Portable electric generators have been available at hardware and major chain stores for several decades but the latest generation of gasoline (petrol) powered generators, referred to as Suitcase Generators, pretty much take-the-cake on portability. Suitcase style generators are significantly lighter than their wheeled predecessors and are designed to be carried by their handle, similar to a piece of luggage. While some models do exceed 70 pounds, many of the newer versions are less than 30 pounds and can produce over 1000 Watts of electrical power.
There are some battery storage units that are considerably cheaper and look very similar to the gas powered generators but they are not really generators. They are simply DC power storage capacitors, very similar to a car battery, that have the ability to output AC power. Once the battery is “dead” you are out of power, so it is incorrect to refer to these types of storage units as generators. However, a lot of companies like to advertise them as such because of their inexpensive price point Energy Plan Services.
The true suitcase style electric generators are still fairly expensive but just like most previous consumer items as demand increases and technology improves, the prices will come down. Currently they are only available in gas/petrol powered versions. It is highly unlikely there will be a diesel version of such a small engine anytime in the near future. If you happen to be waiting on a diesel version before you purchase, consider the lawnmower Industry. There are basically no mass production diesel lawnmowers. The same will probably be true for the suitcase generator industry.
They can run up to 5 hours on a single take of gas, which on some models is less than 2 gallons. Some people consider them a great standby as backup power in case of a residential electrical outage. Many outdoorsmen have begun to carry them on camping trips. This was not practical when the wheeled version. Since a single individual is able to carry one of these generators, they are very practical for a variety of other functions. They are starting to become very popular in the emergency services field and the military has been using them for years. Construction workers have found them very useful for small jobs where electrical service has not been hooked up yet or is turned off due to an occupant vacancy.
Just like any other gasoline engine, they do produce carbon monoxide and should never be used in an enclosed area. The use of an extension cord is recommended, so the engine can be located away from the user.