For decades now, electronics have been at the heart of the tech revolution which defines the way we now live. From the humble doorbell to the latest smartphones, it’s been the driver of all the devices and appliances that make up modern living so much so that we can’t imagine modern existence without its ubiquitous presence.
While electronic devices need electricity to run, they thrive on the cleanest, most stable electricity being as they are, very sensitive to voltage spikes and fluctuations. With a normal power supply from your mains, that won’t be a problem. But when using backup power from generators, there is the possibility the output power might not be so clean which could fry your latest Apple device in an instant.
Conventional generators basically consist of
- an alternator
- an engine
- a source of fuel and
- power outlets.
The engine, powered by either propane, gasoline or diesel, turns the alternator at a constant speed of 3,600RPM. The alternator then converts this mechanical energy into electricity which is then transmitted through the outlet to where the power is needed.
For the generator to produce the normal 120 volts AC, 60-hertz used in the US, the engine must maintain a constant speed of 3,600RPM. The slightest change in this speed will cause the output power to fluctuate. This makes it undesirable for running sensitive electronics.
Portable inverter generators, on the other hand, are designed to produce the cleanest power possible. Just like a conventional generator, the inverter generator produces AC electricity from its engine driven alternator.
However, this AC power is then converted to DC with rectifiers and then further smoothened with capacitors. Then using advanced circuitry, the DC power is “inverted” back into clean AC power with the exact desired frequency and voltage. This system produces clean power with consistent characteristics (pure sine waves) no matter the engine speed; which is very much like the power from your normal electric supply.
This makes inverter generators the best for use with sensitive electronics. Most modern conventional generators come with Automatic Voltage Regulator systems which try to prevent voltage spikes and protect electronic devices. However, the output power is still not as clean as that produced by inverter generators.
These days, sensitive microprocessors have managed to find their way into almost all devices and domestic appliances. From smartphones, tablets, TV, DVD players to washing machines, microwave oven, and other kitchen appliances. This fact highlights the importance of using inverter generators as a backup or alternative source of power because running them with not so clean electricity often degrades their performance with time or outrightly destroys them.