I have a relative with a pacemaker who would like to visit me. I would like to know whether or not to worry that my off grid power supply (inverter and charge controller) will cause any sort of electromagnetic radiation that might interfere with the pacemaker. The pacemaker is a pretty new variety and the off grid equipment is in a small outbuilding near the house and consists of what is described in my signature. I could shut everything down and open the disconnects while he's here, but not having power or being able to pump water will be an issue.

I've read the manual for the pacemaker and it warns the user to stay away from "arc welding equipment, high power electrical generation equipment, malfunctioning or incorrectly wired household devices, and older microwave ovens". I don't know enough about electromagnetic interference issues to know what to look for or evaluate in deciding what to do.



  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    Re: Pacemaker?

    I believe they usually tell the patient to stay 5' away (+/-) from any high powered equipment (typically large transformers and such).

    Basically, radiated power falls with with the square of the distance.. If you assume 1 foot is "not recommended", then 10 feet would be 1/100th the radiated power (~20db down).

    You will have two sources of energy--the transformers and electronics themselves, and the cabling. From what I have measured for FCC class A/B compliance testing, the higher frequency stuff (~30-180 MHz) will not travel much farther than 10' down exposed cabling. Otherwise, there is nothing going on in your off-grid home that would not be happening in a normal home--and probably even less (little microwave use, no electric heaters/stoves, most devices will be low power/conservation minded equipment).

    High power stuff, like a hair drier, would not be a good idea to rest on the chest...

    I would not worry at all. Just don't wrap any extension cords around his chest. ;)

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • chevensteinchevenstein Solar Expert Posts: 100 ✭✭
    Re: Pacemaker?

    Thanks, BB! That makes a lot of sense, especially given that he has a gigantic, older CRT console television in his living room that he watches daily - if that won't cause a problem then I don't imagine much will.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pacemaker?

    you know it kind of makes me wonder if they caution you not to be near a thunderstorm too as the energy given off in a bolt of lightning can dwarf the sources they mention to stay away from.:confused: even automobile electrical systems can be nasty rfi sources. i guess he is also to stay away from every radio transmitter so if a police car, ambulance, fire truck, ham, or cb operator goes by he has to know of it? hard to do. i seriously doubt anything you have will compare to what he has already been exposed to.;)
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pacemaker?

    And what of the police car coming at you with it's radar aimed right at your eyes and chest? Not to mention that 100,000 watt radio or TV transmitter we just drove by. :D
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