How Does an Inverter Generator Work?


Are you contemplating purchasing a portable generator? You are probably not alone; the worldwide market for versatile generators is worth around 2 billion dollars and is projected to gradually increase in the coming years. Maybe you want a generator because you are worried about the violence and frequency of storms that can result in a power outage, or you are worried about the bad infrastructure of the power grid and maybe the possibility of terrorism. Or perhaps you need one for your RV to carry along with you when going out for camping.

It used to be that in case you needed a generator, you had just a single alternative. But currently, an innovation is greatly gaining popularity when it comes to portable generators, the inverter generator. This article is meant to detail how inverter generators work and their various ups and downs.

What is an inverter generator?

Portable generators have had technological advancements of late. One of the main advancement is safety and performance. All these advancements are reflected in an inverter generator which is the new class of generators.

Some new inverter generators have a built-in sensor that triggers an automated shutoff if carbon monoxide develops to dangerous levels in an encased space to lower the danger of carbon monoxide harming. Furthermore, some additionally have motors that transmit less CO in any case. 

Late CR test information shows that these wellbeing highlights are probably going to spare lives. In light of this discovery, CR cannot anymore suggest any portable generator that does not pass the current carbon monoxide security technology test. (The test doesn’t have any significant bearing to home backup models.) 

In case you’re contemplating of getting a generator, you might need to consider an inverter generator when the current brands with a CO security shutoff start appearing on retailer shelves or online. Even though inverter generators cost a lot than conventional portable generators, they have many advantages.

 Instead of running full tilt all the time, inverter generators electronically throttle the engine down an up to meet the power demand. The subsequent improvement in productivity implies that you won’t need to top off the gas tank as frequently. Inverter generators additionally produce lower emanations and are commonly cool. 

  How Does an Inverter Generator Work?

In an inverter generator, the motor or engine creates a high-frequency alternating current, which is then transformed to direct current with an alternator’s help. The direct current is once again transformed into alternating current by the inverter.

Inverter generators have an output of 60 Hertz and 120 volts just like conventional portable generators. However, the current of an inverter generator is much more stable because of the extra steps in power production.

In simple words, in a generator with an inverter, there is less harmonic distortion. Hence, they create clean electricity that is ideal and most suitable for devices like laptops and mobile phones sensitive to power. The quality of electricity created by an inverter generator is almost exactly like that produced by the main electrical supplier.

A New Class of Generator 

To assist you with comprehending your alternatives, we break our inverter generator appraisals into three classes: 


With not many special cases, the large inverter generators weigh 250 pounds or more with wheels included. That is too huge to pull along to and sufficiently large enough to provide power for your home. At 220 volts, they create 5,000 watts of electricity or more. 

With a safety device called transfer switch, which is recommended strongly by CR, this class of generators can be directly connected to your electrical panel.

  • Midsized


This category might come with wheels and weigh around 80 pounds or more. This class creates around 2,500-4,500 watts, but they don’t allow to be connected directly to the electrical panel using a transfer switch. Instead, they give you the option of connecting your gadgets directly to them, which is dangerous if specific guidelines are not properly followed.

This category is ideal for people who regularly use recreational vehicles. They will deliver all the energy you require for apparatuses like a toaster oven or microwave, and they are sufficiently light to empty and move to safer places from your RV before use. 

  • Recreational


These are designed to be carried with one hand, and they weigh around 50 to 60 pounds. Most of these generators produce around 2,000 watts maximum, which is enough for camping or tailgating.

Don’t let size lure you before you purchase your inverter generator; make sure you first know your power requirements. Your power needs are what will guide you on the type of inverter generator to settle for.

What’s Special About an Inverter Generator?

The inverter generator protects your gadgets.

An inverter generator offers clean and neat power for your power-sensitive devices like tablets, laptops, and even mobile phones. The inverter generator despite everything it produces sloppy power, much the same as a conventional generator, however, it makes an additional effort to tidy it up and make it safe to be you utilized by your devices. The clean power is what makes inverter generators ideal for most devices that are power-sensitive. 

More fuel-efficient

Even though inverter generators utilize fossil fuels like diesel, propane, and gasoline just like conventional fuel-powered generators, unlike the traditional ones, they only produce enough power to meet the demand of the connected load. The traditional generators have one speed only while an inverter will power down and power up as your gadgets use electricity or don’t use. This makes inverter generators consume less fuel than conventional portable generators, making them more friendly to the environment.

Lighter and smaller

Inverter generators are genuinely versatile. They are lighter and smaller than standard generators, which means you can put them into your truck and effectively take them along. Even though conventional generators are portrayed as portable, even little ones are massive and overwhelming, extending compactness limits. 


Another big selling purpose of an inverter generator is less noise they produce. You can hear a standard generator from miles away because they are so noisy, so having them for camping or tailgating is a bit difficult. With an inverter generator, you can stand next to it and still have a sound conversation. Additionally, since the inverter generator can power up and down depending on the load connected, its noise does, as well. In case the amount of power needed is less, the generator will make less noise and vice versa. The standard generator has that one setting, meaning it will produce more noise even when supplying less power.

But they aren’t perfect.

Even though these generators are best when compared to traditional portable generators, they have two major setbacks. 


They are costly. This is due to the sense that they produce clean electricity and do so in littler, quitter, lighter, and more fuel-efficient manner. However, you may spend 2-3x more on inverter generators.

Can’t handle the volume

It is not easy to get an inverter generator that can provide enough electricity to power your whole house or even most of it if you have devices like deep freezers. These generators don’t have that capacity or ability. If your power demand is a bit high, you need to think twice. You can decide to buy a second one and hook them together so that they can supply enough power. But remember they will still produce much smaller power than the conventional fuel-powered generator.


Which is a better generator or inverter?

Inverters create predictable and dependable power which doesn’t depend on the motor speed. The electricity created by the inverter generator is much “cleaner” than the one delivered by traditional generators. In case some devices utilize a power source that is not clean, they may end up failing, or they may even get damaged. 

Can an inverter generator run a refrigerator?

An inverter is an electrical gadget that changes over DC battery power into 120-volt AC household energy to run electronics, for example, a cooler. Inverters are accessible in various power limits, and some have enough power to run fridges. 

How many hours will an inverter generator last?

While there are generators intended to run longer, the greater part of them can run for around 8 to 12 hours at a time. Their runtime is likewise what for the most part defines how long they will last you. Most accessible portable generators can deal with a lifetime runtime of anyplace somewhere in the range of ten and twenty thousand hours at 1/2 load. 

What does an inverter do for a generator?

Instead of running full tilt all the time, inverter generators electronically throttle the engine down an up to meet the power demand. The subsequent improvement in productivity implies that you won’t need to top off the gas tank as frequently. Inverter generators additionally produce lower emanations and are commonly cool. 

Can I leave my inverter on all the time?

The primary reason to shut off the inverter when not in use, it is because it is a serious battery hog. It can drain your RV battery quickly when left on.

Can an inverter catch fire?

Connection or switching mishaps on the direct current circuits may prompt high resistance fault or temperatures that are high, hence a fire outbreak. Inverters are made in a way that they shut down in case of situations where alternating current supply has malfunctioned- such as fire or power cut.

Does an inverter use power if nothing is plugged in?

The electricity required to operate an inverter is roughly 8-10% more than the apparatuses’ power load utilizing power. This is because of the proficiency of the inverter. Inverters will draw power from your batteries when not being used, and the unit is turned. 


Fuel-efficient, quiet, lightweight, inverter generators are important devices that can help you power electronics that are sensitive to power in case of a power outage. They are also the most preferred when tailgating or camping because they are quiet and easy to handle. Even though they may dig deep into your pocket, they will spare your ears and save you from regularly replacing your computers and phones. They are truly a worthy investment.

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