Inverter advice for bad utility electricity

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by FlyerRS, Sep 5, 2021.

  1. FlyerRS

    FlyerRS New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    I live in the country and have had some appliances damaged from power surges in the past. I now have a tube amp out for repair for the 4th time over the last two years since I switched from solid state to tube technology. I was suggested I purchase a 'pure sine wave' inverter to plug my audio equipment through so that the power will be near a constant 120V instead of the suspected power surges and power drops we encounter in my neighbourhood. I've searched for such a device online and all I find is something that goes from 12V or 24V
    DC to 120V AC, but what I need is something that goes from the AC house power to DC and back to 120V AC and that has been 'stabilized' against surges or drops in power. Wondering if anyone happens to have encountered a similar situation and solved the issues with an inverter, and if so would be really grateful to be pointed to a source for such a device.

    Thanks,
    Rob
     
  2. Acapella48

    Acapella48 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA.
    May I suggest that you consider whole house surge protection: Surge Protection | Ottawa Electricians
     
  3. Davey

    Davey NP: Peter Gregson ~ Patina

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    PS Audio has a full line of AC regenerators, though they can get expensive. Many of the lower cost models aren't really meant for high end audio and are too noisy or distorted.
     
    F1nut likes this.
  4. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    Any APC brand UPS will do it.
    1500VA, Gaming Back-UPS, Pure Sinewave Black, 3 USB Charging Ports - APC USA
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
    SonicCzar and jlykos like this.
  5. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
    A good surge protector with high joule protection would probably work.
     
  6. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
  7. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed El musico loco

    Location:
    Colorado foothills
  8. F1nut

    F1nut Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Mars Hotel
    You need a power regenerator, look at PS Audio.
     
  9. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    It is not a REGENERATOR!!! :cussing:
    just kidding about the rant, not the substance
    ;)

    It is the same power delivered to your house by the power company from their generators miles away.
    It converts it twice: to DC, back to AC...like a UPS without batteries.

    In fact, it is a load 100% in, less than 100% out. :)
     
  10. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    A UPS will do nothing. It passes wall power unless there is a brownout/blackout condition. Then it switches to its battery-generated supply, which is not instantaneous or phase-matched.

    A regenerator is just one more expensive piece of equipment to blow due to lack of internal protection.

    To fully protect devices, one really needs an intelligent voltage-monitoring circuit-breaker device. One that can cut off the power of both conductors with gapped spark-arresting circuitry if the RMS goes above 125V or so, or if any instantaneous peak goes 20% above tracked waveform.

    Normal circuit breakers, fuses, and surge protectors require over-current for a sustained period. A dumb little MOV, as they put in even expensive "surge protectors", may have no problem putting 10x the voltage through standby transformer and HDMI CEC chips.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  11. FlyerRS

    FlyerRS New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Ottawa
    Thanks that is really great. I'll do some searching on these suggestions you've provided to protect my equipment.
     
  12. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    you CB comment makes no sense.
    Trip on over/under V? A current device will respond much quicker, that is why power systems use CT's for relaying.
    A good surge suppressor IEEE rated will clamp just fine as long as the ground system is sufficiently low.


    It will do something. ;)
    This one does:
    voltage regulation
    Filters
    Surge suppression
    1/2 cycle switching at 0 xover, <8 mS
    But this occurs as line V drops, seelamless.
    It maintains 120 even if line is 88, as it drops, it assumes the load. The load is always served. They give no xfer time in the specs because there is none, the 8 mS is required to catch a 0 crossing to phase match.


    Topology Line interactive

    Input voltage range for main operations 88 - 147V

    Filtering
    Full time multi-pole noise filtering : 5% of IEEE surge let-through : zero clamping response time: instantaneous

    Surge energy rating
    1080Joules

    True sine wave output

    Put the Siemens SPD and use the APC UPS and you will have eliminated the issue.
    Based on my limited knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  13. BostonBob

    BostonBob Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta
    As far as surge protectors/power conditioners go, I've used a Monster HDP 1800 for over 10 years, and it has saved my equipment from surges (mostly due to lightning) many times.
     
  14. SonicCzar

    SonicCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    New England
    I've got a Rotel RLC-1040 (discontinued, rebadged APC). It adjusts the voltage up or down as needed. The display shows the incoming voltage, and it is surprising how much it varies hour by hour.

    Edit: I was disappointed I couldn't hear a sound improvement when I hooked it up, but the I turned on my TV (also connected) and I was SHOCKED at the picture improvement. Either my eyes are more sensitive than my ears, or my TV is more sensitive to voltage variations and "dirty power" than my stereo.
     
    Ingenieur likes this.
  15. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA

    Nice unit
    https://rotel.com/sites/default/files/product/infosheets/RLC1040_InfoSheet_LR.pdf
     
  16. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sherwood, OR, USA
    What about a more advanced UPS like the Eaton 9PX series? The Eaton 9PX is online (always running from battery) and double conversion (always filtering). That addresses the issues that harby mentioned about how a regular UPS works. Is the Eaton good for audio gear? The Eaton 9PX series are $1500 and up. While a regular consumer UPS with pure sine wave generation is around $200.
     
    harby likes this.
  17. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    The APC unit is always on line in //, not series.
    It must be since it can regulate V up or down.
    Buck/Boost
    Topology/line interactive

    As supply V drops to 88, output is still 120
    As it drops further output drops below 120 and it assumes full load.

    The batteries are used less and their life extended instead of continuously flowing thru them.
     
  18. Davey

    Davey NP: Peter Gregson ~ Patina

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    The Rotel/APC unit mentioned above doesn't have a battery, though they do have the same unit as a different model number with battery. I think the voltage regulator types generally use switched taps on the transformer, but not sure on this APC unit.
     
  19. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA

    The one I linked does have a battery.
    Regulation is electronic in the APC I linked, not an auto tap changing autotransformer

    [​IMG]

    Rotel has a battery?
    Ok, the 1040 does not, the 1080 does

    [​IMG]

    RLC 1040
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  20. Davey

    Davey NP: Peter Gregson ~ Patina

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Well, the tap switching AVRs are all electronic and use feedback from the output, usually with SCRs to make the connections to the transformer secondary taps. What method does the APC use if not that, it isn't the invertor-type, afaik. I don't see extra taps on the transformer in your picture, so I guess you are right about not being a tap switcher. Does look like a bank of SCRs though.
     
  21. JP

    JP Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    Line interactive topologies either switch to battery or use buck/bump AVR of some sort for under/over line conditions. Online is just another way to say double conversion (inversion) which is line -> rectifier -> bat -> inverter -> load. No load switching as you're always running from battery.

    I use eco double conversion for my computers. This runs off line with AVR for normal conditions and switches to double conversion should line be outside parameters. Better energy efficiency during normal periods and far less heat generated. As I don't want to listen to screaming fans at my desk I did have to add a temperature dependent speed controller and modify the fan tach sensor. Now I only hear the fan if the unit is in double conversion mode. Double conversion is a necessity when running on generator.
     
    Ingenieur likes this.
  22. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    Location:
    PA
    You may be correct. It might be a continuous 'tap switcher'.
    Like a Variac.
    The wiper might be on the inside with one lead out.
     
  23. KEng

    KEng Active Member

    Back in the previous century I did some power projects, generators and UPS from 1/2 kw to 2mw. Contact your power company and see if they will put MOV's on your mains coming into the house. This should eliminate your repair costs and will reduce noise on the line.

    There are UPS units on the consumer market which are knock offs of a military design and have an engine powered alternator in the system. Some produce very precise power regardless of load up to there power rating. I have several customers who use this type in part of their home power system and they love them. There are still active patents involved with part of the this technology, Kohler bought some of rights to the technology to keep it off the industrial and consumer market. So, the best is yet to come for the consumer.
     
  24. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    I run my tube amp right off a variac set to 115V as recommended by my dealer it's got a 2K transformer pushing a 15W amp so current is not an issue and it was around $100. I wasn't having damage to my amp but was going through tubes at a very high rate that is no longer an issue.
     
  25. vwestlife

    vwestlife Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    Vacuum tubes inherently are more tolerant of overloads than solid-state devices. If your solid-state equipment can handle power surges while your tube amp keeps failing, then it's a crappy design.

    And be wary of any "audiophile" electrical equipment that isn't UL listed. When it comes to the safety of my family and home, I want something designed by electrical engineers, not by some guy with "golden ears".
     
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