What is an inverter generator?

What is an inverter generator?

Clean Power

Portable Inverter generators are becoming popular as more people discover their benefits. An inverter generator produces clean power through a conversion process that takes an alternating current (AC), converts it to direct current (DC) and back to AC again.

AC DC power chart AC DC power chart



The major benefit of a portable inverter generator is that it's quiet. The Cat® INV2000 has a decibel (dB) range of 52-61 dB (depending on the load) making them ideal for sensitive campsites and jobsites.

For reference, that is quieter than a vacuum cleaner, or the noise level of a normal conversation. In fact, the Cat INV2000 is certified by the National Park Service for noise, which means that it can be used on National Campgrounds. Jobsite applications would be for small power tools and sensitive electronics.


Father and son camping with a Cat INV2000 portable inverter generator Father and son camping with a Cat INV2000 portable inverter generator

total harmonic distortion

Electronics are becoming more sensitive to power disturbances because of complex controls in devices. These disturbances in power production are called total harmonic distortion (TDH). THD is a measurement that tells you how much of the distortion of voltage, or current, is due to harmonics in the signal. THD should be kept as low as possible in most cases.

An inverter generator gives off a very low level of THD. For example, our RP3600 gives off approximately 15% THD and the INV2000 gives off less than 3%. While the RP3600’s THD is significantly higher than the inverter, this is industry average for open frame generators.

The clean power that comes from the unit gives you the ability to charge more sensitive items such as cell phones, tablets or even some small home appliances.

THD chart THD chart


Potential Uses

The uses for a portable inverter generator are seemingly endless. A potential application is camping and recreation. Portable inverter generators allow you to power devices like tablets, phones, and small appliances like blenders or coffee makers. Basically, they allow you to rough it in the outdoors without really roughing it. Portable inverter generators are great for tailgating, powering a TV or mini fridge. Our Cat INV2000 is very lightweight weighing only 50 pounds.

For contractors or people doing small jobs, inverter generators are a great solution for quick and convenient power. Since inverters are very quiet, working in sensitive areas at any time of the day is possible. The Cat INV2000 is OSHA certified and has full panel GFCI protection. OSHA certification allows you to use our inverter on any jobsite in the USA, and full panel GFCI protection protects you and your electronics.

INV2000 on construction site INV2000 on construction site

As you can see inverter generators are a great way to get clean, quiet and convenient power.

Why Buy The Cat® INV2000?

  • The Cat INV2000 is EPA certified to run 20% longer than the competition
  • Long run time, 6 hours at 50% load
  • EPA, CARB and CSA certified
  • Dual USB ports to allow the charging of small devices
  • Easy maintenance because of dual access doors
  • Super quiet, between 52-61 dB (depending on the load)
  • Fuel efficient engine with Engine Smart Control (ESC)
  • LED illuminated control panel for operation in low light conditions
  • Double your power by connecting another INV2000 with our parallel kit
  • Intuitive controls for easy operation

Learn more about the INV2000
Cat INV2000 portable inverter generator Cat INV2000 portable inverter generator