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Oct 14
2016

Debunking The Top Myths About Industrial Generators

By: Patti Stewkesbury

 

Industrial generators must withstand extreme usage and weather conditions for an extensive amount of time. It’s important to better understand these systems and to do so the top myths and misconceptions need to be debunked. This article will explain these myths to ensure you obtain the most efficient and effective industrial generator. 

Myths  Of Industrial Generators

Myth: Generator Size Doesn’t Matter

Not all generators are created the same and the size does matter for the amount of power you will be able to receive. You’ll need to consider your power requirements in kilowatts to choose the most effective generator size. In addition to power requirements, you need to factor in the equipment that will be operated with the generators. Equipment that users motors or machines with compressors consume more power and therefore a more powerful generator will be required.

Myth: Generators Don’t Need Regular Maintenance

Like any machine, a little maintenance can go a long way to keep you generator up and running. Some preventative maintenance you can do yourself while a professional technician should handle more technical preventative maintenance. The following are essential components a technician will complete for an industrial generator maintenance service plan:

  • Start With An Inspection: The service technician will make sure that the area surrounding your generator is kept free of debris, while ensuring sufficient ventilation during operation. Following this, the exhaust system will be inspected, including the manifold, muffler, and exhaust pipe. The service technician will make sure that all connecting gaskets, joints, and welds have been checked for potential leaks. A qualified technician should correct all adverse conditions promptly.
  • Generator Fuel: Fuel maintenance is another crucial aspect of generator maintenance, especially considering that gasoline and diesel fuel degrade over time. Ideally, the fuel tank should be equipped with a valve, which allows accumulated water to be drained from the tank periodically. A technician can take a fuel sample from the bottom and from the supply line, which should be visually inspected monthly.
  • Battery Testing: Weak or undercharged starting batteries are the most common cause of standby power system failures. Even when kept fully charged and maintained, lead-acid starting batteries are subject to deterioration overtime and must be periodically replaced when they no longer hold a proper charge. Only a regular schedule of inspection and testing under load can prevent generator-starting problems.  Your Generator's battery must be tested under load; checking the voltage is an inaccurate method of testing for a battery's power.
  • Generator Cooling System: During your routine generator checkup, a technician will make sure the coolant is filled to the proper level. The cooling fluid mix is a balanced solution and will invariably differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, so it's essential to make sure that the solution you use is approved for use in your engine.

Myth: All Generator Fuel Types Function The Same

When looking to purchase an industrial generator, the fuel type is an important element to consider. You may choose a cheaper fuel but not all fuel types work the same in every environment. For example, in colder environments, gasoline generators may not be the most effective option. Diesel generators are a better choice for colder environments, as this fuel type is less receptive to freezing. Fuel type may also be dependent on your location as some may be easier to obtain than others. When purchasing an industrial generator, it’s important to consider the fuel type to ensure you are getting the most out of your generator.

Myth: You Can Install The Generator Anywhere

Location is another overlooked element when installing a generator. The system should be placed in a location that is easily accessible for maintenance and repair. Also, the generator should be placed in a protective location and high enough to keep water from damaging the machine. Indoor installations also need to follow requirements for fuel supply, exhaust ducting, ventilation and proximity to flammable materials. A typical installation requires that the generator be near the transfer switch and fuel supply.

Myth: I don’t Need An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)

More often than not, it's a good idea. 80-90% of generators are coupled with ATSs. The ATS will detect any power outage and automatically start your generator, and will exercise the unit on a weekly basis. It's extremely important that your emergency power system run at least once a week, under load if possible. Keeping your generator operational is critical in an outage.

Kinsley Power Systems

As the exclusive distributor of Kohler Power Systems solutions in Western New England, Kinsley focuses on the specification, sales, service and rental of permanently installed generators, transfer switches, and switchgear (from 8.5kW home systems to 3.25MW industrial generators).

Kinsley's residential sales are through our extensive dealer network of over 150 Kohler-certified dealers with extensive generator expertise. 
Locate one in your area here.


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