A small malfunction of a major equipment such as a generator can cost a factory heavily. Getting the best out of your generators requires consistent and professional maintenance. Sometimes, a little negligence like dirty machines, also known as process drift, can translate into rust, friction and even a failed system. Here are a few things you can do to help your generators perform better and serve your business longer:
Check and Fix Leaks
A generator leak can have massive effects on performance, but more importantly, it is a safety concern. Maintaining a smooth fuel and oils system gives you reliable performance and lowers your operating costs. Leaking fuel caps can allow water vapor into the fuel tanks. When it accumulates and condenses into water, it subjects the diesel fuel to contamination. The results are oxidation and polymerization, and some microbes start growing in the fuel. Dirt, sludge, and rust build up in the system over time and accelerate engine wear. The best way to prevent leaks is performing routine maintenance. Change your fuel filters, check the fuel transfer pump, and look out for any water traps. Have a trained professional fuel your generator to avoid overfilling the base tank, the most common cause of fuel leaks.
Test Your Batteries
Standby power system failures are mostly due to weak or undercharged batteries. Charge your batteries fully and maintain them regularly to prevent dwindling power and start-up hitches. It is also important to clean the cells and check the gravity and electrolyte levels regularly. However, merely checking the output voltage of your batteries may not be enough. Use a battery load tester to confirm the overall condition of each of the batteries. Wipe out dust often and wash the terminals with a solution of sodium bicarbonate if you notice rust.
Industrial generators are designed to start automatically as soon as power cuts occur. Power is also automatically switched over as soon as the generator's output is stable. Proper lubrication protects a generator against the high load from a cold start, as well unexpected shut-downs and restart. Use a lubricant with a high cold-start performance, one that protects at high temperatures and loads, and has a high wear protection. A good lubricant has improved temperature characteristics, which means its viscosity varies less across a wide temperature range. Your generator, therefore, is excellently protected at high operating temperatures and cold starts. Proper lubrication improves efficiency and, consequently, impacts operating costs directly.
Exercise the Engine
Unless a generator regularly serves up power failures, you will need to exercise it to keep it in a fighting mode. It is standard practice to run it for automatic or manual engine starting and operating at zero loads for about half an hour. Experts recommend you do it as often as weekly if possible, but at least once a month. However, it is important to operate the generator with at least 40 percent load periodically to prevent no-load wet-sacking. Have an operator present to observe and record performance each time you exercise the engine. Watch out for abnormal sounds or vibrations, excessive exhaust smoke, irregular engine temperatures, alarms or alerts, and engine, coolant and fuel leaks.
When it comes to running an efficient factory, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. An excellent generator installation with no proper maintenance is a wasted investment. A dysfunctional generator can stall production when there are power cuts. Faulty power switch and transfer can also damage the equipment it feeds.
Contact a company like Scott's Emergency Lighting & Power Generation Inc for more information and assistance.