Parallel Generators for Double the Power
How to Parallel Two Portable Generators
Inverter generators have many benefits, especially their light weight and portability. However, sometimes you wish you had the power of a larger generator contained in that smaller, lighter frame.
Although individual portable generators can only put out so much power, it's possible to combine two of them to get double the wattage. This is called paralleling generators and is an easy workaround that will let you power larger loads like RV air conditioners with smaller units.
How to Parallel Generators
The way to parallel two generators varies based on the brand and model. In general, you will need two compatible inverter generators and parallel cables. Typically, three cables connect to each generator (two connection cables and a ground terminal).
Some brands, like Champion and Generac, parallel two generators by connecting them to a central outlet where you can plug in your RV cord or other appliances. Others, like Honda, simply use cables to connect the two generators, at which point you can connect your appliance directly to the 30-amp power supply on the generator. Be sure to read the owner’s manual of your specific generator and parallel kit for details on that particular setup.
Can You Parallel Two Different Inverter Generators?
Whether or not you can parallel two different inverter generators depends on the brand. For example, if you have a Honda EU2200i, then you can only parallel it with another Honda EU2200i (called a companion unit).
For some models, there may be no exclusive companion unit, but you can still parallel most inverter generators with parallel cables that have a 30-amp outlet. These cables are used to parallel two of the same generators when a companion unit is not available. Be sure to only pair matching generators with the same amperage and voltage. Your owner’s manual will state which generators a parallel kit can successfully connect.
Why Run Generators in Parallel?
Today's demands for mobile power require more than what the traditional portable generator was made for. A basic portable generator will power the necessities for short periods of time, but running multiple generators in parallel will increase available power and extend runtime.
Additionally, it's much easier to add to your power setup than to purchase a heavier, larger generator on its own, especially when it comes to things like powering the A/C in an RV. Here are some benefits of getting power from two paralleled inverter generators.
- Lightweight and very portable
- Fuel-efficient (gas and electric)
- Quiet operation
- Energy Efficient models vary throttle power during usage
Is Paralleling Generators Safe?
Generators designed to be paralleled are perfectly safe as long as you follow the manufacturer's instructions, use the proper required cables, and ensure that the generators you are using to parallel are compatible with each other as determined by the manufacturer.
Don't try any homemade hacks to try and connect two generators that aren't meant to be connected. Always stick with what your owner's manual and the manufacturer say can safely be done.