PacB Group // Some Sound Reasons for Choosing Diesel Generators


Some Sound Reasons for Choosing Diesel Generators

Electricity on tap became available to homes and businesses because of a phenomenon, known as electromagnetic induction. Essentially, what this means is that if a conductor, such as a coil of copper wire is exposed to a moving magnetic field, there is a tendency for an electric current to form in the conductor. In effect, the process acts to convert the mechanical energy required to rotate the conductor within the magnetic field into electrical energy. While the conductor could be rotted manually, it is more efficient to do so by means of an engine. Diesel generators are a classic example in which an internal combustion unit is used to drive a device known as an alternator.

The latter consists of a cluster of powerful magnets surrounding a rotatable central shaft. On this are mounted the copper coils or armature in which the current is induced. Various mechanical means are used to rotate the shaft. In a commercial power station, for example, a steam-driven turbine is commonly used while the steam is generated by burning fossil fuels, such as coal and gas. In hydroelectric schemes, the rotation is produced by flowing water. By contrast, diesel generators are more scalable and, therefore, suitable for a much wider range of applications. In addition, they are the most efficient and cost-effective option wherever a local source of electric power is required.

A petrol engine can also be used to rotate the armature, and petrol-driven models are widely available. Given that petroleum is significantly cheaper, it is reasonable to ask why they are not used more widely. In practice, despite their higher fuel cost, diesel generators offer several valuable advantages.over their petrol-driven rivals.

For a start, despite costing a little more, there is more potential energy in a litre of diesel fuel than in the same volume of petroleum which, in turn, means that petrol engines are a lot thirstier. Regardless of any initial purchase price advantage, in order to produce a single kilowatt of electric power, a genset requires anything between 30% and 50% more fuel when burning petroleum than when using a diesel generator.

The explanation is quite simple. A petrol engine relies upon the combined effect of pressure in its cylinders and a spark to ignite a fuel and air mixture. By contrast, sufficient pressure alone is all that is necessary to ignite diesel fuel, which results in a significantly higher temperature, and so, provides correspondingly more energy with which to drive the armature. Furthermore, because petrol is highly volatile and extremely inflammable, special precautions are required for the storage of spare fuel. There is, however, no such danger in a factory or in any location that makes use of diesel generators which, incidentally, also require less maintenance and have a significantly longer working lifespan than their less robust petrol-driven counterparts.

In the past, one of the main criticisms applied to these machines was that they were extremely noisy. This, however, is no longer the case. Thanks to the technological advances made by manufacturers, such as Hyundai and Honda, many of the latest models to hit the market are actually whisper-quiet. Since they are frequently used by construction companies, often within earshot of the general public, this is another very good reason to go with this new breed of diesel generators.

Whether it will be used to provide all of a plant’s power, to augment the mains supply at times of peak demand, or as an emergency backup option in the event of a mains outage, it is essential that a genset is of guaranteed quality, suited to the required task, installed correctly, and carefully maintained. For many discerning businesses in South Africa, this means dealing exclusively with PacB Group – a company with extensive experience in designing, installing, and maintaining dependable power solutions, including diesel 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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