Last updated: August 11, 2021

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We live in a time when almost all everyday appliances are powered by electricity. Practically all electrical appliances in the household, such as refrigerators, washing machines, televisions and the like need electricity to function. What would we do if we ran out of electricity?

It's a situation we can't even imagine today, but power outages can still happen. These outages are short-lived, but our electrical appliances still need to be functional. Humans are very inventive and have invented an inverter power generator for this emergency situation.

In our inverter power generator test 2022 we want to help you find the best inverter power generator. We have compared different inverter power generators from different price ranges and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages.




Summary

  • Inverter power generators are useful and safe helpers that are used both indoors and outdoors. If the regular power grid fails, they take over the complete power supply.
  • The place of use of the power generator is manifold. Numerous businesses, such as power plants, hospitals or even service companies, secure themselves with a power generator. Of course, the power generator is also used in the private sector. For private use, small mobile devices make the most sense.
  • Depending on the model, power generators can be operated with different types of fuel. There are products that work with diesel and others that work with petrol.

The Best Inverter Generator: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying an inverter power generator

The electricity grid in Germany is actually quite stable and reliable, but power cuts can still happen. What to do in such a case? An inverter generator helps you to be totally independent in this situation and gives you a safe feeling.

If there is a power failure, the inverter generator takes over the complete power supply. This way, you are optimally supplied with electricity and can protect your sensitive devices.

In order to buy the right inverter power generator, you should inform yourself well before you buy it. We have compiled some questions you should ask yourself before buying and listed some criteria you should pay attention to.

What is an inverter generator?

An inverter generator is an electrical device that filters electricity. The device converts direct current into alternating current. This produces a sinusoidal alternating voltage that has a suitable frequency to supply sensitive technical devices with electricity.

Power generators are useful helpers that are used to ensure power supply in the event of a power failure.

Power failures can last for a very short time, but also for several hours. An inverter is used wherever you want to protect sensitive devices from voltage disturbances, because it ensures a constant supply of electricity.

Inverters can be used both indoors and outdoors. They also come in different sizes and power levels.

Inverter Stromerzeuger-1

Inverter, also called an inverter, converts DC voltage into AC voltage.
(Image source: unsplash.com / natsuki)

What does an inverter power generator cost?

Different models are offered on the market. The price range depends on the size and power range of the product. Prices range from around 200-2000 euros. You should think about your budget and your intended use before buying an inverter.

Below you will find a list of the price categories:

Product type Price range
Inverter power generator with diesel 200-1400 Euro
Inverter power generator with petrol 200-2000 Euro

Where can I buy an inverter generator?

Inverter generators are offered by various manufacturers. There are numerous models on the market. You can order from the online shop of the respective manufacturer or find the right device in DIY stores. In the shop, you have the advantage of being advised by an expert employee.

Inverter power generators are easy to transport due to their compact design and they fit in every car

When buying, you should make sure that the model has the safety standards. The TÜV seal will tell you whether the inverter generator has been tested and meets the safety standards. If the manufacturer cannot offer a safety certificate, then you should not buy this device.

There are two types of inverter generators. Each of these generators has its advantages and disadvantages, which we will discuss in detail in the following points.

Inverter Stromerzeuger-2

Small power generators are useful helpers for private use. They are easy to set up and transport.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Linh Ha)

What types of inverter power generators are there?

An inverter power generator is used wherever you want to protect valuable equipment, such as computers in the IT sector, from crashing and ensure trouble-free use.

There are inverter power generators with

  • UPS connection and
  • ATS unit.

UPS stands for uninterruptible power supply. A UPS is needed more in companies where equipment with sensitive data must not fail or crash. UPS are mainly used in hospitals, laboratories, cold stores, IT companies and computer servers.

In the companies mentioned, even the smallest interruptions can lead to the loss of important data/information. So you should consider whether it really makes sense for you to install a UPS or whether a manual power generator that you can simply start yourself if necessary is sufficient.

With this variant, batteries are installed that prevent important devices from being switched off in the event of a failure. In this way, all devices continue to be supplied with power. Since the generator naturally needs time to warm up, the battery takes over full power during this time. The battery is then charged later by the inverter. Depending on the size, the battery has a different runtime, which can range from a few minutes to hours.

Advantages
  • Low initial cost
  • Easy installation
  • You have to be on site
Disadvantages
  • Must be started manually
  • High power consumption

ATS stands for automatic power supply. This means that in the event of a power failure, the power supply is automatically taken over. The ATS unit monitors the power grid and automatically starts the emergency generator in the event of a power failure.

The ATS panels are either installed directly in the power generator or external switching units are installed. You should have an electrician carry out the feed-in into the house mains. Only an electrician can guarantee a truly safe installation.

Advantages
  • Automatic start and stop in case of power failure
  • You do not have to be on site
  • Easy installation
Disadvantages
  • Higher initial costs
  • Low power fluctuations

Which of the two options is better for you depends entirely on your needs.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate inverter generators

Equipment, operation and quality are important criteria that you should consider when buying. In addition, ease of operation and transport are crucial. After all, the inverter generator should make your work easier.

So that you know what to look for when buying, we have compiled a list of the different criteria. Here are the most important criteria:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in the individual criteria:

Application

The intended use and the installation site basically determine which inverter power generator you need. This means that depending on where you use and install a power generator, or how many consumers will use it, there are different models and different power classes. Inverter generators can be used on construction sites, in agriculture, for camping or simply for private use in the house.

Power

Inverter generators are available from 2 kVA to 3000 kVA. If you only want to buy an inverter generator for private use, a power of 2100 kVA at 230 volts is sufficient.

Diesel engines have the best price-performance ratio in terms of fuel costs and generated power.

It is also important to consider the fuel with which the inverter generator is operated. There are diesel and petrol generators. Now you might ask what the difference is between a diesel and petrol generator. In family homes, a diesel generator is usually used. The diesel generator is more expensive than the petrol generator. However, it is much more economical and has a longer life. More about this in the following paragraph.

In addition to the power of the inverter, it is also important to pay attention to other properties, such as the technical data. You can find the technical data in the product descriptions.

In order to find the right inverter for your home, it is advantageous to consult an expert advisor.

Fuel

When choosing an inverter generator, you should of course also know the advantages and disadvantages of the respective fuel.

Generators that run on petrol usually have a high continuous output. In addition, the purchase costs of petrol engines are lower. The disadvantage is that the fuel consumption is higher and there can often be minor power fluctuations. This can have a negative effect on the quality of the electricity and damage sensitive technical devices.

Petrol engines are usually smaller and lighter. The design of the engine makes them more mobile.

If you need high power, you should choose a generator that runs on diesel. Since the combustion engine is much more powerful, you can use the generator more often. The advantage is that you can connect several devices to the generator.

Diesel engines have higher purchase costs than petrol engines. However, they are cheaper because they consume less fuel. In addition, these emergency power generators are large and heavy, which limits mobility due to the design and weight.

Inverter Stromerzeuger-3

Depending on where power generators are used, different outputs and sockets are needed.
(Image source: 123rf.com / Serezniy)

Equipment

  • Display: The power generator should be equipped with an LCD display. It gives an overview of all important data. The voltage delivered, the current power or the oil level can be easily checked.
  • Sockets: An inverter power generator should have several sockets. This way, several consumers can connect to the power at the same time. A 12-volt DC connection, which can be used to charge an empty car battery, is also practical.
  • Starter battery: The starter battery is a helpful feature that stores electrical energy and releases it when needed. This makes the starting process easier.
  • Electronics: The inverter is located on the electronics board. This converts the direct current coming from the generator into clean alternating current. Only in this way can sensitive electronic devices be operated safely and protected from serious damage.
  • Cooling fins: Heat generated by the combustion process in the engine must be dissipated as quickly as possible. Cooling fins cool the heated air and prevent the engine from overheating.
  • Engine: The engine is the heart of an inverter generator. The automatic speed control optimally adapts to the current required at any given time and consumes significantly less fuel.
  • Enclosed housing: Advantageously, models that have an enclosed design operate much more quietly and smoothly, thus reducing the noise level.
  • Carburettor air filter unit: In the carburettor air filter unit, the fuel is finely atomised and combined with the already pre-filtered air. Fuel-air composition result in an explosion in the combustion chamber and the inverter generator starts to work.
  • Fuel tank: Fuel is filled in the fuel tank. Petrol-powered inverter generators operate quietly and smoothly. They are also cheaper. In addition, the size of the tank determines how long an inverter generator will work without refuelling. High-quality devices can run for up to 14 hours without refilling.

Facts worth knowing about inverter power generators

What do I have to consider with an inverter power generator?

Emergency generators must not be operated in closed buildings. Sufficient cooling air must be guaranteed and exhaust gases must be able to escape directly into the open air. Installation in buildings is only permitted in specially designated rooms. A chimney sweep can tell you which rooms these are. The installation should be carried out by a professional in any case.

For the power supply, a decision is made between 230 volts and 400 volts. Normally, a 230 volt unit is quite sufficient. However, the following must be observed: Mains may only be fed by an emergency generator that has phase balancing to avoid overload. Without phase balancing, units can be damaged.

How do I earth an inverter power generator?

Our conventional power connection already has an earthing. The residual current device (RCD) ensures that the current flow is interrupted on contact. This prevents the risk of electrocution, otherwise we would be exposed to a life-threatening hazard every time we touched it. On construction sites and in workshops, a so-called isolating transformer is used.

Earthing is required: when flammable liquids are pumped through pipes and electrostatic charging is to be expected or when electricity is fed into a fixed installation.

The earthing connection depends on the power range and type of use. No earthing is required for small mobile generators. Since no dangerous touch current can occur in the event of a physical short circuit in connection between active conductors and consumer housings.

Mobile power generators without an earthed star point are only suitable for operation in the IT network or for the protective measure of protective separation. IT networks are used in hospitals, industrial plants and in the energy supply, wherever a disconnection of the power supply could have life-threatening or economic consequences.

To properly earth a power generator, an earth spike must be inserted into the ground. The condition of the soil is crucial for earthing. Sandy soils or loose soils are rather unsuitable. The earth spike is screwed to the power unit and the earth cable in between in order to establish a firm connection. After the grounding has been successfully completed, the generator can be put into operation.

Picture source: Rado/ 123rf.com

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