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Kelsi D. Caregiver

Generator Use

Has anyone ever used a gas generator to power their charging doc or main power source? Some doctors don’t recommend using a generator for any of the charging/power needs. 

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Larry B.

We use ours for the charging dock only. But, it’s used seldom because our main power provider has a pretty stable system. I would never hook up my main power source to it. Since I stay on battery power 24/7 I never use the main power source anyway. I’ve only ever used in when in the hospital for an extended stay.

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In reply to by Larry B.

Deborah C.

During power outage from a hurricane I had a neighbor charge batteries with their generator.

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Larrie T.

I have used my Heartmate equipment (both the Heartmate Charger and the wall Power Module) on generator power, as well as inverter power without issue.  My medical team is aware of what I do and hasn't expressed concern to me.  The important part is that it is good quality power.  With an inverter, that means using a True Sine Wave model works best.  It best approximates regular AC Mains power.  The quality of power from a properly working generator can be quite good.  Mine is, and my Heartmate equipment works fine on it.  The other thing to plan for is power interruptions.  When running on wall power, always have a second source of power (i.e. charged batteries) ready.  That's a good idea even on AC Mains power.  I use the Heartmate Power Module, which has a built-in rechargeable backup battery that will carry the LVAD for a while.  Many folks use the Mobile Power Unit, which instead relies on the backup battery in your controller to keep your pump running if a power interruption occurred.  Either way, with any AC power interruption, you want to get switched over to batteries fast. 

The LVAD show Life on Batteries examined these subjects in three episodes:

Power Outage discusses power failures and generator use.
Off the Grid discusses inverter use, running an LVAD on car power for an entire week.
Keeping the Juice Flowing discusses the internal backup battery built into the Heartmate Controller.

Or just google "Life on Batteries".  All episodes are available to watch for free. 

As someone who depends on rural power that isn't always dependable, my personal rules of thumb are:
   1) Always have a second source of power ready -- because two plans for anything make bad outcomes much less likely.
   2) Run anything new you want to try past your VAD Team first -- because everyone's situation is different. 

Hope some of this is helpful.