How Portable Generators Work

how portable generators work

If you’re wondering how portable generators work, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will answer some common questions, including the fuel type, working principle, noise, and more. Keep reading to learn how portable generators work and how they can help you in an emergency situation. Also read our article on fuel sources for portable generators. If you’re still unsure about how portable generators work, don’t worry! It’s not as difficult as it might seem.

Common questions about portable generators

Many portable generators are prone to a number of common problems. Fortunately, many of these problems are relatively simple to solve. You can prevent major breakdowns by conducting routine maintenance and inspections. If you do encounter problems, remember to identify the problem and take appropriate action. There is no need to hire an expensive generator mechanic to get your portable generator running again. Here are some tips for troubleshooting common problems. Read on to learn more.

When evaluating the power output and voltage of a portable generator, it’s important to understand their limitations. A portable generator can power a limited number of electrical loads, but it will not power a large load. A standby generator must be connected to the house’s power system to operate. If you need to power your HVAC system, a portable generator will not provide enough power. A standby generator requires a transfer switch, while a portable generator may have an inbuilt battery.

Working principle

Electric generators are the most popular form of electrical power generation in many places. They utilize the principle of electromagnetic induction, first discovered by Michael Faraday. Electric generators produce electricity by forcing current through a stationary magnetic field. This process is similar to the way a water pump works. Electric generators are classified into two basic types. Some have multiple stages, while others are designed to run continuously. A portable generator can be either stationary or mobile.

Electric generators can be small and portable, but they are also large enough to power a whole home or a small business. Their power output varies greatly, so you can choose an ideal one to suit your needs. Often, portable generators use multiple fuel sources for convenience. Some models can even be towed! Portable generators can be easily transported and come with advanced noise reduction technology. This makes them the perfect choice for emergency situations.

Fuel type

While gasoline is the most popular fuel type for portable generators, it also has its drawbacks. Because of its low flash point, gasoline has a shorter shelf life than diesel and must be stored properly to avoid gelling. It is also more expensive than diesel, and it becomes increasingly scarce and difficult to get if you are in need of fuel quickly. Also, if there’s a power outage, gas stations may be closed, and it can be difficult to find gas for your portable generator.

While gasoline and diesel are the most common fuel types for portable generators, propane is a better option for recreational and emergency use. Propane does not produce smog, which means you won’t have to worry about air pollution, especially in areas where there is a significant lack of electricity. Propane is a non-toxic fuel, so it won’t harm any local water sources or crops. Propane generators are also good options for camping and RV use.


The exhaust pipe of a portable generator makes a lot of noise, but it’s possible to dampen it to reduce the sound level. There are two main methods to do so: installing a muffler or a cushion. Either way, the noise generated by a portable generator can be reduced by placing it away from the home or installing a padded cushion. But there are challenges. Noise from a generator is inevitable when you’re moving it around.

A portable generator’s noise level can be measured using a decibel scale. The higher the number, the louder it is. A private office has a decibel rating of 50 dB, while a chainsaw is 110 dB. Using this scale, you can estimate how loud a generator is depending on its size, engine load, and muffler direction. While conventional generators tend to be noisy, some of them are low-noise in comparison to their inverter counterparts.


Although the CPSC has acknowledged that home and garage use of generators is not a good idea, the agency also says that a pictogram depicting a gas emitted by a portable unit can be a helpful tool to communicate the hazards of using these products. However, the pictograms for portable generators are often difficult to interpret, as the agency has found in many cases that consumers cannot decipher them.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, portable generators produce more carbon monoxide than most cars. The gas is invisible and odorless, yet it can kill quickly and silently. In fact, the Diaz family reported that they usually placed their generator outside the house and then brought it inside the garage. Unfortunately, their portable generator kept leaking carbon monoxide throughout the house, silently poisoning everyone within the building.

Using one for non-emergencies

Whether you need a backup power supply for your home or office, having a portable generator on hand is an important safety precaution. Fuel-powered generators emit CO, an odorless gas that is potentially harmful. Therefore, you should never use them indoors, in an enclosed space, or in your crawlspace. Gas leaks can be particularly hazardous in severe storms. If you notice that gas is leaking in your home, call a professional to repair the lines. And last but not least, fuel should be stored safely, in an out of the way location.

Electricity allows us to do many things in our homes. But we often take it for granted. We’re so busy paying our electric bills that we don’t think about how we’ll manage if we lose power. It’s easy to forget that keeping lights and outlets running is also important. But it’s easy to forget that power outages can be a common occurrence in some areas of the country. Therefore, it’s important to have an emergency generator on hand.