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What Are The Dos and Don’ts of Operating Diesel Generators?

By Kravelv @kravelv

A power outage can be a disastrous thing for any industrial facility. It often happens unexpectedly and mostly at the worst possible time. However, most power outages are temporary, but when a power outage at an industry occurs, it can lead to catastrophic consequences, even if it is for a short time. Nowadays, there is an increase in power outages around the globe due to the increasing number of factories that demand more electricity to run its operations. Also, mother nature plays a huge part in power failures. A study states that there has been an increase in the number of weather-related accidents during the last 40 years. These incidents can power failures that cannot be predicted or controlled.

What Are The Dos and Don’ts of Operating Diesel Generators?

Due to this reason, factories and industries around the world are using diesel generators to produce their emergency power to avoid halts in their industrial operations. But, having a diesel generator is not the only thing you need to do to avoid being affected by a power outage. But, having a generator and running it is not enough. A diesel generator requires a lot of maintenance to ensure it operates efficiently. If you need to know about the dos and don’ts of running a diesel generator, then this article will be helpful for you. This piece of our extractions will share with you some crucial points of operating a diesel generator to ensure it functions when needed. They are listed as follows;

The Dos

Establish a maintenance schedule

It might seem very obvious, but coming up with a generator maintenance plan is crucial to ensure its reliability. An effective maintenance plan assures that your diesel generator is always ready to provide your factory with emergency power when needed. It also guarantees that your diesel generator will operate efficiently and will not cause health hazards to your factory crew. A generator maintenance plan usually involves a timely oil change, an inspection of its electrical systems, testing battery health, servicing the fuel system, and many other tasks.

For example, if your generator is in a space inside your factory where the environmental temperatures are extreme, and there appears to be a lot of moisture in the air, Your diesel generator will require frequent maintenance and inspections. If a factory wants to maintain its generator accurately, they should contact their gen-set provider to ask for support with a regular diesel generator maintenance program. Your generator distributor can provide you with more information about what the requirements are when operating a diesel generator.

Train personnel periodically

After putting in place a regular diesel generator maintenance plan, the next thing to do would be to conduct this maintenance with the help of only trained service technicians. For factories that have on-site service techs, there is no need for operator training. However, for factories that have inexperienced and untrained technicians, there may be a chance they might overlook incremental failures, leading to an overall generator failure.

With the introduction of a generator operator training program, you can educate your generator operators about its power system components, emergency procedures, and operation and maintenance procedures. When conducting an operator training program, give special attention to the generator’s subsystems, which include fuel storage, batteries, cooling systems, and exhaust gas outlet, or the generator’s enclosure.

Test the generator under all conditions

If you are smart, then you will test the diesel generator under a full factory load at least once a year to ensure if it is operating efficiently. You have to check whether the generator will be able to handle the factory’s electrical load when all the equipment is operational. You should also conduct tests on the transfer switch and the switchgear of the diesel generator.

A common way to check a diesel generator’s load handling capabilities is through resistive load bank testing. Through resistive load bank testing, you will be able to identify any issues with the generator that would lead to it overheating and completely shutting down. Resistive load bank testing usually takes 8 hours. Regular load testing and monitoring will allow you to know whether your generator can handle your factory’s load in case of a power outage.

The Don’ts

Don’t ignore fuel storage

Standby diesel generators are prone to fuel contamination as fuel can sit idle and remain unused inside its fuel tank for a long time. If this fuel is left untreated, it will become contaminated and degrade substantially. Don’t let fuel sit idle inside a generator for more than two weeks.  A good idea would be to purge the fuel system and replenish it with fresh diesel every once in a while. It will ensure that your diesel generator will not cause problems when started when you have a power outage emergency.

Usually, diesel fuel starts to degrade when it sits idle for more than six months, and after two years, it becomes useless. Additives and fuel supplements help remove contaminants, which can degrade fuel and cause damage to your generator.

Don’t forget about the battery health

 A big don’t when it comes to operating a diesel is to forget about its battery. Avoiding battery maintenance can cause your diesel generator to decrease its efficiency by almost fifty percent. A startup battery is the primary source of power for your diesel generator. You won’t be able to start your generator with a weak battery now, would you?

Whenever you run maintenance on your generator, make sure you get it done by a trained technician who knows how to carry out battery capacity tests. A battery tester puts a load of five percent of the battery’s overall capacity on it, to ensure whether it can handle it. It is the perfect instrument to check your battery’s health. If your diesel generator’s battery shows no signs of life, a good idea would be to replace it with a new one.

Final Words

Buying a diesel generator is one thing, but operating and maintaining it is another. Any factory owner can splurge the cash to buy an expensive generator, but he needs to have employees that know you to operate and maintain it regularly. Also, a diesel generator demands more frequent service than propane or petrol generators. If done correctly, it will provide your factory with the power it needs during a power outage emergency. Today, we have shared with you some dos and don’ts of operating a diesel generator. So, it is a good idea that you consider them if you want your generator to last a long time.


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