Diesel generator sets – used for either prime or backup (emergency) power – must be regularly maintained to ensure they provide quality power throughout their service life. Companies/individuals who either use generators for prime power or back up, may establish maintenance contracts with generator dealers to maintain their gensets. The life-cycle of power generators is well established and documented making routine maintenance fairly straight forward. Best generator maintenance practice is following the maintenance schedule provided by the manufacturer of the generator.
The long outstanding use of generators over time has provided the necessary knowledge to predict when certain components will fail or be in need of service. A fairly reliable maintenance schedule can usually be acquired from the manufacturer and can be employed by a local generator dealer with experience in power generation. Adhering to this schedule will ensure maximum service time for the generator and proper operation when it is called upon to provide power.
The main responsibilities of the maintenance contractors would be to inspect systems, study the technical data provided by the manufacturers, maintain records and take precautionary measures for safety as suggested by the manufacturers.
Some of the steps taken to ensure smooth generator operation while carrying out scheduled maintenance include:
- Timely removal of worn out parts or upgrading the components
- Checking fluid levels
- Battery inspection and cleaning of connections
- Verifying control panel readings and indicators
- Changing fuel and air filters
Small investments made in replacing components and maintaining generators on a regular basis can save expensive and unnecessary upgrades or even replacement of the entire genset in the future.
When performing routine maintenance, each action taken should be logged, and the readings and various parameters are recorded along with the date of inspection and hour meter reading of the generator. These set of readings are compared with the next set of data collected. Any absurd variation of readings indicates faulty performance of the unit.
Other factors to be checked periodically are starting and timing relays, start signal continuity, and utility phase sensing.
Preventative maintenance thus ensures that you get uninterrupted power supply for all your needs. You are assured of service on priority basis in case of dire emergency and discounted service rate for additional support or work. Once a business enters into such contracts, the facility can relax on this aspect as the maintenance provider keeps track of when the next servicing is due and makes the visits in regular intervals. They ensure that the products purchased through them receive consistent and reliable service.