EVERYTHING FOR ELECTRONICS
HOT FOR ANSWERS
Kenton Chun’s recent article
(Dec ‘06) was particularly timely and
helpful considering our recent, long,
and cold power outage. During this
period, our house temperature fell to
38 very cold degrees.
I would like to undertake the
project proposed by Kenton’s article.
However, I have one major concern.
I own a Carrier 58MVP gas-fired furnace. This furnace is very modern and
very efficient. To achieve this, the
furnace does contain some circuit
cards and other components which
might (I am not sure) be considered
sensitive to something less than “pure”
sine wave inverter output.
Above-all, I do not want to toast
my very expensive furnace in this
process. Nor do I want to purchase
an inverter that will ultimately not
meet my needs for emergency heat in
So, I wonder (obviously, I know
nothing about all this — sorry for any
(d) Kenton specifically mentions a trace
inverter with 2400 watts. Is “trace” a
brand name or is it some type or
specialty within the inverter field? I
have seen something called a “Trace”
made by Xantrex on the web. Is this
the unit Mr. Chun used?
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(e) I plan — in case of another power
emergency — to run the furnace from
my car’s battery. I don’t expect to do
this without the car running at idle.
This will turn my car into the most
expensive and inefficient generator
known. But will this work? It sounds
like it did when the trace inverter was
run from Mr. Chun’s van.
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(f) Inside my furnace, a notice by the
junction box specifically says to NOT
wire neutral to ground. I have read on
the web a case where some folks had
difficulty powering the furnaces via
generator due to neutral being wired
to ground in their generators (a Honda, I believe). Is this going to be a prob-lem/issue using an inverter? If so, how
can I tell if a particular brand/model is
going to be a source of this problem.
VP OF SALES/MARKETING
Chuck Hellebuyck Phil Davis
Jeff Eckert Ray Marston
Peter Best Michael Simpson
Jan Axelson Marvin Mallon
Bill Stiles Gerard Fonte
Vaughn Martin John Stabler
(a) How can I tell if my furnace
requires “pure” sine wave power or
not without taking a risk of doing any
damage in empirical tests? I know that
my furnace can be run via generator
— I have been told this by both a local
dealer and read individual accounts
of this being done on the web. Do
generators produce “pure” sine wave
Sorry for carrying on too long. But
I am so ignorant of these matters that
I want to be sure I do the right thing.
Thank you for your interest and
feedback! The concept I described in
the article will work well with gas-fired
furnaces provided the inverter is
correctly sized to the furnace’s power
requirements. Most recently manufactured “modified sine wave” inverters
will have a sufficiently “clean” output
to run any electrical appliance,
including sensitive electronic devices
(like computers) safely. If you have any
doubts or concerns about whether a
specific inverter will safely power your
home furnace, consult the manufacturer(s). Xantrex purchased Trace
Engineering a number of years ago and
is now the manufacturer of all Trace
WEB CONTENT/NV STORE
(b) I read various inverter vendors
speak of their products having “clean”
power. Is “clean” power the same as
“pure” sine wave power? If not, what
does this mean?
Copyright © 2007 by T & L Publications, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
(c) If a “modified” sine wave output
will work, are some forms of
“modified” sine wave output better
(more “clean”) than others? How can
I tell? If the vendors publish specs, what
should I look for?
6 April 2007
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