Summer 2023: How to Improve Your Generator’s Efficiency
Summer is here, which means increased energy costs for businesses all throughout California. This is a great time of year to consider how you can improve the efficiency of your generator power system. At Valley Power Systems, we know that taking the proper steps will not only help your unit operate more efficiently, but it will also save you on energy expenses and maximize the lifespan of your generator. Here are our best tips for improving the efficiency of your power system just in time for the scorching summer months ahead.
Maintain Clean Air Filters
Dirty air filters are a top contributor to reduced efficiency for generator power systems. Your filters are designed to trap dust, dirt, and other debris to keep these particles from damaging the engine. However, a dirty filter will limit airflow and increase the unit’s overall energy consumption as it must work harder to perform its job. Cleaning and replacing filters regularly will help keep your power system running as efficiently as possible. At Valley Power Systems, we recommend checking your filters at least once a month for cleanliness and then changing them out as needed.
Keep the Surrounding Area Clear
During its normal operation, your generator naturally intakes the surrounding air. For optimal performance, you will want to make sure that the area surrounding the unit is clear of any vegetation, dust, dirt, and debris. Too much of these can clog up the filter quickly and adversely impact the system’s airflow. The engine will be subjected to increased wear and tear, thereby reducing its efficiency. You can protect your generator power system by performing a weekly inspection of the area and removing anything that could impede its air circulation. You should also inspect the area more often if your location experiences a major weather event, such as heavy wind or rain.
Get Regular Oil Changes
Oil changes are your power system’s best defense against a loss of efficiency. Oil can degrade over time, and old oil just won’t be as effective as fresh oil. Continuing to use old oil will increase the friction between the moving parts of your engine, causing even more wear and tear. This can greatly reduce the expected lifespan of the engine. At Valley Power Systems, we recommend having the oil changed by a professional technician at regular intervals—such as every three months or after a certain number of service hours. The exact schedule will depend on how often you utilize the generator, the type of system, the age of the unit, and the environment it is used in. Our knowledgeable staff can customize a maintenance schedule that works for your needs and budget.
Replace Worn Parts
Worn-out parts and components can have a negative impact on your generator’s efficiency. They don’t always work as well as new ones, so your engine must overcompensate to do its normal job. This can cause it to wear down faster than expected. Additionally, the parts could ultimately fail, leading to a sudden breakdown at your facility. You should have a generator specialist inspect the unit on a regular schedule to make certain that all parts and components are in peak condition. This will ensure that you have a properly functioning unit that you can rely on should you experience a power failure and require an immediate backup energy source.
Avoid Overloading or Under-loading the Unit
Generators are designed to handle only so much power. Overloading the power system frequently demands more power and ultimately results in higher energy consumption for your business. It also makes the unit far less efficient as it is forced to work harder than usual and utilize even more fuel to run. This is why it is extremely important to choose a generator that is the right size for your power requirements. If your existing unit is struggling to keep up, our professionals at Valley Power Systems can help match you with a system that better meets your energy needs.
Under-loading your generator can also negatively impact overall efficiency. If you continually use the system far below its rated capacity, it will struggle to reach its optimal operating temperature. The generator will consume more fuel and energy to work than it normally would within normal capacity. This will lead to increased wear and tear as the engine strains to keep up. This can also result in what is known as wet stacking, or a buildup of unburned fuel and carbon particles in the exhaust system. Wet stacking makes the system much less efficient and, if it’s not addressed promptly, it will ultimately lower the generator’s lifespan. You will be seeking a generator replacement much sooner than expected.
If you are not sure how much power your system should be handling, our experts at Valley Power Systems can advise you. We have knowledge of all types of power systems, and we are ready to provide you with informed recommendations to keep your system up and running efficiently.
Save on Energy Costs With Off-Peak Hours
If you rely on your generator regularly, you should be a little more conscious of when you use it during the summer months when the energy costs will be much higher. PG&E, California’s largest power company, offers Time-of-Use rate plans designed to save you money. For example, you can reap the most benefit by using less energy during the hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday. These are the peak hours when the power demand is highest, so energy prices increase for users. By shifting your generator usage to off-peak hours, or when energy prices and demand are lower, you will save money on your overall utility costs. This is a great tip for not only your generator but all your electrical systems. Other rate plans are available, so you should speak to your local power provider to see how you can maximize your savings.
Is It Time for a Generator Replacement?
As your power system ages, it will naturally become less efficient and experience more frequent breakdowns. Repair costs can add up quickly, and it can be more challenging to find parts for older units, which further increases your costs. At this point, you might be considering upgrading your current generator. While replacement can be a significant investment at the outset, you will ultimately save money in the long run by not having to pay for repairs as often.
Are you ready to explore your generator options? The team at Valley Power Systems is extremely knowledgeable on the different types of power systems available on the market. We will be happy to answer your questions and help you choose the right product to meet your needs.
Offering Superior Power Solutions
At Valley Power Systems, we are proud to offer a wide range of industrial and commercial power solutions for our customers throughout the state of California. Whether you are in need of a portable generator, a permanent unit, or a rental, we’ve got you covered. We offer top power products from manufacturers you know and trust, and you can rely on our expert technicians for all your generator installation, repair, and maintenance needs.
For more tips on how to enhance the efficiency of your power system, give us a call today!