Westinghouse iGen4500 – Review
The Westinghouse Electric Company built their first commercial electric power station in 1886 to supply Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Since then a lot has changed and the company has continued to be on the forefront of electric technology and product development.
Before we get to the full review of the Westinghouse iGen4500, let’s provide some context to help you decide if this is the right generator for you.
In 2011, Westinghouse started building durable portable generators for everyday use and has established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in this market. In 2013 they started producing digital inverter generators which are, to date, the most sophisticated means for generating stable power from a small generator.
Why Inverter Generators are Better
The Westinghouse iGen range of generators are among the most sought after portable generators available today. This is because they combine the best of modern technology with old-fashioned robust design principles.
The benefit of using a computerized inverter to power your devices has several advantages. The double conversion inverter system converts the AC power produced by the generator’s alternator into DC current. DC power is very manageable and can be regulated to produce a stable voltage. The DC current is then converted back into AC power by means of an inverter that is monitored by a microprocessor.
By using IGBT (Insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology combined with capacitors that are controlled by a computerized system that monitors the AC sine wave several hundred times per second, these inverter generators produce a sine wave that is pure and clean with incredibly low harmonic distortion (HD).
The result is a power supply that can be used to power the most sensitive electronic devices without harming them in any way. A conventional gas generator produces a sine wave that has spikes and dips which not only affects the way electronic devices perform but causes damage over time. Virtually every appliance we use today has some form of electronics built into them. For this reason, it’s become increasingly common for people to choose inverter technology when looking at a portable power supply for camping, working on site and to power their homes or businesses during a power outage.
VIDEO | Overview of Westinghouse Generators
The advantages of inverter generators go beyond the functionality of being able to power any device safely. Inverter generators are the most fuel efficient generators that you’ll get. This provides you with the convenience of longer running times on a tank of gas and saves you money. The reason why inverter generators are so fuel efficient is twofold. Firstly, the pure sine wave produced by the inverter means that you’ll be using less electricity compared to a generator that doesn’t make use of this technology.
Appliances of every description run more efficiently on stable power and you’ll be using up to 50% less electricity on some appliances when running them on a pure sine wave inverter. The second reason why inverter generators are more efficient is due to the electronic power management system that they use. This allows the generator to run at lower revs when the power demand is less. It will only step up the revs when more power is needed.
This results in great fuel savings because the generator can run for long periods of low current demand, conventional gas generators will run at a constant speed (usually 3800RPM) regardless of the load that is being used – a pointless waste of fuel. The fact that these generators can run at a lower RPM also means less noise.
Conventional Gas Generator | Westinghouse WGen5500
If you’re looking for a high-powered gas generator that has all the advantages of electronic inverter technology, the Westinghouse iGen4500 is one of your best options. This article is going to provide a comprehensive review of the Westinghouse iGen4500, giving you the information that you’ll need to make an informed decision before choosing the best inverter generator for your needs. As a comparison, we’ll also take a look at the Briggs & Stratton P2200. This is another quality inverter generator manufactured by a trusted company with a longstanding reputation for building reliable power generator products.
Learn more about the founder of Westinghouse Electric, George Westinghouse. It’s important to recognize the rich history and enduring reputation of the Westinghouse brand. It’s a company that has stood the test of time because of their commitment to manufacturing excellent products. In other words, your money is in good hands when buying a Westinghouse product.
Westinghouse iGen4500 | 224cc
3800 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts
- Compact and Powerful Design: the iGen4500 is Much Lighter than Comparable Traditional Generators and Features Wheels for Easy Transportation
- Safely Powers Sensitive Electronics Such as Laptop Computers, Cell Phones, & More (3800
- 3800 Rated Watts and 4500 Peak Watts at <3% THD)
- Features 2 USB Ports (5V DC), a 120 VAC 20A Household Duplex Outlet, and a 120V 30A TT-30R Recreational Vehicle (RV) Receptacle
- Enhanced Fuel Efficiency – 30-50% More Fuel Efficient Than Comparable Traditional Generators!
- Quiet Operation: the iGen4500 Utilizes a Double-Insulated Acoustic Enclosure, Assymetrical
- Cooling Fans, and Low Tone Mufflers to Reduce Operating Noise
Overview | Westinghouse iGen4500
Having the power of a 224cc OHV 6HP generator is great. The Westinghouse iGen4500 produces 3800W of constant running power and a peak output of 4500W, giving you that extra power for when starting high current appliances. This means that you can run basically any household appliance with power to spare, including air conditioners, refrigerators, and microwaves. All this with the advantage of clean power, thanks to the sophisticated inverter that produces a perfect sine wave under all working conditions – less than 3% Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) at peak load. This is cleaner power than you’ll usually get from the grid power connection in your home.
Inverter technology is the most advantageous when using a generator that produces such a high output. While you need that extra power from time to time, you’ll mostly be running an average load of 50% or less. Thanks to the power management system, the generator will be running at low revs a lot of the time, saving fuel by doing so. When you combine this with a large fuel tank capacity of 3.4-gallons, you get a running time of about 8-hours at 50% load. Whether you’re using the generator on a building site, for your home or RV, you’ll go for a really good length of time on a single tank of gas.
If we look at a typical scenario when using the Westinghouse iGen4500 to power your home or RV, you’ll probably be using way less than an average load of 50%. If you’re sitting in your living room at night, you’ll be watching TV, using a few lights and maybe the surround sound system, your constant load will be around 200W-300W (less than 10% of the total load capacity). During this time your refrigerator will run intermittently. You may also use the microwave or an electric kettle a few times through the evening.
Even with this extra load, your average load will be well below 25%. At a 25% load you’ll be able to run the generator for 16-hours on a tank of gas. This means that you should be able to easily run the Westinghouse iGen4500 through the night on a tank of gas (when you’re asleep your average power consumption will only about 5% or less). This means no hassles with refueling and exceptional fuel economy.
One of the disadvantages of using gas generators is the constant noise. You’ll be glad to know that the Westinghouse iGen4500 has almost done away with this problem entirely. A double-insulated acoustic enclosure, low-tone mufflers, and asymmetrical cooling fans make this one of the quietest gas generators that you’ll find. Add to this, the low RPM at lower loads and you’ll probably not even notice that you’re using a generator for most of the time. Being EPA and CARB compliant means that it meets the environmental standards required by most states.
The total weight of 104 LBS, seems pretty heavy but if you compare it other generators with an equivalent power output, this is a very lightweight machine. It’s certainly not cumbersome to move, thanks to an extendable handle and solid rubber wheels. The Westinghouse iGen4500 is convenient to transport and just easy to use. It has a well laid out control panel with all your outlets and user functions in one easily accessible place. It has two standard 120V power outlets, protected with a 20A circuit breaker.
In addition to this, you get a TT-30R 30A outlet for effortless RV connection or for running power to household mains via a transfer switch. The Westinghouse iGen4500 also has two USB outlets for charging phones, tablets and similar USB devices. An LED digital display gives you all the essential data in an easy to read format.
With a 3-year warranty and a lifetime support network from one of the country’s oldest electrical supply companies, you can make your purchase with complete confidence. The Westinghouse iGen4500 is a neat compact unit that can be transported with ease. The engine and all operating parts are safely contained in a durable plastic housing so there’s little that can damage the machine. It’s certainly an ideal inverter generator for using on a hardworking site or to take anywhere you go – providing you with safe, reliable power with the least amount of effort.
2200 Watt inverter generator
- Quiet and fuel efficient 111 cc OHV engine produces 2,200 starting watts and 1700 running watts
- Produces less than 3% total harmonic distortion making it safe for laptop computers, TVs and game systems
- 1-gallon fuel tank for up to 8 hours of continuous operation at 25% load, USB port allows charging of portable electronics in order to stay connected
- Parallel connector port allows connection between 2 units for more power
- At 59dB operating volume, it’s quieter than a normal conversation (Sound levels may vary based on proximity and location; measured at ¼ load at 7 meters from control panel side)
While the Briggs & Stratton P2200 doesn’t deliver the same power output as the mighty Westinghouse iGen4500, the smaller Briggs & Stratton will give you 1700W running power and 2200W peak power. It does have the advantage of parallel connectivity. This means that you can increase the power output of the generator by coupling it with any of the other Briggs & Stratton generators in the Power Smart series. The generator will synchronize the sine waves of these generators, thereby giving a power output that is the total of all the generators that are connected together.
The versatility of parallel connection may not make sense to everyone. But if you want the convenience of a smaller generator that’s very easy to transport but also want to have extra power when you need it, this is an excellent option. You can use just one generator to maximize your portability and step up your power with a second, or even third generator when needed.
Run in Parallel with any Briggs & Stratton PowerSmart Inverter
When it comes to lightweight portability, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 is a real winner. It weighs only 55LBS and has one of the best handle designs of any portable generator. You can carry it with two hands (or two people) by using the comfortable handles on either side of the machine. You can also pick it up easily and carry it with one hand, thanks to a perfectly designed single-carrying handle that is positioned to give it an excellent center of gravity.
When it comes to silent running and fuel efficiency, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 compares well to the Westinghouse iGen4500. It has a really low noise level of 59dB at 25% load from 23Ft. Like the Westinghouse iGen4500, the Briggs & Stratton also uses smart inverter technology and has the same fuel saving advantages. It does, however, have a smaller fuel tank.
VIDEO Review | Briggs & Stratton P2200
Even though the Briggs & Stratton P2200 uses a smaller 110cc OHV engine, the fuel tank capacity of 1 gallon is much lower relative to the engine size. This means that at a 25% load, you’ll get 6-hours from a tank of gas – not quite as impressive as the 8-hours that you’ll get from the Westinghouse iGen4500 at 25% load. None the less, 6-hours is a pretty good time and in terms of actual fuel costs, their economy is quite comparable. Being a less powerful machine, the Briggs & Stratton will obviously use slightly less fuel.
The Briggs & Stratton P2200 also has a well-designed and easy to use control panel, though not quite as comprehensive as the Westinghouse iGen4500. Because it’s a lower power generator, you won’t get the 30A RV power outlet, but it does have a 12V outlet for charging batteries – something that you won’t find on the Westinghouse iGen4500.
Parallel Cable Connector Kit | Briggs & Stratton 6278
It also doesn’t have any USB outlets or digital display for output stats, not this is a big problem. It has two 120V standard outlets with automatic reset breakers. This is quite convenient, if there’s an overload or short circuit, you won’t have to go to the generator to reset the breaker – this will happen automatically once the normal load is restored.
Briggs & Stratton is, like Westinghouse, an established brand in the electrical industry so you can expect a high level of service from them. The Briggs & Stratton P2200 comes with a 2-year warranty and excellent dealership service backup. While it doesn’t match up to the Westinghouse iGen4500 in terms of power and has fewer features, the Briggs & Stratton P2200 has the advantage parallel operation, which can be beneficial to many users. They are both high-quality machines and it really depends on your personal needs, which one would be better for you.
Read our comprehensive review of the Briggs & Stratton P2200 and P3000.