AVR vs Capacitor generator


All generators serve a common purpose which is to serve as a reliable back up power source. However, there is always a debate on whether you should get the cheaper capacitor generators or the more efficient AVR generator.

Well, both AVR and capacitor generators are used for the same purpose. However, each one of them has their own strength which makes them stand out from one another. An AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) generator is a brushed unit that is equipped with an AVR which maintains the voltage being produced by the generator throughout. A capacitor generator on the other hand, comes with a capacitor that basically maintains the voltage being produced by the generator whenever appliances are plugged into it. In addition to this, it also produces voltage that goes into the rotor. Well, the AVR and the capacitor both serve the same purpose in these generators however, they do come with a few differences.

Well, the AVR generator is equipped with an AVR which has a better ability to supply power consistently as compared to a capacitor in a capacitor generator. Therefore, this makes the AVR generator ideal for use in business premises and large companies as it can constantly maintain the same voltage throughout. This also enables the AVR generator to serve you efficiently without brownouts which prevents any damage that can be caused to the plugged in electrical appliances. The capacitor generators are cheaper and ideal for use in your home however, the AVR generator is the overall better generator.

How an AVR generator works

Without doubt, AVR generators are one of the most popular generators in the market today. Probably not because of their price as they are usually pretty costly. However, these generators are mostly preferred by people looking for generators that will efficiently support a lot of appliances at the same time. This is because the AVR consistently regulates the voltage being produced by the generator whenever you plug in appliances in to the generator.

It is also important to note that the AVR can also split up the electric load between generators operating in a parallel manner. This really comes in handy, as it prevents the generators from overloading even when there are a number of electrical appliances plugged into them simultaneously. For sure, the AVR is a work horse as it also reduces the risk of you experiencing brownouts which makes ideal for use even for sensitive electrical appliances.

Your generator may damage sensitive plugged in appliances if it doesn’t maintain the voltage it produces at a constant rate. Yes, that’s right! This is usually the weakness with a lot of the conventional and capacitor generators which takes them a step back compared to the AVR generators. Here are some of the best AVR generators in the market today.

Max. power output
Generac GP3000i Inverter generator
22.2 x 13.3 x 18.40 inches
149cc Generac OHV 4 stroke engine
3000 Watts
Westinghouse WGen3600V generator
23.2 x 22.8 x 21.3 inches
212cc Westinghouse 4 stroke OHV engine
4650 Watts
Rainier R12000DF portable generator
27.2 x 26.1 x 26 inches
457cc Rainier 4 stroke OHV engine
12000 Watts
Pulsar G12KBN portable generator
28.5 x 26 x 25.5 inches
457cc Pulsar 4 stroke OHV engine
12000 Watts


How a capacitor generator works

The first thing that you’ll probably notice when comparing capacitor generators and AVR generators is that capacitor generators are more affordable. Yes, that’s right! To be fair, they are efficient generators that will also produce enough power to all the plugged in electrical appliances in your home. However, capacitors are not able to efficiently regulate voltage output like Automatic Voltage Regulators. This increases the chances of you experiencing a brown out when you use a capacitor generator as a back- up power source.

Capacitors generally produce voltage into the rotor of the generator which powers all the electrical appliances that have been plugged into the generator. In addition to this, capacitors also regulate the voltage being produced by the generator. For sure, capacitor generators are ideal for home use as they efficiently provide power to a small number of plugged in electrical appliances. However, it is not recommended that you use such a generator in a large business premises. This is because sensitive electrical appliances in large business premises may get damaged in the event that a brown out occurs. The table below is a summary of the best capacitor generators.

Max. power output
Durostar DS10000 EH generator
40 x 29 x 27.5 inches
440cc OHV engine
10000 Watts
Champion Power portable generator
26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 inches
224cc OHV engine
3800 Watts
WEN 56200i gas powered generator
18.0 x 11.0 x 18.0 inches
79.7cc 4 stroke OHV engine
2000 Watts
DuroMax XP12000EH electric generator
30.0 x 29.0 x 26.0 inches
457cc 4 stroke OHV engine
12000 Watts


In this comparison, the AVR generator is the overall winner as compared to the capacitor generators. This is because the Automatic Voltage Regulator is better at regulating voltage consistently than the capacitor. Without doubt, this device enables the generator to efficiently support a large number of electrical appliances even when they are plugged in at the same time.


Will I be able to switch on an AVR generator after I have removed its AVR?

No, you can’t be able to switch on the generator because it won’t have enough voltage to excite it. The Automatic Voltage Regulator is a very key component as it stores power which will be required every time you start your generator.

What is the main function of a capacitor in a generator?

A capacitor produces voltage to the rotor of the generator which enables the generator to power up the plugged in electrical appliances. It also regulates the voltage output of the generator.