Exploring the differences between generators and inverters:
Generator vs Inverter
We all know about electric generators as they are the devices that produce electricity in power plants whether thermal or hydroelectric. They convert thermal or kinetic and potential energy of water and convert it into electric energy that is distributed to homes through transmission lines. But we have become so used to this electric supply that we are irritated whenever there are power outages. To have constant uninterrupted supply in times of power outages, two devices that are commonly used at homes, and these are generators and inverters. There are many differences in these two devices and it is prudent to know about them if you are going to the market to buy one of them.
A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy provided by the engine into electricity. It requires a fuel source such as kerosene, diesel, or petroleum to run this engine. Generators come in all shapes and sizes and their capacities also range from a mere 500 watts to many kilowatts so one can run all appliances at home with the help of a generator. But given rising prices of fossil fuels, maintaining a generator has become problematical these days. In any case, starting of a generator requires pulling a cord that is not easy for ladies at home and most of the generator sets are thus found installed at commercial premises where there is a man deputed to run the generator in the case of a power outage. One must keep the fuel always at disposal so that he can run his appliances with generator for a long time. Generators can operate for long durations and have high capacities to run even air conditioners.
An inverter is a device that makes use of the electricity that is being supplied to your home by converting it into DC to charge a battery that is supplied along with the device in the case of a power outage, the same battery becomes a power source and the DC electricity from it is converted in AC before supplying it to household appliances. Inverter works on its own and there is no need to start it like a generator. The only problem is that it needs wiring to be done and you decide which appliances to run with the energy of an inverter in times of outage.
As an inverter needs electricity to keep on charging all the time, it can supply only as much energy that is stored inside the battery, and it is useless afterwards. For places where power cuts are of long durations, inverters need the back up of generators. Inverters have typically smaller capacities than generators but these days, expensive inverter systems with many batteries in conjunction are being used to supply power to even air conditioners in times of power outage.
- There is literally no time gap in the onset of power, once there is a power outage, in case of inverter, whereas starting a generator takes considerable time.
- Inverters are soundless, whereas even silent generators make a lot of noise
- Generators require a power source (kerosene, diesel or petroleum) to run, whereas an inverter charges the battery with the electricity itself.
- Generators require an effort to start, whereas inverters start on their own, once power is gone.
- Generators are available in high capacities, whereas inverters are available in lower capacities
- Inverters require installation and wiring, whereas one can start generator right out of the box
- Generators prove advantageous in places with long power cuts, whereas inverters are more convenient in places with short power cuts