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inverter generators - Page 10

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Posted by Tim Wescott on June 22, 2010, 5:30 pm

On 06/22/2010 04:57 AM, amdx wrote:

I'm late to the thread but:

Yes! an inverter generator makes DC then 'inverts' it to AC.  I would
expect that most use a 3-phase or more brushless AC generator, which is
rectified and inverted to 120V, 60Hz (or whatever, depending on where
it's sold).

The nice things about them are that they are versatile for the
manufacturer, and they save gas.

The not-nice thing about them is that inverters burn up because of peak
loads, where old-style generators burnt up because of long-term loads.
So an inverter generator, unless designed with more inverter than
necessary to meet the advertised specification, will just click off (or
fry) on overload, instead of gracefully sagging.

Tim Wescott
Control system and signal processing consulting

Posted by Bob on June 22, 2010, 5:36 pm

Anyone know why someone chose to call this sort of device an
"inverter" ? This seems counter-intuitive and has always puzzled me.

Posted by Joel Koltner on June 22, 2010, 5:52 pm

A "normal" power supply converts AC to DC, so an "inverted" power supply
converts DC to AC?

That's what I always guessed...

Posted by m II on June 25, 2010, 3:36 am

Bob wrote:

I used to think it's because they can put half the input DC below the
zero line, thus *inverting* it. That proved not to be the case.

I found the following rather useless definition. It makes NO sense.

Why is it called an inverter and not a converter? A reasonable
question and really that is what the job of an inverter is, converting
DC power to AC power and that is the precise reason why it is named an
inverter rather than converter.


This is a far more satisfying answer:

Q: Why are they called inverters?

A: Originally converters were large rotating electromechanical
devices. Essentially they combined a synchronous ac motor with a
commutator so that the commutator reversed its connections to the ac
line exactly twice per cycle. The results is ac-in dc-out. If you
invert the connections to a converter you put dc in and get ac out.
Hence an inverter is an inverted converter. For more information about
such converters see http://www.nycsubway.org/tech/power/rotary.html
(thanks to Karl W.Berger, PE for this answer).



Posted by vaughn on June 22, 2010, 6:41 pm

I suppose that happens occasionally, but in practice they are made with
protective circuitry.  I loaned out my EU-2000 to my father who promptly
connected it to a shorted out cord.  (Much to my consternation, because I had
heard that same story)

All that happened was the thing stopped putting out power until reset and
restarted.   Then all was well.


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