How Many Types of Generators Are There?

| Updated on March 4, 2024

Blackouts can be inconvenient, especially if they last too long. With unpredictable weather conditions, power outages are becoming more and more common. It has now become essential to have some sort of power backup, so you don’t end up in any problem. No doubt, there are many best generator brands, but choosing the perfect type of generator can be daunting. 

So, if you want to learn more about the best generator brands or the perfect type of generator, you’re at the right place. 

8 Types of Generators 

You might have seen tons of options when looking for the best generator brands. Generators are usually classified based on their energy sources and sizes. Each type of generator is useful for different purposes. Here are 8 types of power generators that you should know of:

1. Diesel

Diesel is one of the least flammable fuels. Though most generators run best on diesel, some of them are also designed to work on other sources like gas or liquid fuels. 

Types of Generators

Diesel generators have better durability, long life, and lower requirements for maintenance. Because diesel burns at a lower temperature than gasoline, these generators also produce less heat. So, they are a great option for producing more power at a lower cost. 

  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Easy to operate 
  • Long life
  • No need for frequent maintenance
  • Release harmful emissions
  • Not suitable for wet or moist environments

2. Natural gas

Natural gas, including propane and LPG, is one of the most commonly used fuels. Generators of this type are highly durable and inexpensive to operate. Moreover, they are famous because they use one of the cleanest fossil fuels to work. 

  • Natural gas burns cleanly
  • Quieter than other types
  • Natural gas is easily available in power outages
  • Don’t last as long as diesel generators
  • Not portable
  • Require gas line connection, which can be costly

3. Gasoline

Gasoline generators are another common type. This is because gas is used as their fuel, which can easily be found anywhere. Moreover, these are affordable and highly portable. They are also available in small and compact sizes, easy to store within the home. 

The only problem is that it might be hard to acquire gasoline during power outages. However, they are a good choice if you occasionally face power outages. They can provide a high output at a very low cost. 

  • Budget-friendly
  • Portable
  • Produce a lot of emissions
  • Noisy
  • Can be difficult to start in colder temperatures

4. Solar 

These generators use solar panel energy to power up. They are very handy because you can easily find sunlight anywhere. However, the problem could be the time needed to charge them. They require around 8 hours of sunlight to fully charge their battery. 

  • Quiet
  • Operate on the renewable and free energy source
  • Perfect for small appliances
  • Need a lot of time to charge
  • Can be expensive as compared to their fuel counterparts

5. Hydrogen

Hydrogen is one of the cleanest sources of energy, and it is also available in abundance. It is non-toxic, cheap, and much better at producing electricity than any other source of fuel. In addition, hydrogen generators can be a good source of steady power supply.

Hydrogen generators are not as common as other types and are mostly used in labs. They might be more common when the best generator brands also start rolling them out.

  • Cheaper alternative to fuel
  • Non-toxic
  • Sturdier and resistant to impact damage
  • Produce more energy per pound
  • Can be costly since it is a new technology
  • Not common

6. Standby

Standby generators (backup or emergency power systems) start up on their own and usually use diesel or gas as fuel. They also have extra-large fuel tanks that allow them to run up to 48 hours before needing a refuel. 

These generators have power protection and automatic transfer switch. So they can detect power fluctuations or losses within seconds and start on their own. Hence, they are commonly used in hospitals or elevators, etc. Some also have a wifi feature to monitor their status through a mobile app. 

  • Automatic transfer switch 
  • Constant power supply
  • Powerful enough to run the whole house
  • Costly
  • Require regular maintenance

7. Portable

Portable generators are usually powered by gas, diesel, or solar power. They are useful for short-term power outages or camping trips, etc. Moreover, they have different sizes and can run TVs, fridges, and freezers. The best thing about them is their small size that makes them easy to cart around. 

You can wire it into the subpanel of your home or directly plug in the appliances to it with an extension cord. These generators are also often seen on construction sites or camping areas to power up lights and small appliances. 

  • Very affordable
  • Useful for short-term power supply
  • Easy to move around
  • Can be easily stored in the home or car
  • Require protection from water and weather
  • Might not produce as much power as larger ones
  • Not suitable for use inside the house due to emissions

8. Inverter

Generators are often very loud and disturbing. However, the invention of inverter generators has notably lowered their sound. These are also energy and fuel-efficient and safe for sensitive gadgets. Unlike standard ones, they can produce electricity in three phases. This type is popular among construction workers, campers and hunters, etc. 

  • Longer operating times
  • Quiet and better performance
  • Low emissions
  • Protect equipment from power surges
  • Clean and stable energy production
  • No need for frequent refueling
  • Costly 
  • Not suitable for big appliances

Conclusion on Choosing the Right Type From the Best Generator Brands

No matter which brand you choose, every type of generator has its own pros and cons. So, it’s up to your needs to decide which features you can trade-off for other qualities. Still, thorough research and careful decision-making are important before buying any generator. 

Now that you know about the types of generators, you can figure out your needs and get the one that suits your needs. However, it is always a good practice to consult experts before finalizing any decision.

L. Dias William

L. Dias William is an established writer who specializes in Apple goods, iOS, and other technology. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has years of hands-on experience in the IT business. William has a sharp eye for detail and an enthusiasm for innovation, and he has written countless articles and reviews that are popular among computer fans throughout the world. His distinct combination of technical understanding and creative flare makes him a desirable voice in the consumer electronics industry.

Related Posts