What Is An Inverter Generator?

Inverter generators are used to power everything from campsites to offices, coffee vans and home appliances during blackouts. But what exactly is an inverter generator?

Here we explain what they are, how they work, and the pros and cons.

What is an Inverter Generator?

In a nutshell, it is a generator that can safely power sensitive electronic gadgets and smart devices. They produce clean and stable energy in comparison to traditional generators.

What Is an Inverter Generator?
Yamaha has created a strong name for themselves in the Inverter Generator market due to their high power and performance

How Do Inverter Generators Work?

To understand how they work, you first need to understand the inverter. Where traditional generators use a heavy alternator, inverter generators use a lightweight digital electronic alternator – the inverter.

The generator produces DC power, then the inverter “inverts” and converts this to a steady flow of clean AC power. This is what’s called stable pure sine wave delivery. It simply means you get power as clean as what you get from the mains power outlets at home!

Pros of an Inverter Generator:

The biggest selling point of an inverter is its ability to produce clean power free from surges (‘spikes’) that might damage sensitive devices. You can trust the generator to power your favourite equipment on the road. 

Another advantage of an inverter generator is the design. The inverter technology allows manufacturers to design ultra-lightweight and compact generators that are perfect for caravanning, 4WD touring and camping. The greater efficiency of inverter generators means they can be up to HALF the size of traditional generators.

Inverter generators also have a greater fuel efficiency compared to traditional models. How? The engine speed automatically adjusts in direct proportion to the load, which means it maximizes the fuel efficiency while maintaining 240V supply. This means you benefit from a longer continuous running time and you don’t need to refuel as often.

The Briggs & Stratton Q6500 has a fuel tank capacity of 18.9L and runs for 16 hours at 1/4 load!

Finally, inverter generators are much quieter than their traditional counterparts. No loud, vibrating generator units. Inverter generators are typically designed with sound-proofed casing, insulators and mufflers. So, whether you’re using it for camping or domestic backup, you don’t have to worry about the neighbours.

Cons of an Inverter Generator:

The drawbacks of an inverter generator come down to your power requirements. If you need to power heavy duty machinery and tools, an inverter generator just might not cut it.

Where average sized portable (conventional) generators have models up to around 15,000 watts in size, portable inverter generators max out at around 60007000 watts making them better suited for smaller power needs, such as camping and caravanning.

You will still see inverter generators on some worksites, but typically they are being used for smaller tools or battery charging. The fact is inverter generators are not designed for heavy, inductive loads. E.g. Running larger, heavy power equipment.

RECAP: Pros and Cons of Inverter Generators:

Pros:

  • Highly portable design
  • Compact – easy to pack away and store
  • More fuel efficient
  • Lower noise levels
  • Clean electricity to power sensitive appliances
  • Parallel capabilities – run two generators in parallel

Cons:

  • Less power
  • Not designed for heavy power equipment

Our Verdict:

We can’t deny it, we love inverter generators! They are by far the best choice for caravanning and camping and are a great piece of equipment to have at home if your area is prone to power blackouts. They can be used to run sensitive electronics like laptops, mobiles, as well as home appliances like fridges, fans etc. If you want to run a caravan air conditioner, it’s a must-have!

Inverter Generator Models We Recommend:

Best for Camping:

Cromtech 2400W Inverter Generator:

The Cromtech Outback is a super quiet, compact and designed for camping, caravanning and home backup power use. Don’t be fooled by its size – the unit comes 2 x 15 amp outlets, USB charging outlets and 12 volt DC charging, plus a free dust cover for protection in storage.

Also popular to run Caravan Air Conditioners. This model is one of our best selling products.

Briggs & Stratton 2400W Inverter Generator:

A brilliant value for money option, the P2400 PowerSmart Series delivers affordable, reliable power from a brand you can trust. Weighing in at only 24 kilos with an impressive peak power output of 2400 watts – making it perfect for RVs, caravans and 4WDs.

Also a popular model given Briggs & Stratton have a great reputation for making reliable engines and power equipment for decades.

Most Versatile:

Yamaha 2800W Inverter Generator:

If your budget allows, you won’t regret investing in the Yamaha EF2800i. Delivering a maximum output of 2800 watts, it’s packed with market leading features including a massive 11.2 litre tank for 17 hours run time at a quarter load. The smart throttle technology maximises fuel efficiency.

This is one of our favourite models due to its run time and suitability for both home back up power and caravan use.

Briggs Stratton 3000W:

For value for money, the P3000 PowerSmart Series won’t disappoint. Highlights include an easy starting, long life overhead valve engine, StatStation LCD Display, parallel connector port, inbuilt fuel gauge, USB charging port and a 3-year limited warranty.

Again, another model that customers will opt for when they intend to use their generator at home and to run their RV.

Best for Home Backup:

Yamaha 6300W Inverter Generator:

Stretch your budget to the Yamaha EF6300iSE for the ultimate in portable power. It boasts an enormous output of 6300W, with all the advantages of noise block technology and inbuilt mufflers for super quiet operation. Plus an inbuilt smart throttle maximizes fuel efficiency.

You get a 4 year warranty with Yamaha and we know that if you service your unit as recommended, you’ll get incredible longevity from Yamaha products. This model also comes with the option to have remote start fitted.

Briggs Stratton 6500W:

The Q6500 QuietPower Series is our product of choice if you want to run a mobile food van or coffee cart. Use it with the Manual Transfer Switch pack from Briggs & Stratton for small business back-up or home back-up (must be installed by a qualified electrician).

This unit has quickly become the most poplar inverter home back up generator given the power you get for the price – at approx $3,000 its easier on the wallet compared to Honda or Yamaha equivalents.

Briggs & Stratton Q6500 Inverter Generator: Features & Benefits

New Models:

Check out some of the latsest inverter generator models from the likes of Cromtech (a new 4500w model), Hyundai (a range from 2000w up to 6500w), and Dometic (a new remote start model designed for caravans).

Still not sure which inverter generator model to choose? Check out our website or give one of our friendly product experts a call on 1300 400 122!

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