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  1. #1
    Gold Member Beltzington's Avatar
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    Default Miller 150 STL Power Source

    Found a used 5-year old Miller 150STL and while researching it I stumbled across a youtube video which mentions Miller inverter welders should not be hooked up to a generator for power. While the video was a different model I can't believe the technology would be that different. Does anyone have any more information on this possible limitation? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Advertiser Mark @ Everlast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    Yes, that is generally true, especially if the welders don't have high power factor correction. Many generators are not "clean power", which means they emit a sine wave that is not real pure, and has a lot of distortion...more than 10% or by some definitions, 5% from a true wave form. A lot of generators even put out a "modified" sine which is basically a square wave, even though it is relatively clean for the type wave it produces. Another issue is the consistency of the power voltage with the voltage being able to sustain at a constant level if under load or at high rpm. The square wave generators are fine for light bulbs and some electric motors but not electronics. A frequent question I get is why if the welders are square wave, why they can't operate on a square wave generator...which really isn't worth discussing as to why here, but illustrates the point that there is a large variation in generators in general. You can run even the older inverters from Miller on a generator, as long as it is properly matched, and certified by the company that produces the generator with less than 5% total harmonic distortion. We have a similar requirement for our Everlast PA140ST's to be run on a clean genset...which are comparable overall. However, for our new Powertig 210ext's which have a greater than 99% PFC, they are able to handle some distortion and uneven output.
    Mark Lugo
    Everlast Welders
    http://www.everlastgenerators.com/

    Need a welder? Give me a call at (877) 755-9353 ext 204!

  3. #3
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    Default

    I think one thing that can cause problems is the load that a welder puts on a generator goes from almost nothing, to very high once the arc is struck. If the regulation in the generator isn't quick enough, the voltage can drop, then rise too high, as the regulator over compensates. And with something like an inverter welder, that will try to keep the output constant as input voltage drops, you can get the two fighting each other.
    Dan H.

  4. #4
    Advertiser Mark @ Everlast's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    Dan,
    That's the part of being a "clean" generator helps rule out.
    Mark Lugo
    Everlast Welders
    http://www.everlastgenerators.com/

    Need a welder? Give me a call at (877) 755-9353 ext 204!

  5. #5
    Gold Member Beltzington's Avatar
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    Appreciate the good information, glad I found this out before I purchased a welder I would have issues with. After the amount of research I have done on inverters it would seem this is something Miller would be upfront about in advertisments and documentation.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    Power Factor correction is really nothing new but many manufacturers don't like the additional cost of having it even though the benifits are major. It is a circuit that soaks up the incomming power and filters it to remove the spikes,drops and fuzz. Then it allows a smooth transition of the power to the inverter. It was designed 1st for poor power at farms and remote locations. Works even better on generators. Another thing it aids in is running on 115v with an extension cord. The inverter with Power Factor Correction hardly knows there is a cord there. It will actually store up enough of the in coming power that you can get 130+ amps out of a 20 amp breaker. normally you get 80-85. This gives you a real working 115v stick welder compared to non power factor units that really don't stick weld very well at all on 115v. There are several nice 115/230 inverters out there that will easily out perform the Millers on function as well as price.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    I think power factor is a bit more than that.
    Power factor - Wikipedia
    Dan H.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Miller 150 STL Power Source

    It's way more than than that. Explained in simple terms compared to that Wikipedia link..

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