Inverter Generator Vs. Conventional Generator – What’s the Difference?

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The generators are electromechanical devices that are used to supply electricity when the electrical outlet can supply none or if there is no electrical outlet at all. For a generation of electricity, they use gasoline, propane, diesel, or solar energy.

If you are in the research phase to buy a new generator, then you might know that there are 2 kinds of generators in the market; Traditional generators and Inverter generators. The inverter generators came into existence just a few years back, while conventional generators have seen almost one and a half-century.

What is the difference between inverter generator and conventional generator?

Cleanliness Of Generated Energy :

pure sinewave output

The main difference between the inverter generator and the conventional generator is power quality.

The electricity produced by the non-inverter generator is full of harmonics, which means not clean. It is fed to the appliances with the help of a voltage regulator, so the power quality isn’t much improved. It is harmful to the electronic equipment, which uses a low voltage microprocessor, a little extra voltage, and that ic chip will burn out.

While the inverter generators convert the generated ac to dc and back to ac with the help of the inverter, doing this will increase the cleanliness of the energy. It will have lesser harmonics (less than 3% THD), so you can safely attach your TVs, kitchen appliances, refrigerators, laptops, and cell phones without them getting damaged.

The Difference in Fuel Consumption :

The conventional generators run at a constant speed, so the fuel consumption is independent of the load at the terminals. Even if you are using only one bulb, it still uses the same amount of fuel when all house appliances are connected at the generator’s terminal.

On the other hand, the inverter generators are sophisticated equipment; it changes the speed of the engine based on the load seen by the generator. That means for less speed, the inverter generators are going to use less amount of fuel. If you are using only one light bulb, then the fuel consumed will be for one light bulb only.

This makes the inverter generator highly efficient for light loads.

Besides, the conventional generators supply more power than the inverter generator because of their large fuel tanks. In comparison, the inverter generators have small fuel tanks.

Ease of Transportation :

The conventional generators are generally bulkier and heavier because of their large frames and tanks. It is not easy to move them around, and you will need wheels and a metal frame to do that. But the movement isn’t convenient like inverter generators.

While the inverter generator offers much more portability, they are small in size and have smaller fuel tanks, and are extremely lightweight.

You can carry around an inverter generator by picking it up, that too, without any helping hand.

Quietness :

The non-inverter generators are significantly loud compared to the inverter generators. This is because the conventional generators always run at a constant speed, which creates more noise. Besides the constant speed, the larger engine plays an important role in increasing the noise level.

They are infamously loud, and some of them even produce a sound as high as that of a gas-powered chainsaw.

On the other hand, the inverter generators are extremely quiet, the quietness of that level, which enables you to have a nice conversation going on besides the working generator nearby.

This is because their engines are not always run at the same speed. The control mechanism of inverter generators changes the fuel consumption and speed of the engine based on the load at the output terminal. Moreover, they have special mufflers and noise-reducing outer case, which makes them even quieter.

You can use the inverter generators in your backyard even without disturbing your neighbors.

Affordability :


The price of the unit plays a major role when you are on a tight budget.

The inverter generator can cost a few times more than that of a conventional generator. The reason behind this high price of the inverter generator is its advanced and complex technology, which includes the intelligently programmed microcontroller that controls the 3-phase rectifiers and the inverters.

Besides, if any fault arises in the inverter generator, then you may need to take it to an experienced technician, which increases its repairing cost as well.

The conventional generators are less costly, but their price increases rapidly as you go towards the higher power rating due to the increased size of its engines.

They are just not initially less costly, but they are also easy to repair, and repairing cost is also low, making them a more suitable option for buyers who are on a budget.

With that being said, our discussion ends here. Those were the most common differences between the conventional and inverter generators.

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Evans Miller

About Evans Miller

I am an electrical engineer, and I am crazy about AC machines and generators. I created this website to share my knowledge about generators and help other people. On weekends, I like to travel in my RV with my wife and kids.

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