Four Types Of Generators And The Benefits Of Each

Generators are not a one-size-fits-all type of machine. In fact, there are four different kinds of electric generators, each with their own unique features and benefits. You can buy the two most common types from most generator sellers, but the other two types may need to be special-ordered.


Gas-powered generators are the most common. You can buy this type of generator just about anywhere, power it up with gas whenever you need it, and add smaller gas generators to larger ones if you need more power. The downside to gas generators is that they do run on fossil fuels and they do need to remain outdoors so that you are not smothered by fumes produced when the generator burns the gas.


This type of generator is charged up by the electricity you have before your power goes. A single charge can last several hours. It is essentially a "bank" whereby you store extra electricity, and then you draw on that power when you need it. You can install this generator type indoors or out with little concern for smells or fumes, since it produces none. The downside is that you cannot use this type of generator for a cabin or summer home when you turn the power off the rest of the season.

Natural Gas/Propane

These generators are less common, which is why they are a special-order item. You will need natural gas tanks or propane tanks to operate them. They are more convenient than gas-powered generators because you do not have to constantly go get more gasoline or try to find the nearest gas station. However, these generators also have to remain outside because of the tanks and how the fuel is burned.

Solar Generators

Solar generators are the least common of all, but they are gaining in popularity. They use only solar energy to produce electricity, which means that they burn no fuel, never produce toxic fumes, and do not smell. You can also keep this type of generator inside, if you are able to set up the solar panels to collect sunlight outside and channel the energy into the generator. They are particularly useful for camping because they are so adaptable and do not need you to bring anything extra to operate them.

When You Are Ready to Buy

Solar generators are the most economical because they will not cost you a ton and you do not have to keep buying fuel. Over the long run, gas-powered generators may need the most maintenance, but they produce a ton of power. Electrical generators cost about the same as the others, but their power limitations make them less attractive. Likewise, natural gas and propane generators cost as much as electrical generators, but you have to constantly feed them fuel and make sure there are no leaks in the lines.

Contact a service, like Northwest Power Services Inc., for more help.