If you plan to use a portable generator to provide emergency power to your home, there is one thing you must know. Portable generators and sensitive electronics don't always get along very well.
Power with a Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) of less than 5% is recommended for "sensitive electronics" such LCD TVs, computers, and audio equipment (THD).
Using a portable generator that isn't an inverter model could significantly reduce the useful life of, or even destroy, your sensitive electronics.
An increasing number of people are considering adding a power line conditioner to their generator.
You can further safeguard your expensive electronics by using a power line conditioner, a specialized device created for that purpose. The primary function of these devices is to shield your electronics from damage caused by fluctuations in voltage or power outages.
Modern power conditioners typically have automatic voltage regulation, which maintains a constant voltage supply to your equipment.
A line conditioner prevents voltage fluctuations and line noise from negatively impacting the performance of your home's electronics.
In contrast to standard open frame portable generators, however, these do not eliminate the modified sinewave they produce.
As a result, investing in a power line conditioner and a generator to safeguard your sensitive equipment is unnecessary.
Only by getting an inverter generator can you be sure of a solution.
The cheap inverter generators only cost only two to four times as much as a high-quality line conditioner.
On top of that, they won't damage your pricey electronics in any way.
It would have no trouble powering electronics like televisions, computers, and home theater systems.
It turns out that line conditioners are made with surge protection features already included. They've improved greatly, becoming a dependable and comprehensive answer designed to withstand the large voltage spikes.
In most cases, surge protectors aren't up to the task of protecting several devices from a powerful surge.
If you're on the fence about purchasing a line conditioner, you shouldn't be, and don't skimp on quality. In general, it's a tool that can help you safeguard expensive machinery.
When comparing two line conditioners, don't make cost your primary consideration. When looking for a power line conditioner, it's better to spend the extra $50 to $100 on a reliable unit from a well-known brand than to risk having a cheap one fail when you need it the most.
If you ask me, the sweet spot for shopping is between $100 and $250. Always check out reviews written by actual customers to get a feel for the service provided.
Look over the fine print of any warranties. In the case of a malfunction, the majority of high-quality power line conditioners come with a two-year warranty that should cover any damages. Nonetheless, before making a purchase, you should verify that.
Among the most common features of power line conditioners are the following:
Front and center are the additional USB charging ports for mobile devices and other handheld electronic equipment. They are substantial additions since they provide more connections for connecting portable devices like USB drives.
Most importantly, power line conditioners show the amount of power being fed into them and how that power varies in real time.
Since the inputs to open frame generators can vary over time, this graph frequently displays a variety of shifts in the input voltage. The good news is that once the input is smoothed out by the line conditioner, the power your devices draw won't fluctuate as much as the input.
Even though most power line conditioners feature individual off switches for each outlet, you'll only need to flip a single switch to completely cut power. Having a power switch for the line conditioner is a great way to make it more convenient to use and, in some cases, to keep it safe.
The power line conditioner can be seen more clearly at night and in low light thanks to the lights they usually have. It's helpful when you need to activate an outlet or make use of the line conditioner in general. Not all line conditioners will have this capability.
The number of available outlets is proportional to the size of the power line conditioner. The majority of consumers should be fine with 12 usually.
Verify the port types to ensure they support your devices. Thankfully, there is just one type of electrical outlet used throughout the entire country of the United States.
Ideally, there would be a separate switch for each port. This safeguards the power line conditioner as you only activate the outlets you'll actually be using. All the plugs may be controlled by a single, giant toggle switch.
The length of the cord varies from unit to unit, as the power cords of various power line conditioners are of varying lengths. In order to keep the generator at a safe distance from your house, you should look into purchasing an extension cord.
Some power line conditioners may have features in addition to those described above. If the line conditioner's extra functions are important to you, make sure to think about them first.
Because of these issues, it is imperative that you equip your generator with a power line conditioner:
|Constant Power||The primary purpose of a power line conditioner is to smooth out power during overvoltage and brownout conditions. Since generators without inverters also have a tendency to supply unreliable power, power line conditioners are required for electricity line stability.|
|Devices are Protected||Managed power fluctuations allow the safe operation of electronic devices that are sensitive to voltage changes, such as televisions, telephones, and other such items. Both the devices' security and their functionality depend on this being done.|
|Cooling of Wires||Overvoltage frequently causes the wires and any related equipment to grow hot. With a power line conditioner, you won't be putting excess heat into your connections and devices. Overheated wires and electronics are no longer a threat thanks to the line conditioners.|
If any of these apply to you, then you may not need a power line conditioner:
|You Use Power Tools||If you're only going to be running non sensitive electrical equipment off your generator, you won't need a power line conditioner.|
|You Have an Inverter Generator||Power line conditioners are great for ensuring a consistent voltage from multiple sources, including generators, but they can't get rid of the modified sine wave that sometimes comes with generator power.|
Because of this last point, a power line conditioner is not the best solution to power outages and other issues. Get an inverter/rectifier if you're serious about providing your home with clean electricity. Because the inverter stabilizes both the input power and the modified sine wave, the output is consistently reliable.
These are my favorite line conditioners!
The LC2400 is one of Tripp Lite's best-selling products, and for good reason. The output power of this line conditioner is up to 2,400 watts, and it can regulate voltages from 89 to 147 volts.
Users have found that the generator's output voltage ranges from 100 to 130 volts, despite the manufacturer's claim that it only produces 120 volts.
If you wish to safely power sensitive electronics, you may have peace of mind knowing that this power conditioner can withstand surges of up to 1,440 joules.
Among the features that customers liked best was the generator's abundance of LED lights, which show you exactly what it's doing. Monitor the AC's input voltage to detect if the generator is running at an unsafe level.
Two 20-amp outlets and four 15-amp outlets are included on the LC2400. If you need to use just one or two outlets to draw the full 2,400 watts, the 20-amp outlets will come in handy.
I liked that despite its powerful surge protection, this line conditioner didn't take up much space.
One negative I noticed was that it burns away sacrificial electrical wires that act as surge protection, needing their replacement after a number of surges. The diagnostic lights will not inform you when it is time to replace the protective surge wires.
Both the LCR2400 and the LC2400, have a 2,400-watt output and a surge suppression capacity of 1,440 joules. It produces the same nominal 120-volt level and has a regulating voltage range of 87 to 147 volts.
The actual output varies from 100 to 130 volts, depending on your generator's input, but it is usually stable and safe for sensitive devices.
The 14 total outlets are a huge benefit, which are separated into two filter banks to protect your most delicate electronics. This device is designed to fit into the vast majority of common 19-inch rack enclosures, making it suitable for semi-permanent installation at home or in the office.
You can monitor the voltage coming from your generator using the LC2400 and a set of LED lights. If you're worried about power dips and want to make sure the line conditioner is functioning properly, that can assist.
Sometimes the line conditioner gives off a faint hum. This is only an issue if you plan on using the line conditioner for audio or video in your house.
The APC G5BLK is a G-type rack-mountable line conditioner that can protect AV power from all dangerous power transients and electrical noise interference with a maximum input current of 15A, making it the best line conditioner for your video and audio equipment.
In addition, it can provide an impressive 1800 watts of electricity at a nominal output voltage of 120 volts. The line conditioner's ability to withstand surges of up to 3400 joules is particularly impressive given its reasonable price.
It's nice to know that your sensitive electronics are safe whenever you turn them on thanks to surge suppression.
The input level of your generator is only one of several things that may be monitored on the line conditioner's LCD screen. Excellent EMI/RFI noise reduction is essential when utilizing video and audio equipment to record or listen to audio or video.
The APC G5BLK line conditioner can be mounted in a rack or on a shelf with the help of the included rack mounting brackets. The 9 different plugs and 8-foot wire give you a lot of options. The line conditioner is so well-made that it comes with a lifetime warranty.
This compact Tripp Lite power line conditioner is perfect if you have a single surge-sensitive appliance or several smaller devices. It's possible that the device's maximum output is only 600 watts might make it insufficient for use with some larger appliances.
However, the cost of this line conditioner is low enough that you may easily afford two of them for your generator without breaking the bank.
The line conditioner offers a wider voltage range than the LC2400 and LCR2400 versions, and it restores power to within a small percentage of 120 volts.
The 720 joule surge suppression isn't as impressive, but it is higher in proportion to the power this machine is meant to handle. It's recommended that you couple this line conditioner with a relatively small generator to prevent damaging surges.
The power conditioner has six outlets and is silent when in use, which is important to me. All is well, increasing or decreasing the voltage, and whether the appliance is functioning properly are all shown by three separate LED readings.
Power line conditioners were not designed to rectify the modified sine wave created by portable generators.
The real benefit they provide is that they shield your electronics from damage caused by brownouts and overvoltages.
Inverter generators are your best bet if you want to utilize a portable generator to power sensitive electronics but line conditioners are a close second.