How to Clean up a Generator Power?

Energy is essential in any modern-day household, and in the event of a power outage, you would want to have a backup plan.

Though there are plenty of back up plans, none beats a power generator.

While a generator will provide you with reliable power, understand generator power is not the same as having normal, interrupted power from your power grid. In any case, the typical unit generates fluctuations to their output, thus resulting in "dirty" power. 

clean up generato power

The signs of dirty power are not hard to recognize, and its presence is better manifested in the more sensitive electronics such as laptops, LCD panels, PCs, to mobile phones.

Let’s take a quiz and see whether you have experienced any of the following in your household:

  • Flickering and blink lights
  • Nuisance breaker tripping
  • Equipment vibrations and noise
  • Transformer issues such as noise, excessive heat or premature failure
  • Poor power factors
  • Lower than expected system capacity

If you have experienced any of the following and more, know that you are experiencing “dirty” power, a term for an assortment of power issues caused by an equally diverse range of power issues.

But what exactly is dirty power?

Dirty power is a form of electrical pollution that is increasingly becoming prevalent in many households.

It’s an abnormality in the quality of electricity delivered to your devices from the generator.

All electrical systems, including generators, are based on a supply of power at a certain voltage and frequency, and it follows that electrical equipment is manufactured based on the expected power supply.

However, hen power delivered to a system does not match what is expected; it can cause disruptions.

In most cases, the abnormalities in generators are caused by a myriad of issues such as;

  • Low power factor
  • Voltage variations
  • Frequency variations
  • Surges

To varying degrees, all the above issues have one thing in common: they are disruptive, expensive, and can all together result in the breakdown or malfunction of your devices.

The good news is there are various ways that you can normalize or rather clean up your generator power. And we are here to show you how to do that.

Consider an Inverter Generator

According to Wikipedia, Total Harmonic Distortion refers to the measurement related to the quality of electricity.

With regards to quality electricity, clean energy is that which has a THD of less than 6%, and the lower the percentage, the better.

Like the conventional generators, inverter generators produce AC electricity, but this power is converted to DC thanks to the rectifiers and further smoothened with capacitors. 

Then using advanced circuitry, the DC power is further inverted to AC power for compatibility. This allows the generators to produce a clean form of power

Other Alternatives

But what if I have already invested in the conventional generator?

I knew this would come. With conventional generators forming a huge part of your investment, I know purchasing a second generator is not quite a viable option. But we have you covered.

Below are some of the alternatives for cleaning generator power for the conventional/traditional units:

Using an UPS

UPS, similar to the inverter circuity, will even out the surge and gaps on the power from the generator. It will provide your equipment with smoother power by effectively smoothing out the wrinkles from the generator output.

When you use your conventional generator to power your UPS, then using the UPS to power your electronics, you can effectively smooth out the wrinkles of a generator existence.

Sounds great, right?

Well, there’s a catch with the UPS.

UPS and generators are not exactly buddies. A typical generator will not power a UPS, and this lies on the frequency your generator is producing.

See, electricity from the main power grid is most of the time at a constant of 60HZ, but that of a generator is all over the board.

A majority of the UPS have been conditioned to support 60HZ (in any case, the voltage from the main power line in North America, and larger part of the globe is 120V of AC at 60 cycles per second or rather 60Hz), regardless of the source, and if it’s not, the UPS thinks there is a power or wiring problem.

Therefore, if you are going to get a UPS g for one that is compatible, or rather one that will support the output of your generator. The good news is the UPS market is so diverse that you cannot miss on your preferred choice.

Safer Options

From my short experience with the UPS, I have discovered that they are efficient at handling the voltage variations a generator will throw at them, they are not ideal for handling the frequency variations.

Gladly, there are a couple of technologies that will clean your generator power and allow you to use your generator on sensitive electronics.

Inverters

We had already discussed the inverter generators at the beginning.

Inverter generators have a built-in inverter system, but you can still get an inverter and "convert" your conventional generator to an inverter unit.

Using an inverter will not allow your generator to convert AC power to DC then back to AC output. These processors will not only provide you with clean power, but they also control the generator speed, allowing your unit to operate at lower speeds under reduced loads.

The benefit of the latter is that it makes your conventional generator quite, optimizes fuel efficiency and reduces fuel consumption.

Automatic Voltage Regulators (AVR)

AVR, like their name suggest, is yet another handy technology that helps in smoothing the generator load as well as the RPM fluctuations.

AVR will help you to generate cleaner and more consistent power than standard generator alternator, and the good thing about his technology is that you will not the need of inverting your power to DC.

However, it’s essential that you pick an AVR with a wattage range that is comparable to that of your generator or compatibility purposes.

Conclusion

Cleaning your dirty generator power is not as hard as it may seem. You can see that there are a variety of option of cleaning your generator power, and you will need to pick one that suits your needs.

From now on, you will not have to fear to fry your sensitive equipment over a compromised electrical system.


David Hughes
 

Hey, I’m David Hughes - a free spirit with a passion for power tools blogging. With more than a decade in the construction field, my mission is to help the everyday workers realize their dream by sharing on creative ideas, tips, and reviewing products.

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