Powering a computer via UPS from generator

hortonFebruary 2, 2010

I'm planning to set up a standby power supply using a gasoline fueled generator that I now own, to power up a computer, plus a couple of lights, during a brown out or extended power loss.

I have been looking for UPS devices that would function from using a gasoline fueled generator as the emergency power source and I'm not sure which of them will be suitable, having read that there are some UPS whose internal electronics will not handle possible power amplitude variations from some generators.

One UPS device that has been suggested to me to "clean up" the generators power to the computer, is linked below.


Anyone who has experience with emergency generator via UPS to a computer, could they please share their knowledge and experience on the subject with me.

Thank you.

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What is the brand and model of your genny? I researched several before I purchased mine for the same reasons you mentioned and discovered there were a few that I read on that suggested not hooking up anything sensitive to voltage or anything that was "solid state".(seems like a pretty worthless gen to me?!) Apparently some genny's put out "dirty power". The sine wave has sharp peaks and valleys vs. the normal smooth sine wave with broad peaks and valleys that you get from the power co and other gens. If you have one that puts out dirty power then I am not sure I would chance anything with it unless you talked to the manufacturer of the ups and they said that it would specifically clean that up. I bought the biggest ups that i could get from best buy. It was the geek squad brand, had plenty of power and cost about $175. I have this hooked up to all of my electronics in my entertainment center.(the amp and dvd are hooked up to the non-battery side) I think ups' are a great idea on anything sensitive no matter where the power is coming from. (they are especially useful for those brownouts you mentioned) The ups will run my Directv DVR for well over an hour.(so the programs continue to record even if the power goes out).
Hope this helps. Good luck.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2010 at 8:34PM
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av8r, thank you for your reply and comments.
This generator that I have, is (but aren't they all nowadays) an inexpensive, manufactured off shore, machine that puts out 1200 watts at 120 volts.

I have had it around for a few years and now decided that I should probably do something about setting it up, as more than just a standby for a few lights in our home, in case of a prolonged power loss.
It could be perfectly okay but I do not want to chance using it to power up my computer or a small television set, without going through a UPS or an Automatic Voltage Regulator, to level out any voltage spikes, etc.

I'm waiting on information from a supplier of UPS/AVR's in regards to the specifications about the UPS device that I mentioned in my initial post.
I thought, in the meantime, that an inquiry here might produce some information on what type of generator/UPS devices other folks maybe using.

I believe you are correct in promoting the use of a UPS, no matter where the power is coming from, to protect any sensitive electronic devices in the home from transient voltage spikes. It certainly is prudent to protect your investments I would think.
Thank you again.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 8:51AM
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I don't think you need a UPS (battery operated, Un-interruptible Power Supply).

I think you need a Power Conditioner.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 12:33PM
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regus_patoff, thank you also for your follow up and suggestion.
I will check into Power Conditioners locally and see what is available.

I have had so many differing thoughts about what device to use for my purpose, my head is "spiking"! LOL
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 3:07PM
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Some UPS units also function as power conditioners.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2010 at 3:55PM
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Without going through a UPS or an Automatic Voltage Regulator, to level out any voltage spikes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Los Angeles Appliance Repair

    Bookmark   February 12, 2010 at 5:02AM
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Some inexpensive UPSs have marginal filtering and when full wall voltage is available just run it tie the output ports with a little filtering.

More expensive units usually have a little better filtering, and full time units the best.

Full time units always convert the incoming AC to DC to charge the batteries and run the output inverter to produce the output waveform. The quality of the output waveform can vary, so look carefully before buying.

A true sine wave output will have plenty of filtering.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:29AM
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