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28Nov 2022

What Are The Types Of Generators?

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Generators stand as indispensable power supply equipment in the contemporary world, offering a reliable backup during public power failures. These failures can be triggered by diverse factors, including natural disasters, load shedding, system failures, and infrastructure breakdowns. In such instances, the absence of a power generator could plunge your surroundings into darkness.

As generator technology continually advances, various types of generators have surfaced in global markets. In this article by BISON, we aim to guide you through an exploration of the prevalent types of generators currently available in the wholesale market worldwide.

Generator types

Common types of generators are as follows:

  • petrol generator

  • diesel generator

  • propane gas generator

  • natural gas generator

  • solar generator

  • portable generator

  • inverter generator

  • backup generator

  • induction generator

Also, there are two specific types of generators known as AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) generators. AC and DC power supplies differ in application—the way the load receives power. For example, a home generator provides alternating current, while a car uses a generator that produces direct current.

Common input energy sources for generators are either fossil fuels that are burned in the engine to create rotational motion within the generator, or natural energy sources that are captured and converted into motion.

common fuel generator types:

Petrol generator

Petrol generators are the most commonly chosen option among wholesalers due to their affordability and the widespread availability of gasoline. However, one drawback is that gasoline may not be accessible during power outages as it requires electricity for pumping. While petrol generators are compact and convenient for portable use, it is important to note that gasoline is highly flammable. Gasoline generators can power both residential and commercial use. However, it's important to note that if you intend to use gasoline generator in office setting or home, which will producing loud and disruptive sounds.

Gasoline has a shelf life of less than 1 year, and it is more expensive than diesel, propane, and natural gas. Additionally, petrol generators produce relatively higher emissions, have a shorter lifespan compared to other models, and may struggle to start in colder temperatures.


  1. Gasoline is readily available.

  2. Offers high output potential.

  3. The cheap price also makes them the most popular generator type among importers


  1. They generate relatively high emissions.

  2. They make a lot of loud, annoying noises.

  3. They don't start well and efficiently in colder temperatures.


Best for: Shoppers on a budget or who use generators infrequently.

Diesel generator

Diesel is less flammable than other fuels and is easy to find. When properly maintained, these engines last longer, perform more efficiently, and last longer under heavy, rigorous use. This type of generator set is economical to run and relatively easy to start in cold conditions. So customers can easily use them in cold weather too! However, diesel can only be stored for up to 24 months, and storing large quantities can be expensive. As with gasoline, diesel fuel usually cannot be pumped during a power outage. Due to the fairly high emissions of diesel engines, some regions have environmental concerns that limit the number of hours per day that these engines can be operated. return,

It is not recommended to use them in wet conditions as it may damage the engine if moisture gets into the fuel.


  1. They are durable and will serve you for a long time.

  2. They're really easy to start, even when it's cold.


  1. They release emissions that pose a threat to the environment.

  2. They are less suitable for wet conditions as moisture in the fuel rail can damage the engine.

6000watt diesel 3 phase generator.jpg

Best for: Those looking for a durable, easy-to-maintain generator; those who need a generator for industrial use or as a whole-house backup generator.

Specific fuel generator types:

Propane gas generator

Propane has a longer shelf life and burns cleaner than gasoline or diesel. It can easily store any amount and is always available even during a power outage. Propane produces relatively low emissions and is not affected by the wet stacking common in diesel generators. This type of generator is generally affordable and has a long service life. Propane also starts easily at low temperatures and provides quiet operation. On the downside, propane is under pressure and is highly flammable, even explosive. Propane generators are more expensive to buy and run, and burn about three times as much fuel as comparable diesel engines.


  1. Burns cleaner.

  2. It is easy to start at low temperature and has a long service life.


  1. The operation needs to be very careful, it is flammable and explosive.

  2. More expensive to buy and run.

But these days it's hard to get a generator to be powered only by propane, but there are many dual fuel generators on the market that can run on either natural gas or propane (or both).

Natural gas generator

Natural gas is nearly ubiquitous, and new shale deposits mined through fracking mean an almost unlimited supply. These generators will never run out of fuel or need to be refilled due to natural gas lines to the job site. This also means that the generator is not portable.

Natural gas generators burn clean, produce very little waste, and have easy access to natural gas even when electricity is not available. The units are also very affordable compared to other options. Natural gas starts up easily in cold weather and runs relatively quietly. Another advantage of using them is that they run quietly, which makes them ideal for residential use.

While they are cheap, they are expensive to install because they are supposed to be connected to a running gas line. Additionally, the lifespan of these generators is generally not as good as that of diesel generators.


  1. They run very quietly and cause little intrusion.

  2. They burn clean and do not produce a lot of waste.


  1. They may not last as long as diesel generators.

  2. Expensive to install due to connection to running gas lines.

Best for: Eco-shoppers concerned about pollutant emission levels; whole-house backup generators

Solar generator

Solar generators use the sun's radiant energy as a fuel source. They use solar panels to capture solar energy and charge batteries in generators. This charge is used to generate electricity, which is the ultimate goal of the generator. It also contains an inverter, which converts the electrical energy into alternating current, as many appliances use alternating current. These types of generators are ideal for meeting minimum electrical requirements. Plus, they don't make disturbing noises. One of their downsides is that they are not cheap at all! Plus, they run very slowly while charging the battery.


  1. They are quiet and do not make any disturbing sounds.

  2. They are ideal for meeting minimum electrical requirements.


  1. They charge the battery to full very slowly.

  2. They are really expensive compared to petroleum generators.

Best for: Environmentally conscious shoppers who can afford the high upfront cost of a whole-house solar generator; portable generator users who don't need a lot of backup power.

Other generator types:

Portable generator

Most portable generators are gasoline-powered and are small and compact, making them easy to carry or move. But there are also some that run on diesel fuel or gas/liquid propane, or even gas/liquid propane/natural gas blends. Gas and propane are available at gas stations. Their small size means these generators are easy to store in a vehicle or store in a shed or garage until they are needed.

On a camping trip, a portable generator can charge mobile devices, run camp heating panels, or keep the lights on after the sun goes down. However, these generators sacrifice power generation for mobility, so they cannot produce the same amount of energy as larger backup generators. Their reduced size and capacity means portable generators are more affordable.


  1. Wide range of uses

  2. Small size, easy to carry and store

  3. The price is more affordable, wholesale distribution is recommended


  1. Limited power generation

  2. They cannot be operated in the home or garage.

2kw 5.5hp power portable generator.jpg

Best for: Camping, or keeping in the car for a rainy day

Inverter generator

Inverter generators can be home generators or portable generators, but they generate electricity differently. Standard generators generate electricity in one phase and cannot keep the current steady. Inverter generators are divided into three phases to generate high-frequency alternating current (AC), which is then inverted into direct current (DC), and finally inverted again into a stable alternating current output.

The process may seem complicated, but it actually helps create what's known as clean energy, energy that remains stable while it's being used. Therefore, it is suitable for sensitive electronic products. Inverter generators also run quieter due to the steady energy output.


  1. They run longer, are quieter and are more energy efficient.

  2. They have low emissions and do not require frequent refills.


  1. They are expensive compared to portable generators.

  2. They are not powerful enough to power heavy machinery, tools or even large houses.

2kw quiet portable gas generator.jpg

Best for: Protecting electronic equipment from electrical surges, ideal for appliances that require specific voltage and frequency values

Backup generator

Backup generators are one of the most popular types of generators! They are considered emergency power systems that can use natural gas or diesel as a fuel source. Thanks to their large external water tank, they can work for up to 48 hours. When there is a power outage, automatic transfer switches on these generators are activated to power the equipment.

Their autonomous operation and use of internal combustion engines, not to mention their ability to provide permanent power protection, has made them a popular choice in the market. They start running within seconds of a power outage, providing you with the necessary power. This makes them perfect for medical support equipment. This type of standby generator is also very useful for residential apartments, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and commercial establishments that are connected to the grid. But it comes at a price! They are very expensive and you need to maintain them regularly.


  1. They ensure seamless switching between systems, meaning you never have to worry about power outages.

  2. They guarantee a continuous flow of electricity, which is very useful when you need to permanently solve power shortages.


  1. They can be very expensive, especially if you need one to run an entire

  2. They require thorough and regular maintenance - otherwise, the engine may fail.

Best for: Turning on automatically during a power outage, providing uninterrupted power to the home

Induction generator

These include two types including externally excited motors and self-excited motors.

Externally excited generators can be used in regenerative braking applications required for cranes, cranes, elevators and electric locomotives.

Self-excited generators are used in windmills to convert wind energy into electricity as an unconventional energy source.

In Conclusion

Each type of generator has its advantages and disadvantages, as well as unique features and uses.

From domestic use to industrial applications, generators provide critical power when users need it. Which type of generator you decide to import depends entirely on the needs of your main customer base. The pros and cons of each of the above generators can be weighed to make an informed buying decision.

Browse BISON's selection of generator products to find a generator for your wholesale needs.


How long will the generator last?

On average, a generator can power a medium-sized home for up to 3000 hours. But it is recommended that you do not run it continuously for more than 600 hours. Two factors that determine how long a generator will run are the fuel source and the generator type. This

Does the generator run on natural gas?

Most generators run on gasoline only, but some have natural gas lines or propane tanks, while others come with kits.

Do generators need to be grounded?

You need to ground the generator, especially if it is supplying power to a structure through its connection from a transfer switch (trailer, shop, office, home, etc.).

A grounded generator provides an alternate path of least resistance for the current to flow. Otherwise, the current generated by not grounding may cause electric shock, fire, etc.

Will the generator charge its own battery?

it depends. For example, a Honda alternator charges the battery while the generator is running. Starting the engine may discharge the battery, so the alternator needs to run for a while to replace the charge used to start it.

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