Americas Generators

Maintenance as the key to diesel generator set reliability: Part 1

by GoPower 27. October 2015 04:37

Diesel engines comprise the vast majority of prime movers for standby power generators because of their reliability, durability and performance under load. Diesel powered generators are depended on for back-up power systems in the most critical locations: hospitals, airports, government buildings, telecommunications facilities, and even nuclear power plants. In standby power applications, diesel generators can start and assume full-rated load in less than 10 seconds, and they typically can go 30,000 hours or more between major overhauls.

This remarkable set of credentials is unique to diesel engines, but like any mechanical device, maintenance is critical for ensuring that a diesel powered standby generator will start and run when needed. Facilities with qualified in-house technical personnel can often perform required preventive maintenance on diesel generators. Other facility managers prefer to contract with a local service provider or power system distributor for regular maintenance service—especially if they have generators in multiple locations. (For unplanned maintenance, engine repairs or overhauls, it is always best to use qualified diesel service technicians.)

Because of the durability of diesel engines, most maintenance is preventive in nature. Preventive diesel engine maintenance consists of the following operations:

• General inspection

• Lubrication service

• Cooling system service

• Fuel system service

• Servicing and testing starting batteries

• Regular engine exercise 

It is generally a good idea to establish and adhere to a schedule of maintenance and service based on the specific power application and the severity of the environment. For example, if the generator set will be used frequently or subjected to extreme operating conditions, the recommended service intervals should be reduced accordingly. The best way to keep track of maintenance intervals is to use the running time meter on the generator set to keep an accurate log of all service performed. This log will also be important for warranty support.


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