Can you low load a diesel generator?
The engines that are used in diesel generators are designed to use as much power as possible, from 30% up to 100% of the declared maximum power available.
The actual engine load depends on the demands of the installation, how much power is being drawn from the diesel generator. The engine itself and the other components are designed to operate at aa high load or power rather than at a low power level.
Consequences Of Operating Uninterruptedly In Low Load Mode
Operating continuously in low power load mode will lead to higher oil consumption and consequently will manifestly more carbonised oil or oil residue in the engine, suction and exhaust system.
The emergence and persistence of residue has a negative impact on the life span of the engine, as well as it’s functional behaviour. As a result, maintenance tasks, and associated costs, tend to increase with units run primarily in lower power load mode.
Due to the low fuel temperature, the percentage of unburned fuel in the oil increases. These problems are due to the fact that the piston rings, the piston itself and the cylinder do not dilate enough to ensure a good seal. This results in the oil rising from the sump into the combustion chamber and is expelled through the exhaust valves. This means that the diesel oil passes (slowly) into the exhaust system and can damage components there.
To avoid any incident and ensure the correct use of the generator set, avoid operating it uninterruptedly in low load mode, or that you reduce such usage to the bare minimum of time. More specifically, the use of generator sets in low load conditions for more than 15 minutes should be avoided.
During the weekly operation tests, the no-load operating time should be limited to a maximum of 15 minutes, until the battery charge values have returned to normal.
The generator sets should be operated once a year for several hours at full load to clean the engine, in other words, to eliminate the carbonised oil deposits in the engine and exhaust system. This may require a load bank. The load should be increased during the course of the four hours of the operation, from zero to full load.
If the failures mentioned above appear, along with long-term use of the generator with little energy load, operate the power generator at full load, if possible using a Resistive Load Bank before replacing any component.
UPS Systems have been supplying backup power solutions for over 25 years and can propose a solution regardless of the size of your requirement. If you have any questions or queries, please contact us. We can supply small UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) to support a home office, to a larger UPS to keep the central server running or a diesel generator to manufacturing equipment. We can also offer UPS maintenance.
UPS Systems plc supply a wide range of uninterruptible power supplies including those from Riello UPS and Eaton UPS as well as the UPS battery packs designed to go with them. UPS Systems plc also offers various diesel generators and industrial generators including 60kva generator, 80kva generator and 100kva generator from a wide range of manufacturers including AKSA generator, SDMO generator and Pramac generator.