Not so common, the throttle of an AC alternator is controlled by
sensing RPM or frequency in a direct sense. Indirectly it is also
responding to load since a heavier load will tend to slow the
generator down. DC generators are regulated according to voltage
usually with an exception being a welder which is current regulated.
Honda makes some nice generators. But they are not cheap. And up
there you may use them more justifying the price. For the typical USA
resident that just wants one as an emergency power source it's
possible to use a cheaper generator. Unless losing pwoer is a very
common occurence. For me it probably averages out to 10 hours a year
with a pretty big standard deviation.
Whoa! what is going on down there? I moved here from East in the spring
of 1970. Since total time for power outage was less than 1 hours,
longest being 24 minutes when pole burned up by grass fire near my home.
They had to cut the power to replace the pole.
A local appliance dealer was on the radio after a big storm and power outage
here in CT. Seems that many new refrigerators have electronics in them and
the generators were killing them. Maybe those cheap generators are no so
cheap after all.
In my case, total outages are less that 40 hours in 66 years. I've not
bought one yet.
That's something I think we all worry about. During
the huricane I had a two year old Kitchenaid fridge,
another five year old freezer and this PC all running
on a cheap Chinese generator. All ran fine. But I
did try to limit the potential for damage by not turning
on the big LCD TV or other non-essential electronics.
This got me thinking. What exactly is the source of
the generator issues that kills electronics? The
generator is just a rotating magnetic field moving
inside a fixed wire stator. So what exactly causes
the problems? Is it some kind of surge issue when
big loads turn on and off that creates big voltage
spikes? It's hard to believe it's an overall voltage
issue as you would think most electronics could
tolerate running at 100V or 140V without damage.
Anyone ever look at the waveform
on an oscilloscope?
It can also be something as simple as some other circuit on the
genrator turning off and causing a big spike, however short, that
blows the electronics. I think if there were just a steady resistive
load, everything would be fine. I have a front porch light on a
photocell/motion sensor that turns on about half the time that I turn
off the ceiling fluorescent lights in the adjacent family room. They
are on the same branch circuit. So there is some sort of a spike
generated when I turn off the inductive ballasts of the fluorescent
light that does its thing in the motion sensor.
On Fri, 7 Oct 2011 09:06:59 -0700 (PDT), jamesgangnc
A cheap generator is false economy because they ONLY fail when you
If you are using the generator for "convenience" a failure is only an
inconvenience. If using a generator for "emergency use", failure is an
Engine speed on a non-inverter generator will always stay steady
(ideally anyways) but at low load the RPM requires significantly less
throttle - and less gas. 50% load will genereally require about 60%
No, you'll just burn down your house because the generator will be
pumping 7000 Watts into the house and the house will only use 3500.
The other 3500 Watts will build up as heat and eventually burst into
I think his point is that based on physics, if the gas input
did not vary based on load, there would be a hell of a
lot of energy that would have to go somewhere when
a 7000 watt generator is only putting out 3500 watts
This is nothing to joke about. Thee are probably millions of watts of
electricity floating about after storms, caused by careless generation.
IMO, the government should regulate this. Congressional hearings are in
order to get to the bottom of this. Bush ignored it, but hopefully, Obama
will take care of the problem.
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