To generate electrical energy, a diesel generator combines a diesel engine with an electric generator (typically an alternator). This is an example of an engine-generator. A diesel compression-ignition engine often is built to run on fuel oil, but other variants are adaptable for other liquid fuels or natural gas.
They require less maintenance due to their longevity, reliability, and sturdiness, and they are also regarded as less expensive to operate due to lower fuel costs than other forms of fuels such as gasoline and propane.
They can resist heavy loads for long periods of time and start the power supply on full load in minutes, but they must be serviced on a regular basis to guarantee that they continue to produce excellent power throughout their service life. To ensure maximum service time for the generator and proper operation when it is called upon to supply electricity, the ideal generator maintenance practice is to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
The best defence against utility power outages is to have a well-designed and well-maintained standby power system. They can be life-threatening for hospitals and other health-care facilities. Outages can be extremely costly for organisations like data centres. Government offices, police agencies, fire stations, airports, and water/sewage treatment plants are among the vital facilities at risk.
Proper diesel generator maintenance ensures that your equipment keeps running for years to come and these key points are essential. The precaution maintenance tips for the diesel generator guarantee an uninterrupted power supply that is innocuous and consistent for all the needs intended. They include the following aspects:
1. Routine General Inspection
The exhaust system, fuel system, DC electrical system, and engine must all be closely monitored during the operation of the diesel generator for any leakage that could result in dangerous situations. Proper maintenance, as with any internal combustion engine, is critical. Diesel Genset is no different, and the most critical maintenance is oil changes every 500 hours of operation to ensure a long and trouble-free life, but some applications may demand shorter servicing times, which is why after-sales services must be excellent. If possible, inspect every two weeks, or once a month at the very least, for better diesel generator maintenance. Regular inspections are also required for the alternator, controllers, AVR, and full sensor system, as well as wiring, harnesses for integrity.
2. Lubrication Service
Using a dipstick, check the engine oil while shutting down the generator at regular intervals. Allow the oil in the top areas of the engine to drain back into the crankcase, and follow the API oil classification and viscosity requirements provided by the engine manufacturer. Add the same grade and brand of oil to keep the oil level as close to the full mark on the dipstick as possible.
Oil and filters must be replaced at predetermined intervals. Check with the engine manufacturer for instructions on how to drain the oil and replace the oil filter, as well as how to properly dispose of them to avoid environmental damage or liability.
3. Cooling System
During shutdown times, check the coolant level at the set interval. After allowing the engine to cool, remove the radiator cap and, if necessary, add coolant until the level is about 3/4 in. Also, keep an eye on your coolant filters and replace them as needed. A balanced coolant mixture of water, antifreeze, and coolant additives is required for heavy-duty diesel engines. Examine the radiator’s exterior for obstructions, then remove any debris or foreign material with a soft brush or cloth, being careful not to damage the fins. Radiator flushing is also an important part of diesel generator maintenance to minimize overheating and excessive engine temperatures. If low-pressure compressed air or a stream of water in the opposite direction of typical airflow are available, use them.to clean the radiator.
4. Fuel System
Within a year, diesel generators is susceptible to contamination and corrosion, thus regular generator set exercise is strongly recommended to burn up stored fuel before it declines. Because of the water vapour that builds and condenses in the fuel tank, the fuel filters should be drained at the appropriate intervals.
If the gasoline is not utilised and replaced in three to six months, regular testing and fuel cleaning may be required. A routine general inspection should involve checking the coolant level, oil level, fuel system, and starting system as part of preventive maintenance. Regularly inspect the charge-air cooler piping and hoses for leaks, holes, cracks, dirt, and debris that may be blocking the fins or loose connections.
While the engine retains its mechanical properties, it is susceptible to issues with diesel fuel quality. The chemical make-up of diesel fuel has altered in recent years; at low or high temperatures, a certain proportion of biodiesel releases contaminants, while at warm temperatures, a certain percentage of biodiesel mixed with water (condensation) might be a breeding ground for bacteria. Furthermore, reducing Sulphur diminishes lubrication, which eventually causes the fuel-injection pumps to become clogged.
Furthermore, when acquiring a genset, it is crucial to be aware that a variety of optional accessories are available to extend maintenance intervals and guarantee that the genset continues to provide reliable power throughout its life.
5. Testing Batteries
Standby power system failures are frequently caused by weak or undercharged starter batteries. The battery must be kept completely charged and well-maintained to minimise diminishing, with frequent testing and inspection to determine the battery’s current status and avoid any generator start-up issues. They must also be cleaned and the battery’s specific gravity and electrolyte levels must be checked on a regular basis.
Testing batteries: Measuring the output voltage of the batteries is insufficient to determine their ability to provide adequate starting power. Because batteries’ intrinsic resistance to current flow increases as they age, the only correct way to determine terminal voltage is under load. This suggestive test is conducted automatically on some generators each time the generator is started. Use a manual battery load tester on other generator sets to check the condition of each starting battery.
Cleaning the batteries: Wipe them off with a moist cloth anytime dirt appears to be excessive. Remove the battery cables and wash the terminals with a solution of baking soda and water (14 pound baking soda to 1 quart water) if corrosion is present around the terminals. Make sure the solution doesn’t get into the battery cells, and after you’re done, flush the batteries with clean water. Apply a little coating of petroleum jelly to the terminals after reinstalling the connections.
Checking the electrolyte level in open-cell lead-acid batteries: Check the electrolyte level at least every 200 hours of operation in open-cell lead-acid batteries. Fill the battery cells with distilled water to the bottom of the filler neck if they are low. When the generator is not in use, always unplug the batteries.
6. Routine diesel generator maintenance exercise
Regular exercise keeps engine parts lubricated and prevents oxidation of electrical contacts, uses up gasoline before it degrades, and aids in engine starting reliability. Engine exercise should be performed at least once a month for at least 30 minutes with the engine loaded to one-third of the nameplate rating.
7. Keep your Diesel Generator Clean
When the engine is nice and clean, oil drops and other faults are easy to identify and fix. Hoses and belts can be visually inspected to ensure that they are in good working order. Checking your equipment on a regular basis can prevent wasps and other annoyances from nesting in it. The more a generator is utilized and relied on, the more maintenance it requires. A generator set that is infrequently utilized, on the other hand, may not require as much attention.
Other things should keep in mind –
Clearing the air cleaner
After 500 hours of engine running, the air cleaner should be serviced with a filter element made of special highly porous cardboard or, if necessary, by using the clogged signalize. Purging the primary filter constituent, which traps dust that enters the air cleaner, is part of servicing the air cleaner. It is necessary to cleanse the control filter element and replace it with the primary one in this instance. Make sure the fresh air input and hot air discharge windows or ducts aren’t closed or blocked as well.
Rinsing the engine breathers
After every 2 000 hours of engine running, the engine breathers should be cleaned with diesel fuel. Breathers on diesel generators are cleaned and purged with compressed air after removing the housings and detaching the breathers from the cylinder heads cover caps. After that, the breathers and their housings should be reinstalled.
Apollo Power Systems has expertise in Load Study, Diesel Generators Sizing (DG Sizing), Electrical Distribution along with proficiency in Generator Paralleling (DG Paralleling) / Synchronization, Designing Room Acoustics & Treatment for Diesel Generators and Erection & Installation. Together, we offer the most optimized solutions both in terms of technical and commercial without any compromises.
Apollo’s dedicated Service division services all types of generators up to 4000 kVA and provides a variety of Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMCs) with predetermined response times and service quality. The in-house Service department is capable of servicing practically any generator, regardless of make or model.
Service team, which is led by industry professionals, is made up of trained, experienced, dedicated, and skilled Service Engineers, Product Support Executives, and Service Managers who work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to resolve issues with the DG sets and AMF / Synchronizing panels that they maintain.
The Generator Service Division Offers:
- Major and Minor overhaul of Diesel / Gas Generator Engines and Alternators
- Annual Maintenance Contract (AMC) and/or Service Line Agreements (SLA)
- Preventive Maintenance Programs
- Performance Monitoring and Systematic Diagnostic and Failure Analysis
- Diagnostic Analysis facility using special tools
- Spares & Consumables Management for the DG sets undertaken for servicing
- Consultation and Orientation/Training on all maintenance-related issues