an inverter generator?
With the development of technology and market, variable frequency generators are gradually accepted and popularized by the public by virtue of their own advantages.
Good Quality of Output Power. The power produced by variable frequency generators is generally as reliable as a line source circuit, making it ideal for small equipment.
Strong Portability. Inverter generators are small in size, light in weight, and easy to carry and store. They are usually used in households, camping, RVs, etc. to power small electronic devices.
Energy Conservation. The inverter generator can automatically adjust the power output according to the power demand of the equipment, which makes the fuel tank smaller, the fuel cost is lower, and the emissions are lower.
Low Noise. Low noise during operation, the volume is equivalent to human speech, which makes it more popular on the road and at home.
Is an inverter generator good for home use?
There are several principles for choosing a household generator. In addition to the cost-effectiveness, the first is noise. The household choice is relatively quiet and cannot produce large noise. If the noise is too loud of the generator, it will not only affect our lives, but also attract complaints from neighbors. The second is to save energy and fuel and save costs as much as possible.
Now the mute inverter generator is launched on the market, which integrates the characteristics of low noise, lightweight and stable voltage, and is widely used in household equipment.So when due to special reasons or extreme weather caused at home power outage, recommended to buy inverter generator as a backup power supply.
What are the cons of an inverter generator?
Inverter generators are a relatively recent development, enabled by advanced electronic circuits and high-tech magnets. Due to the late emergence of variable frequency generators, traditional generators have not been replaced in many areas. So what are the disadvantages of variable frequency generators?
- The price cost is high.With all its advantages, variable frequency generators cannot avoid one problem – high cost. However, judging from the soaring demand for variable frequency generators and excellent evaluations, it is obvious that more and more people believe that high prices are also worth buying.
- Maintenance is relatively difficult. At present, the mainstream generator in the market is still the traditional generator, and the parts of frequency conversion generator are not easy to match in the market, and some maintenance technicians are limited in technology and maintenance.
- The electronic components of the variable frequency generator is easy to cause damage if it is used improperly,And the price of accessories is high.
- Work environment. The frequency conversion generator has relatively high requirements on the temperature, cleanliness and humidity of the working environment.
Therefore, when you buy a generator set, in addition to considering the weight and volume and other factors, you also need to consider the later maintenance cost and the convenience of maintenance. If you are home and use the frequency is not very high, and outdoor use, it is recommended that you can buy a variable frequency generator; But if it needs to be used for a long time, and the use of the environment is relatively bad, it is recommended that our customers purchase traditional generators.
How do I hook up an inverter generator to my house?
Portable inverter generators are an easy and inexpensive option to keep your lights and appliances running during a power outage in your home. But how should we link the variable frequency generator to our house and use it normally?
There are two ways to connect the generator to the appliances in the house: one is to connect the appliance directly to the generator; the other is to connect your generator to your home grid.
The first way is to use an extension cord to connect your device directly to a portable generator outside, but this is cumbersome to use and there is no way to plug your home’s lights into the generator during a prolonged power outage, so you Will have to rely on flashlights and lamps
The second way is to connect the generator to your home’s power grid, and you can use any appliance in your home as you normally would, as long as it doesn’t exceed the generator’s voltage. The electrical outlets and lights in the home will be used as usual.
At this point, you will need a transfer switch to safely connect your generator to your home. The main purpose of a transfer switch is to switch your home’s electrical grid from the utility grid to your generator. In addition, another use of it is to simplify the power tube. The installation of the transfer switch can be done for you by an experienced electrician. Connecting the generator to the transfer switch at this point also requires a dedicated generator wire that plugs into the generator’s socket and the transfer switch’s inlet.
Before starting the generator, flip the main breaker on the transfer switch so that it draws power from the generator inlet and not from the utility grid. If you are using a manual transfer switch, also make sure that all breakers on the transfer switch are closed at this time, and make sure your generator is outside or in a well-ventilated area, then start it, at this point, you can Turn on the circuit breaker on a transfer switch to power your home.
How to Choose an Inverter Generator?
Before you decide to choose an inverter generator, I think you’d better settle down the following two things:
1. What are you going to use it for?
2. What is the power rate of the generator you need?
If you want to find a generator to offer the power for your whole home as backup electrictiy, it maybe cannot satisifed with your need, perhaps you either need a larger, emergency portable generator or a home standby generator, because the inverter generator can only provide the power for the basic use.
However, inverter generators are best for recreational use. If you frequent tailgating parties or enjoy camping, an inverter will be a great convenience for you.
Once you’ve identified your application, determine how many watts you need. Just need to know that, the more projects you want to power at once, the larger the unit you will need.
How to Use an Inverter Generator?
Here we will indroduce how to use an inverter generator in safety. As you know, no matter inverter generator or ordinary generator, they use gasoline or diesel as the fuel energy, so it is very dangerous if deal with it incorrectly. But don’t worry, we will show you how to use it in right way, so please follow us.
When you guys using the inverter generator, please pay your attention to following factor:
- Put the generator on flat ground, in stable place.
- Do not put something flammable around the generator.
- Install the generator in a well-ventilated place.
- Don’t get too close to the wall.
- Do not use in the rain.
- Please unplug the outlet of the equipment to be used from the generator
- Do not forget to replenish the maintenance oil.
Can Inverter Generators Be Used Indoors?
After talking so many about the inverter generator, it’s no doubt that inverter is the best source of power when you need it the most, it indeed bring us so many convenience. But we cannot ingore the safety concerns that come with this power equipment. We should consider it carefully, whether it safe to be use indoors?
The answer is to never use generators that emit carbon monoxide indoors or in poorly ventilated areas like garages.
According to the National Institutes of Health, from 2005 to 2017, more than 900 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and thousands were injured using portable generators.
Because generators are machines that run on fuel, basically burning different fuels such as natural gas, oil, kerosene, or propane that produces CO.
CO is a poisonous gas, and the real danger is that even if you can’t smell, see, or taste it, inhaling too much carbon monoxide can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which is dangerous enough to kill a Humans. It displaces oxygen in your blood, causing your organs to stop functioning, ultimately leading to death.
Proper use and installation of fuel-burning equipment should be ensured to prevent carbon monoxide from accumulating in houses or other structures.
Always try to keep portable generators outside and away from windows and doors, rather than running them in a home, shed or basement where gas is more likely to accumulate without proper ventilation.