Inverter generators are a portable solution for supplying power for outdoor activities and emergency situations such as blackouts. They deliver cleaner, regulated power to power up your delicate electronics, and they produce less noise than traditional, time-tested generators. In addition, they’re oftentimes more compact than regular generators, making them a portable option to take wherever you go. If needed, you can connect two portable inverter generators together to produce twice the power for more heavy-duty electronics like portable refrigerators.
In this article, we’re going compare and contract two of Briggs & Stratton’s PowerSmart from different series: the 30651 from the P2200 series and the 30545 from the P3000 series. The serial number indicates the maximum starting or surge wattage that the unit supplies, so off the bat we can determine that the P3000 packs a bigger punch. But does bigger necessarily mean betterLet’s find out.
Surge and Running Wattage
The surge wattage is the amount of power that the unit can deliver to kick-start electronics to life. Typically, large and heavy-duty devices (e.g. refrigerators and corded power tools) require a large surge wattage-rating for the motor to sputter into life. The 30651 delivers 2,200 surge wattage and 1,700 running wattage. For most trips into the wild, this is sufficient to power up multiple appliances, including a portable refrigerator and air conditioner with some left over to spare.
The 30545 model delivers 3,000 surge wattage and 2,600 running wattage. With this in mind, it’s easy to determine that this inverter generator packs an even bigger punch, offering an abundance of power to operate multiple portable appliances, laptops, and phone chargers, all at the same time.
Conclusion: In our opinion, bigger is better, and the 30545 is the better choice here, at least in terms of power delivery. Of course, this depends on what you need, how many people you’re bringing with you on your outdoor trips, how many electronics you need to supply power to, and how power-hungry those electronics are. For larger groups of people with more gadgets, the 30545 can serve you faithfully without fail.
The 30651, at ¼ load, runs for roughly 6-1/2 hours off of a full tank of gasoline (1-gallon capacity). The handy Statstation hour’s meter is an LCD display which shows the exact percentage of how much power is being delivered. Combined with the fuel tank indicator and the auto-shutoff feature for low oil and gas, this inverter generator helps users get a feel of how much residual power is left before needing to refill the gas tank.
As for the 30545, at a quarter-load, this inverter generator will produce about 10 hours of uninterrupted power delivery on a full tank (1-1/2 gallons of gasoline). Similar to the 30651, this unit also comes with a Statstation hour’s meter, fuel tank indicator, and auto-shutoff to prevent damage due to low oil and gasoline levels.
Conclusion: Once again, the 30545 shows us why bigger is better. The extra 3-1/2 hours of energy from the model’s extra half-gallon capacity is another way to compare how much more efficient and effective 30545 is compared to the smaller, P2200 model.
Portability and Transportability
One of the most important contributors to a unit’s overall portability is its weight. The 30651 weighs 54 pounds and comes with handles on the left and right side, making it easy to share the burden with a companion when carrying the inverter generator from place to place. There are no wheels attached to the base of this unit so you’re left carrying it around. The lightweight design should help reduce the risk of pulling a muscle.
This model weighs a massive 84 pounds which is an understandable tradeoff for additional power. In addition, this unit comes with a pull-out handle near the control panel and two 6-inch “never go flat” pneumatic wheels. The wheels are extremely handy when you need to roll the unit around, and even pulling it uphill isn’t too much of an issue. The wheels make this inverter generator extremely easy to maneuver, and it only takes one person to move it. It also comes with handles on the top panel for when you need to load and unload it from your RV or truck.
Conclusion: We like that the 30651 is lightweight so carrying it around, especially with a friend, is easy to do. However, we commend the 30545 for its built-in pneumatic wheels which make moving the inverter generator so much easier. In addition, if you need to pick the unit up, 84 pounds isn’t that hard to do, especially if there are multiple people working together.
If you’re taking time out to enjoy the isolation of the wild, you don’t want your power generator to produce a constant drone that drowns out conversations or scares wild animals away (unless it’s bears or moose). At a quarter-load, the 30651 produces 59 decibels of noise which, considering how much power you get, is relatively quiet, especially when compared to generators of similar specs.
This unit produces the same 59 decibels of noise at a quarter-load. However, a quarter-load of this model means you’re getting considerably more energy production which is even more impressive.
Conclusion: The noise-to-power ratio for the 30545 is much more generous than with the 30651. However, you can rest assured that with either of these units, you’re going to enjoy smooth, quiet, and uninterrupted operations.
Briggs & Stratton 30651 P2200 vs 30545 P3000: Bottom Line
Based on our comparison, we can confidently conclude that when it comes to Briggs & Stratton’s line of PowerSmart inverter generators, bigger is better. The 30545 delivers more power for longer, is extremely portable, and relatively quiet to boot. However, we must emphasize that your purchase decision should depend entirely on your need and future plans to grow those needs.
If you think that for the next several years you don’t need a portable generator that supplies 2,600 running watts, then the 30651 P2200 will suit you better since you’re not purchasing unused potential. However, if you often find yourselves traveling in large groups in your RV into the wild, then the 30545 P3000 might be the better option. With either model, you’ll still be able to power up portable home appliances, multiple Smartphones, as well as laptops, all at once.
|21 x 20 x 14 in||26.3 x 24.8 x 22.9 in||18 x 11 x 18 in|
|46.5 pounds||122 pounds||48 pounds|