What Are Some Different Types of Power Generators?

Common different types of power generators include diesel, natural gas, portable, standby and direct-current power generators. Power generators are typically identified by their primary source of energy, but there are other commonly used criteria such as portability and the nature of electricity produced.

Based on the primary source of energy, types of power generators include diesel and natural gas generators. These generators derive their power mainly from diesel and gasoline respectively. Diesel and natural gas generators rely on a combination of a diesel engine and an electric generator to produce electricity. According to Forbes, diesel and natural gas generators pose major health risks because they emit significant amounts of carbon monoxide – an invisible, odorless gas.

Portable generators are easy to move around and use when need arises. These generators are common in home repair stores. Homeowners easily share or rent portable generators with minimal effort. In contrast, standby generators are permanently installed in a home or a business' premises. Most portable and standby power generators use diesel or gasoline as the primary source of energy.

Power generators fall into two types based on the nature of the electricity they produce: direct current and alternating current generators. Direct current generators produce electricity at a steady voltage while alternating current generators produce undulating voltages.