Generators are handy tools that automatically and continuously produce energy. They are used in many instances, from powering your electronic devices to providing power to remote locations. There is no doubt that they have revolutionized the way the world works.. So what exactly is a generator? A generator produces electricity by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.
It accomplishes this by using an external load, such as a spinning flywheel or magnets, which then causes a rotation of the armature inside it. This rotating armature induces an electric current in its coil which can then be utilized for electricity generation.
Why Use A Generator?
A generator is an important tool for anyone who has an electrical or electronic device that needs constant power. Whether it be a TV, an appliance, a computer or any other electrical equipment, you will always need to have a steady and reliable supply of electricity.
If you encounter a power outage, your electronic devices might not work properly and this can cause trouble later on. Generators are also extremely useful for campers and the military, as they provide consistent power when the voltage levels in a region drop.
How A Generator Works?
Generators work by altering the direction of the current in an electric motor so that it spins at a steady speed. As a result, it can now convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. This change of the current direction is called commutation.
A generator has 2 main parts that make it operate. These are:
The rotator is attached to the rotor which spins inside the stator of the generator . The shaft of the motor runs through a magnetic field that pushes it in one direction and pulls it in another. In most cases, these fields are produced by permanent magnets, which use their magnetic fields to move the shafts inside strong electromagnets. When this happens, current flows through coils of wires in series with each other.
The stator is the third part of the generator, shown in the diagram at right. It’s made up of a copper core wrapped in wire coils and mounted on a flat surface. When the motor shaft spins, it causes a varying magnetic field that induces an electric current in the coils of wires and thus produces electricity.
When an electrical current is produced by an electric generator, it rotates around two axes, known as field lines. These field lines represent energy transferred from one location to another. A generator also has two parts known as rotor and stator that work together to produce this energy transfer. This diagram shows how a generator works.
Types Of Generators
There are two main types of generator:
- Conventional Generator
- Alternating Current Generator
Conventional Generator – This is the most commonly used type of generator. It uses a conventional electrical generator which converts mechanical energy into electrical energy, which is then used to power electronic devices.
Alternating Current Generator – As the name suggests, this type of generator uses AC power to provide electricity for your electronic devices. They are more efficient than conventional generators and are widely used in the military, home and industrial applications.
The main objective of using an AC generator is that it can take a very weak mechanical force and use it for generating maximum amount of electricity.
Conventional Vs. Inverter Generators
The main difference between a conventional generator and an inverter generator is the type of power they use. Conventional generators use AC power while inverter generators use DC power. Most home appliances work on AC electricity, so it is important to choose a conventional generator if you want to power your home appliances during an outage.
Inverter generators are mainly used for producing steady DC current for powering a motor. This kind of current can also be used in your car battery and with any other device that runs on DC power, especially if the voltage level isn’t high enough.
How Much Power Do You Need?
The amount of power you need during an outage will depend on which devices you want to keep running. For example, if you’re only looking to keep your fridge or freezer running, it won’t take much to run the essential contents inside it before they go bad.
However, if your computer has a number of electronic devices running at the same time, such as a laptop with a modem, three monitors and speakers. You’ll need something more powerful. Keep in mind that the wattage of your appliances will always be higher than what is advertised on the packaging because there is some waste involved. The best way to calculate the wattage needed by your appliances is by using a Kill A Watt electricity usage monitor.
Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor
This is a very useful tool that any home user should have, as it lets you see the amount of electricity used by each of your appliances. It has a LCD display and uses a digital readout to indicate how much electricity is being drawn from the mains. This allows you to calculate the approximate amount of wattage used by each device in your home.
Here’s an example – say your TV has a rating of 120 watts but when you use it, it sometimes goes off and then comes back on again, so there is some wastage involved. To determine the speed of your motor, you’ll take 120 watts and divide it by the number of rotations made per second. In this example, you would get the wattage as 60. If you feed this into Kill A Watt, it will indicate that your motor is running at 1.5 horsepower.
You can then use this number to determine how much power you need to run your motor.
60/1.5 = 43 watts is how much power is needed to run a motor at 1.5 horsepower (43 X 60/1.5 = 216 Watts)
Calculating Wattage Requirements
When you’re looking to buy a generator, it’s important to know how much wattage it will produce. The easiest way to do this is by calculating the wattage needed by your appliances and then determining how many watts your generator produces.
Here’s an example – say you have a refrigerator and there are about 15 cubic feet of space inside it, including the freezer compartment. Conventional refrigerators use about 8 kilowatts per hour, which would mean that if the fridge is running at full capacity, it would draw around 1 kilowatt (1KW).
Now, let’s say you have a 1/2 horsepower (50/1.5 = 25 watts) generator that has enough power for all of your appliances, and it also comes with a built-in battery charger. This will allow the generator to run indefinitely, but it won’t be able to charge the battery if there is no electricity available.
To calculate the wattage the generator will produce – multiply the number of cubic feet inside your refrigerator by 8. This will be good for about 8 hours of continuous use, so before running your fridge off-grid, you’d need to plug it in and get rid of around 4KW (4 X 8 = 32 Kilowatts).
32 x .25 = 64 Kilowatts is how much power will the generator need to charge your refrigerator
Now if the generator only has a 25 watt solar panel, or a 4 watt solar panel and a 1 kilowatt battery, I would only recommend running the fridge for about 8 hours. This makes sense because you’d only have enough electricity for 8 hours of use. Keep in mind that this is just an example, and any calculations that are based on your personal situation may differ slightly. But the principle is the same – use your appliances’ wattage rating to determine how long you can run them off-grid without a generator.
The best solution is a combination of a solar panel, wind turbine, and a battery bank that can charge itself while also storing energy. There are various batteries on the market that even allow you to store excess solar power so that it will charge your battery bank while you’re not using it. This allows you to use your generator only when needed.
What Fuel Generator Uses
There are a number of different types of generators available, each with its own characteristics that make it appealing to certain users. Some common types of fuel generators are gas powered, propane fueled, natural gas powered, and diesel fueled.
While all of these options have their perks and benefits, there are certain applications where one type is simply better than the rest.
One of the most popular choices when it comes to fuel generators is diesel driven generators. There are several reasons for this, but the main factor is that they can be used in more ways than other types. For example, if you need to run your household appliances as part of your emergency supplies, then diesel generators are the best choice.
Also, if you need to keep a few lights on during a storm or even power an item for medical purposes, then diesel generators are ideal. However, there are some disadvantages to using diesel generators. The main issue is their price. They do not come cheap and they can be extremely heavy and hard to move around when needed.
However, if you need something that will provide you with reliable power for a prolonged period of time, then a diesel generator is the way to go.
Gas Powered Generators
One of the most popular options in terms of fuel driven generators is gas powered generators. This is probably because they are cheaper than other types – especially when it comes to propane generators. So, why are propane generators particularly helpful? Well, they are extremely portable and can be moved around with ease. They can also be placed outside of your house without causing any kind of problems.
This is both a plus and a minus depending on the situation, as you don’t want to think about blowing up your house in a storm. However, if you’re only looking to run a few appliances in the event of an emergency, then propane powered generators are ideal: they are powerful and can provide you with 24 hour electricity just by connecting them to your gas line. The only disadvantage is that they need to be refilled on a regular basis.
Propane Powered Generators
Propane powered generators are one of the most popular types of fuel generator simply because they can provide you with electricity for a short period of time. They are also extremely easy to use and have very few problems. However, if you’re looking for something that can produce power over a prolonged period of time, then propane generators are not the best choice.
Gas Powered Generators Vs. Diesel Powered Generators
While both diesel and gas powered generators are ideal for different situations, they are still very different when it comes to fuel consumption. While gas powered generators use propane as their main source, diesel fueled generators use diesel which is considerably more powerful. Gas powered generators can run up to around 12 hours on a full tank while diesel fueled ones can last up to 36 hours.
Diesel fueled generators also produce more power than other types of fuel driven generators, which means you need fewer of them during a prolonged power outage. When you’re looking for long-term solutions in the event of an emergency, then no matter the cost, diesel is always the best choice. As you can see, when it comes to fuel driven generators – diesel and propane are both very different types of generators.
They each have their advantages and disadvantages, but in the end, the one that is best suited to your situation depends on the circumstances. If you’re using a propane powered generator at home, then it’s definitely the best choice from a cost point of view as it uses cheaper fuel. However, propane powered generators all have limitations when it comes to their power output and they cannot be used for long periods of time.
On the other hand, diesel powered generators have much more power and are able to be used for extended periods of time. Also, they cost more, but are way better than propane powered generators.
What Type Of Fuel Is Best For Generators?
As you can see, there are many different types of generators for you to choose from, each with their own unique characteristics. While all of them have their advantages and disadvantages, the type of fuel they use is a major factor when it comes to deciding which one to buy.
When comparing gas powered versus propane generators or even diesel fueled ones, it’s important that you consider the latest models of each. Most gas powered generators are still very similar to the ones that were on the market a few decades ago. However, today’s diesel and propane powered generators have evolved tremendously over time. Many new features have been added over time and technologies used by these machines have greatly improved their efficiency. Any generator that is less than 7 years old is outdated and should be replaced.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences between today’s propane powered generators compared to the ones of the past.
The primary advantage of propane powered generators is that they are extremely easy to use. Just fill them up with propane and then plug them in. They have many features built into them that can help you save even more money, such as power interrupt protection and surge protection. Also, some models allow you to run more appliances at the same time compared to other types. Some also come with a battery charger for extended off-grid usage.
Pros: Easy To Use – Propane powered generators are very easy to use and generally do not require maintenance on a regular basis. The fuel is cheap and when they need refilling, it’s done at the local gas station wherever you are located.
Cons: Limited Power – Propane fueled generators have a very low power output compared to other types, as they are primarily meant to run smaller appliances.
They cannot be used for heavy duty applications and they can’t provide you with electricity during a prolonged grid failure. If you’re looking for an easy to use and inexpensive source of emergency power then propane generators are ideal.
However, if you want more features, higher power outputs, and the ability to run your appliances during a prolonged grid failure then it’s best to invest in a diesel fueled generator.
Diesel generators have many advantages over gas powered ones and are often considered the industry standard when it comes to power needs. One of the main advantages of diesel generators is that they can be used for a prolonged period of time without refueling. This is much more convenient if you’re trying to rely on them in case of an extended power outage.
Another big benefit of diesel powered generators is the kind of fuel they use. While other types of generators require filling up with fuel and then monitoring that fuel level, when it comes to diesel fueled ones, you just need to fill it up once a while and that’s it! No more watching your fuel level. Another plus about using diesel fueled generators is that they can be used in many environments. In the past, diesel fueled generators were only used in places where there was no access to natural gas. But today, it’s possible to run a diesel powered generator in your home or anywhere that has access to fuel.
Pros: Longer Run Times – Generators that use diesel fuel have much longer run times when compared to gas powered ones. Some models can even produce electricity for days before needing refilling. This makes them ideal for power outages that last more than a couple of days.
Cons: Heavy – One major disadvantage of generator models that run off of diesel is their weight. They aren’t ultra heavy by any means but they’re still considerably heavier than gas fueled generators. This can make it difficult to move around if you need to relocate one of your generators.
Gas Powered Generators
While using a gas powered generator isn’t very popular these days, it was very popular just a few decades ago. They are quite expensive when compared to diesel fueled and propane powered generators but have several advantages as well. First of all, they run on natural gas which is the least expensive form of fuel for these type of generators. Also, they can be moved around easily because they do not require refilling or constant monitoring. This makes them ideal for emergency situations where you may need to relocate your power source on a regular basis.
Pros: Low Cost – If you’re looking to keep your generator running at all times, then gas powered generators are a great choice because they cost less than other types of generators. They are also very easy to use and have a great power output.
Cons: Run Time – While the price per energy used is low, the problem with gas powered generators is that they do not run for very long. Therefore, if you want a generator that can provide you with power during an extended grid failure, then gas powered models are not for you.
How Loud Are Generators?
It’s a good idea to invest in a generator that is both powerful and quiet. However, it’s almost impossible to find a generator that operates with zero noise. As such, when looking for one that will run in your home without disrupting the neighbors or even yourself, it’s important to consider how loud different types of generators are when in operation.
These are some of the loudest generators on the market:
One of the loudest types of generators is diesel powered generators. These are more powerful than propane powered models and use diesel fuel to run. This means they produce a lot of heat which can be problematic in very small spaces such as a house.
Gas Powered Generators
Gas powered generators also produce quite a bit of noise since they run on natural gas. However, this type of generator is much quieter than other options and can be used in homes without making too much noise.
Propane fueled generators are also relatively quiet, but they can still be quite loud in certain situations. One of the biggest factors that affect the noise is the presence of other natural surroundings, such as trees and other plants.
The sound waves produced by propane powered generators bounce off these objects and are amplified which can make it much more difficult to run a generator in your home.
How Long Do Generators Last?
This is a really important question to ask when comparing different types of generators. While propane powered models are cheap, they don’t have a very long lifespan. In most cases, they only last for around 3 years before breaking down or becoming useless.
There are many different types of generators, but some of the most well-known brands are Briggs & Stratton, Onan, and Generac. Most manufacturers have a specified lifespan on their generator models, but this doesn’t stop the quality and durability from degrading over time.
Although it’s important to make sure you’re buying a generator with enough power to run your home for year or two without having to add more energy sources, it’s equally important to make sure you’re buying a durable product that will last for many years. This is why it’s a good idea to buy a generator with a 10-year warranty or longer.
What Is A CARB-Compliant Generator?
As you can see, when it comes to generators there are many different considerations and things you need to keep in mind. It’s a good idea to do your research before going out and buying the first generator you find that meets your needs. One important thing that people often overlook is the certification of the generator. However, this is something that you should be aware of before you buy a generator.
A CARB Certified Generator is one designed for use in California which has certain air quality standards set forth by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Many generators are not CARB certified and have not been designed for use in places where there are stricter laws on air quality. If you live in California, then you should definitely make sure that any generator you purchase is CARB Certified. This ensures that the generator will produce the same level of contaminants as it would in a California home. While this may not be important if you are not living in California, it is very important for anyone who lives there.
CARB certified generators can also run for longer without having to be refueled. This comes in handy during prolonged power outages because they are able to produce electricity even when your grid isn’t functioning properly. When looking at different generators, it’s a good idea to look at their CARB certification first and foremost.
How To Maintain Your Generator
No matter what kind of generator you purchase, it’s going to require some sort of maintenance and care to ensure that it runs as expected. While small generators are easy to maintain and don’t need much work done on them, larger ones can be a bit more complex. However, the bottom line is that you need to know how to maintain your generator properly if you want it to last for years. Here are some things you should keep in mind when caring for your generator:
- Change The Oil Regularly – This is very important because most generators come with oil that needs to be changed on a regular basis. Most sources recommend changing the engine oil and filter every year or every 200 hours of use.
- Inspect The Starter Cord – It’s also important to inspect the starter cord of your generator on a regular basis. This is usually where you will find the most wear and tear since it’s one of the most used parts of the engine.
- Inspect Fuel Lines – One of the most common parts that fail in a generator is the fuel line. These can leak or develop cracks over time.
- Inspect Battery – As with other batteries, keep an eye on your vehicle battery and make sure it hasn’t been damaged by acid leakage problems.
- Inspect Magnet Holders – Another common issue with generators is that they’re magnet holders fail. This is where the generator fails to produce the proper amount of
electricity due to the lack of a working magnet.
- Inspect Belt – Belt problems are also fairly common and they can make it difficult to run your generator as expected. When they do break, it can be very difficult to replace them because these parts are quite expensive.
Can You Plug A Generator Into A Car?
Many people don’t know about this feature, but you actually can plug a generator into your car’s battery. This is usually done by using an AC adapter and an electrical cord. However, there are some generators that come with this feature built in. The beauty of this feature is that you can use your generator in conjunction with your power from the grid. This is a very convenient feature. When you’re out driving and run out of power, you can plug it in to charge up your car’s battery.
If you want to know if your generator has this feature built-in, then there are some things you need to look for. If Your Generator Has This Feature Built-In. The generator will be supplied with a set of jumper cables and an AC adapter cord. It will also be equipped with several battery clamps so that it can be plugged directly into the car’s battery.
Generators are an essential part of your emergency preparedness supply. Whether you use it for comfort or power, a generator is a must have in any home. However, there are many different types of generators to choose from. You want to make sure that you purchase the right one that meets all your needs and matches the environment where you live.
Choosing the right generator can be a confusing process when you have so many different options available to you. While we’ve done the research for you and come up with our top generators list, it should go without saying that this is not an exhaustive list