How to clean up generator power for electronics

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In spite of the many innovations and countless advancement in the backup generator technology, our good ol’ power generators still cannot stop producing ‘dirty’ power.

Okay, that implies that the power sometimes fluctuates wildly or rather your generator is producing unbalanced current.

Of course, for sensitive electronics such as laptops, PCs, digital microwaves, TVs etc., this could mean you’re staring at a possible malfunction and at the worst, a complete breakdown.

Luckily, there are ways you can clean up generator power for your electronics and have it supply cleaner power to your devices.

Below we explain how to clean up generator power for electronics (various ways).

Let’s get started.

How to clean up generator power for electronics

Try the following tips to normalize (clean) the generator power and protect your devices.

1.     How to clean up generator power for electronics using a UPS (uninterruptible power system)

For starters, a UPS is a very simplistic device: Inside there you only find a big battery (could be more than one battery) and some circuitry.

But they can be a fairly crude method of controlling voltage and triggering power stability for your electronics.

I’m saying crude because not all UPSs work safely with a generator and you need to shop for a UPS that supports a generator.

What this type of UPS does is continually produce perfect sine wave power by converting the incoming current internally. 

The other option is a smart UPS- some of these packs an automatic voltage regulator (AVR) and supply clean energy feed for your valued household electronics.

2.     How to clean up generator power for electronics using a pure sine wave inverter

Another approach you can take to obtain the perfect power supply your electronics crave for is investing in a pure sine wave inverter.

This is basically an inverter (a gadget that converts DC into AC) that makes power finer and smoother and subsequently safe for delicate electronic appliances like televisions.    

These handy apparatus deploy complex technology to even out the rough (or square) wave- the ordinary waveform in most electric current is a sine wave- such that it’s fed to the electronic machines minus the harmonic distortion.

One method of implementing this is by connecting your newly acquired true wave inverter (another name for pure since wave inverters) to a standard 12V battery.

Next, you hook it this setup to your generator’s 12V charging system.

This way, you will be delivering power as clean as utility-supplied electricity to your specialized appliances like printers, stereos, and more during power outages.

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3.     How to clean up generator power for electronics using a power line conditioner

The third method you can implement to get steady power for your devices is adding a power line conditioner.

Now, this is a protective tool originally designed to clean up voltage fluctuations to save expensive electronics.

The device has these days evolved and it’s common for manufacturers to incorporate an AVR for voltage balancing there in.

What we love most about these devices is their affordable nature- some high-quality models cost as low as $100 and ease of use.

Having said that, they’re not without weaknesses and you need to tread carefully when purchasing one.

For instance, a number of them are incompatible with AC gas generators and you might end up with a garbage investment in your home.

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4.     How to clean up generator power for electronics using a separate voltage regulator

The last method involves bringing a separate solid-state voltage regulator into play.

Separate electronic regulators were invented years back and they have since been used in multiple applications including in automobiles to guarantee stable and clean voltage.

They sense the voltage being output by the generator and adjust the field current appropriately to sustain a constant output despite changes in the load.

Be sure to buy a voltage regulator with a good capacity to support your generator.

TIP: Consider adding a surge suppressor along with the voltage regulator for added peace of mind.

A word on the causes of the ‘dirty’ power

The issue stems from lack of distorted voltage and frequency especially where you’re using a condenser type voltage regulation (these are pretty inexpensive but the unsophisticated control is sometimes unable to provide proper regulation).

On the other hand, automatic voltage regulator (AVR) generators employ smart technology to balance the voltage and will bring cleaner power to your devices.

They’re, however, pricier than conventional generators with those fitted with AVR alternators costing hundreds of bucks more.

The most expensive backup equipment is, nevertheless, the inverter generator.

It follows that it’s the most advanced and typically generates pure sine wave while virtually eliminating voltage and frequency swings.

All said and done, its best to try the above tips if you are not in a position to switch to AVR or inverter type machines due to the required outlay.

It could save you a ton of money.

Wrapping things up

As you can see, it’s possible to shield your laptops, PCs, TVs etc. from random voltage fluctuations from your generator without necessarily breaking the bank.

The most important thing being open-minded and being bold enough to experiment until you get a solution that’s practical for your situation.

Of course, we are not all talented the same and you might find the whole procedure exhausting.

If that’s you, consult a technician and share with him/her your ideas.

It might cost you a little bit more but it’s going to be cheaper than waiting until your precious equipment go up in smoke.

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