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Generator Maintenance Promotes Reliability and Saves Costs

While all generators require maintenance, commercial and industrial generators exhibit marked differences from their residential counterparts. Designed to withstand rigorous and prolonged operation under challenging conditions, these generators serve demanding needs. They vary widely in size and configuration, offering outputs spanning from 20 kVa to 500 kVa or bigger. To optimise their performance and reliability in commercial and industrial applications, comprehensive generator maintenance is essential.

In South Africa, most commercial and industrial power users are obliged to do something about having backup power. Unfortunately, nearly all businesses need to fill in the gaps in power provision caused by load-shedding and technical failures. Most businesses turn to diesel generators or a combination of renewable energy and generators to provide continuity of electrical power to keep their operations running. Reliable and high-quality power is imperative for uninterrupted commercial and industrial operations. Disruptions in the power supply typically lead to costly, unplanned-for downtime and interruptions in production and other business activities.

Commercial and industrial generators mitigate potential power supply interruptions but performing regular maintenance checks on commercial and industrial generators is essential to ensure their reliability and longevity. Acquiring a generator is only the first step in the process of ensuring continuity of power. Generator maintenance is not only crucial to a system’s proper functioning, but it also reduces the possibility of more expensive repairs down the line, saving on overall costs. Proper generator maintenance is, therefore, an essential requirement that needs to be planned for.

Most commercial and industrial generator end users will not have to delve into the details of generator maintenance or be familiar with the key components of diesel generators. A reputable supplier of commercial and industrial generators will detail the proper procedures and intervals for optimum generator maintenance. They will assist in establishing generator maintenance schedules for their equipment and will, at the very least, provide a generator maintenance checklist that incorporates the general preventive maintenance guidelines and intervals. The generator manufacturer will identify specific requirements and unique maintenance activities based on the particular load profile and environmental conditions at a specific facility.

 

Essential Checks During Scheduled Generator Maintenance

One of the most important generator maintenance requirements is the regular checking of engine oil levels. Oil should be replenished or replaced, where necessary. Additional fluid level checks include verifying that engine coolant levels are at correct levels and topped up if necessary. Fuel should be kept at minimum levels and refilled as needed.

Generator maintenance includes scheduled cooling system inspections. The radiator should be kept clean of any debris or dirt, especially where the generators run in harsh, dusty environments. Careful inspection of all the coolant system hoses should be carried out so that any damage or wear is picked up before the component fails. Coolant should be kept at the correct concentrations of anti-freeze and at the correct levels.

The radiator pressure cap should be tested regularly.

The fuel system is another key area of generator maintenance. It should be carefully inspected, and the fuel lines should be checked for leaks or damage. Fuel filters should be replaced in accordance with the engine manufacturer’s recommended frequency or more often in extremely adverse operating conditions. Proper operation of the fuel injectors should also be verified.

The air-induction system forms another important area of generator maintenance. Air filters need to be checked and cleaned or replaced if clogged. The intake and exhaust systems need to be inspected for blockages and accumulated dirt.

The electrical system, battery, and charging system are also subject to maintenance. The battery should be inspected for corrosion and loose terminal connections. The battery should be checked to make sure that it is charged to the proper voltage levels. The correct functioning of the charging system should be ensured by testing and inspecting the wiring for any signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. The voltage and current output of the generator should fall within certain parameters, which can be determined by looking at the relevant values on the generator control panel. A load bank test should be conducted periodically to ensure the generator can handle the rated load.

The mechanical health of the diesel engine needs to be checked as part of generator maintenance. Glow plugs, injectors, oil warming systems, and diesel pumps should all be checked. Inspect the water pump for leaks and proper function. Check the lubrication system for proper oil flow. All drive belts need to be inspected for tension and wear and be replaced if needed. The exhaust system needs to be examined for leaks and proper operation.

 

Generator Control Systems

All diesel generators of commercial and industrial size will come equipped with an electronic generator controller. These units exhibit varying degrees of sophistication, ranging from basic functions like switching the generator on and off to advanced capabilities such as remote high-level generator control, monitoring, and maintenance. The generator controller should be tested to make sure that it is responding correctly regarding programmed start-up and shut-down sequences and other desired functions. The operation of safety features and emergency shutdown systems also need to be tested. The generator and surrounding area should be clean and tidy, and any fuel spills cleaned up.

Generator controllers typically keep detailed records of all operational activities but additional generator maintenance records may be required, including dates of maintenance, tasks performed, and any parts replaced. The controller will often flag certain maintenance steps needed and record any faults or events that fall outside normal operating parameters.

 

Leave Generator Maintenance to the Experts

PacB is an industry leader in the power-generation industry in Southern Africa. We are known for manufacturing a comprehensive range of premium-quality commercial and industrial generators. Our expertise spans all the key energy-generation technologies, including renewable energy systems and UPSes. We have a team of engineers and technicians that are experts in power generation and the associated electrical infrastructure. Our team is dedicated to designing and delivering robust, reliable power-generation solutions for any electrical power user in any environment. We have a proven track record for delivering class-leading power-generation solutions, whether with diesel generators, renewables, or hybrid systems.

From modest residential systems to large utility-scale installations, we deliver functional, robust, sophisticated solutions. Years dedicated to generator manufacturing have led to the recognition that beyond the production phase, there’s a need for installation, commissioning, and subsequent servicing and maintenance of the generator set. We have consistently supported our existing clients with these services, and have created PacB Electech to offer the same superior level of maintenance as other commercial and industrial generator owners.

Our dedicated, internationally trained maintenance teams take away the burden of keeping generators running flawlessly. With us assisting you, you can rely on your backup power always being available. Contact us today for electrical power generation and generator maintenance.

Our qualified technicians offer support and advice in the selection of the right power solution for your needs by calculating your power requirements.

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