Types of Generators-Based on their Application & Fundamentals

Types of Generators-Based on their Application & Fundamentals

Electricity is a very important resource in today’s life. If you are at home or the office or even driving in a car or flying in an airplane, you cannot do all of these things without electricity. But sometimes long power cuts interrupt your daily routine.

Here, a generator is a problem solver. There are so many different types of generators, categorize on the bases of their application and basic fundamentals available in the markets. Before moving on to types of generators, let’s have a brief about a generator.

What is Generator

An electrical generator is a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. Generators use motors, turbines, engines, cranks, or also other sources of mechanical energy.

First of all, it converts the energy generated by the water flow, airflow, nuclear energy, etc into mechanical energy. And then finally transforms it into the form of electrical energy.

The generator works on the law of “electromagnetic induction”. It was discovered in 1831 by Michael Faraday, a British scientist.

Types of Generators

There are different types of generators that are strongly linked to their applications. Based on these applications various types of generators are available. Hence, it includes portable generators, inverter generators, standby generators, and industrial generators.

1. Portable Generator

All various types of portable generators are powered by gas or diesel fuel which provides temporary electrical power. There are many options when it comes to purchasing a generator. Therefore, they come in all shapes and sizes, and you first need to decide which style you want.

This is determined by the generator’s application. For camping and tailgating you will want a recreational generator. Probably you need an emergency generator, for home backup, either portable or standby. Contractors need generators with GFCI protection. Furthermore, you will need to find the right size of the generator according to your power needs.

Portable diesel generators are very useful and easy to carry for working outside and camping. It also provides basic power backup in emergencies. Furthermore, Portable generators can save money and can save energy. It is compact but never compromises in power supply. You can easily transfer it anywhere because it is coming with a wheel kit.

Best Portable generators

  1. DuroStar DS4000S, 3300 Gas
  • Powerful, mid-grade generator
  • Easy to start and run
  • Affordable
  • Great performance
  1. Honda EU2000I Super
  • Easy to carry
  • Fuel-saving
  • Stable, consistent power
  • Very quiet
  1. WEN 1800, 56180 Watt Gas Powered Portable Generator.
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Extra safety features
  • Affordable
  1. Westinghouse WGen5500 Portable Generator
  • Large tank
  • Easy transport
  • Convenient hookup
  • Long-lasting
  1. Yamaha EF2000iSv2 Gas Powered Portable Inverter
  • Power-packed
  • Lightweight
  • Smart technology
  • Lightweight

Characteristics of Portable Generators

Here are some characteristics to read and easily understand these types of generators:

  • Uses a combustion engine to conduct electricity.
  • Plug into electrical tools via its sockets.
  • It can be wired into a facility’s subpanels.
  • Used in remote sites.
  • It has enough power to run a television, freezer, and refrigerator.
  • Use a governor to control the engine’s speed.
  • Can power tools and lights.

2. Inverter generator

An inverter generator uses an engine connected to an alternator to produce more AC power. It also uses a rectifier unlike other generators to transform the AC power into DC power. This digital generator can provide quiet power for recreation, cleaning, work, or emergencies. These digital Inverters supply you with power as clean as the type you get from the outlets in your home.

These inverter generators are the most lightweight and quietest generators available on the market today.

Best Portable Inverter Generator

  • Honda EU2000i
  • WEN 56200i
  • Champion Power Equipment 75531i
  • Westinghouse WH2000iXLT
  • Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 PowerSmart

Characteristics Inverter generator

Here are some characteristics to read and easily understand these types of generators:

  • Relies on high-tech magnets.
  • Uses advanced electronic circuitry.
  • Undergoes three phases to produce electricity.
  • Outputs AC, convert it to DC, and finally invert it to AC.
  • Maintains a constant following of current to an appliance.
  • It is more energy-efficient, as the engine speed adjusts itself according to how much power is needed.
  • Tends to be belittled and lightweight.
  • Can fit into a car, RV, or boat.

3. Standby Generator

A standby generator is with an automatic transfer switch that commands it to power a device up during power loss. In other words, a standby generator is a backup electrical system that operates automatically.

The standby generator starts supplying power to the circuits.

Best Standby Generators

  • Briggs & Stratton 40445 (Best Budget Generator)
  • Generac Guardian Series 5871 (Best For The Money)
  • Briggs & Stratton 40532 (A Little Bit Bigger)
  • Generac 6551 Guardian Series (Another Great Option)
  • Briggs & Stratton 40396 (Best Heavy Duty Machine)

Characteristics of Standby Generator

Here are some characteristics to read and easily understand these types of generators:

  • Operates automatically.
  • Delivers permanent power protection.
  • It has two components: a standby generator and an automatic transfer switch.
  • Can operate on liquid propane or natural gas.
  • It uses an internal combustion engine.
  • This is constantly monitoring power.
  • Used in safety systems for elevators, standby lighting, medical and life support equipment, and fire protection systems.

4. Industrial generators

Industrial applications of generators are very different from small commercial applications. Because different types of industrial generators or large commercial generators need to be more robust and rugged and perform under harsh conditions.

However, they also need to provide a wide range of power supply characteristics. From 20 kW to 2500 kW, from 120 to 48 volts, and from single-phase to three-phase supply.

These generators are customized to other types of power generators. There are many types of industrial generators and they can be classified on different bases. Based on the nature of the fuel used to run the engines that help to generate electric power. These include fuels such as diesel, gasoline, natural gas, kerosene, and propane.

Characteristics of Industrial Generators

Here are some characteristics to read and easily understand these types of generators:

  • Maximum energy efficiency
  • The generator will start and provide continuous power, in case of power failure.
  • They can provide energy, at long distances, without risking their efficiency. Which is fundamental for cultural/sports events, construction works, logistics and supply centers, and hospital services, among other applications.

Fundamental Types of Generators

There are two fundamental types of generators known as AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) generators. AC and DC power are different in terms of their applications – how loads receive electric power. For example, generators for home use deliver AC power whereas cars use generator engines that produce DC power.

AC Generators

These are also known as alternators. It means producing electrical power in many places. Nowadays all the consumers are using AC. It works based on the law of electromagnetic induction.

There are two types, one is an induction generator and another one is a synchronous generator.

The value of the voltage generated depends on the-

(i) The number of turns in the coil.

(ii) Strength of the field.

Advantages of AC Generator:

  • These Generators are generally maintenance-free, because of the absence of brushes.
  • Step up and step down easily
  • Size of the generator is relatively smaller than the DC machine
  • Losses are relatively less than DC machine
  • For this generator, breakers are relatively smaller than DC breakers

DC Generators

A DC generator is an electrical machine that converts mechanical energy into direct current electricity.

DC generators can be classified into two main categories first Separately excited and second Self-excited.

(i) Separately excited: Its field coils are energized from an independent external DC source.

(ii) Self-excited: It field coils are energized by the current produced by the generator itself.

Self-excited DC generators can be divided into three types. – (a) Series wound  (b) Shunt-wound (c) Compound wound


We discussed different types of generators. Differentiate it on the bases of their applications and on the bases of their fundamentals. Furthermore, we also discussed AC and DC generators, and their advantages & disadvantages.

Now you can easily select a generator on the bases of your uses and its characteristics.

I hope you understand all the things clearly. If you have any dought or queries, then you can comment on us in the comment section.

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