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Types Of Generators: All You Need To Know About

Last Updated: 25 February 2021

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Electricity is like a lifeline in our lives today to keep society working. Virtually all businesses and homes need electricity to complete their day to day tasks and power all machines and get them running. The municipal supply of electricity is fallible for several reasons; hence, a generator can be used during this failed supply to produce electrical energy.

What is a generator?

What is a generator

A generator is a machine designed to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy that produces light and power other electrical machines and appliances at home. Generators serve as backup power when there is a power outage. It also powers tools at remote places where the grid infrastructure is not available.

When the need of getting a generator set arises, the first question you should ask is: “what type of generator do I need?” There are direct current generator types and alternating Current generators. The direct current generator operates through electromagnetic induction that is capable of conversion into electrical energy. Based on the models and power of a generator, there are three types; inductive generators, synchronous generators, and continuous current generators.

Generator Fuel Types

The different types of generators based on the fuel types include gasoline generator, diesel fuel generators, propane, and natural gas generator.

Gasoline generator

Generator Fuel Types

Gasoline generators are the most common fuel type of generators for home use because gasoline is readily available. The gasoline generator uses gasoline to power the mechanics of the parts to convert into the expected electrical energy. The amount of gasoline needed per generator depends on the size and the model of the generator.

Gasoline fuel is highly flammable hence it records high emission compared to other types. The gasoline generator might be too expensive to manage because it burns out quickly and can be expensive. A typical 5000 watts’ generator is likely to burn about 18 gallons of gasoline in 24-hours.

Diesel fuel Generator

Diesel fuel generators are highly efficient but not so common types of home generators. It’s a diesel-powered generator with an efficient energy supply. It’s cost-effective when compared to a gasoline type. It also doesn’t go flammable as in the case of a gasoline generator. A diesel generator is usually used for industrial purposes rather than home use.

A typical diesel generator uses half a gallon less per hour during operation compared to a gasoline generator. A diesel generator is less portable because they have heavier engines and require regular maintenance by a professional mechanic. Asides the normal diesel, there is biodiesel which is a mixture of diesel and biological source and an emulsified diesel which is a mixture of water and diesel.

Propane Generator

The propane fuelled generator is the safest generator fuel type for the environment because it reduces carbon emission and it is safe and friendly to the environment. The propane fuel generator is one of the best home generators because it can be stored for a very long time and burns clean when used.

Since it comes in a cylinder, you can store it at home easily. Even though propane burns quickly in a generator, the rate of burning depends on the watt of the generating unit. A three and half-gallon propane can burn in an hour in a 20-kilowatt generator and about 6 gallons per hour in a 35-kilowatt generator.

Natural gas generator

A natural gas generator runs as an onsite generator and not as a portable generator. It burns clean with very little gas consumption. It runs well quietly and can easily function in cold weather. It is costly to install and the gas line can be corrosively leading to leakages. It has no problem with wet stacking when operating it.

Dual fuel generator

Apart from the single fuelled generator that uses only one source of fuel to power, you can buy a dual fuel generator that allows you to use two fuel sources alternatively. This comes in handy during an emergency when you can get one and the other is unavailable. It affords you the versatility and flexibility to switch between fuel sources or operate both at equivalent sizes.

Multiple fuel generator

This is usually a portable gas that you can move from one place to the other with the opportunity of using more than two fuel sources. It gives you the option of mass fuel storage. It usually combines natural gas, propane, and gasoline storage separately in one generator.

What is a portable generator?

What is a portable generator

Portable generators are generators that are temporarily installed and can be moved from one place to another. These are the most suitable kind of generators for emergency purposes. You can purchase one from a local equipment dealer or online. It is cheaper to standby or a permanent generator. It functions like the best home generator because it is very easy to use. All you need to do when you need it is to wheel it out, fill the tank and pull the starter cord.

The portable generator might be difficult to use inside the rain because it has noshed and must be placed in the open for maximum ventilation. The portable generator can be noisy because there is no provision for noise insulation. The portable generator is very handy in residential areas or sometimes construction sites. The best portable generator supplies power between 3000 to 8000 watts.

What is a standby generator?

What is a standby generator

A standby generator is a stationary generator robust commercial machine fixed to one spot from where it is operated. It is designed to carry high capacity equipment more than the portable generator. It has an attached hard wire from which it connects to the home. It can be operated manually or automatically in situations where it has been programmed to work so. The stationary generator does not have a problem with the rain because they are usually installed in a house outside the house which has insulated waterproof covering.

The standby generator powers appliances at home but is more expensive than a portable generator. They usually run on natural gas, diesel or propane. While the stand by generator is suitable for industries and governmental key buildings, it can function well at home too. The standby generator supplies power between 4500 to 15,000 watts.

What is an inverter generator?

Inverter generator works to produce high voltage AC to convert to DC voltage and convert again through a circuit into electric current. The inverter type generator is more quiet and efficient than other common generators. It is best used for sensitive electronic gadgets like laptops, medical products, and television. The inverter type generator is very portable because you can move them from one place to the other. An inverter generator is more expensive than a conventional generator but you won’t have to fill up tanks constantly. They produce less emission and are not excessively large.

What is the best generator for home use?

What is the best generator for home use

For you to purchase the best home generator, you need to consider several things: budget, home wattage needs, important and special features, fuel type, size of the generator.

Budget: your budget will go a long way to determine the types of power generators you will buy and the best generator for your home in that category. Before you buy your generator, you need to set a budget that will allow you to search for both high-end and low-end products.

Home wattage needs: the appliances you use at home and the level of their energy consumption determines your home watt needs and the best home generator you can afford. You must know the power outage required. To get the watts needed for your house you can add the watt of all the appliances at home and get the possible range of generator and watts needed.

Special features: you should consider buying a good generator with the special features you will like. If you are living in a densely populated area, you will consider buying a noiseless and affordable generator. You can also consider buying the best home generator with features like automatic transfer switch, automatic voltage regulator, automatic shutdown, wheel kit or cooling system.

Fuel type: generators run on gasoline, natural gas, propane, and diesel. You need to first decide the fuel type generator that you want before you go for the best product of that fuel type.

Size of the generator: the size of the generator you want and can easily be stored in your house is necessary. You need to decide on the size that you want that will be ideal for your environment and home. Ask yourself the important question: “how big of a generator do I need?


Buying home generators is a difficult task that can rather be made easy if you pay attention to proper planning before purchasing. We have done extensive research on the features and types of generators that are available in the market. You need to work on this available information and around your budget to get the best home generator. You deserve the durable and enjoyable generator this Homemakerguide will help you choose.

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