Buyers Guide to Inverter Generators

Buyers Guide to Inverter Generators
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Whether you’re on the road towing a caravan or at home in the shed, these days we rely on an array of electronic gadgets and smart devices to live our lives. These types of sensitive electronics require a cleaner, more stable energy source than a Traditional Generator can provide. Safety is the key, as you don’t want to damage your electronic equipment or your inverter generators.

It’s no wonder that today many people choose to power up with an Inverter Generator. Whilst on the road, you will notice that most camping sites are being powered by Inverter Generators or battery packs (which are often charged by inverter generators). These generators produce a pure, stable energy source that in many cases has less distortion than mains electricity. Other benefits include their lightweight, portable designs which make them the perfect companion for outdoor enthusiasts (caravanning or camping) and Domestic Use for backup during blackouts or DIY jobs, as well as powering up small businesses such as market stalls or food vans.

Inverter Generator: The Perfect Power Source Whilst Camping

Inverter Generators: The Perfect Power Source Whilst Camping

You may ask, so how do inverter generators work?

The heavy alternator used in Conventional-Style Generators is replaced by a lightweight microprocessor or Inverter. An inverter generator produces DC power. This is then ‘inverted’ and converted into clean AC power at high frequency by the inverter. This is know as stable pure sine wave delivery. Essentially you get power as clean (if not cleaner) than what you get from mains electricity from your power outlets in the wall at home!

Inverter Generators offer many additional benefits. These include: greater fuel efficiency, less noise and lower weight. We will now analyse these advantages in more detail:

Lightweight and Compact

Inverter technology allows manufacturers to design ultra-light and compact generators that are perfect for recreational use. In fact, the better efficiency of Inverter Generators means they can be up to half the size of Conventional Generators. Complete with ergonomic handles, they are the perfect companions to keep you powered up wherever you are. And when you’re not using them, they pack away neatly again.

Clean, High Quality, Stable Power

The best feature of Inverter Generators is their ability to produce clean power free from surges or ‘spikes’. The clean power produced by Inverter Generators won’t damage your sensitive electronic devices or crash your computer – giving you added peace of mind. There are no risky fluctuations in the power generated, so you can trust the generator with your favourite equipment; TV’s, phones, laptops, camera gear etc. In this informative short video, Steve Baile from Expedition Oz road tests the Yamaha EF1000iS generator and explains the benefits of inverter technology:

 

Fuel Efficiency

Inverter generators give you more power for less money. There’s no fuel guzzling with an inverter generator. The engine speed automatically adjusts in direct proportion to the load applied, maximising the fuel efficiency while maintaining 240V (50 cycles) supply. This results in a longer continuous running time, while maintaining the frequency and power for your devices.

Noisy or Nice?

Historically, Camping Generators have been renowned for loud noise and vibrations which can cause rifts amongst neighbours. Thanks to inverter technology engine noise can now be minimised. Inverter technology allows the engine speed to be adjusted proportional to the load applied. Therefore, Inverter Generators do not constantly run at full speed, meaning they are much quieter than their traditional counterparts. Improvements to insulators, sound proofed casing and muffler design has also added to a reduction in noise level. Again, that’s why inverter generators are also great for food vans, coffee carts and market stalls, so your customers aren’t put off by a loud engine noise. Check out the the below noise level table showing how quiet inverter generators can be, where in this example the best selling camping inverter generator ( Yamaha EF2000iS ) runs at a lower noise level than normal conversation:

table1

As with all Generators, you need to be confident that the electric output will meet your electrical requirements. Choosing the right size inverter generator is very important: if you need help choosing the right size generator, check out our simple step by step buyers guide. This short customer video may also help; he demonstrates the use of a small wattage meter to measure the correct power draw from his appliances, as to ensure he has the right inverter generator size and set-up for his mobile business:

Inverter Generators come in a range of sizes to suit recreational and domestic and other uses. It should be noted that inverter generators are not suited for heavy commercial use (larger industrial tools and equipment etc.) and the inverter generator range maxes out at around 6500 watts…if you require more power than this, or intend to run heavier, commercial grade equipment on a jobsite or farm, then you will need to search for a unit in the AVR generator and Trade generator ranges.

Recommendations?

In the premium inverter generator space, our best selling range is Yamaha – they are the quietest, lightest and most fuel efficient inverter generators and they are backed by a 4 year warranty and national service support network. They have models ranging from 1000watts up to 6300watts, with the most popular models being the Yamaha EF2000iS, Yamaha EF2400iS (best caravan generator), and the Yamaha EF2800i

 

In the budget options of inverter generators, we recommend Cromtech. Made in China and priced under $1,000, this unit has the benefit that most other budget brand generators don’t: its backed by a national service support network. Crommelins Australia have a national service agent group and can provide spare parts, repair or inspection under warranty if required. Comes with a shorter warranty (1 year) than the premium options and is built for infrequent use – a popular value for money option.

 

Browse our full range of generators at www.mygenerator.com.au or give us a call on 1300 400 122 for any further advice you may need.

Sean Connolly

Sean Connolly

Managing Director at My Generator
Sean is the co-founder and Managing Director of My Generator (mygenerator.com.au)
Sean Connolly

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Comments

  • Frank November 12, 2013, 5:13 am

    Hi,
    Thanks for this great article. I’m in the market for an inverter generator. This buyer’s guide has been really helpful. Thanks a lot Sean.
    Regards, Frank

    • admin September 17, 2014, 1:47 am

      Hi Frank,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found the content in the article helpful. Inverter generators are a great addition and have many benefits.
      Kind regards,
      Sean

  • Tom Hancock December 3, 2014, 6:19 am

    Hi guys,
    For an upcoming caravan trip (mostly remote stay – not powered caravan parks), do you think it is essential to have a generator for my van, or is a solar set up enough to get by?
    Thank you.

    • My Generator Admin December 3, 2014, 7:38 am

      Hi Tom, it all comes down to what appliances you intend to run and how much power they require…some people get by on just solar power and may have a generator just as a back up in case the sun isn’t shining for a while. Other people like to run appliances which require more power such as air-conditioning units, washing machines, or coffee makers. Often these types of appliances will require the power provided by a generator as solar power won’t be enough.

      To determine the power required to run your appliances, you need to check both the starting and running wattage of each appliance (this can be found within the product manual or on the product data plate). Once you know how much power your appliances need, you can determine whether your solar set up will be enough, or if you will also need a generator. If you decide you need a generator, then check out our step by step guide to make sure you get the right one to run your appliances: Generator Buyers Guide

  • Mitch Hendeson October 31, 2016, 6:22 am

    Hi Guys, I am an old school camper, so no RV’s or Camper Trailers here. Just a tent with a big old fashioned fly tarp and poles. I do however love my saturday racing on the big screen telly and need to keep my bait freezer running. I plan to leave the generator outside, what’s your best inverter generator that can handle all weather conditions, especially heavy rain?

    • L Adams October 31, 2016, 6:38 am

      Hi there, sounds like a nice set up! The short answer is that electricity and water don’t mix. Whilst we are aware that some people run their inverter gensets in all weather conditions, it is not recommended as safe or best practice for your equipment, as inverter generators do not come with weatherproof outlets as standard.
      Ideally, you would somehow shelter your generator from the rain. But just remember that fully enclosing your generator whilst its running is not an option – generators need fresh air intake for the engine to run and they emit carbon dioxide, so they should never be contained. Overall, some rain protection but also room for fresh air intake and fume emission is what you need. Thanks

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