Time for a new portable generator

  
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TheMan419

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If you plan to run electronic devices, and are going to buy a NEW generator, you definitely should buy an inverter style generator.
that is what I was thinking, but several in this thread have poo pooed that need.

The plan is to buy NEW (not new to me but new new). Mainly want to run the well, pumps on the boiler and the fridge/freezer. But since you are running a generator you might as well have some creature comforts. Especially since I need a generator big enough to run the well in the first place.

The Champion I posted about in the first post ticks all my desires.
Inverter
Size
Electric Start

The only thing it does not have is a dual fuel option. Although the generator I do have is gasoline only. We have had it for about 8 years. The only time it did not start was when I forgot to plug the battery minder in. It started on the third pull, but man the recoil start on that thing is a bear with a bad back.
 

Root Cause

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I too would like some information on the need for an inverter. My simplistic understanding is that you want 60 hertz at all times or it could damage sensitive equipment.
So far, my 2 generators seem to be doing just that. There may be more I don't understand or maybe my sample size it way too small.

I just bought a 12500-watt dual fuel for $999 to run the house.
We just went through a gas shortage that affected the entire southwest. It lasted a couple of weeks without a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. For that reason, dual fuel was my #1 priority.
If I really do need an inverter genny, then I will go buy a small one and isolate the tv and laptops to one room.
 

fried1765

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that is what I was thinking, but several in this thread have poo pooed that need.

The plan is to buy NEW (not new to me but new new). Mainly want to run the well, pumps on the boiler and the fridge/freezer. But since you are running a generator you might as well have some creature comforts. Especially since I need a generator big enough to run the well in the first place.

The Champion I posted about in the first post ticks all my desires.
Inverter
Size
Electric Start

The only thing it does not have is a dual fuel option. Although the generator I do have is gasoline only. We have had it for about 8 years. The only time it did not start was when I forgot to plug the battery minder in. It started on the third pull, but man the recoil start on that thing is a bear with a bad back.
You could also buy a very small (1,000W) inverter generator for the equipment that needs precise voltage/frequency, and a larger non inverter generator for everything else.
That is what I have done.
 

grsthegreat

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OMG. Ive been running generators to power my house for 25 years, and none were inverter. One was even a chepo unit purchased used from rental yard at auction.

just use the standard surge suppressor that i normally use for electronics, and computers are fed thru UPS sources. I have never burnt out an electronic device except for an oven that went during a lightning strike on my ground mount transformer. Since that strike, i installed a whole house surge suppressor and no further issues.
 

Sawyer Rob

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I have two Honda inverter generators, I love them for clean power, but mostly because they run a long time on a gallon of gas and they are quiet!!

IF I want to run my whole house, I MUCH prefer my pto generator, as my tractor is always ready to go and it works perfectly!

SR
 

i7win7

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Ok so new question.... is the need for a inverter type hype as some have posited in this thread? I want to run the router for internet and the tv. Since we live in an area prone to tornados keeping up on those issues is important. I do have a place I can keep the generator out of the weather and still running and hooked up to the house.
SPECS, it's about AC specs, equipment is designed to run according to power grid specs. Power Companies can not buy, sell, transfer power between companies without being synchronized. This is why wind turbines and solar farms go down if purchasing utility has a power or substation failure.

60Hz is the US standard, at 58Hz A/C motors run a little slower, at 62Hz A/C motors run a little faster - power can't be sold if out of sync.

Sine wave - the voltage switches between -170 volts and +170 volts 60 times per second. Regular generators and true sine wave inverters will generate this waveform.
Simple_sine_wave.svg.png
RMS - root mean square is the average of the voltage swing. Usually 120 volts, inside of a power plant I have measured 140-145 volts at their outlets.


Typical inverters generate a stair stepped wave form. The more steps, the better the inversion waveform.

320px-Sqarish_wave,_5_level.png


My pellet stove is plugged into a UPS for computers. On power failure it beeps and provides about 10 min. of runtime. The motors will run on the stepped wave form but makes more noise, motor speeds up & slows down because of the stepped voltage. Kind of like driving a car with a vibrator on the bottom of your shoe.

Any generator producing between 110-130 volts should be fine. Dedicated generators with own motor will do best job of maintaining 60Hz. My main concern is waveform. AC power is a sine wave, a true sine wave or a highly stepped wave form waveform is the best.
 

Root Cause

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It's raining here so I did some research and found that inverter generators typically run the motor based on need. Therefore, quieter and more fuel-efficient. In turn, they invert the power to AC as Win7 describes above giving you 'clean' sine wave electricity. This conversion does incur some loss of power so that is why they provide fewer watts and cost more.

I don't think there is a choice that fits all.
I have a digital, plug-in hertz/voltage meter so I am going to stick with that and my cheap genny.

Thanks i7win7, that was helpful.
 

TBone

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I too would like some information on the need for an inverter. My simplistic understanding is that you want 60 hertz at all times or it could damage sensitive equipment.
So far, my 2 generators seem to be doing just that. There may be more I don't understand or maybe my sample size it way too small.

I just bought a 12500-watt dual fuel for $999 to run the house.
We just went through a gas shortage that affected the entire southwest. It lasted a couple of weeks without a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. For that reason, dual fuel was my #1 priority.
If I really do need an inverter genny, then I will go buy a small one and isolate the tv and laptops to one room.
I've got two gas powered generators mainly because of hurricane season here on the gulf coast. I've never considered dual fuel because during the only major hurricane I've had to suffer through (Katrina),
propane was harder to find than gasoline. I wouldn't mind one that ran off of natural gas but I've only got one accessible gas line that used to feed a gas grill and I can't find anybody that knows if it will be suitable for a large generator. I don't want to buy one only to find out it won't run on the little 3/8" line.
 

ponytug

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Inverter generators have a lower total harmonic distortion (THD) compared with some non-inverter generators. Whether that is important for your equipment is a "it depends" issue. As @grsthegreat points out there are lots of generators out there that produce quality power and something close to 60Hz. Much of the quality has to do with the design of the generator head and how the voltage regulation is done. There are some cheap ones that put out electricity with lots of extra electronic "noise", I.e. electricity at frequencies other than 60Hz. (Lots of examples on YouTube, if you are curious.) If you run that "noisy" power into a motor, it turns up as some additional heat. If you run it into electronics, well, it depends on the design of the internal power supply. The power supply may filter the noise out and it may not, depending on the design. It may be harmful, and it may not be, depending on the design. A $2. charger is going to have fewer features or protections compared to a $100 one. Surge suppressors can cut much of the noise out, and the more of them you have the more energy that can be absorbed in a spike, and the more the noise gets soaked up around the house, improving the power quality- but that isn't their primary function.

To me, the big plus to inverter generators is that they can throttle way down to meet low loads at low rpm, which saves fuel, and reduces noise. Those may or may not matter to other folks.

Finally, while it is true that inverter generators stair step the voltage levels, they do it 40-100,000 times per second, so the resulting power is basically indistinguishable from a sine wave except with an oscilloscope. I.e. It is round off error.

All the best,

Peter
 

LittleBill21

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inverters are needed for random things, electric heating blankets, cheap ups's, and some electronic controls on boilers, are about the only place i have seen them as a requirement.

anything that uses switching power supplies (wall wart devices) which have 100-240 range labeled on them, could careless about clean power.

inverter generators are quieter and generally use less fuel then non inverter generators, that's about it.

inverter generators can also be parallel to increase their total wattage (not voltage)


at the end of the day you need to figure out how much you plan to use it.

if your up in the 10's of thousands of hours, your looking at something "prime" rated

otherwise, most people if they are lucky will put 100 hours on a generator,

I have off brand inverters and a regular HF generator, they are all over 10 years old, they all work fine.


to OP you might want to be careful with the HF junk comment, the Non inverter series, were HIGHLY rated by Consumer Reports for years, I have one and it works great.
 
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