Since the time Michael Faraday invented the very first electric motor, life has become more and dependent on electricity. So much so that in virtually everything we do, electricity plays a role. For instance, electricity enables us to keep our food fresh, cook out meals, wash our clothing and keep our homes warm.
Some people even depend on electricity to operate medical equipment that supports their lives. Electric pumps are responsible for pumping water in rural areas. Should a hurricane hit, you will definitely need a source of electricity to power your necessary appliances. A portable generator serves to provide electricity in situations where electric power from the grid is not available.
A portable generator (for example: GOAL ZERO YETI 150 SOLAR GENERATOR KIT ) is typically a generator encased in a strong steel roll-cage besides having a wheel kit. The roll-up age makes rolling up the wheel kit as may be necessary-possible. But how much weight is too much? Since some portable generators weigh as high as 200p pounds, portability is entirely relative especially for higher wattage generators in the market. Many portable generators, nonetheless, come with recoil start just like several other small machines. Some models have both electrical as well as recoil starting mechanisms.
So, why would one need a portable generator? While most persons tend to associate generators with emergencies, those are not the only uses. Portable generators are dependable machines that can be used daily to power tools on a construction site. They can also be used to supply power during power outages, for various home applications, camping among many others. All a user has to do is fill up the generator’s fuel tank, turn it on and plug in the appliances to be powered. Provided the generator’s capacity is not exceeded, living life off the grid can be realized.
Portable Generators: Features that count
● Power and Fuel Efficiency
Each and every single generator have two types of power ratings; surge wattage and running wattage. The running wattage level electric power a generator and continuously handle. The surge wattage refers to the amount a generator can handle for minimal flashes typically lasting about 10 seconds. The latter accounts for the power surge that arises when electric device together with electric motors start. The amount involved can be as much as four times the power necessary to operate.
Having said that, when shopping for a portable generator, pay attention particularly to fuel efficiency. Generally, the best uses less than a half a gallon per hour and has 14 hours running time on half load. Also, opt for one that does not run at full power at all times. A generator that can adapt automatically to the power demanded by the load is fuel efficient. It, thus, delivers a higher running time for every tankful of fuel.
Read more: Tips on Generator Size Calculator
● Safety features
It includes circuit breakers, never-flat tires, and grounding methods and spark arrestors. A more important safety feature is the GFCI (Ground-fault Circuit Interrupter) protection. This is a sensor that quantifies the AC going to and from the generator. Should the returning electric current reduce, the implication is it has found another path to the round. The function of GFCI is to cut the power whenever this happens, thereby protecting its user from electrocution. So, if a portable generator has this form of protection, it stands out from the crowd.
Another safety feature to consider is the operating noise. Gas generators use combustible enginesjust like normal cars. They are bound to make noise. A very loud generator makes it hard to communicate with others and/or annoy neighbors while it’s being used.
● Control Panel Features & Ease of Use
The control panel of any generator is the place where meters, switches, and many other controls exist. Expect to find 4 standard household plugs in addition to at least one 120/240 V twist lock AC outlet designed for huge applications or even industrial applications cords. The best generators come with electric ignitions requiring a simple push of a button or flip of a switch to start the portable generator. Since these start options require electricity, a recoil ignition is still necessary to make it possible to start the generator when the battery is exhausted.
● Help & Support
Any generator that does not come with three years of warranty is not good enough. Note, though that most manufacturers do not sell to consumers directly. Even then, a customer should still be assured of excellent support while using the generator. The warranty should cover issues such as enough contact information, a service center where the generator can be fixed or serviced offer general guidelines on how to best use the generator. There should also be plenty videos, product manuals, maintenance tutorials and a platform through which a customer can ask any question.
Most portable generators are priced in the range of 500 to 800 US Dollars. However, powered ones-those producing power less than 4000 W-are priced slightly lower than this range. Those of 9000 W and beyond, on the other hand, are priced approximately 1000 US dollars currently. As is the norm with all other machines, there is an increase in price with an increase in power output.
The type of fuel, as well as the use of inverter technology also, plays a part in the price range of a portable generator. Expect to part with as much as 10 percent more for Propane generators compared to their gasoline counterparts. Inverter generators have a 50 percent price premium committed to them. So, while choosing, have these facts in mind.