petrol generator-any equipment incompaible?


I have bought a 4 stroke genny from good old Nettos for under a 100 quid. I am about to test it on powering up my house in the event of the next power failure (of which we have many and prolonged...the last one was over 12 hours!). Other than a limit on th current drawn by things like kettles, cookers, hobs etc how do the switched mode power supplies within user equipment like TV's PC's videos, DVD's cope with a genny?...that is always of course providing I limit the power drawn to the stated max of the genny. I was thinking in terms of frequency control, or any harmonics which may be there or spikes. Anyone got experience of what not to connect to the generator please?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
biggirlsblouse wrote:

Modern electronics with switch mode supplies take the input and immediately turn it to dc - so won't generally care about frequency or harmonics and are pretty excellent at dealing with spikes too.
Of course, things like electric clocks will not have the same accuracy*.
Things like motors with high starting currents may trip the genny whilst trying to get up to speed.
*Some modern (typically "lightweight" models) genny often generate at high frequency, convert to dc and have an inbuilt, crystal-controlled inverter for producing mains frequency output. These vary prime-mover speed in response to load but keep their output frequency very accurate. They use much less fuel on light loads than a normal genny. Much cheaper to run, IME.
If you are planning to be out for hours, regularly, it may be worth considering getting a couple of big deep discharge batteries and a good charger and inverter. You then only run the genny on full load (supplying the household load and fast charging the batteries). Then have periods of blissful silence when the household load is being met from the batteries alone. Typically, you can run the genny for an hour and then have 4 hours running off the batteries - but it does depend on batteries, loading, etc.
One problem with a small genny is the waveform tends to not be a "perfect" sinewave but has a flattened top and bottom.
If you run the house off a battery bank and inverter, you will find that the inverter's inbuilt charger section performs very badly off a small generator. They usually are designed only for running off mains supply when it is available. It typically needs a 6kW genny to run the inverter and charge the battery bank, even when you are only loading it to 1.5kW.
Buy an inverter/charger designed to run off a small genny or get a separate charger meant for the purpose.
HTH Sue
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Thanks for that...extremely informative but I dont want to go to the trouble of providing power via batteries using a UPS.... the reason i bought a Netto genny was because of its low cost, and to be frank the power problem I have is local to my street rather than the town I live. If the problem develops to become national rather than very local I may consider upgrading. One thing I have found though is that the genny output voltage is quite severely affected by load....and it seems a struggle to get it to strike up 5foot fluroescents. I know its not quite IEE regs, but because of the (hopefully) temporary nature of the installation I am feeding the house via the garage which is 10 yards away(normally it is the other way around). In this case the voltage dropped to 200V and I have raised the voltage output to 220V or thereabouts in the garage but it is obvliously quite low in the house (the cable feed being 1.0mm2 should handle that ok) but the volt drop appears to be too great. When I isolate the house supply from the generated garage supply the genny output goes up to 280V on low load (6 garage lights)! It has to be genny voltage control thats the problem because when its loaded to about 800W it drops to 220V.
Anyway...the good news is that it runs my central heating (the no. 1 reason for having it) all my high efficiency fluroescents even the telly....and Ime happy enough with that.>

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
biggirlsblouse wrote:

Unless your meter is an (expensive) true rms type, its readings will mislead you into thinking the voltage control is not working.
Basically, as I mentioned previously, a small genny doesn't produce a true sine wave under load - it has flattened tops and bottoms.
A true rms meter will show you what is really happening - the genny voltage control is working and is maintaining a near constant *rms* output voltage. But as the load goes up, the waveform shape distorts and the peak voltage will drop, as measured by a "normal" meter. The rms voltage will remain near constant.
For things that "use" the peak value of the mains - like some chargers, as I mentioned, the effect can be dramatic. Switch mode power supplies (eg computers) use the peak value too - but have normally been designed to cope with a very wide range of suppply voltages, so are ok. Things like photocopiers and lamps basically "use" the rms value - so don't care that the waveform is distorted either.
The proof will be an (incandescent) lamp plugged into the genny and watched as your measured voltage changes so dramatically as you put extra load on. The light should hardly vary in brightness at all (it "uses" rms) - whilst your meter ("using" peak) changes a lot.
If small genny manufacturers regulated on peak, rather than rms voltage, your lamps would be going really bright and really dim with every change in the load - and you very surely would be taking it back to the shop...
The "lightweight" inverter-type small gennys synthesise the sine wave output - so they don't have this problem. Their waveform (and hence both the peak and rms values) remains almost constant irrespective of load. They do have disadvantages (particularly their ability to handle large transients as they have little stored energy) - but generally they are a pretty good idea unless you are trying to power motors with large starting currents with them.
--
Sue




Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.