Return to the Electronics Forum | Post a Follow-Up

How Important is Power Frequency?

Posted by kris4131 (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 4, 11 at 15:13

Hi, all. I bought a portable gas generator. I started it up and ran simple tests with a fan, a lamp, and the microwave. I used a converter cord to convert from the L14-30 on the generator to dual 5-20R outlets. The voltage was 121-122, and the frequency was between 62 and 63 Hz. I'm wondering if this is safe for stuff like an LCD TV or computer. (Not really necessary in a power outage, but may be nice to have.) Since the frequency is not exactly 60Hz, will that be a problem? I'd love to hear some opinions. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How Important is Power Frequency?

I wouldn't run a computer off the generator unless a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) was also connected to the computer. While a generator is being used in a power outage, you'd typically be using one device, then turning it off and turning another one on. You might momentarily experience a low-volts situation (especially if the generator is a lower cost model) and that could cause a computer drama that you'd be better off without.

RE: How Important is Power Frequency?

"The voltage was 121-122, and the frequency was between 62 and 63 Hz."

Fractionally higher should not cause a problem.

Most electronics runs on DC anyway, and the first thing after stepping the voltage down it is rectified.

Some supplies even rectify the line voltage and then use switching techniques to lower the voltage.

A slightly lower frequency can be more of an issue than slightly higher (at lower frequency transformers can saturate).

Be careful what UPS you use if you are trying to protect yourself from a generator's dips and power quality issues.

Only an 'always online' UPS provides much protection.

Most UPS units pass the power directly from the input to output (sometimes with some filtering) when the voltage is 'normal.'

An 'on line' UPS always creates DC, then inverts the DC to create the output.
They provide much better isolation, but of course cost more.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Electronics Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here