Induction ammeter for a generator

Hello,

that is a bit out of the box question.

I need your advise and a tad of explanation why there is a claim that induction ammeter will burn if used with non-pure sine wave AC. For example something like that.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JC6X1JH/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Basically - I am setting a whole house generator hook up. I would like to balance the feeds and this measurement would help a lot to know which circuits are OK to be used and when I am approaching max load.

by PLP
February 26, 2019
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1 Answer

Answer by Foxx

It's a little puzzling why this meter would be damaged by a non sinusoidal voltage or current within normal limits although very high voltage spikes would probably damage it as they would any other meter. One thing I'll point out is that the information in your reference does not tell whether the voltage and current displayed are rms or average (or anything else). Electronic meters often measure average and are calibrated to display rms assuming a sine wave. This works well for a sine wave but can have large errors for a non sinusoidal voltage or current. I ran into this once on a large electrostatic dust collector where the customer used an electronic clamp-on meter to measure the non sinusoidal current and the panel meters supplied were moving iron type which display true rms. In spite of this the meter should work for your application; just keep accuracy in mind. The inverter type household generators give a pretty good sine wave but many years ago I had a plain old non inverter generator which had a very large slot ripple which would give inaccurate readings.

+1 vote
by Foxx
February 26, 2019

Thank you, Foxx, for your response. Even if the generator produced a spike voltage, it would have to be above 260 V to cause a problem. I doubt that would be the case since the expected voltage should be 120 V... so I guess I am OK.

So in short - I should be fine using it, right?

by PLP
February 27, 2019

Yes--I doubt the the generator will be a problem

by Foxx
February 28, 2019

Thank you for confirming.

I wish I could update the question after a while... I will be completing the setup within a few weeks from now, but by that time the question will be locked and archived.

Oh well...

by PLP
February 28, 2019
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