A guide to Diesel Generators
Diesel Generators play an integral part in our daily lives and businesses, yet little is known about them and their functionality. With the advancement of technology and the reliance on electricity greater than before, diesel generators plays a significant role in our society. Identifying and sourcing for a suitable diesel generator can be a daunting task with multiple products online and offline available for selection. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, and have advised hundreds of businesses, our technical experts at Tatas Equipment seek to provide insights on some of the best practices used in the industry to identify, source and evaluate generators.
Purpose of the Generator
When sourcing for a diesel generator, it is essential to know what the generator will be used for. This may seem like a straightforward process if you’re replacing a damaged generator or scaling your product with an already established use case for generators. However in other circumstances, when businesses test out new products, their operating environment changes, new generators are required, either to provide mobility, power, low noise level or customization. Each use case requires a slightly different type of generator.
For example, a defence company looking to power their equipment on board the vehicle would require a generator in a smaller form, allowing for power generation and mobility at the same time. Kubota GL LOWBOY II series is designed to have the minimum possible height while using vertical diesel engines. A smaller form factor requires less space for operation and thus increasing the range of possible applications significantly.
While in another scenario, a construction company or a factory which requires 24/7 continuous supply of electricity looking for a backup generator, power, low noise level and customization may be their main consideration. Kubota SQ series would provide a better fit with its huge power output yet super quiet, heavy duty type 4-pole generator.
In conclusion, while there are many models and brands of diesel generators in the market, knowing what your business requires and speaking to technical experts in the industry will help narrow your search of generators. As they are a huge investment to businesses, do keep in mind that they have different compatibility, therefore to future proof your purchase, ensure that the generator that you purchase is expandable to accommodate your current and future business requirements.
Technical specifications — what to look at?
A typical technical specification sheet would looking like the table attached below, in some cases a more detailed spec sheet would be provided. Don’t let these numbers put you off as our technical experts will help you navigate through these numbers and identify some of the most commonly used information to focus on.
Max Output: The maximum output that the generator is capable of producing under normal conditions over a year.
kW and kVA: kilowatt(kW) and kilovolt-ampere(kVA). kW is the unit of real power and kVA is a unit of apparent power.
Prime Output: Prime power ratings is defined as having an ‘’unlimited run time” where the generator will be used a primary power source and not for backup power.
Voltage — Single Phase: Single phase power is a two wire Alternating Current (AC) power circuit. One power circuit and one neutral wire and power flows between the power wire (through the load) and the neutral wire.
Voltage — Three Phase: Three phase power is a three Alternating Current (AC) power circuit. Compared to a single phase, a 3 phase power arrangement provides 1.732 times more power with the same current and provides (7) power circuits.
Frequency: In a generator, there is a prime mover (an engine) connected to the actual generator, which consists of either rotating coils of wire within a magnetic field, or rotating magnets surrounded by coils of wire. The number of poles and the rotational speed determine the output frequency. Frequency = (Engine RPM * Number of poles) / 120
Engine Speed (rpm): The number of revolutions per minute (rpm) that an engine is moving.
Sound Level: Sound produced when the generator is running.
Typically when one is sourcing for a Diesel Generator, some of the most common enquiries posted to our technical experts were the Max/Prime output, Frequency and Sound levels of the generator. This is because, power output of a generator is usually the main priority of a business need when they invest in a diesel generator. While the frequency of a generator determines the voltage used and this needs to be in sync with the power supply required or used in the business. Lastly, sound level, in a variety of use cases, sound level of a generator is a consideration and users tend to consider that when purchasing a generator.
Support Network & Warranty
Diesel Generators are huge investments to many businesses, with ownerships lasting multiple years, or even decades, therefore support services is essential when making your choice. Established brands like Kubota, provides a comprehensive support network, with qualified engineers across the globe to attend to your business needs. In times of support and maintenance, you will have a piece of mind when engineers are onsite with readily available spare parts to perform servicing on your generators. The wider support network is something lesser known brands are unable to provide, the resources, man power required to maintain the support network is extensive and costly.