Why Inverter Generators Are So Expensive!

Inverter generators are the next generation in portable power. Incorporating inverter circuitry makes them a far better choice for investment than a standard generator, whether for backup, camping, or getting off the grid.

Inverter generators are so expensive because they are more efficient, use less fuel, are quieter, lighter, and can deliver a better electrical current that is closer to the grid supply quality provided to our homes, and they can be paired up with other generators to deliver more power if needed.

We will look at the various aspects that make inverter generators much better than standard generators and more expensive.

  • The difference between standard and inverter generators
  • How inverter generators are more efficient with fuel consumption, noise, weight, and electrical quality
  • Why you need grid-quality power for your modern home appliances and devices

Even though they are more expensive, once you understand the far superior performance and quality of current they deliver, you may never want a standard generator again.

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Standard VS Inverter Generators – What’s The Difference

The main difference between a standard and inverter generator is that the inverter generator has the current inverter built-in, while standard generators only produce DC that still requires conversion to AC.

Advanced micro-electronics to produce instantly usable power for appliances rather than still needing an external inverter is one of the reasons why inverter generators are more expensive.

However, their additional benefits, which we will discuss below, often offset that initial higher cost and make them a great investment for anyone looking for a reliable and clean source of alternative electrical supply.

Are Inverter Generators More Efficient

In a nutshell, inverter generators are more efficient on multiple levels, which is one reason why people will spend more on them.

See also: What Is A Solar Inverter? (Explained With Examples)

Inverter Generators Are More Fuel Efficient

For starters, the inverter generator is about 40% more fuel-efficient than a standard generator, and it has a smaller tank, which is because of the design. Standard generators run at a set RPM and simply keep going.

Standard generators run at around 3600 RPM and produce current at 60hz as would be required by electrical appliances, while an inverter generator would run much lower and so use less fuel while still producing current at the right frequency.

Inverter generators can determine the load requirements and adjust the RPMs accordingly, giving them greater fuel efficiency. It’s the same principle that inverter air-conditioners use in that they run at low rpm’s when not being used and don’t incur a startup spike.

This makes them more energy-efficient than standard air-conditioners, and the same principle is applied to inverter generators.

Are Inverter Generators Much Less Noisy

One of the standing complaints about standard generators is the noise produced by the engine constantly running at full speed.

Whether petrol or diesel, the constant RPMs make them noisy for your neighbors or yourself. Because inverter generators don’t run at full speed, they are about as noisy as human conversation, making them far less intrusive overall.

If you consider a camping scenario, a generator cranking out between 70dB and 100dB or the equivalent of a busy restaurant at 70dB and your kid’s MP3 player at full volume (100dB) in a quiet, serene forest setting may not be the destress you want.

An inverter generator is significantly quieter and would be a better option when you need power but not be heard 5 miles away.

Are Inverter Generators Lighter

Inverter generators are lighter, making them easily portable as they don’t take up so much space and weight.

Due to their design and efficiency in generating power, inverter generators are lighter and much more portable than their big clunky counterparts. They have a smaller fuel tank and are more compact as well.

This means that whether you need it for ice-fishing, hunting, camping, or as a home power backup, it won’t take a lot of space in the car or the shed, and despite the extra cost, the convenience is most certainly worth it.

Can You Connect An Inverter Generator In Parallel?

Inverter generators can be hooked up to other inverter generators to add more power capacity, which you cannot do with a normal generator.

Being able to couple generators to add additional capacity expands the power options at home or away, which is one of the major benefits of using an inverter generator.

This means that instead of a massive bulky, noisy, inefficient generator, you can use smaller, more efficient ones to deliver the same power level.

Inverter Generator Vs. Standard Generator – Power Quality

An inverter generator delivers much cleaner electricity, more similar to the grid supply than a standard generator does.

When we didn’t have sensitive electronics like computers and mobile phones or high-end audio gear and TVs, we could get by with ‘dirty power like the kind that a standard generator provides

Inverter generators using their sophisticated electronics and micro-electronics produce a higher quality of electricity, and this means that there is less to no chance that expensive electronics could get damaged if they are plugged into this supply.

Now let’s look at why this particular element is important in the modern age.

Why Power Quality Is Important When It Comes To Generators

Modern electronics and appliances are more sensitive to the electrical current quality they receive and can sustain damage if the electrical quality is poor.

The sensitive and precise electronics we find in modern-day mobile phones, chargers, audio equipment, to mention a few, require a ‘clean’ and consistent electrical current to operate properly.

While some do have tolerance for voltage and amperage variations and wave quality, it is far better to provide a Pure Sine Wave (PSW) current than a Modified Sine Wave (MSW) current.

While MSW is suitable for more robust electrical appliances like air-conditioners, a rough wave can cause more sensitive electronics to overheat and thus reduce their operating efficiency and lifespan.

All electronics operate better at lower temperatures. This is why a Pure Sine Wave output is better in the modern age and why it is worth investing in an inverter generator, even though the initial cost is higher.

Over time, the fuel-saving, convenience, and quality of electricity produced and the much lower noise level will be well worth any additional costs.


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Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

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