What’s The Difference Between Generator And Inverter?

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The majority of people do not know what’s the difference between generator and inverter since they’re both used similarly, and there seems to be a lot of confusion among consumers about these two terms.

Fundamentally, a generator generates electricity from external sources, while an inverter converts DC power into AC power. 

With an inverter, direct current is converted to alternating current, which all household appliances make use of, as opposed to using a generator, which produces electricity from mechanical sources.

You can discover much more about the differences between inverters and generators by reading this article.

What's The Difference Between Generator And Inverter?

Also Read: How to Change Generator Oil?

What is a Generator?

What is a Generator?

Electrical energy is generated by generators by converting mechanical energy from external sources into electrical energy.

Nevertheless, it does not create electric energy; instead, it uses electromagnetic induction as a basic principle. A diesel engine or steam turbine-powered it at a definite speed, but it produced no electrical energy unless it was driven at a definite speed. 

In the event of a power outage, generators have emerged as one of the most useful devices. Electricity is generated through a variety of mechanical sources such as steam turbines, water turbines, and motors. 

Power plants and mobile equipment commonly use direct current generators. Electrical systems, including communication and electroplating, commonly use DC power.

What is an Inverter?

What is an Inverter?

Inverters are electronic devices that output alternate current (AC) instead of direct current (DC). 

Typical household appliances can be operated using an inverter by adding additional electronic circuits that manage load and battery charging. The device is an adapter that allows conventional home wiring to power low-power appliances powered by batteries. 

The power produced by the inverters must match the quality of electricity that is generated by the main electricity grids. In addition to operating independently, they can also be connected to the main grid. 

Almost all modern appliances can be powered by it, such as refrigerators, microwaves, water purifiers, and other low-power devices.

All household appliances use alternating current since it is the standard for inverting the direct current.

8 Main Differences Between Generator and Inverter

Let’s clear up any confusion by knowing the difference

1. Current

Among inverter generators and conventional generators, the most important difference lies in the type of electricity they generate. 

The electricity produced by a conventional generator is AC, whereas inverter generators produce electricity in three phases (from AC to DC and back again to AC).

Inverter generators are known for their stable sine waves: This makes them a ‘clean energy source’. Consequently, harmonic distortion is negligible, making it an ideal power source for sensitive electronics such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops.

Due to its chaotic sine wave, a portable generator’s harmonic distortion is much worse than that of a conventional generator. 

This type of current is still suitable for many electrical appliances, but unfortunately, it is not suitable for devices with microprocessors.

2. Power and Fuel Efficiency

Power can be produced more efficiently by conventional portable generators than by inverter generators. 

There are several factors involved, including the fuel tank size and differences in the way electricity is generated.

Compared to conventional generators, inverter generators produce an AC current that is more energy-efficient. Generators that use inverters automatically adjust their engines to the load, which is not possible with conventional portable generators.

Inverter generators use less fuel due to their greater fuel efficiency. Using less fuel for similar run times can reduce the size of the fuel tank as well as energy efficiency increases.

In addition to their fuel efficiency, conventional generators are bulkier due to their larger fuel tanks. These larger fuel tanks, however, enable the generators to generate more power.

An inverter generator has a higher power output than a conventional generator, which can often be the deciding factor. 

A conventional portable generator can generate over 10,000 watts, while inverter generators produce 1200 to 4000 watts of power on average.

3. Portability

The fuel tank and engine of conventional fuel-powered generators are large, so their housing requires more material. Inverter generators are lighter and more compact than conventional portable generators.

Large conventional generators are still portable because of their wheels and handles. However, many portable generators still weigh more than 100 pounds, which makes this quite a task.

The fuel tank of an inverter generator is smaller, and therefore it needs a smaller engine to produce the same amount of power. By using an inverter generator, the weight can be reduced a great deal, since they are often light enough to be handled in one hand.

Most inverter generators weigh less than 100 pounds. Inverter generators usually weigh between 40 and 60 pounds.

4. Noise

Noise is the bane of traditional portable generators. The reason is that fuel-powered generators remain noisy even when noise-minimizing measures are employed.

By contrast, inverter generators are quieter because of the technology they use. The noise is largely removed from inverter generators due to their steady 3600 rpm.

Around 54 – 58 decibels is the average noise level generated by an inverter generator. This generator produces significantly fewer decibels when compared to conventional generators that produce 64 decibels or more.

5. Capacity

Several capacities of generators are available, and they can handle heavy loads. 

In places where power outages are longer, they are extremely useful, and they are able to withstand power surges. Power surges do not stop it from operating. 

In spite of this, it takes some time and effort to kick-start a generator.

With fewer power surges and a low-capacity design, the inverter is perfect for households. An automatic shut-off feature prevents the unit from being damaged by sudden spikes of power. Inverters also automatically start if the power is cut.

6. Parallel Connections

Inverter generators are equipped with parallel connections to compensate for their lower power output. Paralleling two inverter generators allows you to double the power generated by each one.

There are currently no parallel connections available on conventional portable generators. As they have already become more powerful and less portable, it is not surprising.

7. Emissions

States have their own rules governing the emissions of greenhouse gases from generators. Depending on where the generator needs to be used, these regulations may be more stringent.

At the very least, portable generators must be compliant with the EPA. For California generators, the CARB requirement is also required.

Compared to conventional generators, inverter generators emit fewer greenhouse gases. The environmental requirements for inverter generators are easier to meet than those for traditional portable generators.

8. Price

A conventional portable generator is generally more affordable to purchase than an inverter generator. The most affordable option is a portable generator, especially if you need a lot of power.

Generators that use inverter technology are more expensive since they use newer technologies to produce a much more refined electrical current that is more efficient, quieter, and produces little or no harmonic distortion. 

The standard portable generator is a very simple machine that has been available for years, which means its price can be lowered.



You know now how an inverter differs from a generator. Each plays a crucial role in its own way. If you want to buy one, you must first know what are your needs.

There is a great demand for inverter generators today, similar to the technology described above. As opposed to conventional generators, inverters produce AC power, convert it to DC, and then convert it back to AC power. These procedures have many advantages, including increased energy quality, reduced fuel consumption, and reduced noise levels.

The motors in generators are complex machines able to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, convert it into electricity, and generate electricity.

I hope this article about what’s the difference between generator and inverter explained clearly, so please share it with friends and leave a comment below.

It's Carl Denis here, and I'm glad you found my site. As a generator enthusiast, I write on MyGeneratorLab. In spite of our trusty RV being used virtually every day on worksites, my wife and I go on road trips every weekend with our family in it. As part of my mission, I aim to provide information that will assist you in choosing the right generator.

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