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29Jan 2023

Open Frame vs Closed Frame Generators: What's the Difference?

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If you've ever been in the market to import a new portable generator, you've probably noticed that there are a million different types on the market: standby, portable, standard, inverter, open, dual fuel, and more. With so many terms, it's easy to get lost. Fortunately, you at BISON can help.

Learn about the difference between closed and open frame generators today!

Open Frame vs Closed Frame Generators

Compared with traditional generators, open generators are generators whose fuselage and mechanism are exposed. It has few, if any, protective components such as grilles, covers, and frames. This type of generator is suitable for applications requiring easy maintenance and quick access to components, such as construction sites and portable applications.

The open design allows for greater airflow, but also leaves the generator's components exposed and more susceptible to damage.

In contrast, closed frame generators have protective layers. The enclosure usually consists of a metal frame, a metal grille and a waterproof casing. Frame, grille, and enclosure help keep out dust, debris, water, and accidental contact.

Closed frame generators are more commonly used in permanent applications, as these types of enclosures also help with sound dampening and heat dissipation. Many of BISON's enclosed frame generators also include features such as anti-vibration mounts and isolators.

But the downside of closed-frame generators is that the enclosure often restricts airflow, resulting in reduced performance.

In summary, open frames allow for easy access and maintenance, while closed frames provide a protective enclosure. Ultimately, the right generator for your application will depend on the specific needs of your project.


Are traditional open generators noisy?

Yes, traditional open portable generators use air circulation to cool the engine and alternator. An engine-driven fan draws cooler air from the atmosphere and blows it across the generator set from the inside. The heated air escapes back into the atmosphere. The generator's open frame design helps dissipate heat. But this design has an obvious disadvantage. It can be loud. Common sources of noise in open generators include the engine, radiator fans, valves, and exhaust. The intensity of the noise varies, as some generators can be as high as 100 decibels or more.

In addition, the external environment or mounting surface can also affect the sound transmission of open generators. It is important to note that sound levels may vary with generator make and model as well as output power and other conditions.

Enclosed and Open Type Inverter Generators

Here, we also need to pay special attention to the difference between closed and open inverter generators. Both types of BISON inverter generators provide cleaner and quieter power than conventional generators. Therefore, there are a few things to consider when deciding whether to import an enclosed inverter generator or open inverter generator.

1) Noise level

The main difference between open and enclosed inverter generators is noise. Enclosed inverter generators run much quieter than open inverter generators. For example, BISON 3800W enclosed inverter generator operates at approximately 57dB, while a similarly sized BISON 4000W open frame inverter generator produces approximately 67dB. Either way, both noise levels are lower than a conventional non-inverter generator, which in this size range might run at around 72 to 76 dBA.

2) Engine access

Open frame inverters are similar to traditional generators in that the airframe design leaves the engine exposed. While this makes maintenance easier (because the engine is more accessible), the closed frame alternative (completely enclosing the engine) better protects the unit from external forces such as wind and dust. Furthermore, this design difference is largely responsible for the difference in noise levels between the two styles.

3) Price point

In general, closed frame power inverter generators tend to have higher operating costs. If you're on a tighter budget but still want the clean low THD power of an inverter generator, then the BISON open frame model might be for you. However, if you plan to sell your generator for camping, hunting, or any other application that requires low noise levels, it may be worth spending a little more for a model with an enclosed frame.


How to decide which one is suitable for bulk purchase?

Should you consider buying an open or enclosed generator? BISON thinks it really comes down to some advantages you should consider and weigh between the two technologies. It also depends on many other requirements, including the type of equipment that needs to be powered, power, acceptable noise levels, etc.

When the customer uses the generator, if the main consideration is low noise, then the closed frequency conversion generator is your only choice. The ability to use generators in parallel mode can be a major advantage. Combined with the potential fuel savings, low noise, clean power delivery and attractive design, the cost difference is worth it.

But no matter what you need, BISON always has a suitable generator for you. If you have any questions or need help choosing the right generator for you, please feel free to give us a call or email to chat with BISON generator technical support team.

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