Tips for Choosing a Portable Generator
(NewsUSA) - Inverter generators and portable battery stations are trending solutions for take-anywhere power. Small footprints, manageable weights, and simple charging or fueling options make both inverters and batteries an ideal solution for off-grid excursions, working where power is not available, or providing needed electricity during a power outage.
Inverter generators and battery-powered portable power stations have unique characteristics that can make the choice a little more challenging. The power experts at Generac Power Systems have outlined how both categories of ultra-portable power solutions stack up for use around the home.
The Mutual Benefits of Portable Inverter Generators and Battery Power Stations
Sized for Easy Transport and Storage. Lightweight design, built-in handles, and a compact footprint are all hallmarks of both portable inverters and battery power stations.
From Quiet to Silent. Don't worry about being a noisy neighbor while using an inverter generator, thanks to their fully enclosed design helping with quieter operation. Battery-powered portable power stations go the extra mile, operating silently.
Suitable for Sensitive Electronics. Generator energy has a THD – total harmonic distortion – percentage. Electronic devices like laptops and mobile devices require a lower THD. Portable inverters produce energy with a THD below 5%, making them generally suitable for sensitive electronics, tools, and appliances. Similarly, battery-powered power stations are also an ideal solution as they provide clean, emission-free energy.
Key Differences Between Portable Inverters and Battery Power Stations
Emissions. Inverter generators cannot be used indoors or in enclosed spaces due to the production of carbon monoxide. All gas-, diesel-, or LP-powered generators must be operated outdoors and away from windows and doors. Battery-powered solutions are ideal for use inside or outside of the home, as they release no carbon monoxide or other emissions.
Fuel and Charging. The Generac Portable Power Station can be charged via a wall outlet, 12V car outlet, or by compatible solar panels for truly on-the-go power. Charging sources can even be combined for an even faster recharge. Small inverter generators are powered by gasoline via a splash-lubricated engine that requires routine oil changes.
Price. As an emerging technology with indoor-outdoor capabilities, battery-powered solutions are typically priced higher when compared to inverter generators with a similar output. Over time, a battery powered solution doesn’t require any additional fuel or oil, making it a higher initial investment without downline costs.
Maintenance and Care. The difference between a gasoline engine and a battery creates a very different maintenance regimen for each unit. The splash-lubricated engine of an inverter needs adequate oil in order to run, and it’s best to check on the oil status before any planned use. Additionally, you should do an annual maintenance check on inverter generators. Meanwhile, for portable battery stations, follow the usual best practices for charging most battery-powered electronic devices: don’t let it fall all the way to 0% charge, try to reach above 80% when charging, and ensure its stored in a temperate environment.
Open-Frame Generators for Powering Even More
With tubular frames, large tires, and visible components, an open-frame generator is likely what comes to mind when one thinks of portable power. The product marketplace for open-frame generators is vast, and no one model is one-size-fits-all. While open-frame generators are available in significantly higher outputs, you can hear them run, and they offer less portability than fully enclosed generators.
If short term emergency backup power is a main concern, open-frame generators provide the best dollar-per-watt value on the market. For more information, portable generator sizing tools can be found at: www.generac.com/portable-sizer.