Blackbird™ FAQs

  • What is the system warranty?

    Three Years. Raven Technology warrants solely that its products will be free from defects in materials and workmanship, when given normal, proper and intended usage, for a period of 3 years from the date of delivery. At our expense, we agree to repair or replace at our option all defective products and to use reasonable efforts to correct all products not performing substantially in accordance with applicable product specifications.
  • Is 3 phase power available?

    Yes, see Motor-Manager™ option below.
  • What is the Motor-Manager™ Option?

    The Motor-Manager™ option operates larger motors, specifically three phase extrication power units. See load capabilities below.
  • What are the load capabilities of the Blackbird™?

    The standard 5kW Blackbird™ will provide 42 amperes of 120 Volt, high quality, alternating current primarily for resistive loads. Inductive loads such as electric motors up to ½ horsepower, can be operated in conjunction with a Raven Smart Circuit™ device and sufficient parallel resistive load (see below).  It will provide:

    • 42 amps single phase power at 120 VAC (5000 Watts.)


    The standard 7kW Blackbird™ provides 7000 watts of high quality, alternating current primarily for resistive loads. Inductive loads such as electric motors up to ½ horsepower, can be operated in conjunction with a Raven Smart Circuit™ device and sufficient parallel resistive load (see below).  It is a split-phase system, and will provide:

    • Two legs of 120VAC each 30 amperes (7000 watts), or
    • 240VAC at 30 amperes (7000 watts), or
    • A combination of both not to exceed 7000 watts.


    The Blackbird™ with the Motor-Manager™ Option will power specially developed three phase electric power units in addition to scene lighting. A single tool power unit configuration delivers 3,000 Watts of lighting, and a two tool pump configuration delivers 2,000 Watts of scene lighting.

  • What is a resistive load?

    Examples of resistive loads are:

    • Lights
    • Heaters
    • Battery chargers
    • Power supplies (radios, computers, etc.)
    • Small power tools (tools with universal motors: drills, sawzalls, skill saws, etc.)
  • What is an inductive (reactive) load?

    • Traditional fire service smoke ejectors
    • Sump pumps
    • Small refrigerators
    • Most roof-top air conditioning

    When used in conjunction with a Raven Smart Circuit™ phase correction device, the Blackbird will start and run inductive motors up to ½ horsepower. Inductive loads will require some amount of parallel resistive load to operate effectively. We encourage our customers to adopt SOPs which include running lighting as parallel load when operating inductive loads to assure maximum system stability. Between 1000 and 1500 watts usually suffices. The Blackbird thrives on resistive load, and will accept inductive load most readily when it is already carrying resistive load. Multiple inductive motor loads may not be operated simultaneously without prior authorization by Raven Technology. Contact Raven for details.

  • What is the rotational speed range of the generator, and is full power available throughout the range?

    The Blackbird™ will deliver full rated output of pure sine 60Hz AC power at any fixed or changing shaft speed from 3,000 to 9,000 rpm at the generator or 650 to 2200 at the PTO.
  • What is the level of power quality?

    Frequency and voltage are regulated by computer-controlled excitation. Power quality is very high and the 60 Hz power frequency is maintained within +/- .5%. Voltage is regulated to within+/- 2% over entire load range/speed range. Transient response is computer-controlled; programs to limit voltage transients to 0.5 sec have been demonstrated, but in the present version, transient response has been slowed to about 2 seconds to accommodate special non-linear loads. Total harmonic variation is less than 5% THD with the 3rd Harmonic at 3% of fundamental. The Blackbird™ runs at a power factor of 1.0.
  • What is the efficiency (from lowest to highest speed)?

    At a 5kW load, the Blackbird™ requires approximately 8.5 horsepower at 3,000 rpm which corresponds to a system efficiency in the 80-85% range. This same efficiency is attained at 12 horsepower for 7kW output. Additional windage load develops at higher rpm.
  • Is the output rating continuous?

    Yes. For UL pump tests, the system is operated at full rated output for the duration of the test (normally 2 hours) at full pump RPM.
  • Will the Blackbird™ run a rescue tool power unit?

    Yes. See Motor-Manager™ Option above.
  • What are the operating limits (temperature and humidity)?

    The product is designed for automotive applications which present a wide range of challenging environments. Our proprietary electronic design is efficient and produces little waste heat. Test units operate continuously in outside ambient temperatures exceeding 140ºF. At the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the United States Marine Corps operated the Blackbird™ at 70% load in ambient temperatures from -25°F to 135°F. Humidity is not an issue although the generator and the control box need to be protected from direct water splash and drip.
  • What is the estimated operating life of the Blackbird™?

    The generator contains no brushes or slip rings. The bearings, the only wear component, are rated for a life of 5000 service hours. Note that the generator is equipped with a clutch and rotates only when power is desired.
  • What maintenance is required?

    The Blackbird™ has no serviceable parts. Periodic inspection of the drive belt is advised. Belt service life should be comparable to OEM belts on the particular engine. The oil in the PTO gearbox should be checked every 200 hours and replaced every 500 hours.
  • Does the generator require a cooling air flow?

    The Blackbird™ generates only a modest amount of heat and the airflow created by the spinning rotors is adequate within the ambient ranges noted above. The control box needs to be installed in a moderately ventilated space.
  • How is system overload protection provided?

    Full short circuit operation has been measured at 65 amps and sustained for approximately a minute without damage to the equipment. The output from the Blackbird™ control box is protected by a main circuit breaker at the rated capacity of the particular system in question.
  • How many components are required besides the generator?

    In addition to the rotating generator, the underhood system includes installation bracketing and drives components. The PTO-driven system includes a frame mounting plate which can be adapted by the installer to a particular installation. Electrically, the system includes a control box (approximately 14” x 10” x 4”), connective cabling and, in belt-driven models, a SoftStart module which mounts under the dash or in the console. The Motor-Manager™ option includes a motor drive (approximately 12” x 8” x 6”.)
  • Do you provide mounting brackets for specific chassis and engines?

    Complete and comprehensive underhood installation kits are available for a number of popular light- and medium-duty commercial platforms.  Please see the Applications tab on the Blackbird™ product page.
  • Is the system UL or CSA listed?

    Not at this time.