Pros and Cons of Industrial Diesel Generators
When your facility needs a new generator, you will be faced with several options in regard to the fuel source used to run the generator. Due to their numerous benefits, many companies choose to use diesel generators. However, any business leader should know that diesel generators have drawbacks as well. Here, we will explore the pros and cons of using an industrial diesel generator so that you can make an informed decision for your company.
Pros of Diesel Generators
Diesel generators are a great choice for many industrial facilities in California. They offer the following benefits:
- Low maintenance:Diesel generators are known to require less maintenance than other types of generators available on the market. This is because the generator’s engine requires fewer components to start, so you won’t have to worry about changing spark plugs or rebuilding carburetors like you would have to with a gas engine.
- Fuel efficiency:Fuel should be an important consideration for anyone purchasing a generator. While diesel might cost slightly more than other fuel sources, these generators tend to consume less fuel than gas generators when performing the same amount of work. This means that you will have to fill up less often.
- Durability:Diesel engines are extremely tough in the workplace, so they will hold up through much wear and tear in a variety of environmental conditions.
- Safe storage:Diesel fuel is much safer to store than other types of fuel, like gasoline, which is extremely explosive and would ignite easily if it were to spill. While still flammable, diesel carries a much lower risk for igniting. It also has a longer shelf life than gasoline, so you will get a better quality fuel from your stored supply.
- Enhanced lifespan:You’ll find that diesel generators typically outlast gasoline generators. Some models are known to last three times as long as a comparable gas-powered generator. With proper maintenance, a diesel generator has the potential to work through many years of service before it will need a major overhaul.
- Continuous power supply:When you do experience a blackout, a well-maintained diesel generator can prove very reliable and keep your critical power systems running for long periods of time. This will keep downtime to a minimum so that your facility doesn’t experience significant financial losses while you’re waiting for the power to return.
- Power output:Diesel generators are capable of handling larger power loads and will run for longer durations than other types of generators available. This makes them a perfect choice for remote sites where the power grid might be unreliable.
Cons of Diesel Generators
Like any generator type, diesel generators have some disadvantages. Cons of using one include:
- Noise:This should be a consideration when selecting a generator. Diesel units can be very noisy, so they’re often placed away from work areas. Today, there are also soundproof barriers that business owners can use to reduce the sound in the workplace.
- Costs:Setting up a diesel generator can cost more on the outset than other generator types. However, since the cost of running and maintaining a diesel generator is very low, you might find it the more economical choice over time compared to a gas-powered one.
- Accessibility:You should keep in mind that fuel may not be accessible during a blackout. You don’t want to find yourself without a power source, so remember to keep a supply of diesel fuel on-hand at all times to avoid disruption to your operation.
- Emissions: One of the major drawbacks of diesel generators is that they produce carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate matter, and other dangerous exhausts that release into the atmosphere. Those concerned about environmental sustainability might find that a natural gas generator is a better option since it is a cleaner burning fuel.
- Bulk:While extremely sturdy, diesel engines are made from big and heavy components that can make repairs expensive. However, this can often be mitigated by the low maintenance requirements and fuel efficiency.
Maintaining a Diesel Generator
Maintenance is a key consideration for any generator. Manufacturers recommend following a specified maintenance schedule to keep your generator running at its peak. Usually, this is after a certain amount of service hours, but you should perform maintenance any time that you notice your generator isn’t operating as efficiently as it should. Additionally, it is a good idea to perform maintenance whenever there has been a major weather event, such as after a dust or rain storm. Exposure to dust and other airborne contaminants can greatly affect your generator’s performance, causing clogs in the filters and making your generator work harder to do the same job.
While maintenance requirements are extremely low for diesel generators, there are some tasks that you or another professional will need to perform periodically. These include:
- A general inspection of all components
- Draining and changing the coolant, oil, and fuel
- Cleaning or replacing filters
- Testing the generator battery
- Running the engine to test operation
Regular maintenance will help maximize the investment that you’ve made in your diesel generator. As long as you keep up with your maintenance tasks and attend to any repairs promptly, you can expect your generator to see you through many years of service. It’s recommended to set up a preventative maintenance plan in advance to ensure checks aren’t missed. Be sure to keep a log of these inspections so that you can refer to it if necessary.
Should I Choose a Diesel Generator?
Whether or not you should use a diesel generator will depend on your company’s needs. Diesel generators are often used in industrial sectors due to their high efficiency and ability to produce a massive amount of power. With their low maintenance, fuel efficiency, and durability, you might find that the benefits outweigh the cons of using a diesel generator for your facility.
Valley Power Systems is your source for everything power in California. We can help you design the right power solution for your business. Call us today to speak to a member of our knowledgeable team.