Debunking Industrial Generator Myths
You may have a lot of questions when it comes time to install a new industrial generator. It’s essential to separate fact from fiction to make the best decisions regarding your power equipment. Below, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths surrounding industrial generators.
Myth 1: Generator Size Is Unimportant
Many businesses make the mistake of purchasing a smaller generator and later find out that it’s unable to keep up with their growing power needs. Using a low-capacity generator can overload the system, resulting in excessive wear and tear and eventual equipment failure.
Alternatively, utilizing a generator that’s too large can lead to wet stacking, which is the accumulation of unburned fuel in the exhaust system. This happens when a generator doesn’t use enough of its load capacity. Wet stacking can cause reduced efficiency, engine damage, and other issues in the system.
The size you need will depend on your power requirements, the space you have available for the unit, and other factors. Check out our article on properly sizing your generator to help determine the right size generator for your facility.
Myth 2: All Generator Fuels Are Created Equal
There are several fuel types available for generators today. Diesel and natural gas are two of the most common kinds of fuel used in the industrial sector. It’s important to note that both fuels offer their own distinct benefits.
Ø Benefits of Natural Gas
- Readily available fuel supply
- Quieter than other types of generators
- Environmentally friendly
- Low fuel costs
Ø Benefits of Diesel
- Low maintenance
- Less flammable than other fuels
- Long generator lifespan
- More affordable gensets
Myth 3: It Doesn’t Matter Where You Put the Generator
Where you install the generator should be an important consideration. Improper placement can put you, your employees, and your customers at risk. Here are some tips to help you install the unit safely:
- Use an enclosure, such a canopy, to protect the genset from inclement weather conditions.
- Install the unit on a surface that is high enough to avoid flooding water.
- Take noise-reduction measures such as noise-canceling headphones or a sound-attenuated enclosure.
- Use proper ventilation – the generator should be at least 15 feet away from any doors, windows, vents, or other building openings.
You will also need to ensure that your commercial generator meets local codes, which is something a local generator specialist from Valley Power Systems can help you with. We can make sure your generator is installed in a safe location while adhering to California code regulations.
Myth 4: It’s Easy to Install Your Own Generator
The fact is, installing an industrial generator can be quite complicated for the typical business owner. As you know, proper placement is crucial, and there are certain electrical and other technical aspects involved that are best handled by a professional. To make sure the job is done correctly, you may consider hiring a certified electrician or a trained generator professional to handle the installation and make sure the system is working properly.
Myth 5: Generators Need Little Maintenance
Generators are durable, powerful machines, but they do require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. When an outage occurs, you will want a reliable power system capable of continuing your operations until the main power returns to your facility. Routine maintenance will make sure your generator works when you need it most. Generator owners should create a maintenance plan that includes:
Your generator’s manufacturer will recommend an oil change be performed at certain intervals. It’s important to stick to this schedule to ensure peak performance. Oil is responsible for lubricating the engine’s internal parts and components so that they run smoothly. However, it can degrade over time, which can impact efficiency and increase wear and tear.
A clean filter is key to keeping your engine clear of dust, dirt, and other microscopic particles that can cause major damage. Every time you change the oil, you should also inspect the filter and clean as needed. After a couple of cleanings, it might seem like you just can’t get your filter clean enough—this is when a filter replacement is necessary to ensure the maximum benefit to your generator.
Engine Run Test
If you don’t use the generator on a regular basis, it’s essential to run it regularly to check its function. During a power outage, the last thing that you will want is to find out that your standby generator has failed. Testing the generator will allow you to catch any problems early on before they progress into larger—and more expensive—repair issues.
It’s a good idea to keep your generator’s exterior clean to reduce the risk of debris entering the power system. However, never spray water directly on the unit. Exposing your generator to excessive moisture can cause severe damage to internal parts and components. Instead, use a slightly damp rag and wipe the generator clean any time you notice an accumulation of dust or dirt.
From reduced efficiency to unnecessary wear and tear, leaks can cause a host of problems for your system. Hose leaks can also cost your business hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in lost energy. When performing maintenance, be sure to look for any cracked or punctured hoses. You should also check for any strange fluids that might be around or under your generator. This can help you discover any fuel, oil, or coolant leaks before they get worse.
If your generator is experiencing leaks or any other performance issues, it’s best to have a generator professional check out the system as soon as possible. They will be able to identify the problems and provide you with a cost-effective solution.
Power Solutions California Businesses Rely On
Serving all of California, Valley Power Systems offers a wide selection of generator products from top industry manufacturers. We take pride in providing power solutions that our customers can depend on. Contact our office today to discuss your power needs with our knowledgeable staff.