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With the growing demand for electricity and the increasing cost of energy, generators have become a popular alternative to national power grids across the world.
Connecting electrical appliances, especially sensitive equipment like air conditioners, refrigerators, and computers, to a generator can be tricky.
This is where voltage stabilizers come in handy. But can you connect a stabilizer to a generator?
This guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about connecting a stabilizer to a generator.
But first, let’s talk about stabilizers and their relationship with generators.
What is a Voltage Stabilizer?
A voltage stabilizer, also known as a voltage regulator. It is an electrical device that regulates the voltage output of an electrical system. It is used to ensure that the voltage supplied to electrical equipment remains stable and within a safe range.
Voltage stabilizers are usually used to protect sensitive equipment from damage due to voltage fluctuations and can increase the lifespan of the equipment.
A voltage stabilizer works by monitoring the incoming voltage and adjusting the output voltage as necessary.
If the incoming voltage is too low, the stabilizer increases the voltage output, and if the voltage is too high, the stabilizer decreases the voltage output.
This ensures that the voltage supplied to the equipment remains within a safe range. And at times, if the voltage is too high, instead of destroying the equipment you are powering, the stabilizer would be the one to get damaged.
With that, you can always repair or change the stabilizer instead of staking a high price on your equipment, either household appliances or RV appliances.
However, when it comes to generators, they are electrical devices that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
They work by using a fuel-powered engine to turn a rotor, which then generates electrical energy which at times does not guarantee a stable power for electronics.
Although not all generators supply unstable power. For instance, Inverter generators are designed to help with issues like this, and also, some generators that come with an automatic voltage regulator (AVR) are guaranteed to provide you with stable power for your appliances.
But the question is, can you connect a stabilizer to a generator even when it provides stable power? Well, the question will be answered by experts in the next section of this article.
Also Read:- Generator Output Voltage Too High: Troubleshooting Guide see
Can I Connect a Stabilizer to a Generator?
According to Raf Tech Engineering Works, Yes, you can connect a stabilizer to a generator, but it depends on the type and size of the generator you are using. Even though stabilizers are recommended to regulate the power of your electronics, not in all cases can be used. For instance, if you are using a small portable generator that’s not connected to an AVR, then it’s recommended to use a stabilizer since there’s no voltage regulator to help stabilize the generator power output.
Small portable generators like that, can increase their output at any time, maybe there is not much fuel or the generator is surging.
With that, your appliances are in danger. However, with AVR, you don’t have to worry much about using a stabilizer because the AVR is already doing the work of the stabilizer.
And if you’d want to use it, sorry to say, your generator might be frustrating or not work adequately.
To add what Raf Tech Engineering Works said, here’s also Darryl Johnson’s view on Quora answering the question “Can I connect a stabilizer to a generator?”.
The question is why do you want to do this? Are you trying to correct or fix something? Is the output of the generator unstable or dirty?
If the generator is properly sized and working correctly then a stabilizer should be unnecessary. If the generator is an inverter type, then its power output should be stable and clean already.
You can pretty much connect and add anything you want, but in most cases, you will only be losing power due to efficiency issues.
I have used smaller/portable AC generators with UPS units in the past, so that I would have uninterrupted power when I needed to shut the generator down for fueling or to switch over to another unit, and I needed to have stable AC power at all times.
Nothing sucks more than having all the lights and equipment shut down right after coming on shift, and being told by the outgoing shift that the generator(s) were just fueled, and everything was good to go… That unexpected outage left us in a mission failure state, while I was trying to get the backup generator started because I had mistakenly assumed that the primary generator had broken because it had just been fueled. Of course, this would be the time for the backup generator to not want to start.
In the end, what had happened was that the primary generator had run out of fuel, the outgoing shift may have left the choke in the start position, or it might have not been just fueled up. But in the end, I only needed to fuel the primary up, to get power, then I needed to reset and get all the equipment and systems back online. Then after making sure everything was up and we were Green, I went back out and got the backup generator running (the other shift knew it was not starting, but decided that it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t bother to pass that on to me.
Well after we finished, and got back, I added a UPS to our gear so that a short-term generator outage would not leave us totally in the dark in the future, and I think/hope that they are still using one when they go out to do stuff where we have to provide our power…
I also discovered that it’s often a bit hard to find gasoline when you are not in the USA, many countries use diesel for motor vehicles… But that’s another story and the reason is that the next set of generators we buy/use will be diesel-powered.
So to recap, you can use a stabilizer with a generator, but if everything is sized and working correctly it shouldn’t be necessary.
It depends on the generator, if it comes with an automatic voltage regulator, you don’t need to connect a stab to it as your voltage is already being stabilized, if it doesn’t then you probably need a stabilizer (I strongly advise this) to protect your appliances from likely voltage fluctuation(surge).
But in the long run, I think it is pretty safe to use a stab with a generator. I have been using mine for a while now and have no problems, in fact, the whole house is wired to run through a stabilizer first. I hope this helps.
How Can You Choose the Right Stabilizer for Your Generator?
Perhaps you are using a generator without an Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) or your generator isn’t producing stable power, in which case you must take into account both the capacity of the stabilizer and that of the generator when choosing a stabilizer for your generator.
When choosing a stabilizer, you must ensure that its capacity does not match or exceeds that of the generator.
For instance, if you have a 5kVA generator, you should opt for a stabilizer with a capacity of at least 5kVA.
However, it’s also important you remember that the total wattage of the appliances plugged into the stabilizer should not exceed the estimated wattage or KVA of the generator.
For example, if the total wattage of your generator is 3000 watts or 3kVA, the combined load connected to the stabilizer should not exceed 2250 watts.
Even if you are using a stabilizer with a capacity greater than the generator’s watts, and the appliances you plug in the stabilizer exceed the generator’s maximum wattage, it could result in damaging the coil.
It’s worth noting that the stabilizer itself consumes power, but this consumption is relatively small. Its primary function is to maintain a steady output voltage of 220V at its terminal.
Overloading the generator with a load that surpasses its rated power could cause more current to be drawn through the generator than its coil can handle, potentially leading to damage.
Connecting a stabilizer to a generator is not only possible but also recommended, especially if you are using sensitive equipment and your generator isn’t stable.
A stabilizer can protect your equipment from damage due to voltage fluctuations, increase efficiency, reduce maintenance costs, and increase safety.
When choosing a stabilizer, you must consider the capacity of the stabilizer and the generator and the type of stabilizer needed.
By taking these factors into account, you can ensure that your electrical equipment receives a stable and safe voltage supply, even when using a generator.
Have any questions concerning using generators and stabilizers? Leave a comment below!