10 Best Portable Electric Generators Reviews and Buying Guide
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Best Portable Electric Generators Reviews
Nowadays, most of us cannot imagine spending even a few minutes without our smartphones. With this thought, most of us these days invest in smartphones with better battery backup. Even, some of us own power banks so that we can recharge our smartphones on the go. When a pocket-size power bank can be enough for one or two recharges, how about a week-long trip. This is where a portable electric generator can help. Besides being portable, this type of generator can supply power not only for your tablet PCs and smartphones but even some of your devices like a coffee maker.
The good thing about a portable electric generator is that you can power it from a wall socket, a portable solar panel, or a carport. And you need not have to carry any fuel. Compared to fuel generators, portable electric generators work by recharging from a wall socket when you are at home and storing the power in the associated battery. Then, when you need it, they power the appliances when you are outdoors.
A Brief Summary
Now, you know that a portable charger is a useful appliance to have irrespective of whether you are at home or outdoors on a camping trip. But, you might wonder how to choose the right solar-powered generator. To help you, we have listed the top 10 such power stations available in the market. You can even get to know how a solar generator is the best from this list:
- Best Electric Generator for Camping: Flashfish 200W Peak Power Station with 45000mAh Battery
- Best Electric Generator for Outdoor Use: Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
- Best Electric Generator for Travel Trailers: iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
- Generator with Quick Recharging Ability: EF River Pro Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
- Compact Generator that can Fit into your Backpack: iGen160s Portable Power Station from Westinghouse
- Generator with a Durable Construction: 6000mAh 300W Solar Generator from FlashFish
- Best Generator for Handheld Devices: 78000mAh 300W Portable Power Station from Rockpals
- Best Generator with Safe Pass-Through Charging Ability: Explorer 1000 Power Station from Jackery
- Best Generator for Home Appliances: iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
- The Best Generator Overall: EF Delta Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
Portable Electric Generator – Detailed Reviews
As you intend to buy a portable power station, you know the top options available in the market for different purposes. But, you will be interested in a detailed review of each of these units to finally make the right choice. To help you with this decision, we have reviewed all 10 generators here:
1. Flashfish 200W Peak Power Station with 45000mAh Battery
This power generator with 166Wh capacity comes with many outputs ports. They are a couple of 110V AC outlets that will help you power appliances like a fan, a drone camera, a camera, a laptop, a tablet and a CPAP Machine to name a few. Also, this generator features three USB ports. Of these ports, two are quick charging ports. It means that you can use these ports for quickly powering your smartphones and USB-enabled tablet PCs. Along with these ports, it also houses 2 DC ports. You can use these ports for your car tools like car cleaner. With these ports, this generator is ideal for medical care, outdoor activities, fishing and camping.
With 45000 mAh battery capacity along with pure sine wave AC outlets, this generator can produce 150W continuous power and 200W peak power. With this capacity, this generator can provide stable charge to many of your devices many times. Above all, with its lightweight at 4.5 lb, this unit turns out to be a convenient choice for outdoor use.
You can power this large-capacity power bank in three different ways. You can power it from the wall outlet in your home. Otherwise, you can buy a solar panel separately to power it when you camp. You also have the option to use the associated 12V car socket to power this generator. You will get this generator with a car charger, a cigarette lighter and a power adapter.
- Ideal for camping solar generator with lightweight design
- Easy power on with a press of a button
- Safety features
- 45000 mAh battery
- Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet
- No built-in LED light
2. Jackery Explorer 240 Portable Power Station
This portable battery charger from Jackery has been rated as the best portable power station for outdoor use by Digital Trends. This entry-level unit is equipped with a 240W lithium-ion battery and weighs only around 6.6 lbs. So, whenever you wish to spend time with your family outside your home during summer vacations, you will find this unit helpful. It comes with a solid handle. So, you can carry it with ease and can use it for outdoor adventure activities like backyard camping, road trip and even tent camping.
To help you power your appliances when you are outdoors, this generator comes with a pure sine wave AC outlet, a couple of USB-A ports and a 12V DC Carport. The good thing about this generator is that it supports pass-through charging. Are you wondering what does it mean? It means that you can use this generator for charging other devices when it is being charged.
As this is a power station ideal for using outdoors, you can power it using the Jackery SolarSaga 60W solar panel. But, you will have to buy it separately so that you can continue to generate energy from the sum using this panel. In turn, this power can be used for powering the generator. To ensure that the solar panel can operate at its utmost power, the generator comes with a built-in MPPT Controller. It is not compulsory to buy this panel as you can power this generator using a wall outlet in your home or even through your car outlet.
- Suitable for outdoor use
- Comes with easy to carry handles and weighs only 6.6 lbs
- Pure Sine Wave AC outlet
- Built-in MPPT Controller for quick charging from a solar panel
- Supports pass-through charging
- Takes 5-6 hours for a complete recharge
RELATED: 10 Best Jackery Portable Power Stations Reviews
3. iGen4500 Portable Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
This battery generator from Westinghouse comes with 3700 rated watts and 4500 peak watts. This generator will safely power your appliances as it produces power with less than 3% THD. It is gas-powered and if you are particular about a generator with a traditional recoil start, this unit is for you. But, understanding that you cannot always pull the recoil start, this generator also offers electric start and remote start options with its included key fob. With a telescopic handle, this unit features a 5-20R Duplex household outlet along with a couple of USB outlets. It is also RV-Ready with Tt-30R 30 Amp outlet, which makes it an RV generator. These outlets make this generator, the right choice for travel trailers. Even, it is suitable for home use and is strong enough to power all your essential home appliances as well.
This generator comes with a rotating digital display from where you can get complete details about the level of fuel available, lifetime hours, voltage output, remaining run time and power output. On a 3.4-gallon gas tank, this unit can ensure you up to 18 hours of run time. For the utmost fuel efficiency, this unit features an economy mode.
Also, this unit has undergone a functionality test in a factory for the least fuel odor and the least residual oil. It is a CARB and EPA compliant unit.
- Designed to suit travel trailers
- LED Datacenter
- Telescopic handle
- Remote start option with a key fob
- Electric start
- The user-manual is not easy to understand and is not updated
RELATED: 7 Best Westinghouse Portable Generators Reviews
RELATED: 10 Best Solar Generators for RV
4. EF River Pro Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
This power station from EcoFlow uses the patented EcoFlow X-Stream Technology that will help you recharge the unit from 0-80% within one hour. Also, for a full recharge, it takes just 1.6 hours. With this generator, you can power many devices. It comes with a built-in 600W inverter and this unit can even power some devices up to 1800W. This happens when you keep the X-Boost mode on in this unit. With this generator, you can power a wide range of DIY tools and kitchen appliances. For the best use of this generator, it is better to make sure that you use it for powering devices with less than 1200W.
The good thing about this portable electric generator is that it can help you power 10 of your devices at the same time. The unit has 10 outlets that include three pure sine wave AC outlets. The total rated wattage of the AC outlets in this unit is less than 600W with a surge power of 1200W. This unit can provide you with a 720Wh capacity of power and it weighs only 16.8 lbs. So, you can use it both indoors and outdoors.
This unit provides you the opportunity to double the capacity from 720Wh to 1400Wh. This becomes possible by adding River Pro Extra battery. You can buy this battery whenever you wish to use this generator for producing double the power than its capacity. Check out our full reviews of the RIVER Pro.
- Quick charging capability
- Chance to double the capacity of the generator
- Possibility to power 10 devices at the same time
- Three AC outlets with 600 rated watts and 1200 surge watts
- X-Boost Mode
- Discharges quickly.
RELATED: 7 Best EcoFlow Portable Power Stations Reviews
5. iGen160s Portable Power Station from Westinghouse
This portable unit from Westinghouse comes with versatile outlets that let you power 9 devices simultaneously. With 100 running watts, this generator can provide you with peak 150-watt power. This becomes possible for the generator through its 9 ports. They are three 6mm 9-12V DC outlets, a USB-C port, a quick charge USB port, a couple of USB ports and a couple of 120V household outlets. With this generator, you can power even a 36-inch LED TV, heated blankets or box fans.
This portable generator can provide you with hours and hours of power after a single charge. It comes with 155 watt-hours of lithium-ion battery capacity. You will be surprised to know that this generator weighs only 3.75 lb and as far its overall design is concerned, it is smaller than a lunchbox. So, you can carry this mini generator in your backpack. For convenient carrying, it comes with a carrying handle and a built-in flashlight and reading lights.
You can power this generator at home or on the go or even in a field. You can charge nearly 80% of this generator within six hours using a household outlet. When you recharge it from your car, it will take less than 7 hours for a complete recharge. Even, you can power it using a solar panel. But, in this case, you will have to buy the solar panel separately.
- Fits into a backpack with its compact size
- Can power 9 devices simultaneously
- Built-in device and battery guard
- Provides three modes of lighting
- Has many protection features
- Solar panel is not part of the pack
6. 6000mAh 300W Solar Generator from FlashFish
This generator provides 222Wh backup power. So, it is usable for a wide range of applications. It has 110V AC outlets that will let you power your Christmas lights, a fan, a TV, a laptop, a tablet PC and even a CPAP Machine. Further, it has a couple of 12V DC ports that you can use for powering your car charger, car air fan, car refrigerator, car vacuum and other such devices. It comes with a couple of quick charging USB 3.0 ports and 2 4A USB ports. You can use these ports for powering your camera, MP3, GPS, iPad, drones and phones.
This portable charger comes with a silver case made using metal and the black ends in this unit are made using plastic. These materials, make this generator more durable as compared to other such units in the market. With its 300W running power and 350W continuous power and 60000mAh battery along with pure sine wave outlet, this unit can help charge your devices with stable power. This portable unit weighs only 5.6 lbs.
You can recharge this generator using a solar panel that you can buy separately. Otherwise, you can recharge it completely from a wall outlet in your home. The other option available for you to power this generator is through a 12V car socket. For enabling these charging methods, the wall adapter and car charger are part of this generator.
- Generator with a durable design
- Built-in multiple safety protection features
- 60000mAh battery
- 7 output ports
- No pass-through charging supported
RELATED: 5 Best FlashFish Portable Power Stations Reviews
7. 78000mAh 300W Portable Power Station from Rockpals
This unit from Rockpals comes with a 280Wh lithium-ion battery pack. It has sufficient power to recharge your smartphones, tablet PCs and laptops. Even, with its power, it can power your mini car refrigerator and your GoPro. If you are looking for a power supply for your small home appliances during power outages, this unit can help. Irrespective of whether you need electricity during emergencies like a hurricane or power outages in your home or even during camping, this generator from Rockpals can come in handy.
It can effectively power your small digital devices. For powering your devices it has a pure sine wave AC outlet with 300W rated power and 500W peak power. It also has a USB-C port, a quick charging 3.0 USB port and a couple of USB 3.1A ports. Even, it houses a couple of DC ports. Among these ports, the Quick Charging 3.0 USB and USB-C ports can power your devices at a 40% faster rate. So, you can get your handheld devices powered quickly with this generator.
This solar-powered generator comes with a built-in professional MPPT Technology. So, you can get it charged at faster charging rates when you use Rockpals 100W solar panel. But, you will have to buy this panel separately if you need on-the-go charging for this generator. Otherwise, you have the option to recharge it from an AC wall outlet. Even, you can fully charge it from a USB-C port using a wall outlet. The fourth option available is to power it from a carport.
- The best generator for powering your handheld devices
- Multi-function output ports
- Possibility to quickly power your smart devices
- Suitable to use both indoors and outdoors
- Attractive design
- Cannot power devices with more than 300W capacity
8. Explorer 1000 Power Station from Jackery
This unit from Jackery features three pure sine wave AC outlets, a quick charging 3.0 port and a couple of USB-C ports. The AC outlets can provide 1000W of continuous power and the capacity of this unit is 1002Wh. It can provide you with the power required for powering a full-size refrigerator, an electric grill, a television set, a blanket, a heater and more of your home appliances and even appliances that you use outdoors.
To make sure that you can generate endless power on-the-go, this generator has been made compatible with Solarsaga solar panels from Jackery. You can buy 2 100W Solarsaga panels separately from Jackery and can upgrade Explorer 1000 power station as a complete generator. As the power station comes with revolutionized MPPT Technology, it can provide 23% higher conversion charging efficiency to the camping solar panels.
This solar generator kit features three standard pure sine wave AC outlets. They provide you with extra capacity to power more AC devices and appliances. Unlike most other generators in the market with similar capacity, this generator provides pass-through charging functionality. Most importantly, when you use this feature, there will not be any harm to the battery part of this generator.
- Supports pass-through charging without affecting the battery
- Uses protected layers of technology
- Upgraded MPPT Controller
- Utmost solar efficiency when connecting to solar panels
- Durable design
- Costs high
RELATED: 5 Best Jackery Solar Generators Reviews
9. iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
This gas-powered generator with 1800 rated watts and 2200 peak watts can safely power your devices as it ensures less than 3% THD. With its weight of 46 lbs, this generator can be the best choice to use in your home during power outages. To help you power your appliances, it comes with a couple of 120V 20Amp outlets and a couple of USB outlets. As it is strong enough to power all your home essentials, this generator can be the best choice for home use.
You might have heard that gas-powered generators make more noise. But, this generator has been designed to ensure quiet operation. This is why its dBA will be as low as 52. This highly fuel-efficient generator can run for 12 hours on a 1.2-gallon gas tank. For making sure that you can get the best fuel efficiency, this generator comes with an economy mode.
This portable power station has been designed parallel-capable. It means that you can combine this generator with other models of generators from this brand or even the same model to increase the available wattage of power and amperage. But, to do this, you will have to buy a parallel cord from this brand separately.
- Can power a lot of your home appliances
- 1800 running watt and 2200 surge power
- Offers an economy mode for the utmost fuel efficiency
- EPA and CARB Compliant
- Clean, stable and low THD power output
- 52 dBA is still noisy
10. EF Delta Portable Power Station from EcoFlow
This power generator comes with multiple charging outputs that will let you power 13 devices at the same time. Yes, it has an impressive number of 6 AC outlets. Together, they offer a running power of 1800W and surge power of 3000W. The other outlets are a couple of USB-C ports, a couple of USB-A ports, a couple of USB-A fast charging ports and a standard DC 13.6V port.
This portable battery charger comes with a lithium battery pack. You can recharge it using a 10-65V solar panel, which is not included with this generator. If needed, you can buy the panel separately. But, you will get a car charger and a wall adapter with this generator. You can use both these options for powering this generator.
You can recharge this battery generator from 0-80% just within an hour. If you wish to recharge it completely, it will take two hours from 0-100% recharging. The patented X-Stream technology from EcoFlow gives this generator the efficiency to quickly charge. You will be surprised to know that it can recharge at 10 times faster speed than a generator of similar capacity from other brands. Most importantly, you can do it using a regular adapter. You need not have to worry whether you should buy a big brick-like charging adapter separately.
- Display unit to provide complete details about charging cycles
- 1260Wh capacity to meet your power needs
- Three different ways to recharge
- Power as many as 13 devices simultaneously
- Best performance
- Design not satisfactory
RELATED: 8 Best EcoFlow Solar Generators Reviews
What is Portable Electric Generator?
A portable electric generator is a machine that generates electric energy in the form of current and voltage. This generator is a type of power generator that converts mechanical energy into electric energy. It gets its mechanical energy from wind, gas, or steam. Nevertheless, this is not a common mechanism. The reason is that you will find different types of portable electric generators in the market. Each type works differently for powering your appliances.
Some types of portable electric generators work by turning an onboard alternator into electricity. This electricity is then used for powering your appliances through outlets. You can connect extensions for powering many of your appliances as well. The good thing about a portable electric generator is that its portability makes it convenient to carry. This is beneficial as it is hard to move a conventional generator from one place to another. When thinking about a conventional generator, people keep away particularly if they have space constraints. The reason is that because of the bigger size, these generators occupy a lot of space. A portable electric generator is better in this way.
How Does Portable Electric Generator work?
As mentioned earlier, a portable electric generator works by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. It gets mechanical energy from an external source. The source can either be fuel (or dual fuel generators), solar energy, AC wall mount, or even a carport. The thing to remember here is that this generator does not actually create electricity. Rather, it uses the mechanical energy that is supplied to it for triggering the movement of electric charges present in the wire of its windings. You can understand how a portable electric generator works by knowing its components. The generator is made up of different components. Each component contributes its share to the functioning of the generator together. Let us throw some light on different components that contribute to the overall working of a generator:
Part1 – Engine
Without the engine, a portable electric generator cannot work. It is the source of input of mechanical energy into the generator. The engine size has a straight connection with the utmost power output that the generator can supply.
Part2 – Alternator
Otherwise called gen head, an alternator in a generator is responsible for producing electrical output from the mechanical input that the engine supplies. It encompasses a combination of moving and static parts that are put together in a housing. These parts work in tandem with each other for causing relative movement between the electric and magnetic fields. In turn, electric generation happens.
Part3 – Fuel Tank
A fuel tank is another key component in a portable electric generator. The fuel tank in any generator should be sufficient enough to keep the generator operational for 6-8 hours. When you take the case of portable generators, you can find the fuel tank as part of the skid base or it would have been mounted on the top of the frame of the generator.
Part4 – Voltage Regulator
A voltage regulator is a component in a portable electric generator that regulates the output voltage. Only when the power generated by the generator is regulated, it can safely power your appliances.
Part5 – Cooling System
When the portable electric generator is in continuous use, it can lead to heating up of its different components. To prevent overheating, a cooling system is also a part of most generators.
Part6 – Battery Charger
In general, the start operation of any portable electric generator is taken care of by a battery. To keep this battery charged, most generators also come with a battery charger as a key component.
Part7 – Control Panel
The control panel in a portable electric generator is the user interface. In this component of the generator, you can find provisions for electric controls and outlets.
These components together help generators to generate power. Through the receptacles in these generators, you can power your devices.
What are the Benefits of Portable Electric Generators?
A portable electric generator in addition to being the best companion for campers and household use can also be a helpful tool in job sites that need the power to run essential tools. If you are wondering whether or not to invest in this generator, understanding its benefits would be a good idea:
1. To Power Your Tools
As against looking for some other source of power at worksites that are yet to get power supply like a construction site, a portable electric generator can be the best companion. Also, a construction company can easily move this generator from one construction site to another as it is portable.
When you are operating your business from home and thinking about building a workshop close to your home, you can use a portable generator to meet your power needs. This would be a viable option against trying to get a connection from the main power line in your home.
2. Ensure An Alternative Source of Power
Nowadays, instances of natural disasters are frequent in many world nations. Based on the severity of the storm or any other natural disaster, it has the potential to cut off the power for a longer period. At these times, you can have complete peace of mind when you have a portable electric generator in your home.
3. Safe to Use
The good thing about shortlisting the best portable electric generator is that it will provide you with circuit breaker protection. With this protection, it will be possible to avoid overloads. Even, most portable generators these days come with a ton of other features that keep not only the generator but also the appliances connected to it safe.
For instance, you can take the case of a low-oil auto shut-off feature. With this feature, the generator will shut off automatically when it senses low fuel. In turn, damage to the generator is prevented.
To ensure safety to the devices powered using the generator, most generators generate power with less than 3% THD. So, safety features make portable generators a viable option as compared to traditional generators powered by diesel.
4. Quiet Operation
When you shortlist a portable electric generator, you should look at its noise level specified in dBA in the tech spec page of the generator. You know that conventional generators are known for noisy operations. The good thing about portable generators is that they come with appropriate technology to reduce noise. In turn, you can use the generator in camping areas with noise restrictions as well.
5. Saves food
The good thing about using a portable electric generator as an alternative source of power is that it can save your foods stored in the refrigerator. The USDA recommends that foods stored in the refrigerator for more than four hours without power become unusable. The USDA further recommends not to consume this food. But, when you have a portable generator to power the refrigerator during a power outage, you can save your food from getting wasted.
6. To Power Emergency Medical Devices
If you or a family member is reliant on a medical device like a rechargeable power chair, an oxygen tank, a heart monitor, or a CPAP machine, it is always better to stay prepared for unforeseen things. This is where a portable electric generator can help. When there is a power outage, you can quickly start the portable generator to power the medical device. With the presence of this generator, you can feel completely safe about the continued use of medical appliances.
How to Choose A Portable Electric Generator?
The selection of a portable electric generator is not an easy task. You will have to consider different factors to ensure the right selection. Here are some tips to help you:
1. Type of Fuel Used
When you compare portable generators, you will find that they are powered by different types of fuels. Examples include natural gas, propane, gasoline, diesel and even some operate using solar energy. Mostly, portable generators use either gasoline, propane or solar energy. Even, you can find a portable electric generator to be powered using two different fuels. With this feature, you can get the flexibility in using any fuel of your choice.
2. Engine Type
When you intend to shortlist the best portable electric generator, it is better to know the type of engine used by a generator. For instance, you will find some generators use OHV engines, while some use non-OHV Engines.
When you take the case of generators with OHV engines, they have the intake and exhaust valve present on the head of the engine’s cylinder and not mounted on the engine block. The good thing about generators with an OHV engine is that they have a compact design. Further, they provide a simpler operation mechanism and a low level of emissions. Moreover, generators with OHV engines are durable besides ensuring low-level noise when operating and user-friendliness. Of course, generators with OHV engines will cost you more compared to generators with other engines. But, you can get many benefits.
3. Cast Iron Sleeve in Engine Cylinder
When you look at the tech specifications of a portable electric generator, there are chances that you might find a mention about the cast iron sleeve. This is nothing but a lining in the cylinder of the engine. When this lining is present in a generator, you can feel satisfied that the unit will stay with you for longer. The reason is that it will bring down wear and tear.
4. Consider the Alternator
Now, you know that in a portable electric generator, an alternator is one of the key components. When you assess this component before you shortlist a generator, it is better to consider the following:
When the housing used in the alternator has been made using metal, it will ensure durability. You will come across generators with plastic housing for the alternator as well. There are chances of plastic housing to deform when years pass. When this happens, the moving parts of the alternator can get exposed. In turn, the chances of wear and tear will increase. Even, it is hazardous. So, look for a generator with an alternator placed within a metal housing.
Needle Vs. Ball Bearings:
As compared to needle bearings, ball bearings are popular for longevity. So, you can look for a unit with ball bearings covering the alternator.
When you find that an alternator does not use brushes, there will be a lesser need for maintenance. Even, this feature will ensure cleaner power generation.
So, look for a portable electric generator with an alternator with metal housing, ball bearings and brushless design.
5. Consider the Fuel System Used:
Not only the type of fuel, but also you should consider the entire fuel system before shortlisting a portable electric generator. When talking about the fuel system, you should know about the components given below:
- There should be a sturdy pipe connection from the fuel tank to the engine
- There should be a proper ventilation pipe for the fuel tank
- Ensure the presence of overflow connection from the fuel tank to the drainpipe
- Fuel pump
- Fuel filter/fuel water separator
- Fuel injector should be present
6. Control Panel
Another essential thing to consider when you intend to shortlist a portable electric generator is the presence of a control panel. Of course, all generators have control panels. But, the control panel should be user-friendly. When talking about the control panel, the presence of the following features will improve the user-friendliness of the generator:
- An electric start to quickly start the generator.
- The presence of recoil start to enable starting when the battery is down
- Remote start option
- Fuel gauge
- Generator gauges to measure the output current and wattage
- Automatic low-oil shut-off
- Automatic shut-off when carbon monoxide level increases all of a sudden.
7. Other Factors
In addition to the factors mentioned above, the most important thing you should consider when you intend to shortlist a portable electric generator is your electricity needs. Also, you should decide the purpose for which you are going to use the generator. Knowing these things will help you make the most suitable choice of a portable electric generator.
Portable Electric Generator – FAQs
How to connect a portable generator to an electric panel?
Connecting a portable electric generator to an electric panel can be done by enabling a transfer switch. A transfer switch is a device that helps to connect a portable generator to an electric panel whenever there is a power outage. It is connected between the generator and the electric panel and it has components like a control box, power cord, etc. The power cord has an automatic transfer switch that will be connected to the panel and will enable the generator to power on and off according to the power fluctuations in the panel.
You can simply open your main electric panel (only after disconnecting the main breaker) and connect your incoming circuit breaker to the transfer switch, which is already connected to the generator. When a power outage happens, you can remove the main breaker from the panel and place it on the transfer switch’s part labeled as a generator, and then connect the power cord of the switch to the main breaker and turn it on, and the generator will begin to run and the power will be restored.
Can a portable generator charge an electric car?
Yes, it is possible to charge an electric car using a portable generator. But remember that it is not an ideal or the best choice and can be resorted only during emergencies. And as it is not the first choice to charge an electric car, it is important to know about several precautions to do while charging.
First thing is that the generator has to provide stable power to the vehicle. Any kind of power surge may damage the vehicle’s systems. So, it is preferable to use an inverter generator that produces clean, stable power. Also, start the charging process with the lowest charge rate possible to avoid overloading the vehicle’s systems. You can gradually raise it to 30 amp. Also, remember to adjust the amperage before the process. Proper grounding should be provided to the generator during the process.
Although it is possible to charge an electric car using a generator, it could consume a lot of time and gas. It is a slow process even if you are using a 4000W generator. So, try to keep it solely as an emergency option.
How much electricity does a portable generator produce?
The amount of electricity that can be produced by a portable generator depends on the number of appliances that are connected to the generator and the size and capacity of the portable generator. They are available in various capacities and generally, a 5000-watt generator can provide enough electricity for multiple electric appliances to run up to 8 hours.
There are options up to and beyond 7000-watt and they will be quite large in size even though they are portable. There are medium-sized portable generators with the capacity to produce electricity up to 2000-watt, lightweight, and are easy to carry around. But they can only power a couple of appliances for a few hours. Customers should choose the wattage of the generator according to their power needs and the possible appliances that they may use during a power outage.
What are types of portable electric generators?
Portable electric generators come in handy if you have to power a few appliances or tools for a particular period. There are multiple types available of portable electric generators, and the difference is based upon the nature of the fuel that is used in them, the power that it produces, etc. Different types of portable generators are available according to the difference in the power output from them and generators that start from a few kW are available now.
When it comes to classification based on fuel, the most common and popular portable generator is the one that is run on gas. There are many other versions available that are operated with diesel, natural gas, propane, etc. as the fuels. The newest addition to the lot is the hydrogen-fuelled portable generator. It aims at promoting clean fuel for energy and is being used across the globe now. Another type of portable generator is the solar generator. As the name suggests, it is powered by solar energy. Some generators are of bi-fuel operation.
How to use a portable electric generator?
Portable generators have to be used in the most cautious and safest way possible, as they emit carbon monoxide as a by-product. The safest distance of at least 20-30 feet should be maintained from a closed environment, and it should be grounded on a sturdy, flat surface. As it is placed at a distance, an extension cord is mostly necessary when you use a generator.
Fill the fuel that is suited to your generator. Then turn both the fuel valve and the on/off switch to the on position. There will be a choke handle present on the generator. Pull it out and push it until the generator starts. This is how a standard generator works. The process of working may change according to the change in the model of the generator. You can wait for a while for the motor to run a bit, and then start plugging the appliances required.
If the fuel starts to ran out, switch the connected appliances off, leave the motor to run a bit on its own, and then switch the fuel valve off and let the generator cool down a while. Once it has cooled down, you can refill the fuel, and then repeat the process to start it again.
Portable electric generator vs Solar generator
Portable generators and solar generators, despite being used for the common purpose of generating electricity, essentially possess several differences. The major difference is the fuel that powers the device. Portable generators use fossil fuels like diesel to power up the generator, whereas solar one uses photovoltaic cells to yield energy from the sun. Portable generators are easy to carry around as their building is quite compact, but solar generators have quite a few components and thus, are not quite mobile.
The portable generators can be charged up pretty fast whereas the solar ones take quite a long time to charge up. Also, solar generators can’t be used to charge many appliances at one instance like the portable one, as the solar one tends to get drained out when multiple appliances are connected. Solar generators are way ahead when it comes to the environment-friendly nature is concerned. They produce clean energy with low to zero noise while the portable ones emit harmful substances and are quite noisy.
Another difference is in the running cost. The running cost of solar generators is lesser than the portable ones although the initial installation of solar equipment may cause a bit more money.
Portable electric generator vs Gas powered generator
Gas-powered generators, also known as standby generators or inverter generators make use of gasoline or propane to be powered up. They are usually installed in homes and other closed spaces where power requirements are quite high. Portable generators are easy to carry around, and thus are most suitable for outdoor activities like camping. Portability or mobility is the major difference between them. Gas-powered generators are expected to produce more units of electricity than a portable generator and thus, they are built in a much larger way than the latter.
Another difference between them is in the amount of noise that is getting produced. Portable generators have loud noise when they run, but the gas-powered generators produce less noise. The emissions of both the generators are quite similar but more environment-friendly, low emission gas-powered generators are available than the portable ones.
Portable electric generator vs home backup battery
Backup batteries and portable generators are two of the most popular power backup facilities available in the market today. Although none of them can be termed as better than the other, there are several essential differences between them. The first difference is that battery backups use electricity as their fuel whereas portable generators mostly use fuel. This difference brings to the environment-friendly aspect of both of them. Battery backups are the environment-friendly option, whereas the emission of carbon monoxide and a lot of smoke make the portable generators not a crowd’s favorite in this section.
As far as installation is concerned, both are quite similar in nature. Neither of them is extra expensive when it comes to installation. When the maintenance is concerned, battery backups are visibly easy to maintain, whereas the portable ones need assistance for their running, they make emissions, and they need to be refueled occasionally, causing physical labor in maintaining it.
But portable generators are the clear winner when it comes to providing the maximum amount of energy for the maximum time possible. If necessary, portable generators can function for up to weeks without failing on the power production whereas, for battery backups, it is just a matter of hours for the cells to get drained out completely. The battery ones, but have a longer guarantee of flawless functioning than that of the portable generators.
So, which portable electric generator to choose from these top 10 options? The choice is purely based on your personal preferences. The reason is that all these units that we have reviewed are the best in their own ways. Here are a few examples:
- The best generator for your home use: iGen2200 Portable Inverter Generator from Westinghouse
- Best Generator for your Camping Needs: Flashfish 200W Peak Power Station with 45000mAh Battery
- The best generator that can fit in your backpack when you trek: iGen160s Portable Power Station from Westinghouse.