The Different Generators Available

Different Types of Generators Explained

In a technology-driven world, a minute without power supply can be decisive. Someone working from home will be stuck, machines at a business premises will stall, the life of a patient in a hospital will be put at risk, and the list of threats is endless.

If consistent power is so crucial for our daily home and business endeavors, a reserve power supply is indispensable. The generator comes in handy. But what type of generator answers to your power needs?

Generators can be classified according to the energy used to propel them. These include gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane gas, hydrogen, and blended forms of diesel such as bio-diesel and emulsified diesel. However, these classifications are partial since they only focus on the energy used by the generator and disregard other defining characteristics.

Industrial or home generators are categories that focus on the context in which the power generating machines are used. Besides, the way of producing electricity can also classify generators as inverter or regular.

Aside from the energy used in generators, the context of use, and the mode of producing electricity, a more integrative and general way of classifying generators groups them as portable or standby.

Portable Generators

Portable generators are easy to move and are usually set up outside your home or office. They can also be easily transported to a campsite or an outdoor event. Considering their size, these have a low electric potential, around 3000 and 9000 watts, and can only power plug-in appliances that don’t require high power voltage. House lighting, powering fridges and sound systems are common uses of portable generators.

Because of their limited voltage, these generators are unreliable during long periods of power outage. This is also true because most of these machines rely on gasoline or diesel, which implies consistent refill. However, some may also be powered by propane or natural gas.

The major downside of portable generators is that they are mechanically ignited, which implies reliance on another source of light when one needs to run them during a power outage at night.

From a price perspective, portable generators are the cheapest to purchase.

Standby Generators

Standby generators are on the alert and power on automatically when the main power source is interrupted. Similarly, they switch off when power is restored without mechanical switch on. Their key strength is in their high electric potential, usually above 10,000 watts. This makes them a reliable power supply for longer periods and when powering appliances that require high voltage.

In areas where power supply is not reliable or is interrupted by natural disasters for lengthy periods, standby generators are a wise investment. Their high capacity is dependable for home heating and other HVAC systems. High voltage standby generators are also used in industries.

Power from a standby generator is channeled directly to the circuits in your home or business premises. The generator usually runs on energy from a propane gas tank or a natural gas line, hence eliminating the tedious gasoline or diesel refills.


Because of their high capacity, standby generators require you to dig deep into your pocket when purchasing and installing them.

In sum

Whether a generator is used in a home or business context, uses a refill type of energy or has a direct source, it will either be a portable or standby generator. When purchasing a generator, your choice for the latter or the previous will be determined by how much power you need.