When it comes to losing power in your home or place of business, it can be difficult to charge electronics to keep in touch with the world or to keep working. When the electricity goes out, it might seem like you may be offline for a while, but generators do have the capability of charging electronics on an as needed basis. The real question is, can your portable generator damage your electronics?
What is a Portable Generator?
Portable generators are designed to provide electricity to users through the use of a gas engine. The engine turns on and an alternator works to generate a constant, albeit, sometimes uneven electricity that can power a home, power some small appliances, it can power medical equipment in a pinch, and it can even help to charge electronics as needed.
Generally, power outlets are located on the generator itself where you can plug in extension cords then run them into the house or the place where you are staying. Gas generators, no matter what type of gas they use, do put off fumes so you want to keep it outside then run cords into where you are staying to prevent potential poisoning.
Can a Portable Generator Damage Electronics?
The biggest issue that comes with a generator and your electronics is that a generator works off an alternator, that means that the electronic supply is not constant, it is also subject to surges and it can even shut down entirely if you do run out of gas. Electronic devices as a whole are very delicate and they need a constant and even supply of electricity to properly charge and to keep the circuit boards from frying or overheating.
Generators do have the potential to cause the circuit boards of your electronics to stop working and to become irreparably damaged if your generator experiences a surge while the electronic is hooked up and charging. Your electronics may still work, even if they are damaged by surges, and you may not notice it right away that they are damaged, but it can affect things like how well it runs, battery life and more.
Some electronics come with their own microprocessors that are designed to only handle one type of current so you should be careful when you are plugging your electronics into a generator to charge them.
Can You Use a Generator to Safely Charge Your Electronics?
Often times when you are dealing with a power outage you simply have to make do with what you have. If you live in an area where you might lose electricity or where you feel that you may be using your generator to charge your electronics, you should look for a generator that is rated for charging electronics or that does have a surge protector built in to keep your electronics protected.
If you do not have that sort of generator that can protect your electronics, you may want to look for an uninterruptible power supply rather than a traditional generator. These create constant power that does not surge and that does not vary over the time that it is being used. You can find a UPS that can be used with a generator and that will automatically detect the power surges and work to help even them out so that your electronics are not going to be damaged.
You can also look for inverter generators rather than a traditional generator. This type of generator is going to help you to get an even energy supply and avoid surges. If you are desperate, you can also use surge protectors attached to your generator or to the extension cords that are attached to your generator to help protect whatever you are charging is going to be safe from surges.
If all else fails, your best bet is to take the time to watch your appliances and your electronics closely when charging. Or, if you are wanting to make sure that they are not going to be damaged or that they are not going to be hooked up to the generator at all, you can always charge a portable power supply then hook your electronics to that rather than the generator itself.
Electronics are delicate, there is no arguing that, however, if you are in a place where you do lose power and you do need to charge them, it is always best to take the time to find the best method of charging and to be careful about what you are doing.