If you are going to buy a generator, most probably you have heard about inverter generator and conventional/portable generator. Although these terms are pretty much confusing for newbies.

This article will help you to understand the critical difference between the two. Don’t miss any point. After reading this article, I hope you will able to reach a decision which one is best for you.

Inverter generator vs Conventional Generator

Conventional Generator

Conventional generators are widely used and familiar to the people who use generator.

It runs on fossil fuels. Mainly, there are three standard fuels such as Propane, gasoline, Diesel are used in the Portable generator.

Some portable generators (Hybrid Generator) allow to runs more than one type of fuel. That means you have the freedom to choose the fuel option. You can use either propane or gasoline as an energy source.

Fuel powered-up engine, convert mechanical power to electrical power that gives electricity.

Besides, the generator’s engine runs at a constant speed, usually 3600 rpm, and produces Alternating electrical current or AC (We use alternating current at our home, office, business).

In the US required current usually, 120-volt AC/60 Hertz and most of the countries are 240 volt/60 Hertz.

But the problem is, the Generator engine has to maintain constant speed all the time. The rate of the engine should not fluctuate. Otherwise, it will affect the Output Electricity.

That may harm sensitive devices like smartphone, iPad, laptop, or your computer. For this reason, it cannot produce clean energy.

Moreover, if you use more or fewer appliances through the generator, it Consumes a lot of fuels. because, it always maintains the same speed. in the following YouTube video, You can see the difference between two as well.

Inverter Generator

Inverter generator is very trendy and recent invention. Like conventional generators, it also runs by fossil fuels.

Then, what is the critical difference of inverter generator in comparison to the conventional generator?

Inverter generator generally composed of an engine, a rectifier, an inverter, and an alternator. Fuel run engine that is attached to an alternator and producing high-frequency alternating current.

Then, Alternating Current (AC) Convert into Direct Current (DC) by Rectifier. Again, DC converts into AC by inverter.

For this reason, the Inverter generator produces a constant flow of current, which means It provides clean energy for your appliance. You don’t have to worry about power surges during uses.

Furthermore, the speed of the engine depends on the amount of electricity produces. If you use more appliances, the speed of the engine’s motor increased. Turn off appliances, The speed decreases as well. Therefore, the Inverter generator is more efficient than those of other types of generators.

It is quite challenging to differentiate between an inverter and a standard generator directly, because they are different in technology, run time, fuel efficiency, quality of power-producing, and price, etc.

To understand the actual difference between inverter and standard or conventional generator, Let’s take an instance.

Usually, Inverter generator is double in price than a standard generator. For this reason, we took an inverter and a standard generator of the same brand and almost of the same price. Let’s see what they offer with the same price and brand.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator vs Westinghouse WGen9500 Portable Generator

1. Performance:

Rated watt: The optimum power that a generator can provide continuously for a long time.

Peak watt: The maximum power of the generator can produce. Typically, maximum power is available for up to one-half or one hour.

Westinghouse iGen4500 comes with 3700 Rated and 4500 Peak Watts. This is best for home and camping.​

When you are out of power, it helps you to run essential appliances. This unit will power your laptop, tablet, TV, refrigerator, dishwasher and a few devices like lights, fans, phone charging all at the same time.

On the other hand, the WGen9500 comes with 9500 Rated Watts & 12500 Peak Watts. This unit is perfect for heavy-duty and serves as an emergency backup for home, shop, office, disaster areas, and excessive snowfall areas.

In contrast to iGen4500, it offers 2.5 times more wattage. So, you can run multiple appliances at the same time.

2. Fuel Efficiency and Run Time:

iGen4500 inverter has 224cc Engine appears with the 3.4-gallon fuel tank. The run time is 18 hours at quarter load (25% Load)

However, the WGen9500 portable has a huge engine capacity which is 457cc, and the Fuel tank capacity is 6.6 gallons. At quarter load, the run time is 17.5 hours.

Besides, the power source of both generators is gasoline.

Moreover, A portable generator has to maintain its engine’s speed constant at all times. it needs a tremendous amount of fuel.

Likewise, the Speed of inverter generator engines depends on the amount of electricity-producing. So, the iGen4500 inverter is more fuel-efficient than a WGen9500 portable.

3. Quality of power-producing:

The portable generator engine attached to an alternator. Using fuel to power-up engine. It converts Thermal energy to electrical energy through the alternator. And It produces the desired AC frequency without any processing.

On the other hand, an efficient alternator connects with the Inverter generator engine.

Firstly, it produces high-frequency Alternating current (AC). Then, Alternating Current converts into Direct Current by a rectifier. At last, DC converts into AC at the desired frequency by an inverter. It produces Steady, smooth, clean electricity which is free from surges, spikes, and glitches.

It may seem to think that, why need Clean Electricity?

Microprocessors have made electrical products like smartphones, laptops, Tv, Game console, and home appliances. All these microprocessors are sensitive to electricity. They may malfunction or sometimes damage If using power isn’t clean.

4. Weight and Portability:

Portability is one of the primary factors in choosing the right generator. When you are going somewhere like traveling, camping, fishing whatever, you need a generator to power up the essential devices.

Generally, Standard generators are heavy, bulky, and difficult to move. Although, they come with wheels that you can proceed with. But It is not a suitable option for going camping, or picnic with carrying a conventional generator.

iGen4500 is lighter than WGen9500. Because Their fuel tank is smaller than the WGen9500, they don’t have a big engine. Due to it produces a lower power output.

You can easily carry the iGen4500 inverter from one place to another by hand.

iGen4500 weighs 93 pounds and WGen9500 portable weighs 220 pounds.

5. Noise Level:

A Conventional generator engine always has to maintain a constant speed. And there are no noise reduction features. When loads are heavy, it makes it very noisy. You can use mufflers to reduce the noise level.

On the Contrary, Inverter is designed to be a quiet and built-in special muffler that makes it super quiet.

Typically, the Inverter generator noise level is around 52-58 dB when a Portable generator has 64 dB or above.

Final Verdict:


Four Special features: Portability, Quality of power produces, Fuel efficiency and Noise level that makes Inverter generators great in comparison to Conventional Generator.

But Inverter is double in price than a standard generator.

First, You have to calculate how much power you need, and where you will use it. If you like to travel, Camping or living apartment or small/Midsize home. You can go with the inverter generator.

If you are on a tight budget or you need a Heavy generator for your home, truck, office, Shop etc. then you should go with the portable generator.

Keep in mind; the Conventional generator produces a lot of noise. It should be set up in the garage or yard.

Although many conventional generators come with surge arrest features that prevent to fluctuating voltage. But it remains risky for sensitive electrical devices.

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