Commonly there are basic motor generator sets (with or without automatic throttle to compensate for load variations) and then there are those with an inverter to produce a cleaner sine wave using switching technology. The inverters are more costly and produce less power for the size and weight of the equipment. Conventional advice is that electronic equipment like PCs might be harmed by the basic sets and therefore one must use inverter sets to power them (in a mains backup situation). I wonder if this is any longer good advice.

My thinking is that all modern PCs use switching power supplies anyway.They are capable of working off a wide range of voltages and frequencies, and have plenty of filtering to remove the spikes that they themselves cause. So it seems to me PCs are ideally suited to running off a dodgy basic motor generator.

What's wrong with my reasoning?

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you have a 240 V generator, the problem is overshoot during load drop. If you have a 100-240 V powersupply and say 120 V generator, I wouldn’t worry one bit. \$\endgroup\$ – winny Mar 1 '18 at 10:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ultimately, it depends on what your genset is driving. Large VFD motors introduce harmonic distortion on lines requiring clean power for electronics. \$\endgroup\$ – StainlessSteelRat Mar 1 '18 at 12:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ winny - You're saying a 240v generator's voltage would go UP as load increases? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Facey Mar 2 '18 at 11:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Stainless - Why would a switching mode PSU be bothered about harmonic distrotion at its input? \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Facey Mar 2 '18 at 11:40

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