230V Portable generators and battery power packs

Buying guides, product tests.

Consumers now have a wide variety of options for emergency, backup, camping and caravan power.

The choices have been expanded with the availability of 230V inverter battery combos for light duty. These are very quiet and eco friendly compared to petrol powered options.

In the 4 stroke petrol options there are numerous options with nominal 3,000W inverter generators selling for less than $1,000 if you shop around.

A Honda or Kawasaki branded Genset or trade rated model will cost 3-4 times that of some of the cheapest consumer options.

Are the cheapest as good, or are they really only suitable for loads and duties much less than their marketing promotes?

The miracles of modern engineering and marketing appear united in the following product table.

Not to be too critical of the GenTrax from OutBax this table is not Apples for Apples, or Gensets for Gensets. You need to look at the detailed specifications and manuals of each product to reveal some of the differences, but not all. Which is why there is merit in considering testing these products.

I’m not saying that OutBax does not have a legion of happy customers. It may or may not.

On a quick inspection the table misleads by comparing the Yamaha EF3000iSe self start with the Honda and GenTrax recoil start. The continuous load rating of the three models are not compared. It would more fully represent the capabilities of each. The fuel consumption for the Yamaha is grossly in error, 5hrs per table vs 8hrs per the manual. The GenTrax appears incredibly fuel efficient using approx half the fuel of the Honda for the same output. There will be others evident on a full evaluation and performance test.

Is the table misleading and deceptive?
You get the iron you pay for might apply. The GenTrax is 7kg lighter than the Honda, suggesting it is a lighter duty design, shorter life design. What else has been cut down to hit the sub $1,000 GenTrax market a buyer cannot assess from any of the marketing.

The GenTrax uses a slightly smaller high speed motor operating at 5500rpm. The Honda 3600-4000rpm. The Yamaha 3800rpm.

In another topic @phb pointed out some contradictions as to whether the Gentrax product is suitable for Caravan air-conditioners. Marketing of the Honda and Yamaha products in the table is silent on that ability. There are significant differences in the startup and running loads of old style box air conditioners and modern inverter systems. Similar for many other appliances. It is too easy for consumers to purchase generators that are under rated compared to their expectations.