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Thread: Portable Generator with Low THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    135

    Portable Generator with Low THD (Total Harmonic Distortion)

    i've installed more than a few generator transfer swithes and main breaker Interlock kits. Recently a customer mentioned to me; their furnace would not operate on generator power. turned out the sensitive electonic equiptment needed cleaner power(steady 120V/60HZ) and not obtainable w/ an economical backup generator . I was kind of surprised, cause I've connected many-esp. during storm Sandy. I'm in the process of purchasing a generator for my house and business. Apon research; I should be searching for a generator with low TDH(Total Harmonic Distortion) of as little as possible, maybey less than 5%. The less expensive generator line dont spec their voltager/HZ efficiency. I'm planning on installing a tankless water heater soon, and not sure how clean the power has to be for it and other electronic equipment sa: tv and computer. Please reply if know of brand/and model Generatorw/low THD for clean safe power. The only unit I've found for a fair price is the Powerhorse generator line sold in the Northern tool catalog

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New England
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    Honda Inverter generators will work, but they cost about 3-4K. You either have to buy a generator with power supply electronics built in, or feed sensitive loads from a dual conversion UPS.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    135
    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    Honda Inverter generators will work, but they cost about 3-4K. You either have to buy a generator with power supply electronics built in, or feed sensitive loads from a dual conversion UPS.
    Well ;The Powerhouse and lower price Honda's claim low THD clean power, not being inverter generators. Not sure how accurate their claim. I'll just have to borrow a friends non-inverter type portable backup unit and test before I make choice.

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  4. #4
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    Mar 2003
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    New England
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    Not that is proof of anything, but during the last storm (which was just last weekend) I ran my expensive Mac computer and cheap Dynex TV off of my very dirty power generator. That said, I am aware that boiler and furnace electronics won't work or will outright "let out the smoke" if operated on dirty power, as you wondered.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    135
    I've heard of This problem with one customer to his furnace, not sure for my Tankless Water Heater. I'm not sure what other electronic components are sensitive enough for non operation from a non inverter generator, and what Powerhorse generators differ from other econo units in their claim of low THD's. The least cost 6K Inverter gen is an "All Power" brand (Northern Cat.) approx $1700+

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