In our modern interconnected world, one thing is certain and that is the need for reliable power generation. While the most reliable source is the commercial/residential electrical grid, there are times were this power is just unavailable or unreachable.
Be it a storm, an camp site, at a construction work place, there are occasions where grid power just won’t reach. For these moment, there is portable power generation in the form of a fueled portable generator. Even with portable generation, reliability is still an important factor. Power should be clean, affordable and reliable to meet the modern demands.
Reliable, Is it Really?
When it comes to reliability in power generation, there are two versions of the context for the word reliable. First is the standard reliability, meaning the generator functions well and does not require emergency maintenance. In this context, even though manufacturers try to produce quality machines, the occasional misfit passes through quality control and out to the consumer. Any mechanical unit can fail with little to no warning. Most generators are reliable in this context and will provide good service as long as they are maintained properly.
The other context, and one that really has more importance in power generation, is that of clean or dirty power. Dirty power can destroy equipment and severely damage sensitive electronics such as tablets, smartphones and appliances. When someone says they want a reliable generator, it is more than just not having the unit break down.
Some generators provide superbly clean power, such as inverter generators, however they have a high dollar to watt cost. Portable generators now have the means to provide clean and stable power and many do so through automatic voltage regulation. This ensures the generator power curve is stable and capable of delivering clean power. This is especially important for backup generators. When looking to purchase a new generator, remember to consider both contexts of reliable.
Five Reliable Portable Generators
Top Rated Portable Generator
This mechanically reliable generator produces 1,800 Watts of surge capacity and has 1,500 Watts of continuous running generation. The WEN Model #56180 1800 Watt Generator is fully EPA and CARB compliant and has a 7 hour runtime at half load.
It also has a low oil shutdown to prevent damage to the unit, in low oil conditions and it lightweight and compact for camping and emergency backup situations. This is a great generator for a variety of conditions and users love how well this unit produces clean power.
Most Reliable Portable Generator
This super quiet, inverter style generator produces less than 55 db of noise while producing 3,000 Watts of surge capacity and 2,800 Watts of continuous power generation. The fuel, in econo mode will allow the generator to run for up to 24 hours depending on the load. The Honda Model #Eu3000is 3K Watt Generator has a low oil shutdown to protect the unit and the power is a near perfect sine wave at 60hz.
The multiple outlets allow for a variety of hookups and this unit can handle camping, tailgating, RV use and emergency backup generation.
Best Portable Generator to Buy
Champion is well known for producing well built, quality generators and this one is no different. The cast iron sleeve in the cylinder helps promote very long life and reduces engine wear. The Champion Portable 4000 Generator produces 4,000 Watts of surge capacity and 3,500 Watts of continuous power generation.
This generator runs for 12 hours at half load and has multiple outlets for a variety of configurations. This is a reliable generator for emergency back up or job sites.
Best Portable Gas Powered Generator
This generator – Honeywell Model #6036 Generator uses a Generac engine for reliability and it produces stable power with 6,875 Watts of surge capacity and 5,500 Watts of continuous power generation. It has a fuel gauge and a low oil sensor to help protect the unit. It has multiple outlets to support a variety of situations including portable back up power generation. It has 9 hours of run time at half load and it comes with the three year warranty.
This is a great all around generator for camping, RV use and anywhere portable power is needed. The large surge capacity allows for freezers, sump pumps and other heavy duty appliances.
Top Gas Powered Portable Generator
This generator, DuroMax Model #XP10000EH Dual Fuel Generator is an all around versatile beast of a generator producing 10,000 Watts of surge capacity and 8,000 Watts of continuous generation, enough to run a small home. It is also dual fueled with either gasoline or propane making it very versatile in terms of fuel. It has multiple outlets all protected by overcharge protection and surge protection as well as being circuit breaker protected.
In addition, it has a volt meter and a low oil sensor to alert to low oil conditions and is quiet with 72 db at 7 meters. This generator can handle almost any power demand. Construction use, welding equipment, home appliances etc, this unit can handle it all and deliver clean and reliable power and last for years.
As with all power equipment it is essential for safety to read and follow the operators manual. Never refuel a hot generator, allow at least 30 minutes before attempting to refuel. Do not allow flammable materials with in five feet of a hot or cooling generator and make sure all protections against accidental shock are taken. Additionally, make sure to wear all appropriate safety gear when maintaining or operating a generator.