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While powering the electrical appliances in a ship and propelling it forward is certainly possible with the aid of one diesel generator of the appropriate kilowatts, it will be foolhardy to not share the load between 2 or more generators. Just last week, on the 30th of July to be more precise, Aviation Week reported the breakdown of a ship service diesel generator (SSDG) in the ‘USS Freedom’.
The problems identified were primarily with the coolant. The cooler had somehow been damaged, and so was the piping affixed for the coolant flow inappropriate. The fixes for the same were not in place and the crew had to call upon the services of the vendor. Thankfully, the ship housed three more generators.
Now, if the ship had just one, or considering the ship’s size, two generators, this apparently small dilemma would have balled up into a major crisis. Regardless of the political problems of the country adversely affecting the combat ship, generators are manufactured by humans. And like humans, there are bound to be faults with the generator as well. Not deliberate mistakes, but faults that showcase the human limitations.
We, as customers, need to overcome these maladies in order to ensure a desirable output. If the entire load of powering a ship is put on a single generator, the chances of the device breaking down are higher. Distribution of the load between 2 generators will result in a smooth sail. And in cases of an inadvertent disruption, it is better to be equipped with three diesel generators.
While the present situation of the ‘USS Freedom’ may be unknown, the navy officers state that the two fixes, and some more, will be incorporated in the follow ships of that variant.
Given the untimely death of Douglas Okello last week, more information on which can be found here (hyperlink to the other article), the safety precautions while handling a generator were bound to follow. So, without further ado, here are the most common ones. • Double-check the exhaust system: The exhaust fumes from a generator are highly noxious. The major compound found in these fumes is carbon monoxide. The modern diesel generators don’t wish to be responsible for the death of another human now. Ask the installation guy to recheck the exhaust system before switching it on. Also, you need to check it before every use.
• Keep a fire-extinguisher within arm’s reach: There is a negligible risk of fire with a diesel generator, but if you own a gas generator, a fire-extinguisher is a must in the vicinity. However, take heed that the extinguisher does not operate on carbon tetrachloride, else you might burn the insulation to ashes. It is always better to prevent the occurrence of fire by keeping flammable devices away from the generator.
• Check the insulation regularly: Dismantle the canopy at least once every month in order to check the insulation. This is necessary, especially if the generator is regularly subjected to extreme temperature conditions. Check the grounding too at regular intervals. Also, the cords and cables need to be of the recommended capacity.
Regardless the use to which the generator is put, a thorough maintenance should be carried out at least once a year. The maintenance should involve everything, ranging from cleaning the cooling system and checking for leakages, right down to analyzing the output and readjusting the wires. Ideally, the generator needs to be serviced every six months.
Diesel is an ancestral liquid which realized its place in the human world in the late 19th century. Since then, this non-renewable fuel is being utilized for accomplishing a number of tasks. However, most folks become apprehensive while purchasing any diesel-powered product even today. Here, I have debunked three of the most common myths surrounding the diesel generator.
- The loud noise of the diesel generator invites the neighbor’s remonstrance: Some years back, diesel generators used to be considered the agents of headaches among the neighborhood citizens. But recent advancements in technology have reduced the noise to a considerable extent, so much so that even the torchbearers would hardly hear a sound.
Primarily, noise originates from five parts of the generator – the engine, the cooling fan, the alternator, the induction noise, and the engine exhaust. Such unwanted noise can be contained by installing acoustic barriers, sound insulators, isolation mounts, attenuators, and exhaust silencers.
- Diesel generators are the bulkiest of the lot: This ceased to exist as a fact a few years back as well. These days, diesel generators come in various sizes. However, the fact remains that the bigger the size of the generator, the better is its build quality. It is not that the manufacturers are lax when forging a compact generator; it’s just that human limitations prevent them from attaining a commendable mastery. Additionally, the power of the generator is proportional to its size. So this argument transfigures into a baseless myth.
- Gas generators are cheaper than diesel-powered ones: Admittedly, the upfront cost of a diesel generator is higher than the gas one. However, with the absence of spark plugs, wires, carburetors, and other subtleties, the diesel generator holds a distinct edge over the gas generator. As the years pass, the maintenance and other charges of the gas generator will start to accumulate, eventually outstripping the initial as well as the maintenance costs of its diesel-powered counterpart.
Many other diesel-related facts have been banished by the ever-developing technology, which has enabled this underrated fuel resource to compete against the top contenders in the trade. And it will continue to cherish this deserved position for a few more decades to come.
While analyzing the differences between two kinds of generators, experts and most amateurs will know that we are figuring out the efficiency of the engines. The prime, and almost the only materialistic, difference between any two classes of generators is the power source. Admittedly, both the gas and diesel powered generators boast of their own array of pros and cons. However, we are concerned with the commercial propriety of these generators. And diesel generators pip their gas counterparts by a huge margin. Let us take a look at the advantages.
- Fuel efficiency reigns supreme for any business: When you start up a business, you are constantly on the lookout for solutions that will render profit; and not just a monetary benefit. We are talking about a solution that will benefit your entire business. Agreed, diesel is more expensive than gas. But a certain volume diesel produces more work out of a machine than that produced by the same volume of gas. Though the upfront cost involved in purchasing a diesel generator is relatively high, the fuel efficiency is bound to make up for it in the long-term. Additionally, with the absence of wires and spark plugs, the maintenance costs accrued will be comparatively negligible.
- In safety precautions, lies the health of a company: Diesel is one of the least flammable of all the power sources available out there. In contrast, gas is one of the highly flammable ones. Most business firms are dependent on fire for initiating certain tasks. If your business falls in this category, then it is highly recommended to stay away from gas generators, unless you want to blow yourself up. Diesel generators also prove to be advantageous for residential purposes.
- Diesel generators ensure a steady flow of current: Imagine that your organization has struck up a huge deal with a world-famous client. You are in the process of developing the requirements of the client in a cramped time-frame, and the power goes out. If the products themselves are time-bound, you might incur huge losses; not to mention the rage, and the eventual withdrawal, of the client. A hospital is another establishment where even a second’s unavailability of electricity may smash the barrier between life and death. Diesel generators eliminate these risks to a considerable degree, unlike the gas-powered ones.
- Reduce your carbon footprint, protect the environment: Global warming is looming on the horizon, and it needs to be tackled at this very moment. Admittedly, most power generators out there contribute in polluting the environment to a certain degree. But did you know that gas-powered generators produce much more carbon dioxide than diesel-powered ones? Your carbon footprint will shoot up exponentially with the aid of gas generators. Additionally, extensive research indicates that natural gas is scarcer than diesel.
There are certain diesel engine related myths that recent developments in technology have busted. For instance, the fact that diesel generators are the major source of noise pollution is history. The modern generation of diesel generators produces hardly any sound, unless you venture too close to one. Thus, it would help your commercial neighborhood retain its prized peace.
Before we get talking, here is an important question that you need to ask yourself – Do you prefer spending money all throughout a diesel engine’s lifetime? Obviously, the answer to that will be a resounding “NO!”, isn’t it? Going forward with a diesel engine may look expensive in the beginning but you will definitely reap the benefits in the longer run with less maintenance and operation cost.
Other than, of course, the way you handle the machine, there are some essential points that make your purchase, a worthwhile experience. In this article, we let you know about the benefits of diesel generators over conventional machines:
Affordable running cost
Looking forward to a 28-30% cheaper way of getting power from your gensets? Well, you need diesel gensets for the purpose. There are a number of companies which have created gensets are far more efficient in ensuring that you get optimum power per liter of diesel. Company owners from all over the world are rapidly switching over to diesel gensets owing to this particular advantage.
Another important point that many forget to point out is the lubrication cost. Everytime you carry out the lubrication, you will be saving several bucks at least.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small company or a large factory, you will definitely find a genset worth taking away from the shop. Diesel generator sets are available in a wide range, starting from just 15kW to 2000kW! You will definitely find the right one for your organization.
Diesel generators don’t employ spark plugs and hence are considerably secured than conventional gensets. Diesel gensets can be quickly cooled down, depending upon the engine-type – air/water-cooled. Thus, the chances of fire are drastically reduced.
Older diesel gensets produced too much noise which made them unwelcome in office space. However, latest developments have ensured that these diesel gensets are quite in a way to allow peaceful environment for work to take place.
There are a few points that you need to focus on.
Diesel generators cannot work properly without regular servicing. If you keep delaying the servicing date, then you may have to incur more expense.
Find the right distributor who has a good servicing capability. There are a number of companies which manufacture diesel gensets and pricing is quite competitive. Hence, take a judicious decision!