Choosing Between a Conventional, Silenced or An Inverter Generator

Buying your own generator as an alternative source of energy for your home or construction is a decision that is becoming increasingly relevant. A standalone generator is not only convenient, but often indispensable in the absence of other sources of electricity.

Of the existing options, petrol generators are the most convenient – they have a fairly large resource, easier diesel and gas start up in cold weather, and the simplicity of the device reduces their price and facilitates repair and maintenance. The petrol generator is ideal for those who need mobility, ease of transportation and relatively small power.

Top Inverter Generators

Patriot 3000i

Despite the rather toy-like appearance of the soundproofing case, this inverter gasoline generator is capable of delivering quite 3 kW to the load. To the credit of the manufacturer, we note that the power indicated in the marking is exactly the nominal 3000 W, and not the maximum or, all the more, full.

A 30-pound generator can be transported by a healthy man without any problems, and the presence of massive rubber legs provides not only a sure installation in place, but also reduces vibration transmitted to the floor if you operate the generator indoors (not forgetting, of course, about ventilation!).

The 149-cc engine with manual start is quite economical and will work on one gas station of the built-in 5.7-liter tank for at least five and a half hours.

With a small load, it is possible to further reduce the consumption by switching the generator to the “Eco” mode with a switch on the front panel – we found this technical solution only from Patriot.

Especially it is necessary to note the low noise level that the developers have achieved: only 62 dB is a record among all participants in the rating and our best recommendations.

Such generators are often described as touring ones – indeed, when going out into the countryside, it will easily fit in the trunk of a car, even in a motorcycle stroller, and the 12V output for charging batteries here can be very usefl.

Main advantages:

• Small size.

• Fuel economy.

Minuses:

• Not the best choice for
long-term operation: it will take stops to cool down every 5-6 hours.

ZUBR ZIG-3500

This generator is much cheaper than the models of top brands, but its performance is not bad: the rated power of 3 kW for the inverter circuit is still considered decent. Run-only manual, but turn the cable 149-cc motor for 5.7 hp not difficult. The generator itself is brushless, requiring minimal care and maintenance.

The generator weighs 30 kilograms, so in carrying for an adult man is not particularly scary. Especially since his pen is comfortable. We will not find fault with the quality of sound insulatio its work is felt, the sound of a working generator begins to annoy only at maximum power when the engine goes to full speed.

Moderate appetite: a 5.7-liter tank is enough for 3 hours work. The operation of the inverter is also quite good, the manufacturer emphasizes that the generator can be used to power gas boilers, although, of course, it is much more convenient for this model with the automatic input reserve circuit, and not with the manual “common grinder”.

Main advantages:

• Moderate noise

• Low fuel consumption

• Five year warranty

Minuses:

• Manual start only

DDE DPG2101i

This economical (gasoline consumption – no more than a liter per hour) 2.4 kW inverter generator suddenly became the leader in noise level: its 92 dB is an indicator beyond good and evil.

Although it goes to high speeds only under maximum load, the roar at the same time causes desire. However, let’s not talk about bad things.

In general, he is not bad for his money. 5.5cc 200cc engine It is easy to start with a cable starter, and the electronically controlled throttle valve does not require manual setting of the heating rotations.

Low power does not imply the use of a generator paired with engines that consume a lot of electricity, and this is not worth it: a cheap pulse converter produces a signal very far from a sinusoid. For a gas boiler, the DDE gas generator is also not the best option, but as a power source for a country house, due to its low price and economy it will be just right.

Main advantages:

• Affordable (at the level of classic generators) price.

• High profitability.

Minuses:

• Extremely strong noise at high revs.

• Poor quality of output voltage form.

Benefits of silent diesel generators

There are no completely silent diesel generators. As there are no gas generators with zero noise. With the help of various tricks you can achieve maximum sound insulation.

How to reduce noise

Diesel generators are traditionally considered the noisiest among similar models. To optimize them, soundproof covers are used, silencers and specially equipped rooms, in the decoration of which materials are used which muffle the sound.

Different manufacturers work with their soundproofing systems. On various models, it can be installed as an ordinary metal casing, or as a whole system created from a variety of soundproof materials, with the result that the noise from the generator disappears almost completely.

The ideal option is to build a separate building for a noisy and powerful generator. But this is not always advisable. In most cases, it is enough to choose a quiet propane generator.

Of course, if you need a powerful power plant at a thousand kilowatts, it will not be possible to ensure quiet operation. Most silent electric generators are designed for private homes and institutions, small industrial or construction sites.

Low noise level allows to install a diesel generator both on the street and inside a residential building. It is not necessary to allocate a whole room for the unit, thereby reducing the usable area of ​​the dwelling.

It can be mounted in the basement, subject to certain rules. Thus, the room must have forced ventilation and sound insulation.

Overview of silent diesel generators

Today, there are many developments on the market, both domestic and foreign manufacturers. Diesel generators differ in power, functionality, dimensions and other features. There is a certain difference in the noise level.

Criteria for choosing a good gasoline generator

When choosing a generator, the following parameters are the most important:

• Engine’s type: here the power units of the Honda GX family, copied on almost all Chinese gas generators, have proven themselves in the best possible way.

Their construction is extremely simple, repair will not cause difficulties for a person, even once in his childhood he has dismantled his own moped, the resource is decent even for Chinese clones.

More complex units like the upper Subaru-Robin have no real advantages, and the price and convenience of disassembly significantly lose theHonda GX.

• Availability of protection: a generator operated without supervision should have at least an oil level sensor that automatically stops it when there is a lack of lubrication. Overheating protection is desirable for long-running generators.

• Startup method. If there is a cable starter on any gas generator, the electric starter is a distinctive feature of more expensive and powerful models. It is most convenient for the generators used for backup power supply – in combination with an automaticreserve transfer device (ATS), this will allow the generator to automatically start up without human intervention when the external power supply is disconnected.

• Generator type: if a classic brush generator has a need for regular (but not so frequent) brush replacements, the brushless ones noticeably lose their working capacity with a sharp increase in load: the voltage drawdowns are stronger and longer. To work with power tools, welding machines, it is better to consider only brush petrol generators.

• The principle of voltage regulation. The classical scheme is a mechanical speed regulator that maintains a constant 3000 rpm on the shaft (the generator produces a current frequency of 50 Hz) and an electronic circuit that controls the current in the rotor winding.

There are two drawbacks: if you can reconcile with a slow response when the load changes, continuous operation at high speeds even without a load significantly increases noise and fuel consumption, while at the same time reducing engine life.

In the inverter petrol generators, the engine speed is regulated exclusively depending on the load, and the frequency and voltagevalues ​​are set by the pulse converter itself. Inverter generator is morecomplicated and more expensive, but at the same time its motor will last longer, and fuel consumption will be several times lower.

However, inverter generators need to take into account the accuracy with which the sinusoida form of the output voltage is simulated – a rough (“modified”, as is commonly indicated in the characteristics) curve significantly reduces the efficiency of electric motors, overloads the converter itself when operating on inductive load.

Let’s talk separately about power. Since the influence of inductive and capacitive components is noticeable in AC circuits, the terms “active power” and “total power” are used.
The first is the net consumption of the device; for consumers like incandescent lamps or heaters, it is equal to full. Due to the high inductance of the windings, electric motors have the total power, indicated in kilovolt-amperes (kVA), greater than the active (kW).

But the generator winding itself also has certain losses, so if the manufacturer indicates the generator power in kVA, pay attention to the power factor (cos φ): for example, a 10 kVA generator with cos φ = 0.8 will give up to a load 8 kW.

No matter how good the generator is, do not forget about regular maintenance: this is not only a timely oil change (do not forget that these engines have neither an oil filter nor a pump — fill in clean oil and only the recommended viscosity!)

And clean the air filter, but and regular gasoline replacement. Old gasoline can easily cause the formation of deposits in the carburetor, and you will know about it, as usual, at the exact moment when a generator is needed.

In this regard, dual-fuel models will be preferable: the gas is much cleaner and does not deteriorate during storage, and for starting and warming up in the cold gasoline will need a little bit.

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