Can you charge inverter batteries with a generator? InPower solar, inverter, and generator specialists answer this question and advise on how to best keep your alternative power supply running.
Having an alternative power source during loadshedding has become essential, and the combination of an inverter, generator and solar can be a lifesaver. Having your inverter battery charged to capacity is not always possible with the numerous loadshedding stage changes.

Understanding your inverter and generator

An inverter converts DC (direct current) electricity from batteries into AC (alternating current) power, which is what most of our household appliances run on. On the other hand, a generator produces AC power from diesel.

Charging your inverter batteries

So, “Can you charge inverter batteries with a generator?” The simple answer is yes. You can charge your inverter battery with a generator. There are, however, several things to consider.

  • Compatibility - Make sure your inverter and generator are compatible with external charging sources like a generator. This is a feature in most modern inverters, but it's always wise to double-check the specifications.
  • Connection -  Charging inverter batteries using a generator means connecting the generator's AC output to the inverter's charging input. Make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions and use the correct cables and connectors for a safe and efficient connection.
  • Battery Health - Regularly maintain your inverter battery to ensure it's in good health. A well-maintained battery will charge more efficiently and provide more backup power.

The inverter battery charging time depends on multiple factors, such as the state or level of discharge of the battery and the rate of charge. For example, if the battery is only half discharged, it will take a few hours to fully charge.

“Deep cycle” lead acid batteries are designed to be repeatedly discharged to at least 50% of their capacity, which makes them suitable for home power use.

Benefits of charging your inverter batteries with a generator

There are a few advantages to charging your inverter batteries with a generator;

  • Extended Backup Time - You can recharge your battery when there's loadshedding, which means you can have power for longer.
  • Energy Independence - You can generate your own power when needed; you are not solely reliant on Eskom’s power supply.
  • Versatility - Generators come in various sizes and fuel options, giving you flexibility in choosing the right one for your needs.

How to charge an inverter with a generator

  1. Check the fluid levels of the inverter and generator
  2. Connect the inverter to the generator
  3. Connect the charger to the inverter
  4. Turn on the generator
  5. Allow the battery to charge

Charging your inverter battery with a generator is possible. It is also a practical solution for uninterrupted power supply during loadshedding.

With the right setup and precautions, you can enjoy reliable power even when the grid fails. As an alternative power supply, a generator can be sufficient; however, a solar power system offers more versatility.

A sustainable power solution

Solar installation offers long-term energy savings. Abundant sunlight, decreasing installation costs, and numerous government incentives make solar energy an attractive option for homeowners and businesses alike.

Solar panels convert sunlight into electrical energy to charge your inverter batteries.

Here are some of the benefits:

    • Low Maintenance -  Solar panels and inverter batteries require minimal maintenance, making them a hassle-free power solution.
    • Energy Independence - Less grid dependence means energy security during power outages.
    • Reduced Electricity Bills - Significantly lower electricity bills by generating free energy from the sun.
    • Sustainability - Solar power is clean and renewable, reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a greener planet.

Solar instead of a generator

Charging your inverter batteries with a solar power system is a smart and eco-conscious choice. It provides you with reliable backup power and contributes to a cleaner, greener planet. This also reduces the reliance on generators as an alternative backup source. This is a positive step towards a more sustainable future.

Using a generator to charge inverter batteries comes with negative side effects, such as increased costs in fuel and maintenance as well as damage to the environment.  

The financial investment is worthwhile, and with InPower’s solar finance offering, it is even more affordable. With a 25 year life span that includes maintenance and repair after-sales service, the InPower Solar Installation is the best on the market.