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Author Topic: Frankenstorm?  (Read 4196 times)

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Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Frankenstorm?
« Reply #75 on: December 02, 2012, 10:48:28 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a microwave's net power usage is considerably less than those other energy hogs.  True, it may use 900 or a 1000 watts for a small one, but that's generally for a fraction of an hour.  I can make up a nice serving of bacon from raw in 3 minutes, which doesn't mean much power at all bottom line.
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone

Offline oldguy52

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Re: Frankenstorm?
« Reply #76 on: December 02, 2012, 11:22:59 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think a microwave's net power usage is considerably less than those other energy hogs.  True, it may use 900 or a 1000 watts for a small one, but that's generally for a fraction of an hour.  I can make up a nice serving of bacon from raw in 3 minutes, which doesn't mean much power at all bottom line.

I would agree with this. Generally microwaves don't have to run long to get the job done.

However: There's always a however. Be careful when you match your nuker to your genset. Nukers draw more wattage, sometimes quite a bit more than their cooking wattage rating. I once bought a 600 watt microwave thinking it should easily run on a 1000 watt genset. Wrong. Fortunately the microwave wasn't very expensive and in the end it only lasted a couple weeks before it crapped the bed and went to the landfill.

But anyway, just something to look out for.
O.G.

"Stupid is supposed to be painful, it's nature's way of learnin' ya" - Me, 1994

When one finds himself living in interesting times, it is prudent to become as uninteresting as possible.... Me, 2011


Offline Suburban

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Re: Frankenstorm?
« Reply #77 on: December 03, 2012, 12:09:07 PM »
I once bought a 600 watt microwave thinking it should easily run on a 1000 watt genset. Wrong.

As you note, microwaves are rated by power output into the cooking chamber, not power draw from the power line which can be a lot higher.

Fortunately the microwave wasn't very expensive and in the end it only lasted a couple weeks before it crapped the bed and went to the landfill.

This may or may not relate to the failure you experienced.

Generators do not deal nicely with larger loads that are suddenly applied or removed.  Some generators are much worse in this regard than others.  When a larger load is applied, the engine has to consume more fuel to provide that power.  What happens instantly is the output voltage of the generator drops, and the engine slows down.  When the engine slows down the governor kicks the throttle wider open and over a second or two the engine speeds back up.  If the big electrical current draw was from something like a motor starting, the start up surge (which can be several times the running current) might get done just about as the governor has the throttle wide open trying to get the generator back up to speed.  The result of this sudden reduction in electrical load is that the engine revs way up to too high a speed which results in too high an output voltage until the governor can get it slowed back down.

So what this means is the output voltage from a generator tends to sag and surge far more than normal power line voltage when loads turn on and off.  Cheaper and/or older and/or generators just barely powerful enough for the loads they are running tend to have a lot worse problem with voltage sags and surges than better, more expensive, and larger generators.

A quick and dirty test is to take a large space heater (or several of them if the generator can handle the load), and plug them in and unplug them.  When I got my current used Honda generator, it worked fine powering one space heater, but could not handle 2 or 3 space heaters getting suddenly turned on and off.  The generator pumped speed badly.  The local small engine place could not fix it, but when I brought it to a Honda Generator sales place service department they found the problem and fixed it.  I have had good luck with 4 and 5,000 watt Coleman generators, but have seen all too many inexpensive generators where the output voltage sags and surges were enough to damage equipment.


Offline Drang

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Re: Frankenstorm?
« Reply #78 on: December 04, 2012, 03:53:19 PM »
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Offline BooMushroom

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Re: Frankenstorm?
« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2012, 12:07:03 AM »
Hurricane Sandy, and What I Saw There

Thanks. I can only imagine the kind of mangled response we will get in California when the Big One hits. It'll be a one-two punch with the incompetencies of Washington and Sacramento teaming up.


 


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