PacB Group // The Real Value of Generator Maintenance


The Real Value of Generator Maintenance

The Value of Generator Maintenance

Performing regular generator maintenance will ensure that an industrial genset will start and run reliably. This keeps businesses operational, ensuring that critical facilities such as hospitals function during power outages. An industrial generator (also known as a genset) can last indefinitely, or at the very least for decades, when properly maintained. Generator maintenance extends the gensets serviceable lifespan and maximizes the return on the initial cost of the genset. Generator maintenance also prevents unnecessary failures and reduces the chance of costly repairs being required. The genset builder will usually provide a schedule of the regular maintenance that should be carried out and at what intervals this should occur. Generator maintenance should always be undertaken by a professional technician, qualified and trained on the specific genset. Generator maintenance will invariably save money in the long run by identifying potential issues before they escalate into expensive repairs. The older the genset is, the more important routine generator maintenance becomes to protect the genset from unnecessary additional wear and tear.

How Often is Generator Maintenance Required?

The manufacturer will recommend a specific generator maintenance schedule, typically after a set number of service (run) hours. Gensets should not be left idle for extended periods and should be started, and run for at least five minutes, once a week between scheduled generator maintenance. Using the weekly start-ups to make sure the genset and power system are functioning properly is prudent. Early discovery of problems allows for them to be resolved before a grid outage where the genset is actually needed. This provides peace of mind that the genset will operate as expected when a power outage occurs.

More sophisticated gensets are fitted with programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and remote access devices which can be set up to flag designated staff when a service or generator maintenance is required. Some of these systems allow the genset to be started and run remotely which makes weekly start up convenient for more remotely located gensets. One should not rely completely on the generator maintenance schedule provided, as there are certain instances where a service may be required sooner than scheduled. Exposure to excessive dust and moisture is bad for gensets and should be addressed immediately. Operation in extreme weather or temperature conditions may also necessitate earlier than scheduled services.

What Should Generator Maintenance Include?

During generator maintenance, all filters should be inspected and cleaned where possible or replaced if required. Filters are designed to keep dust and other environmental particles from getting into the engine of the genset. They can get dirty or become clogged with these small particles from the air around your genset. Particulate debris can cause significant damage to the engine of a genset. Clean filters improve efficiency by ensuring the engine can ‘breathe’ properly while avoiding damaging airborne particles.

Oil is the lifeblood of any engine and the engine on a genset is no exception. Oil keeps engines clean, cool, and properly lubricated, reducing friction and preventing excessive engine wear. Over time, oil deteriorates as it is exposed to mechanical and thermal stresses while the engine is running. As a result, it begins to lose its ability to clean, cool, and lubricate the internals of the engine increasing wear on the engine. An oil change, where the used oil is replaced with new oil, is a crucial requirement for any generator maintenance plan and should never be compromised on.

Care of the cooling system is critical to keep genset engines from overheating. Overheating will always cause significant, and costly, damage or even damage the engine beyond economic repair. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and refilled as needed. In certain instances, periodic flushing of the cooling system may be required by the manufacturer. In extremely cold climates, an anti-freeze agent will need to be added to the coolant. This will help maintain coolant quality and prevent the coolant from freezing while the genset is not in use.

While not directly part of generator maintenance, keeping the fuel level topped up with quality fuel is good practice on a genset. The very bottom of the fuel tank may be contaminated with water and settled out sediments that will be drawn through the filters when the genset is run all the way down to empty. This can clog the fuel filter faster than usual, causing fuel blockages or allowing debris to reach and damage the engine.

The belts that run the cooling fan, alternator and other ancillaries on the engine can wear and become brittle over time, causing them to warp or crack. These should be checked and replaced where necessary. Battery connections should be checked, cleaned and tightened to ensure the reliable start-up of the genset. To avoid breakdowns, any worn or corroded parts should be replaced or repaired as soon as possible.

Generator Maintenance Experts – A Better Option

Rather than taking on the burden of managing the generator maintenance of your industrial genset, let the experts in this field do it for you while you focus on your core business. PacB are industry leaders in the provision of diesel gensets, renewable energy solutions, and UPS units. Years spent in genset manufacturing brought us to the realization that once the set has been sold, most clients require the unit to be installed, commissioned, and then later serviced. PacB consequently started assisting our existing clients with these services but quickly realized that there was an opportunity to target potential clients by offering these services to them as well. PacB Electech was established to do just that. Standard Service-Level Agreements (SLA’s) are offered on gensets UPS and solar solutions. SLAs, for gensets, consist of four inspections per year but can be altered to suit individual clients’ needs. During inspection visits, our technical team works through a comprehensive checklist to ensure that the set complies with our standards in the field. After the inspection tests are complete, your genset is given a thorough wash. Clients are provided with a report back with regard to the next service along with the quotation for the inspection and any parts required. Should the team identify anything that is of concern, we will notify you and provide you with a quotation to repair the fault.

Clients who sign service-level agreements with us are given access to a dedicated emergency line. Our dedicated and well-trained team can be scheduled to complete any installation and commissioning whether the set was manufactured by PacB Power Solutions or not. In addition to service-level agreements we also offer the option of having a monitoring device installed with the genset, at a small monthly fee. This is in permanent communication with our monitoring centre. A mimic panel option, which allows control of the genset without having to walk to the area where the unit is installed, can also be provided. Lastly, we also have the GSM (SMS Modem for Remote Control) which allows control through an App via any smartphone “in the palm of your hand”. Contact PacB Electech today.


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