Emergency standby generators play very crucial roles in that they provide backup power in moments of power outages. They are however vulnerable to several misfortunes which ought to be responded to in the timely and appropriate manner in case their reliability is to be guaranteed in the long run.
In the discussions that follow, you will get to know of the potential problems that emergency standby generators may encounter and how to mitigate them.
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS OF EMERGENCY STANDBY GENERATORS
The functioning and performance of generators may be affected by several factors that include the following:
- With time, as generators age, weaknesses are naturally bound to arise. These weaknesses are mainly caused by the common elements of wear and tear and have the consequences of compromising the functioning of the generators.
- Negative Externalities
- Negative externalities like weather and pests can also affect the efficiency of generators negatively.
- Wet stacking is a phenomenon that occurs whenever generators do not hit the design temperatures and thus do not burn out all the fuel. This allows Carbon and unburned fuel to accumulate in the exhaust systems which in turn degrades the performance of the system by not allowing it to perform as intended.
- Faculty Designs
- Some generators are designed with some redundancy on the load for the sake of future expansion. This means they are naturally inadequately charged to prevent wet stacking.
Generator load evaluations should be carried out in the generator from time to time to identify and mitigate these problems. This may take various forms such as using of building load, monitoring the generator exercise regularly to ensure that it starts and runs as programmed, and the
use of a portable load bank.
Importance of Generator Load Tests
Testing generators, just like every other piece of an electrical appliance is a very significant undertaking. The following are some of the main reasons why this is so:
Ensure Reliable Performance
Testing the generator under load ensures that it performs as designed and when it is needed most. That is because generator load tests allow for the verification of the generator system to ensure that it produces and maintains full load without either overheating or shutting down.
Ascertain the State of the Various Components
Through this test, it is possible to ascertain the various components of the generator system to ascertain that they all worked interdependently as designed and intended to achieve a common goal. It also allows for the detection and identification of potential weaknesses in controlled conditions.
Enables Proactive Maintenance
It allows for proactive maintenance i.e. helps in the identification of any potential weaknesses beforehand in controlled conditions, unlike in moments of utility outage when weaknesses may cause a complete failure of the system.
PS: As a general rule, it is recommended that all diesel engines be load-tested using a portable generator load bank for at least two hours annually. In case the engine has not been tested for at least a year, then longer tests may be needed. This annual test reduces the side effects of wet-stacking on a generator system.
CALL FOR ACTION
To mitigate the afore-listed potential problems, provide the highest comfort levels possible, and to ensure that the system operates as desired, a well-planned maintenance problem is the only way out. Such a program should ideally include regular load-test.
The tasks of designing and implementing a properly planned maintenance program for a standby generator system is best delegated to a qualified power company. We, the Fox Fab Generator Power Systems, can help in accomplishing the task effectively.
Our team of factory-trained technicians has the wherewithal to design and implement such a program. They will also ensure that the plan is carried out professionally and that any issues that may arise are brought to your attention timely to ensure that you are adequately prepared for any future interruptions in utility power supply.
Why You Should Invest In Generator Load Bank Testing Equipment
The benefits of this are very obvious for any generator installation and have been documented and researched for many years.
- Backup validation without risking critical building loads
- Generator performing to engineered specifications
- Allows easy documentation of generator tests to monitor trends
- Allows for Infrared test to ensure sound installation throughout facility
- Eliminates wet stacking and problems related to the generator
- Allows preventative maintenance program on all components
- Easy generator commissioning or adjustments
The list of benefits from generator load bank testing continues to grow as more research is performed.
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