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How to Adjust Generator Voltage (Two Ways)

DISCLAIMER: AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES. THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS THAT WILL REWARD ME MONETARILY OR OTHERWISE WHEN YOU USE THEM TO MAKE QUALIFYING PURCHASES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ MY EARNINGS DISCLAIMER.

To ensure that the voltage set up is precisely what you need, a professional opinion is highly advised. They will assess the environment and estimate the different loads that your facility or project may need, as well as other factors such as the voltage entering the house, maximum amperage, electric motor horsepower output, and more.

The same goes with voltage adjusting. Changing specialized or high-voltage generators (4160 or 13,500 Volt, for example) is difficult. It is possible to move from 600V to 480V, but not the other way around.

Furthermore, some components on certain 3-phase generators can be difficult to navigate and operate with. Since this is a complicated procedure, it is better to ask for the assistance of a commercial electrician or a qualified generator mechanic.

While most generators allow you to change the voltage, the choices will still be restricted depending on the generator end you’re dealing with. Changing the voltage is a fairly technical electrical technique that largely entails modifying the generator leads.

The voltage regulator is now built into the control panel of most new commercial generators, allowing you to change voltage settings and make it do all the regulating for you. While this is a positive development, the additional feature makes board replacement even more expensive.

So, what are the complications?

  1. Voltage regulator. When connecting the leads to a certain voltage on most generators, you must also change the sensing wires that run to the regulator and/or control panel carefully. You risk burning out the board or causing other harm if you don’t do it correctly.
  2. Transformer. If you have one, any of the wiring in your device can need to be rewired to match the new voltage.
  3. Automatic Transfer Switch. Specifying the amperage for this type of switch is also crucial since an ATS is essential for ensuring that the generator will automatically take over after a utility blackout and shut down until the power is restored.

** Safety precautions:

  1. ALWAYS read and understand the operator’s manual to minimize the risk of injury.
  2. DO NOT make any changes to the generator until the motor has been stopped and the spark plug wire has been disconnected.
  3. Allow the engine to cool properly before hitting any hot parts to avoid burns.
  4. Remember that you are dealing with a fire hazard! Keep all fuel-related components free from cigarettes, sparks, and fire.

Changing the voltage does not damage the device in any way if done correctly. You can even have dual or triple voltage settings if necessary. For a 3-phase generator, you can do this by using a changeover switch or purchasing a dual voltage generator that is already designed for that purpose.

Bear in mind that you can’t produce multiple voltages from a single generator at the same time; you’d have to manually adjust the output to each individual voltage or use a transformer to do so.

Increasing current by adjusting the engine speed

There is another way to increase the current and that is when the engine speed is increased, the current produced should go up as well. It’s worth noting that altering the engine speed alters the frequency. Depending on where you live, keep it around 50 or 60 Hz.

This is how you do it:

Where and how to increase and decrease your generator's current and speed

Adjusting Automatic Voltage Regulator (or AVR)

AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator) is a system that uses an automatic control device to adjust the voltage. An AVR is the brains behind machines like power conditioners and power stabilizers.

In general, an AC automatic voltage regulator (AVR) is a system that automatically regulates voltage, or converts a fluctuating voltage level to a constant voltage level. Its aim is to automatically adjust the generator voltage and keep it steady as the generator’s spinning speed increases, preventing the generator voltage from being too high and burning out the electrical equipment or overcharging the battery.

The voltage regulator adjusts the generator output voltage to keep it within a certain range. It also stops the generator voltage from falling too much, causing electrical devices to fail and a lack of battery power.

Here is how you adjust the voltage by AVR:

Adjust generator voltage.

Adjusting voltage for Champion generators

Champion Help Center: AVR Voltage Adjustment

 

And here are their instructions in pdf format.


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