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Old 03-27-2013, 10:07 AM   #1
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"Dirty" power


I am having a licensed electrician install a transfer switch for my 7kw Briggs & Stratton. This switch will power my entire panel safely. However, since it is a portable generator I know the power is not as refined as my standard home power line and I want to avoid any damage to any fine electronics. I have been looking at some individual line conditioners, but I wanted some feedback from people who have experience doing the same thing. Any specific feedback (product names, models, how to's, etc.) will be appreciated. Also, is there any way to "condition" the entire line instead of individual outlets?

Jeff

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
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"Dirty" power


I think 'dirty power' is an over used term.

The reality is that almost all of your modern electronics use switching power supplies....in other words, it takes the incoming power....chops it up into a much higher freq and then converts that to the dc voltage it needs. It's much more efficient than the old linear (transformer) power supplies.....and does a good job of filtering out any harmonics from your power source. This why you see most devices now saying that the input is good from 120 to 240Vac (and does not have an input voltage select).

It would take some serious noise (harmonics) on your generator power to cause a problem.

About the only issue your going to have with a generator is freq. Because the generator is driven my a motor, the output freq 'can' vary from 60hz if the motor speed varies much. I've seen some high end generators that used a DC motor that then fed an inverter. This insured a more consistent freq and voltage.

I would just put a good surge protector on the expensive stuff and not worry about it. If your really worried, buy a UPS for the high priority stuff. That way it stays up while your bringing your genset on line.

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:31 AM   #3
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"Dirty" power


I was looking at this line conditioner on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/APC-LE1200-Aut..._cd_ql_qh_dp_t

Do you think this will do what I need it to on the computers and flat panels?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
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I just looked at the spec on the B&S genset......you only need a surge protector....
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:43 AM   #5
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Can you post the link to the spec sheet you read? I haven't seen anything regarding THD or output variability.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:53 AM   #6
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They don't show the THD (Total Harmonic Distortion), but as I mentioned, most devices now days are not bothered by it...

http://www.bsapowersolutions.com/pag...-Generator.php

There is a link to the manual on the above web page
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:25 PM   #7
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"Dirty" power


Quote:
"condition" the entire line instead of individual outlets?

Is 10 amps at 120V really going to satisfy your needs? As already stated, there are better suited alternatives that provide adequate protection.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:42 PM   #8
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"Dirty" power


I second ddawg's opinion. Power quality was a big deal back in the 80's and early 90's when electronic equipment had linear power supplies and was quite sensitive to a whole variety of environmental and power quality issues. This is no longer the case, and hasn't been for over a decade. MODERN ELECTRONICS ARE NOT SENSITIVE TO POWER QUALITY. Like, less sensitive than lightbulbs. Less sensitive than some motors. Just not sensitive. Old electronics may be, or newly built devices that were engineered many years ago (some furnace control boards come to mind). But a new computer, TV, stereo, laptop, phone charger, DVD player, or other gadget is likely to be one of the most robust and tolerant electrical devices in your home. Many are specified to accept anything from 90-250VAC and 50-60Hz. In reality, they will actually handle a wider voltage range and a very much wider frequency range. No problem.

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