Small size generators are a good way to restore power when the utility electricity supply fails. They are also used at camping and construction sites. There are some remote areas where utility electricity is not available. A portable generator provides essential power backup at these places. This power source can be used to run electrical appliances, tools and equipment. It is important to know how to choose a portable generator because it requires understanding some electrical terminology like wattage and voltage.
This is the most important thing to consider when buying a portable generator. Electrical equipment like bulbs, fans, AC, motors and heating elements consume a certain amount of power during operation. The wattage specification is written on the electrical devices and it is a good idea to first calculate the total wattage required. Usually, a CFL bulb has 15-25 watts while a ceiling fan has 75 watts. A portable generator is not suitable for high energy-consuming appliances like electrical furnaces.A website that sells this type of generator also provides wattage calculator. A 3000-4000 watts generator is enough for a small home that needs to run 3-4 lights, TV, refrigerator and microwave. These generators are available in the range of 3000-15,000 watts. There is no need to buy a higher wattage generator than what is required because it will consume more fuel.
Such generators usually give 10 hours of continuous power on a full tank. A generator that provides maximum hours of power using the minimum amount of fuel should be selected because the recurring cost of gasoline is the biggest cost involved in running a generator. Propane generators are also available. The buyer should check local fuel prices and decide which type of fuel will prove more economical.
These generators have small wheels at the bottom so it is easy to carry them anywhere. At the same time, some higher wattage generators are heavy and cannot be moved to another place by one person. If the generator will be used at camping or construction site then the weight and portability of the generator should be checked.
Simple or Inverter
Some portable generators are not designed to run sensitive electronic equipment like computers. These generators generate fluctuating current that is okay for general appliances but not suitable for devices that need continuous stable power. For running sensitive equipment like computers, an inverter generator should be used.
In most residential areas, there are strict council and building laws related to the generator noise level. The Less noisy generator is also less irritating for the users. Portable generators are available in silent varieties as well but these units cost more.
These are some important factors to consider when buying this type of generator. All generators give the same standard 120V and usually have a single outlet. Wiring is needed to take power from this outlet and send to multiple outlets.