How Does an Inverter Generator Work?

Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

When you are searching for a portable generator, there are dozens of options. But it can be broken down into two types. You can either have a conventional generator or an inverter generator. But what is an inverter generator and how does it work? Here’s everything you need to know about inverter generators.

What is an inverter generator?

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An inverter generator is a type of portable generator that uses an electronic inverter to convert the DC power from the generator’s battery into clean AC power. This allows the inverter generator to provide stable, clean power for sensitive electronics like laptops and cell phones.

How Do Inverter Generators Work?

All generators will be able to convert fuel into electrical energy. This involves two parts. First, you will need to turn a crankshaft in the engine. This affects the alternator. In this area, the stator will disrupt the magnetic field, which is what generates electricity.

In the traditional generator, this power goes to the control power, which provides the electricity that your devices will run on. However, the inverter generator has an extra step. It will be converted from AC power to DC power. Then, it will be converted back to AC power. This is done by a device known as a rectifier.

It should be noted that this is different from a power converter. This has been designed to change a current from one voltage to the other. This is most common when you are in foreign countries, so you can use appliances built to your country’s electrical appliances. This is very different from an inverter, which often applies to devices that are producing electricity.

Why Inverting the Power Supply is Important

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Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how this process works. But the biggest question is why bother with the inverting process at all. This is related to the type of power you will be creating. Traditional generator power wasn’t as refined. It was more uneven. But your appliances would still be able to run on this type of power in an emergency.

Today, though, appliances are becoming more sensitive. If you use this type of unrefined power, there is a chance that you will damage your appliances. This is why more people are turning to inverter generators. The process they use creates the same electricity quality as you get from a power company. You can measure the quality of the electricity through total harmonic distortion (THD). Ideally, this element should be as low as possible. If you are interested in this area and want to know more, check out this in-depth description.

Another huge advantage of an inverter generator is the ability to control the amount of power that you are supplying. This allows you to reduce the strain on your engine if you are only using a few appliances and ramp up when electricity demands increase. As a result, these models will be more efficient than traditional generator models. 

Other Benefits of an Inverter Generator

As we’ve discussed, there are plenty of differences between a conventional generator and an inverter generator. But one of the biggest questions is why you would want to purchase an inverter generator? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the biggest benefits that this type of generator can unlock.

First, these generators are quieter than traditional models. The main reason for this is that they use sound dampening technology. This makes these generators an ideal choice for those who love to go camping. You will be able to enjoy the sounds of nature without listening to the annoying humming of a generator.

Another benefit is that these generators tend to be lighter when compared to a traditional model. This is another big advantage for people who are planning to use an inverter generator. Plus, they are relatively compact, which makes them a lot easier for you to transport.

As these generators became more popular, more investment has been made into making the machines more sophisticated. Many modern inverter generators are a good example of this. They are usually able to tell you how the generator is performing. For example, they will be able to tell you whether it needs to be refueled. They can also tell you when it is time to perform maintenance tasks. This makes taking care of one of these models a breeze.

Finally, these generators tend to be better for the environment. This is because they can regulate the amount of power the engine is putting out. This lets you fluctuate the amount of fuel burned, and fumes produced, based on your electricity needs.

Drawbacks to Using an Inverter Generator

Of course, no technology is perfect. While inverter generators have a lot going for them, there are some drawbacks to consider. One of the biggest cons is that these generators tend to be more expensive to purchase than traditional generators. This is because the technology is more complex, requiring costlier parts to work. This complexity also causes problems when you are trying to maintain or repair the generator. The mechanic will need to spend more time with these generators, so you end up paying more.

However, in the world of inverter generators, you usually get what you pay for. Because of this, it might be worth spending a little more upfront to get something that will last for many years to come.

Another common complaint leveled at inverter generators is that they don’t offer as much power as a traditional generator. But there is a way that you can overcome this problem. You will be able to join multiple inverters. This is a good way of increasing the amount of power you can access and is something that conventional generators won’t be able to do. But it will increase the costs.

Finding a Good Inverter Generator

Hopefully, you now have a better idea of why so many people are opting to use inverter generators over conventional ones. But, with dozens of inverter generators to choose from how you can find the right ones for you? Here are some of the things you should be looking for.

First, it’s important to think about the amount of power that you will require. This means thinking about the number of appliances that you plan on running. Then consider how many you will be running at the same time. This should give you some idea of the electricity demands that will be placed on the generator. It’s always a good idea to get a slightly larger generator than you require, so you don’t need to worry about overheating it.

It’s also important to think about the ideal runtime. For example, if you are planning on taking it on a camping trip, you might only need something to run for a few hours at night, so you can charge up your phone. On the other hand, if you are looking for a backup generator during a power outage, you might want to get something that will be able to run for several hours at a time. The product description should tell you the runtime. 

There are a few other elements that you should keep in mind. These include the size of the device and how much it will weigh. It’s also a good idea to think about how much noise it will make. If you want more advice, read through this list of inverter generators to see what the experts have to say.


What is the difference between an inverter generator and a regular generator?

The main difference between an inverter generator and a regular generator is that an inverter generator produces clean, stable AC power, while a regular generator produces dirty, unstable AC power. This makes inverter generators ideal for use with sensitive electronics, while regular generators are better suited for powering appliances and tools.

Is an inverter better than a generator?

That depends on your needs. An inverter generator is better for powering sensitive electronics, while a regular generator is better for powering appliances and tools. However, an inverter generator is more expensive than a regular generator.

Why are inverter generators expensive?

Inverter generators are more expensive than traditional generators because of the additional circuitry needed to convert DC to AC. The inverter itself is also more expensive, as are the higher-quality magnets used in the generator. However, these added costs result in a much quieter and more fuel-efficient machine.

Do inverter generators have a higher wattage?

No, inverter generators typically have the same wattage as traditional generators. The difference is that inverter generators are more efficient, so they can run for longer on a tank of fuel.

What fuel does an inverter generator use?

Inverter generators run on a variety of fuels, including gasoline, propane, and diesel.

Is an inverter generator good for home use?

Inverter generators are becoming increasingly popular for home use, as they are quieter and more fuel-efficient than traditional generators. They can be used to power a variety of appliances in an emergency or during a power outage.

Can an inverter generator be used for camping?

Yes, inverter generators are perfect for camping, as they are quiet and run on a variety of fuels. They can be used to power a RV, tent, or other camping gear.

What will a 2000 watt inverter generator run??

A 2000 watt inverter generator can run a variety of appliances, including a refrigerator, television, and lights. It can also be used to charge a laptop or cell phone.

Related: How Many Watts and Amps Does A Refrigerator Use?


Inverter generators have brought innovation to the world of portable generators. They have helped change the way electricity is generated, so you will be able to get the same quality as you would from an electricity provider. Because of this, these devices have been soaring in popularity in recent years. So, consider buying one today and experiencing the difference for yourself.