Generators are an incredibly useful tool to have, especially in emergency situations. Depending on the situation, you may need one type over another. This article will explore the different types of generators and help you determine which one is right for your needs.
1. Portable Generators
The most common type of generator is a portable generator. These units are typically powered by gasoline or propane and are designed to be moved around easily. They provide power for lighting, small appliances, tools and other items that require electricity. Portable generators come in a wide variety of sizes, from large models that can power multiple items to smaller models designed for easy portability.
2. Standby Generators
Standby generators are larger than portable ones and usually mounted on a concrete pad outside the home or business they supply with power during outages. Standby generators use natural gas or diesel fuel and must be professionally installed as they connect directly to your home’s electrical system via a transfer switch box. Standby generators can provide power to all circuits in a home or just essential circuits such as those supplying heating, air conditioning, water pump systems and major appliances like freezers, refrigerators, etc..
3. Inverter Generators
Inverter generators are similar to portable generators but feature advanced technology that makes them quieter and more fuel efficient than traditional models while providing clean sine wave output suitable for powering sensitive electronic equipment such as computers and TVs without damaging them with voltage fluctuations or surges. They have digital displays that monitor performance so you know exactly how much energy the unit produces at any given time—a feature lacking in many traditional portable generator models.
4. Solar-Powered Generators
Solar-powered generators use solar panels connected to a battery bank, which then powers an inverter that produces alternating current suitable for powering appliances in your home or business, much like regular sockets work when grid-supplied electricity is available, only this time using solar energy instead of non-renewable petroleum sources such as natural gas or coal. Solar generator systems require no maintenance once installed as no moving parts are meaning less downtime for repairs, these systems also produce zero emissions, making them a great option for those looking for greener alternatives.
5. Diesel Generator Sets
Diesel generator sets (or gensets) consist of an engine connected directly to an alternator, which produces either three-phase or single-phase alternating current, depending on the model chosen. Diesel generators offer several advantages over other types, including greater durability as they’re generally used in industrial applications, better fuel efficiency compared to petrol generators, lower noise levels, longer service intervals and higher horsepower per litre of displacement than comparable petrol engines. All of these factors make diesel an ideal choice when looking for reliable, long-term solutions.
6. Natural Gas Gen Sets
Natural gas generator sets (or gen sets) use natural gas fuel rather than diesel fuel, offering both environmental benefits and cost savings, with some estimates suggesting up to 25% lower running costs compared to their diesel-fuelled counterparts. However, unlike diesel generator sets, they tend to offer lower horsepower ratings per liter of displacement, as their design is not specifically optimised to generate high levels of torque, which is why these types are mainly found outside of residential accommodation, used in conjunction with standby & emergency backup systems, where reliability far outweighs the overall performance capabilities offered by these machines.