When you install a UPS or standby generator system you are putting in place a device that will need maintenance if it is to be relied upon. Preventative maintenance is all about look after key areas of your critical power device and especially consumable items like batteries in the UPS or the fuel (and starter battery) in a standby power generator.
Few people realise the need to look after the fuel put into a generator, especially when it is diesel. Diesel is a fuel that deteriorates, and rather quickly. The rise in usage of diesel cars has led to a false sense of security with this fuel source. With a car, the vehicle is used on a regular basis and the diesel fuel is of a different type. In a standby power generator the diesel may only be used occasionally (monthly tests) or called on when the actual mains power fails. The fuel can be left inside a fuel tank or external tank and fuel pumping system for weeks or months. If there are no pre-planned ‘simulated’ mains power failures or actual breaks in power, the fuel is left to lie there static and unstirred. This can lead to further damage.
The first issue that can arise is literally damp within the fuel tank leading to water moisture mixing with the fuel. The components within a generator and its engine block are machined to very fine tolerances and the diesel fuel itself acts as a lubricant. Water contaminated fuel is less capable of lubrication and can lead to wear and tear spots inside the engine. The temperatures inside the engine and injector points will also vaporise any moisture content leading to steam and explosive damage. Finally, diesel left lying in a tank can become infested with microbes. Known as ‘diesel bug’ this a form of pollution that will degrade combustion performance, produce a ‘bio-mass’ in the fuel that could hinder filter operation and lead to a potential acid erosion inside the fuel tank.
So, the best way to prevent problems occurring is through an annual or bi-annual preventative maintenance visit that includes fuel polishing/cleaning. With the importance of diesel generated standby power increasing thanks to a worsening UK electrical grid, we are seeing a general increase in requests for generator service. At EcoPowerSupplies this type of service visit can be requested as a pure service or included within a general maintenance contract to make sure the critical power standby generators we supply are always ready for action. We also provide combined UPS and generator maintenance contracts so that you can rest assured that all your critical power systems are covered by the same company with one, single point of contact.