To ensure the reliability of your standby power generator it is vital to maintain it regularly. This wil not only optimise its performance and operating health but reduce long term costs associated with repairs and poor maintenance. ECO Power Supplies can provide specialist diesel generating set contracts with remote monitoring to ensure your standby generator is available when the mains power supply fails. Our generator engineers will carry out a series of checks as part of a preventative maintenance regime including:
- General inspection
- Servicing of lubrication
- Servicing of the cooling system
- Fuel system service
- Service and testing of starting batteries
- Regular engine exercise
- Logging of key findings
Preventative generator maintenance should be routine and carried out at regular intervals. Our specialist generator consultants will help you decide on a suitable schedule, depending upon key factors including:
- Whether the generator is operated continuously (prime power) or for standby (emergency) operations.
- Characteristics of the ambient temperature (if the generator is sited in extreme climates, such as polar or desert, for example).
- The generator’s exposure to weather, salt water, dust sand and other contaminates.
During a generator preventative maintenance visit our engineer will:
- Check the exhaust system for leaks. Check all connections, welds, gaskets and joints and ensure exhaust pipes are not causing damage to their surroundings (from excessive heat).
- Check the fuel system: supply lines, return lines, filters and fittings for cracks and abrasions. Make sure they are not rubbing against anything that could result in wear and tear.
- Check the electrical system: check terminals on starting batteries for clean and tight connections.
- Check the engine and monitor fuel levels, oil pressure and coolant temperatures frequently. Engine problems are often an early warning. Look and listen for changes in engine performance, sound or appearance.
- Check lubrication levels: Check the engine oil level when the engine is shut down. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for API oil classification and oil viscosity. Change the oil and oil filter when recommended.
- Service the cooling system: check the cooling system during shut down periods. Remove the radiator cap (after allowing the engine to cool) and add coolant if necessary. Inspect the exterior of the radiator for obstructions and remove dirt and all foreign material.
- Check the fuel system: diesel deteriorates over time, which is one reason why standby generators must be exercised intermittently to use up fuel supplies before they degrade and keep the generator in good condition. Fuel filters should also be drained as recommended by the manufacturer and any water vapour drained from the fuel tank, along with any sediment present. Charge-air piping and hosing needs to be checked for leaks, holes, cracks or loose connections. Also, check the cooler for dirt and debris. Air intake components should also be checked.
- Service and test starter batteries: even when fully charged and maintained, lead-acid starting batteries deteriorate over time and need to be replaced when they can no longer hold charge. Load testing of batteries is recommended to determine their actual condition. Batteries should also be cleaned regularly with a damp cloth, and if corrosion is present, washed with a special cleaning solution taking care not to allow any into the cells themselves. Use a battery hydrometer to check gravity of the electrolyte in each cell and check the electrolyte level, topping up if required.
- Run an engine exercise: generating sets on continuous standby are expected to go from a cold start to full operational power in a matter or seconds. Regular running keeps the engine lubricated, prevents oxidation of electrical contacts, uses up fuel before it deteriorates and helps provide reliable engine starting. It will also help to flag up any potential problems. Exercise the generator once a month for at least 30 minutes at no less than one-third of its rating capability. Running at low loads – even for short periods – is not recommended.
- Log key findings: this is often overlooked but is crucially important for documenting the life-cycle of the generator and making the practice of generator maintenance straight-forward and cost-effective.
With the above in place your generating set will give years of reliable service and power continuity.