Generators and inverters serve as a backup power source in case of an outage. A lot of people get confused when it comes to buying one for their home. In order to make an informed decision, you need to know the difference between the two devices.
Here you will learn how a conventional Huntsville generator is different from an inverter. Knowing the difference will help in making the right decision about buying a generator.
Generators have been around for many years. The operating principle has remained somewhat the same since it was invented in 1831 by Michael Faraday. A fuel, such as gasoline or diesel, powers the generator. Some generators also run on propane or kerosene oil.
The fuel powers the motor that is attached to an alternator that generates alternate current (AC). The motor of the generator runs at a constant speed of 3600 RPM. The speed should be constant otherwise it can result in variable frequency that can damage the appliances.
Inverters represent a recent innovation that was developed in 1980. Similar to traditional generators, inverters generate AC. But this current is converted into direct current (DC) and then inverted back to clean AC voltage. This is how the device got its name.
Difference Between Generators and Inverters
Generators and inverters both provide power during an outage. However, generators run on fuel while inverters depend on batteries that need to be charged. There is no need for any fuel with inverters.
Another major difference between generators and inverters is that generators require manual start. But inverters start at once in case of an outage.
Generators are available in higher power ranges. You can power an entire house with a generator. This is not the case with inverters that are available in lower capacities. Inverters are generally used to power essential devices such as lights, fans, and mobile charging.
The price of generators is less as compared to a similar powered inverter. Installing the generators also doesn’t require a lot of effort or cost. You can use a generator right out of the box. They can be used anywhere without much problem. On the other hand, installing an inverter requires a lot of wiring. They are not portable similar to generators.
Which One Should You Buy?
The situation where you want to use the power source will decide your option. You can run a whole house with a large size generator – including water heater, refrigerator, and well pump.
Generators typically cost much less as compared to inverters. They are the best choice if you are not bothered by the noise or starting the generator after every power outage.
A generator is also the right choice in case of long duration power outages. Residential generators can run continuously for 12-15 hours without any problems. On the other hand, the batteries of an inverter generator can last for a few hours on a full load. They are best for two to three hours of backup. Inverters are not the right option for long term power outages. While you can add batteries to extend the backup duration, but maintaining and replacing the batteries will be costly.
Knowing about the difference and your specific power requirements will help you in making the right decision about the right power source for your home.