The difference between a generator and inverter is an important one for homeowners and business owners. Generators and inverters are both electrical devices that convert a source of energy into electricity, but they work in completely different ways and supply different types of power to your home or business. It’s important to understand the basic differences between these two devices so you can make an informed decision when choosing which one is right for your needs.

The Difference Between AC and DC

The difference between AC and DC is important to understand when making your generator or inverter purchase. In electrical engineering, AC stands for alternating current and DC stands for direct current. An AC voltage can be thought of as a sine wave that changes direction 120 times per second in America or 50 times per second in Europe (50 Hz). Alternating current means that the electrons are reversing direction at regular intervals, while direct current means they don’t change direction. A single electron moves from one end to another along a wire through an electrical circuit when an electric field is applied by placing a positive charge on one side of the wire and a negative charge on the other side.

The alternating nature of this process causes it to be described as “alternating” because it changes directions periodically – otherwise known as “AC”.

The Basic Difference Between Generator and Inverter (and other parameters)

So, what’s the difference?

Well, generators are used for standby power. This means that if you have a generator running and your home loses electricity, it will power up the house temporarily until the electricity is restored. On the other hand, inverters are used for uninterrupted power. This means that if your home loses electricity and an inverter is running, it will continue to supply uninterrupted power without interruption until you shut down or turn off your device or appliance.


The voltage of a generator is higher than the inverter. The generator produces 120VAC, while the inverter delivers 240VAC. This means that your appliances will run on 240VAC and not 120VAC—because there’s such a voltage difference between them, you need to use special plugs and cords to connect them.

It is important to note that this difference in voltage does not affect generators or inverters themselves—you can only tell the difference between them by comparing their respective outputs (120v vs 240v).

Noise and Pollution

  • An inverter is much more silent compared to a generator.
  • The generator generates a lot of noise pollution and produces more emissions than an inverter.
  • An inverter is less noisy than a generator, so it won’t bother you while using it inside your home or office even if the device is running continuously for long hours.


The capacity of a generator is measured in kilowatts (kW), while that of an inverter is measured in kilovolt-amperes (kVA). The difference between the two seems simple enough, but it’s important to know what each means when shopping for a generator or inverter.

Inverters are used to convert DC power from your solar array into AC power that can be used by household appliances and other equipment. They are also able to store energy during periods when there is enough sunlight and/or wind, so they can provide backup power when needed.

Starting Period

A generator has a longer starting time than an inverter. The difference between a generator and an inverter is that the latter is faster to start up, but it may not be able to run at full load for extended periods because it’s not able to store enough energy compared to generators.

The best way to determine the size of your battery bank is by calculating the total daily energy requirement (kWh) and dividing it by the number of days you want to run without AC power. For example, if you’re planning to run your air conditioner for 8 hours per day and use 10 kilowatt-hours per day, then you need at least 5 kWh stored in your batteries.

If you’re planning to run your air conditioner for 8 hours per day and use 10 kilowatt-hours per day, then you need at least 5 kWh stored in your batteries.

Power Source

Another thing you may want to consider is the power source between the generator and the inverter. The generator provides AC power, while the inverter converts it into DC power. Again, this has nothing to do with cost—it’s all about which kind of energy your appliances need.

If you have a lot of DC appliances, such as lights or fans, then you’ll need an inverter to convert AC power into DC. If you have more AC appliances like televisions and microwaves, then they will work just fine with a generator that doesn’t have an inverter built in.


A generator is relatively simple to install in your home as long as you have access to a power source such as an electrical outlet or junction box near where you want it installed. However, if there’s no existing power source available at that location and you don’t want to run a cable from another part of the house then you may need to get an electrician involved for them to install a new breaker box with wiring into your house so that they can connect everything properly without having any issues later down the line when using either device (generator vs inverter).

Inverters are more complicated than generators because they require an electrical expert on hand to install them properly. An inverter is also more expensive because it requires additional parts and labor for it to work properly.

If you’re looking for help with installation, check out our site.


If you are looking to purchase a generator or an inverter, it is important that you understand the difference between the two. A generator usually runs on gas (and sometimes diesel) and can be used to power small appliances in your home during an outage or power outage. An inverter operates as a backup source of power and can be used to run large appliances such as refrigerators and freezers effectively without having to worry about losing all of your food due to a lack of electricity.

There are many benefits associated with owning both types of equipment, but it is equally important for them both to be maintained regularly by professionals who understand how these machines work and how best to keep them running smoothly for years at a time.

Inverters require regular maintenance so that they do not overheat or underperform; if left unchecked this could lead not only toward malfunctioning but also fire hazards! On the other hand, generators need regular upkeep as well because they contain combustible materials like gasoline which can leak out if not checked regularly by certified technicians trained specifically in working with such machinery safely so that no one gets hurt while doing so.

Backup Power

Generators and inverters are two different types of backup power sources for your home. Both have their uses, but when used together they can provide the best backup solution.

The generator is a product that allows you to power up your appliances in case of an outage. It works by using gasoline or diesel fuel as its source of energy, which then converts that fuel into mechanical energy that powers up an electric motor that runs at high speed. This process generates electricity which can be used to run household devices such as lights, televisions, refrigerators, and microwaves among others.

The generator is a very useful product for those who live in areas where there are frequent power outages. The problem with the generator is that it requires fuel to run, which means you will have to refill it from time to time as well as maintain it properly so that it does not break down on you.


The initial cost of a generator is more than the inverter. However, when it comes to maintenance and repair, an inverter is cheaper than a generator.

Generators are cheaper than Inverters in terms of initial investment but the maintenance cost of an Inverter is less than that of Generators.

Generators are easy to use than Inverters. Inverters are a bit complicated to use as compared to Generators because of their more advanced features and functions.


The space between the generator and inverter is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a system. Generators are bulky, heavy, and require more room to install than inverters do. The space required for an inverter is much less than that of a generator, making it easier to install in smaller spaces or locations where you don’t have room for large equipment. Inverters are also lighter and more compact than generators, making them easier to move if needed.

Starting Process

Both the generator and inverter have their ways of starting up. A generator is started by pulling the starter cord while an inverter starts automatically with the help of a battery.

The starting process between a generator and a solar power inverter is different as well. While generators start with the pull cord, solar panels need to be connected to an AC load before they can start generating electricity. Also, when you plug in your home appliances using a socket connected to your home’s main supply line, it will start working immediately but if you use this socket for your personal use then it may take some time for the power supply to resume after switching off these appliances because there needs to be enough energy stored in batteries before supplying electricity back into home’s electrical system

Weight and Size

Generators are heavier, larger, and more expensive than inverters. Inverters have fewer parts than generators. Also, they use a modified DC current to create AC power.

On the other hand, a generator is heavier and has more parts than inverters. Generators are bigger in size than inverters because they convert mechanical energy into electrical energy by using magnetic fields while converting AC power into DC power through semiconductor devices such as diodes which have the advantage of being able to switch off quickly compared to other types of semiconductors.

Power Outage Duration

A generator can be used for a longer duration – The generator is more efficient and powerful than the inverter. This means you can use it for a longer time without it getting damaged or running out of fuel.

Parallel Operation

Parallel operation is when two or more generators or inverters are connected to form a single source of power. This can be done to increase the capacity of a system, or it can be done to increase the voltage.

The first step in wiring your parallel system is figuring out what kind of connection you need: series or parallel. In this case, we’re going to look at wiring up batteries with an inverter in an RV.

We wouldn’t want our six batteries connected in series—if one battery went bad, we could lose all six! Instead, let’s connect them in parallel so that if one goes bad (or has reached its life cycle), we only lose that one.

Fuel Storage

When it comes to fuel storage, there are a few differences between a generator and an inverter. Generators can run on gasoline, diesel oil, natural gas, propane, and hydrogen while the inverters only need electricity.

The main difference between a generator and an inverter is that a generator produces electricity by burning fuel while an inverter converts DC into AC (alternating current). An inverter is also known as an AC charger which uses a battery storage system for power backup or grid-tied solar power systems.

Maximum Power Output

There is a difference between the power output and efficiency of a generator and inverter. An inverter has more power output than a generator, but it will be noisier. As for efficiency, an inverter is more efficient than a generator.

Inverters are also more expensive than generators because they have many functions like converting DC to AC, frequency conversion, voltage stability control, and load management system (LMS). Inverters usually come with LCD displays with various indicators that help you monitor the status of your home appliances or other devices easily connected to them so as not to waste any energy while at home working on projects like repairing electronic goods or sewing clothes!

Overall, the main difference between a generator and an inverter is that generator is a DC device that converts AC voltage into DC voltage. The power output of a generator is low compared to the inverter. Also, it does not have any control panel for controlling the speed of rotation or load sharing. On the other hand, inverters are used in residential and commercial applications like hospitals and schools where there is no need for a large amount of power but having a backup power supply available all the time during emergencies is required. Even though they are more expensive than generators, they are more efficient as they can produce more power with less noise pollution than generators do.