In the world of portable power generation, there are two main types of generators – conventional and inverter generators.

While both serve the purpose of providing power in areas without access to the grid, they differ significantly in terms of efficiency, weight, portability and, most notably, noise levels.

In this article, we’ll explore why inverter generators are much quieter than their conventional counterparts and what makes them such a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts and homeowners.

Understanding Generator Noise

Noise pollution is a growing concern in today’s world. It’s not just a matter of annoyance, but prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause hearing damage and other health issues.

When it comes to generators, noise levels are usually measured in decibels (dB) on a logarithmic scale. According to the World Health Organization, prolonged exposure to noise levels above 70 dB can lead to hearing damage.

Conventional generators typically operate at a constant RPM (Revolutions per Minute), regardless of the power load, which means they can be quite loud. On average, conventional generators produce noise levels of around 80-85 dB. This makes them unsuitable for use in residential areas, campsites, and other quiet environments.

How Inverter Generators are Different

Inverter generators, on the other hand, use advanced inverter technology to generate clean, stable power, making them typically much quieter than conventional generators. Inverter technology is based on the principle of converting DC (direct current) power to AC (alternating current) power.

The inverter then regulates the speed of the engine based on the power load, meaning the engine can run at a lower RPM when producing low power and increase RPM when producing high power. This results in a much smoother and quieter operation, with average noise levels of around 60-65 dB.

To put it in simpler terms, a conventional generator must run at a constant speed to provide the correct frequency and provide enough power for any load up to its maximum capacity.

With an inverter generator, the inverter produces the correct frequency, and the engine can run as fast as needed to produce the required power, most of the time that will be at a lower RPM, making less noise.