Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > The Gear and Tool Review Board

"small" generator question

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     My generator was professionally installed into the household circuit. It only gets used for a monthly "warmup" and is for power outage usage. Utility current is what keeps everything running otherwise. In the 16 years that I've had the unit I think I've only had to use it as emergency backup twice. It has it's own "doghouse" and gets regular maintenance, fresh stabilized gas and oil/filter changes. I guess it falls into the rather have it and not need it category.

Inverter generators are actually generators...meaning they produce DC current. This is then rectified by some half wave diodes and electronics to produce clean AC. The electronics also control engine speed, which varies according to the load. The engines are pretty quiet mechanically, but they also install a very restrictive and quiet muffler to reduce exhaust noise. I'd have to check to be sure, but being an actual generator, they probably don't run at 3600 rpm as typical generators do.

Standard "generators" are actually alternators and produce AC current. Cheap box store units use a 2 pole alternator head, which requires 3600 rpm to produce 120v or 240v at 60 hertz. Higher quality "generators" use a 4 pole head and can run at 1800 rpm to produce the same 120/240v @ 60hz. There are other pole configurations, but these are most common. Lower rpm = less mechanical noise. All of these units are going to have a mechanical governor to regulate engine speed as load increases or decreases.

12th man:
Generator is near the top of my list of 'to-buy's'. I got to looking at them and finally determined...since i don't need something Ultra portable, i'm going to skip the highly recommend EU2000 (or a similar inverter version), Get a good normal generator for 1/3 of the cost, then put the rest of the money into a back-up battery bank.

Really think about what you want it for. In my case, i am most worried about the freezers warming up during an outage when i am not around. Solve that with a battery bank, use an inexpensive generator to recharge it and power anything else i want.

I just posted in another category, but-------I've had a couple of Champion generators-great service from the company.  Propane is the way to go.

I should have updated this thread.   I bought a Champion "dual fuel" 3400 watt generator.  It has no problem running the AC on our camper.  But it's not terribly quiet.  It is much quieter than a work site generator, but it is not as quiet as a Honda inverter generator. 

I'm not a fan of running a generator while camping, so the volume of the generator ensures that I don't run it when not needed.


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