PacB Group // Industrial Generators To Keep The Wheels of Industry Turning


Industrial Generators To Keep The Wheels of Industry Turning

The Role of Industrial Generators

Solar and wind generation of electrical power have been steadily declining in cost for the last decade and have become more cost-effective alternatives for the provision of backup power. However, tried and tested, internal combustion-powered industrial generators remain the preferred backup power solution for most companies. Having a reliable source of backup power has become essential to the smooth operation of most businesses. Eskom’s inability to provide continuity of supply has made this obligatory. It doesn’t matter if Eskom’s unreliability is due to corruption, bad management, or poor maintenance. Frequent technical failures and increasingly onerous load shedding schedules result in lengthy interruptions in supply which are simply bad for business. Worsening load shedding schedules are the result little to no reserve generation capacity being left by the utility’s aging generation fleet. The new generation fleet has been plagued by design and construction flaws resulting in the new power stations not contributing the expected amount of additional capacity.

Continuous lack of reserves means that scheduled maintenance cannot be carried out and equipment is run until it fails. Eskom is often forced to resort to burning very expensive diesel in open-cycle gas turbines to make up shortfalls in generation or they are obliged to apply their only other alternative which is the implementation of load shedding. Commercial and industrial power users are left to fend for themselves, and industrial generators are often the only sensible solution.

Why These Generators?

Losses to South African businesses due to scheduled power cuts alone are estimated to be in the region of one billion Rand per load shedding stage, per day. It does not take an actuary to calculate the benefit of being able to conduct business as usual when the utility fails. The pressure is on for companies to provide backup power to mitigate these losses. The least capital-intensive solution to reducing the losses caused by power outages remains the acquisition and installation of a diesel-powered genset. These generators provide a solution that can be installed extremely rapidly when compared to most alternative backup power solutions. Industrial generators are by design portable and can be brought online quickly. Wind and solar farms, although rapidly deployable when compared to conventional coal or nuclear power plants, take orders of magnitude longer to deploy than industrial generators do. Industrial generators do not suffer from intermittency. If they are properly maintained and provided with fuel, they can produce power virtually indefinitely. Industrial generators are a well understood, mature technology capable of producing reliable continuous power especially when compared to comparatively new renewable energy alternatives. The capital cost of renewable energy solutions becomes unpalatable as soon as large-scale battery storage is provided to offset the intermittent nature of wind and solar power for instance.

Generators have Become a Necessity

Many companies are resentful of the fact that Eskom’s declining ability to provide power is forcing them to expend a substantial amount of capital on acquiring a genset. The purchase of a genset is often considered a ‘grudge purchase’, but the South African reality is that having backup power should be considered a normal cost of doing business. The cost of acquiring industrial generators should be set off against the costs to a business of power outages. Costs caused by interruptions of production, poor service to customers and revenue losses cannot not be recovered, especially when they keep recurring.

The total collapse of the grid in South Africa is unfortunately not an impossibility. This has occurred in countries such as Argentina in 2019 leaving 48 million end-users without power for the better part of a day. 55 million North Americans were left powerless for two weeks in 2003 when a large section of the grid collapsed. No company can afford to go without power for two weeks!

A Solution for Any Power Requirement

These generators come in a range of sizes, suitable for powering anything from a small residence through to huge gensets that power small towns. There is guaranteed to be a generator in existence that will provide a solution for any site where electrical power – whether for back-up or primary power – is required. They cover everything from standby generation for critical medical facilities to temporary power for large sporting events. For remote facilities with no grid connection, such as rural villages and bush lodges, industrial generators can provide primary power generation and run continuously to ensure continuous electrical power.

One of the key considerations when considering industrial generators as a backup power source is the running cost of the unit. Running costs are linked directly to efficiency. How much electrical power is made for a unit of the fuel burnt to produce it? Luckily the inventor of the compression ignition internal combustion engine, Rudolf Diesel devoted himself to the task of developing an internal combustion engine that would significantly improve on the efficiency of existing engines. The engines that bear his name have been developed into the most fuel-efficient internal combustion engines available. This is why most large capacity gensets are diesel powered. The fact that Eskom can still provide electricity at a substantially lower cost than it can be produced using a genset is no comfort when it cannot supply it reliably.

Engage with an Industry Leader

Once the decision to invest in industrial generators is made who do you turn to that can be trusted to give industry-leading advice, products, and service? Buying a genset represents a large capital investment so it’s imperative to get it ‘right’ the first time. Supplying industrial generators for commercial entities requires specialist knowledge. Real expertise is vital to ensure that the appropriate unit is supplied. PacB Power Solutions is a manufacturer of superior quality large diesel-powered industrial generators and has a long-standing track record of technical excellence and industry leading service. We offer industrial generators that come with the best technical support, superior service, and at a competitive cost. The larger the genset required the more complex the engineering demands become. PacB has experience from a large install base of gensets, including large multi-unit sites, which allows us to provide the type of genset best suited to a customer’s specific environment. Standard Service-Level Agreements (SLA’s) are offered on our gensets. SLAs, for industrial generators, consist of four inspections per year but can be altered to suit individual client’s needs. During inspection visits, our technical team works through a comprehensive checklist to ensure that the set complies with our standards in the field. With PacB you don’t need to understand peak demand, voltage, frequency, harmonics, and total power required. All PacB generator hire units include three- and single-phase plugs, automatic change over panels, and the required safety gear and signage. They all are equipped with silent run enclosures units and can also be trailer mounted if required. Our technical team is always available for onsite assistance to support our units. Contact PacB today for anything related to industrial generators.

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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