Whole house generators and audio systems: Do they damage the sound of your system?

I have been contemplating getting a whole house generator with a transfer switch. However I have been reluctant due to the articles by Michael Fremer about how the installation of one on his home. He wrote how it ruined the sound of his system, even when powered by the utility company. I would not be playing the audio system when using the generator, but Fremer talked about how it really messed up his system (and thank goodness he had a PS Power Plant). Any comments or ideas would be most appreciated. Anyone here have any experience in this area?

It appeared to me that Mr. Fremer’s electrical system needed better grounding and a proper rework (engineered for audio) while that generator was installed. It appeared that his audio system was a long way from his main panel, fed by a subpanel, and the connected load was probably significant, so the delivered voltage, current and grounding were probably much less than ideal. A generator that is not normally connected (transfer switch not engaged) should not affect your audio system, assuming good engineering.

I have a PV (solar) generator (no batteries) which has it’s own ground. I think my audio system sounds slightly better when the PV system is generating a decent amount of energy. Mind you, the sun is shining at that time which makes everything better!

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Thanks Markus. That is great info.

I too have a 10,000 watt solar system that does not have batteries. It utilizes a Fronius multi input inverter which is fed from three distinct 12 panel arrays. It does not hurt the performance but because it is a grid connected system supplies the same amount of thd as the utility. Most whole house generators are not inverter generators and will produce much dirtier and less stable power when ever in operation. Even though my system is powered by a P 15 Power Plant I would not want to subject the P 15 to that.

Thanks Man. I am just doing this for the basics. I have a P20 and agree with you, and would not try to run the system off the generator

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I have a large solar system and my sound is fabulous, no complaints. I do run everything off the power plant 20, so that makes a big difference. Without it I have close to 5% THD.

I’ve also been thinking of adding a battery backup to the solar system with the automatic transfer. With the power plant in between I expect it’ll be fine.

(BTW @kent-tager I used to live in chapel hill for many years, so know your neck of the woods very well. )

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I agree about the powerplant. I have a P 15 powering my system and would not be without it. If you do go with battery backup you can safely enjoy your system as the inverters are way cleaner than generators. My typical THD in whether on commercial power at night or Solar when the suns out runs around 3.5 to 4 %. The Power Plant outputs .1%.