What is a Portable Generator? Everything you need to Know

If you have a knack for technology and are intrigued by topics related to technology, then you must know the concept and usage of generators.

They are one of the most prodigious devices in the domain of science and technology.

They are rarely discussed, but anyone would not fail to cite a generator’s importance in today’s life.

In this article, you are going to know specifically about a portable generator, its functions, implications, and other topics relevant to the context.

What is a Portable Generator?

As the name suggests, a portable generator is a type of generator that is a mobile and performs the same functions that usually a conventional generator does, with convenient handling and praiseworthy power backup.

A portable generator can be found in many places, from residential areas to organizing events or even in camping sites.

This type of generator can compromise with the most challenging situations and can be a blessing when used in circumstances like natural calamities or inevitable disasters.
Honda Portable Generator

It is easy to carry and less bulky than other generators used, preferably for industrial purposes.

A portable generator has many applications in different fields.

It is a reliable source of power and compact and easy to use. Let us know the role of a portable generator.

Functions of Portable Generator

A portable generator provides electricity when the power is not available from the local grid, by using an alternator to produce AC (Alternating Current) and rectify it by converting it into DC (Direct Power) power.

It can use a gas-powered engine to do the same. Now, DC power is stored in the generator for future use, be it camping, boating, or providing power backup to your house.

A portable generator does not ‘create’ electricity, but converts chemical energy in the form of fuel like diesel or gasoline into electrical energy.

This is a scientific process in which the electrons are forced from the external source with the help of an electric circuit. It is a reverse process in electricity generation.

Types of Portable Generators

Portable generators can be classified based on their utility, suitability, maintenance, and the type of fuel or gas used to run them.

Here are the types of generators you might be interested to know:

Inverter Generator

Jackery Inverter Portable GeneratorNow, this category of portable generators generally comes with a battery, converting AC into DC and providing power back up in adversities.

Inverter Generator is handy and can be stored in a car, boat and can be used in camping and traveling.


  1. Uses high-tech magnets
  2. Lightweight and handy
  3. Converts AC into DC, and then finally into AC
  4. Convenient and energy efficient
  5. Can fit in a car or a boat
  6. Suitable for car batteries and laptops

Capacity: It is available in a range between 900-6000 Watts.

Diesel Generator

Jackery Diesel GeneratorA portable Diesel Generator uses internal combustion engines running on diesel. Owing to the long shelf life of diesel, it is pretty economical to use.

Diesel is also less flammable as compared to some other fuel, hence making it safer and convenient for use. It can take large electrical loads for extended periods of time.

You will get to benefit from a diesel engine in case you are stuck in an emergency.


  1. Enough power backup for appliances like television and refrigerator
  2. Can be located remotely
  3. Can power light and tools
  4. Minimal maintenance

Capacity: It is available in a range of 900 to 10,000+ Watts.

Gasoline Generator

Westing House Gasoline GeneratorNow they are almost the same as portable diesel generators, except they run on gasoline and have some functional technicalities.

Engine operating on gasoline mixes the fuel and air in the carburetor before compression. Gasoline is generally easily accessible, thus making it advantageous.

However, gasoline is highly flammable and has a shorter shelf-life than that of diesel.


  1. Gasoline is less efficient than diesel, hence owing to overall inferior performance.
  2. Less expensive than a diesel generator
  3. Suitable for small jobs and power requirements.
  4. It can be installed in a compact space.

Propane Generator

Baja Propane GeneratorPropane too has a considerable and longer shelf-life like diesel and does not deteriorate with time.

Gasoline is highly flammable, and you might bother using diesel due to its non-availability.  Here, propane would cover the need, and prevent you from a situation of the entire blackout.


  1. Best for demanding situations like natural disasters and calamities.
  2. Better than gasoline in terms of shelf-life.
  3. Releases ammonia, which is harmful to the environment, and hence it is preferable to keep it in an open space while operating.

Natural Gas Generator

Natural Gas is an almost inexhaustible source to power a portable generator and can promise an undeterred power supply.

If this fuel is accessible to you, then you might not mind using a portable natural gas generator over other portable generators.

It is also beneficial for the environment and produces relatively lesser emissions than other portable generators.


  1. Lower emissions than any generator.
  2. Environment-friendly.
  3. It can be costlier than other generators.
  4. If natural gas is not accessible near your locality, then it would not bring many advantages.

Dual Fuel Generator

Dual Fuel Generators can work either on a mixture of two fuels or lets you change between two fuels. For example, you can either choose to run your generator from Propane or Gasoline.

They are handy in situations when one of the fuel is not available.

Where and When Portable Generators are Helpful?

Having known some of the attributes of a portable generator, you might want to know where and how it can be used. Below are some of the most common places where you can use a portable generator-

Construction and Mining Sites

A portable generator is highly preferable for powering light tools at any construction or a mining site.

While some other alternatives can be used for heavy equipment, a portable generator provides unfettered temporary supply to the tools where power is not accessible.


For providing power supply to events taking place in an open space, like a sports event or a congregation, a portable generator would be preferable to serve the purpose.

It can be used to power the lights, or a scoreboard.


Going to areas where power switches are not easily accessible can point out the significance of a portable generator.

You can bring in the comforts of your home with an electricity supply available at hand.

It can charge your car’s batteries and laptops, run a heater or a grill, and much more so that you do not have to compromise in challenging situations.

If you are an RV-owner, you can use your generator to power lights, a stove-top, a television, and more while vacationing at distant places.

Outdoor Weddings

Not all weddings take place in banquet halls and in hotels, where there is a constant supply of electricity.

People often go for open spaces, and for an uninterrupted power supply, you need to have a portable generator to make the wedding go smooth and merrily.

It can be used to power DJs, bubble machines, lights, and sound systems.

You would not have to worry while using a portable generator for the same, because it would be able to take the load easily.

Why should you get a Portable generator?

Here are the criteria you should consider while thinking to buy a portable generator:

  1. A portable generator would be the best bet when it comes to camping. So if you are planning to go on a trip for camping/trekking, you can always carry a portable generator as it would help you in case of an emergency.
  2. For power tools and light equipment at a construction or mining site, you can undoubtedly go for a portable generator because of its reliable power backup and easy handling.
  3. You can even get an inverter generator for your residential purposes so that if there is a power cut, you can use it to run appliances like television and cooler.
  4. If you organize events, you can buy one for supplying power for events to be held in open spaces or backyards.
  5. Having a portable diesel generator in a mechanical shop is a good option, too, to power car batteries for unforeseen situations.

If you’re confused about which one to buy? Then you can check out a comparison of Diesel, Propane, and Inverter Generator.


Now, after getting an idea of what portable generators are and what they do, you would have your curiousness sated by this time.

Portable generators are the pillars of modern life and a manifestation of emerging scientific marvels.

Their role is underrated, and hence this article aimed to bring their significance to your knowledge.

Due to scientific advancements, they have been able to surpass the flaws of conventional generators, and are cost-efficient at the same time.

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