Total Harmonic Distortion

The total harmonic distortion is a standard found in the user handbook for many audio components such as speakers, headphones, MP3 players, amplifiers, etc.

This post will define total harmonic distortion (THD) and explain why it matters when using a generator.

What is Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) is the degree to which a sinusoidal wave is distorted.

In the context of generating electricity, it refers to the load current (or voltage) minus what a perfect wave could supply.

The Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) metric is used to quantify the degree to which an audio device's input and output frequencies deviate from one another.

It is preferable to have low numbers rather than high ones.

When multiple parts of an auditory system are involved, the output signal is never a replica of the incoming signal.

Therefore, if the THD is excessive, the output will be distorted.

Why is total harmonic distortion so crucial to Generators

When the THD is excessive, the electricity is considered dirty. Some sensitive electronic devices (such as smart devices, computers, TVs, etc.) may not function correctly or at all due to the presence of those extra harmonics, as they tend to expect "clean" (low-THD) power, such as what you get from your wall outlets.

And the problems arise when overall harmonic distortion levels rise above a certain threshold, including overheating of linked devices, disruptions, and increased electricity costs.

Therefore, what does this imply for you, the reader? This means the following information is necessary when searching for a generator or power plant: 

Figure out what kind of devices you'll use on Generator.

Generators can typically produce more power than portable power sources while costing less per watt. However, this has costs, such as increased mass, upkeep, commotion, and pollution. 

You can transport a portable power station while traveling or use it at home during a short power outage. A generator is superior if you require more electricity or prefer a lower cost per watt.

Total Harmonic Distortion

Find out the THD your device emits. 

The typical THD of AC electricity generated by conventional generators ranges from 5% to 20%, based on the load conditions. 

Many generators use pure-sine-wave inverters, which generate AC electricity whose impulses are pure sine waves, to achieve their extremely low THD (typically under 1.5%).


Why is there a lot of total harmonic distortion?

Harmonics typically arise from non-linear pressures.

These loads have a brief on-time and a long off-time, causing voltage disturbance in the distribution infrastructure and the wired devices.

Non-linear burdens are generated by virtually all commonplace office machines today.

For your devices, What does total harmonic distortion mean?

Higher harmonic distortion power sources are more likely to overheat and brief out, causing damage to linked electrical components.

Higher amounts of harmonic distortion from power sources can also lead to more subtle malfunctions in the linked devices.

THD typically doesn't have much of an impact on common electric instruments.

An advanced instrument with a digital display may, however, run into any of the following problems:

  • Small problems have a big impact on effectiveness.

  • Turned off to prevent damaging surges prior to failures.

  • The product quality of your machinery will suffer, and you will have to spend a lot of money fixing it.

How does total harmonic distortion impact power quality?

Solar photovoltaic devices are one example of inverter-based power generation.

These include photovoltaic cells, which produce DC power, and a converter, which continuously converts DC power into AC power.

With the help of semiconductor devices, PV inverters use Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) switching to change the DC power into regulated AC power.

The converter is what bridges the gap between the solar system and the existing AC power grid.

Therefore, electrical components and DC power sources make up PV systems.

Power quality problems like leftover DC currents, harmonics, and imbalance may result.

A small amount of DC electricity is always left over after a converter has been used.


In addition to being a problem for the power infrastructure, harmonic distortion also hinders the efficiency of a photovoltaic (PV) system.

Reducing the amount of overall harmonic interference in a photovoltaic system helps everything run smoothly and last much longer.

Total harmonic distortion can lead to inefficiencies, higher costs, or even catastrophic effects, so PV plant owners should think carefully about the technology and means they use to watch and control it.

Total Harmonic Distortion - Summary - Wire Quality


Now the final question is, as a consumer, what should you learn from Total Harmonic?

The effects of total harmonic distortion can be heard in a wide variety of fields, from music to technology.

Total harmonic distortion data will be available on the product's packaging or data sheet for consumers.

In order to save money, time, and trouble in the long run, those who rely on an alternative power source should purchase a clean and reliable power generator.

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