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What is a Diesel Generator?

Eric Gehler
 


Visitors: 186

Diesel generators produce electricity by using an alternator and a diesel engine. The engine uses diesel fuel to operate. The power of the engine (reflected as RPMs) is transformed by the alternator into a usable electrical current. This current is then distributed to buildings that are connected to a network. These can include homes, commercial buildings and construction sites. Because access to voltage is critical to homes and businesses, diesel generators are often relied upon to provide a reliable source of power. Below, we'll describe the circumstances in which these generators are used and some of the advantages of deploying them.

When Are Diesel Generators Used?

Diesel generators are commonly used when work sites, homes, or buildings don't have access to utility power. For example, construction sites are occasionally located in areas where access to a power grid is impossible. Similarly, transport ships need a dependable source of energy for their navigation and propulsion systems. A diesel generator can be used to produce the voltage required.

Other times, diesel generators are used for the same purpose as an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). That is, if a power grid suffers an outage, the generator can provide redundancy. This power redundancy can be critical. It allows businesses to maintain their operations, hospitals to retain use of their instruments and airports to preserve system integrity. Any organization that controls mission critical applications can benefit from having a generator available as a reliable power source.

Advantages Of Using A Diesel Generator

Diesel generators are designed for continual use. They have fewer moving components than other types of generators. As a result, they require less maintenance and repair. Second, a diesel generator can produce a continuous flow of voltage without the spikes and sags that utility power occasionally experiences. Spikes in the electrical current can cause damage to some electronic devices. A generator helps regulate the fluctuations. Last, a diesel generator is easy to maintain because it lacks failure-prone parts such as an ignition system. So, as long as you perform routine maintenance (such as changing the oil periodically), the generator should function without issues.

Avoiding Potential Damage

One of the most common causes of damage to diesel generators is when they're under-loaded. That is, diesel generators function most effectively when they're operating at high capacity. When they're used for low capacity tasks (such as powering 10% of the voltage load), they can start to build up carbon and internal glazing. Eventually, soot and residue from unused fuel can accumulate and clog the generator's piston rings.

The longer this happens, the more pronounced the degradation of the diesel generator's system. To avoid this, you should use the generator at approximately 70% of the maximum load. One effective strategy for accomplishing this is to use a UPS for short-term emergencies. Then, have a diesel generator available for long-term outages. Though these generators tend to be expensive, their value as a dependable source of electricity can make them a worthwhile investment.

Power Systems & Controls is the industry standard for Uninterruptible Power Supply and Frequency Converters

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