Generators 101: A Guide to Powering Up

We’ve all become a little spoiled. Anything less than 100 per cent consistency in our wifi connection, access to mobile data or even our electricity supply is enough to send us into a spin.

Power lies behind most of what we might consider modern-day essentials. And, although a solar system might match our list of green credentials, it has its limitations. That means backup petrol generators that kick in on-demand are key to successful off-grid living.

Read on for the lowdown on the super quiet generators available and why you should consider an off-grid generator as a sound investment.

What Are Generators and How Do They Work?

Generators don’t ‘create’ electrical energy. What they do is convert chemical or mechanical energy into electricity. This happens by capturing the power of motion.

This forces the movement of electric charges present in the conductive wires of their windings through an external electric circuit.

The same kind of principle applies whether we’re talking about the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme or a small generator for use at home.

Portable generators are useful to supply backup power to homes during power outages. Some people also use them as a primary power source in areas where a local electricity grid is unavailable or difficult to access.

Types of Generators: Choosing The Right One For Solar Power Backup

The full range of generators can be a little bewildering, but these are some of the main ones:

  • Whole house or home standby generators: these tend to be costly and noisy
  • Portable generators: relatively inexpensive and easy to move
  • Inverter generators: quieter, cleaner and best for electronics
  • Diesel generators: tend to be heavier and noisy producing harmful emissions
  • Natural gas generators: costly to maintain and install

You should first decide how much power you need to generate. This is going to depend on how many lights and appliances you intend to run and how long you need to have them running.

You should also weigh up where you will store your generator. Choose a dry and safe place to keep it where the elements will not damage it.

Finally, you should consider how often you plan to use your generator. If you only intend to use it from time to time, a smaller model may be all you require. If you plan to use it a lot, you may want to consider a bigger model that can give out more power.

Key Features to Look for in a Generator

These are 4 of the main factors in an off-grid generator that most people say matter most to them:

  • High-quality components designed to last
  • Clean, stable power recommended for mobile devices and computers
  • Quietness when operating
  • Reliability and ease of use

You should also consider whether the generator has sufficient outlets to plug in all of the items you want to power. You’ll need to decide if you’d prefer a recoil or an electric start generator and ensure you can transport the generator easily.

Safety Precautions When Using a Generator

Not all generators are born equal. Some are better for use with electronics, for example, as their power output is more stable and reliable.

You’ll always need to keep your generator dry. You should preferably operate it in a dry, covered and well-ventilated space.

The general instructions of specific generators may advise letting them cool down before refuelling. Petrol spilled on hot engine parts could potentially ignite. You should store the fuel for the generator in an approved safety container. Always use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator.

Under no circumstances, try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall socket. This is extremely dangerous.

How to Use and Maintain Your Generator

Our generators are simple to use and easy to maintain. As a rule of thumb, you should follow these steps when starting up your generator:

  • Check the engine oil and fuel, refilling as necessary
  • Put the circuit breaker in the “off” position
  • Open the fuel valve and put the choke in the “start” position
  • Switch to “on” and turn the “start” key
  • Pull the recoil starter (if appropriate) till the engine runs & place the choke in “run”
  • Connect your appliances!

Maintenance is straightforward. It’s wise to keep the generator “wipe clean” when not in use. Always check the fuel levels and keep an eye on the spark plug. Ensure it is clean and not black with carbon.

Best Generators for Solar Power Backup

Our range of powerful, super silent generators tick all the boxes, and more. We have a specific model, the MX1300AS, with a massive fuel tank, the largest in its class, providing up to 10 hours of run time at a 50 per cent load.

One of the key features of one of our inverter generators, the MX8000IS, is that you can double your power by connecting 2 of them in parallel.

Specifically designed to provide backup power for off-grid solar systems, our generators, like the MX9000AS, can automatically kick in to recharge the storage battery and feed in power to supply the load.

FAQs About Generators Answered

Is it Possible to Overload My Generator?

You should never overload a portable generator. If a generator runs for long periods at a rating above the maximum, the engine may overheat leading to engine failure and a reduced generator lifespan.

What Type of Fuel Should I Use?

 All standard grades of petrol are suitable for use with Maxwatt generators. That includes regular (91), premium (95) and ultra-premium (98).

Do I Need to Add Fuel to the Oil?

 Our fuel-efficient models do not need a petrol-oil mix like some 2-stroke engines.

Does My Generator have a Warranty?

 All Maxwatt generators come with a full, 2-year domestic-use warranty.

Empowering Yourself with the Right Off-Grid Generator

The reliability of a continuous power supply has become a key requirement for most of us. Investing in a quality off-grid generator is going to be key for many in remote areas or those who rely on solar power.

Our range of super quiet generators is your go-to off-grid solution. Check out 3 of our most powerful petrol generators the MX9000AS, MX8000IS and MX13000AS and stay connected at all times.


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