A diesel generator is the combination of a diesel engine with an electric generator, often an alternator to generate electrical energy. This is a specific case of engine-generator. A diesel engine generator is usually designed to run on diesel fuel, but there are other fuel types that run on other liquid fuels or natural gas.
Diesel generators require less maintenance due to their longevity, durability and reliability and are also cheaper to run due to the low fuel cost and easy availability. But if you want the generator to run well, there are reasons why regular maintenance is necessary. These are the 5 steps necessary for proper diesel generator maintenance –
1. Routine General Inspection
During the running of the diesel generator, the exhaust system, the fuel system, the DC electrical system and the engine require close monitoring of any leaks that could cause potentially dangerous incidents. As with any internal combustion engine, proper maintenance is necessary. Standard service and oil change times are recommended at 500hrs, although some generators may require shorter service times and the time frame can vary. This all depends on the runtime of the generator, weather conditions and external wear and tear. Also, it’s essential to check for oil drips and other problems. Visual inspection will ensure the safe condition of hoses and belts. Frequent inspections will discourage wasps and other insects from nesting in your equipment.
2. Lubrication Service
The engine oil must be tested at regular intervals by means of a dipstick while the generator is shut down. The correct way to check it is to let the oil in the upper portions of the engine drain back into the crankcase and then follow the engine manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s important to keep the oil level as near as possible to the full mark on the dipstick by adding the same quality and brand of oil. At specific time intervals, the oil and filters must be changed. In order to prevent environmental risk or liability, consult with the engine manufacturer for procedures to remove the oil and repair the oil filter and its disposal.
3. Fuel System
Diesel is subject to contamination and corrosion within a period of one year, and therefore regular generator set exercise is highly recommended to use up stored fuel before it degrades. The fuel filters should be drained at the designated intervals due to the water vapor that accumulates and condenses in the fuel tank. Regular testing and fuel polishing may be required if the fuel is not used and replaced in three to six months. Preventive maintenance should include a regular general inspection that includes checking the coolant level, oil level, fuel system, and starting system. The charge-air cooler piping and hoses should be inspected regularly for leaks, holes, cracks, dirt and debris that may be blocking the fins or loose connections.
4. Cooling System
Checking the amount of coolant at the required interval during shutdown times is important for the proper running of the diesel generator. A licensed technician will check for this at every scheduled generator servicing. Remember to remove the radiator cap after the engine cools, then apply coolant where necessary until about 3/4 in. The mixed water, antifreeze, and coolant additives for heavy-duty diesel engines are equalised. In order to prevent injury to the fins, check the exterior of the radiator for obstacles and clear any debris or foreign material with the soft brush or fabric. Use low-pressure compressed air or water to scrub the heater in the opposite direction of natural air flow.
5. Testing batteries
Weak or undercharged starting batteries are a common cause of power loss or system failure in the standby system. The battery must be kept fully charged and well maintained in order to prevent depletion by frequent checking and inspection in order to know the current state of the battery and to prevent any problems with the generator. They must also be cleaned; and the precise gravity and electrolyte levels of the battery must be tested regularly. Merely testing the output voltage of the batteries is not indicative of their capacity to produce sufficient starting power. Remember to keep the batteries clean by cleaning them with a damp cloth if the dirt becomes excessive.
6. Exhaust System Inspection
In the case of leaks along the exhaust line that normally occur at the connexion points, the welds and gaskets should be repaired immediately by a trained technician. For eg, standby generators need to be serviced on average for 150hrs. However, if the generator is used continuously, the hours would go up much faster and at more frequent intervals. It is too much work to keep track of all these systems regularly and fix them in case of any damage. It is too much work to keep track of all these systems regularly and fix them in case of any damage.
Reactive Generators is committed to providing innovative and long-lasting generator solutions for clients across Queensland. We offer teams of skilled technicians in Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, and Ipswich. Driven by a customer-focus, we work with our clients individually to establish their needs, goals and budget, before providing tailored advice. We also offer a comprehensive range of servicing and maintenance options to ensure you can get the most out of your generator.