No matter it it is for back up power or on the job site power generation, fuel efficiency is important. Recent advancements in technology has led to the advent of very fuel efficient power generators for portable use, called inverter generators.
They are typically smaller and more compact than their cousins but are very fuel efficient. These generators are perfect for camping, RV use or even portable back up power in an emergency. They are powerful enough to handle some tools and can be used at the job site for quick, dependable power.
Inverter Vs. Conventional
In an inverter generator, the engine power a generator/alternator which then passes current to a recitifier. This converts the power from alternating current to direct current and then from direct current to alternating current.
The purpose is to smooth out the variances in the current. By doing so this produces a near perfect sine wave of 60 hertz current that resembles the on grid power that a power plant produces. Just on a much smaller scale.
This means that the power generated suffers little to no harmonic distortion. This protects sensitive electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and more. In fact any electronic device or appliance that can not have any variation in power.
Fuel Efficient Inverter Generators
Best Selling Portable Inverter Generator
This small and compact inverter generator produces 800 watts of surge capacity and around 700 watts continuous. The Earthquake IG800W Model 11613 weighs in at 21 pounds, making it easy to carry to job sites and event sites with easy. Perfect for camping. It is very fuel efficient, running about 14 hours on a gallon of gas. It is also very quiet. It does only have one outlet but for its size, this is expected.
One aspect to this generator, as opposed to the larger cousins, is this generator is great for anyone who lives in an apartment or condo.
Best Small Inverter Generator to Buy
The PowerHouse 60370 500Wi generator supplies 500 watts of surge capacity and 450 watts of continuous generation.
While, not quite as powerful as some other generators on the list, this unit can easily power a TV, laptop, small desktop or charge tablets and phones. As with the other generators, this is a light weight model at around 22 pounds and runs for a long time on a single gallon.
It is also fully CARB and EPA compliant, which means low emissions. Great for camping or for a small apartment, in case of a power outage. It is also super quiet and easy to use.
Top Inverter Generator under $500
The 2015 DG-3000 Digital Inverter Generator generates a healthy 3000 watts surge capacity and 2700 continuous power.
More than enough for camping and as emergency back up generation for small appliances and devices. It is perfect for average RV use, however it should not be expected to run AC units. As expected because of the name, the unit is fully digital.
This means the power generated has an extremely low variance and is very fuel efficient. The run times varies depending on load, but averages about 8 hours on 1/4 load. While heavier than the others in the list, it does produce more power. It weighs in at 60 lbs, so it is still easily carried.
Best Portable Inverter Generator under $1000
Polaris is a recognized name in portable power generation and it shows in the robust and dependable nature of this generator. Ergonomic, this generator is perfect for camping or even tail gating. The Polaris P13GDGBNA P2000i can be used for as portable power for a job site or placed in storage awaiting the next extended power outage.
It pumps out 2000 watts of surge capacity and delivers 1800 watts continuous power. More than enough for small appliances and devices. It has dual, circuit breaker protected outlets and has a low oil shutdown to protect the unit. It runs for about ten hours on a quarter load.
It is also extremely quiet, at less than 54 db of noise generation. This is near the level of the average conversation. In addition to the dual outlets, it also has one 12 volt DC for direct charging. It weighs in at 53 pounds, making it powerful and portable.
Best Portable Gas Digital Inverter
While part of the same line as the aforementioned P2000i, there is more to the Polaris P13GDGCNA P3000E generator than just up rated wattage. While it does pump out 3000 watts of surge capacity and 2600 watts of continuous power, it has a longer run time at around 21 hours at quarter load and it still quiet at less than 54 db.
It is also electric start, making starting and running this generator a breeze.
It has a low oil shutdown and each circuit is circuit breaker protected and the entire unit is over charge protected. It also has wheels making it easy to get around and still is relatively light compared to its larger cousins at the same wattage.
It is EPA and CARB certified and even certified for National Park use by the U.S. Forest Service. It has three outlets including a 12 volt DC for direct charging. This unit is great for tailgating, camping or even overnight power generation for emergency backup as it is very compact and quiet.
These generators are extremely fuel efficient and are perfect for a variety of uses around the home and job site. Inverter generators are great for producing near grid quality power and that means they are safe for sensitive electronics.