Generators are essential pieces of equipment in industrial facilities. These units provide consistent power during widespread outages, disasters, and an otherwise lacking electrical grid. While generators are necessary only on rare occasions, those instances are vital for continuous operations.
Generators are also used in off-grid situations, such as camping or boating. In these cases, a generator can be used to power essential items, like lights or refrigerators.
When a generator doesn’t function as it should and when needed, this could signal failing components within the unit. To ensure it remains in pristine working condition, here’s a brief guide to maintaining your commercial-grade generator with included focus areas.
1. Filter Inspection
Filters accumulate dirt and grime over time, affecting your generator’s engine. However, regularly inspecting filters and changing components out when dirty allows the engine to breathe and steer clear of harmful elements that may impact the unit’s function.
2. Oil Change
Oil ensures that the generator’s engine maintains lubrication and cleanliness while facilitating overall efficiency. When oil deteriorates, it may lose effectiveness and wear on the machine. Remember to include routine oil changes in your maintenance checklist.
3. Fuel-Level Check
Fuel is the most vital factor in a generator’s function; your unit won’t turn on without it. The bottom of a fuel tank will often collect extra water and sediment that may contribute to faster clogging and engine damage.
Remember to filter your fuel tank to keep debris from traveling into the central system. You also want to remember to avoid overfilling the fuel tank so that fluid doesn’t spill into the engine.
4. Cooling System Assessment
The cooling system within your generator will help regulate the unit’s temperature to prevent it from overheating. You’ll want to assess coolant levels and refill as needed—flush cooling systems to maintain coolant quality and keep generators operating at their best.
5. Belt Inspection
Belts that run engine components may wear over time, causing warps and cracks in alternators and fans. These defects can also cause squealing sounds, signaling the need for part replacement.
7. Part Replacement
Corroded connections, cracked belts, and hoses typically require swift replacement. Consider repairing or replacing defective parts to avoid losing efficiency and promoting excessive wear and tear within the generator.
8. Battery Check
A commercial generator should have a fully functioning battery strong enough to supply power during an outage. Inspect battery connections, and tighten loose screws and cables to prevent battery failure.
9. Examine Alternators and Transfer Switches
Luckily, efficiently running alternators don’t need an in-depth assessment; you can visually inspect the components for damage. Regarding transfer switches, you’ll want to schedule an outage outside of your business’s operation hours.
10. Keep Surrounding Areas Clean
Maintaining your generator stretches beyond the physical unit and may involve keeping surrounding areas clean and debris-free. You’ll want to regularly remove leaves, dirt, branches, and grime from machinery to make it easier to notice leaks negatively impacting the generator’s operation.
11. Prioritize Test Runs
Fortunately, most generators feature test cycles as part of their regular schedule. Test runs are beneficial to maintain system lubrication, remove moisture, and recharge the battery.
In addition to choosing the right industrial generator for your business, you want to ensure it remains functional. Maintaining your commercial-grade generator can maximize its usable life span and reliable operation. Preventive maintenance can also help your business avoid financial losses during an outage.
The Importance of Generator Maintenance
This cannot be understated—regular tune-ups help businesses keep the power running smoothly and prevent costly repairs. However, you don’t need to be a certified mechanic to understand the basics of generator maintenance. By familiarizing yourself with common tips, you can take the necessary steps to keep your equipment running efficiently for years to come.
As with any mechanical system, a generator will require occasional check-ups to ensure all parts are working as they should. By dedicating time to regularly inspecting and maintaining your generator, you can avoid issues that would otherwise lead to an unexpected outage. No outages will lead to the development and growth of your company.
Types of Industrial Generators
There are several types of industrial generators and large commercial generators available on the market, each with its own unique set of features. The type of generator you ultimately choose will depend on your specific business needs. For example, if you require a backup power source for your office in case of an emergency, you’ll need a different type of generator than if you’re looking for a way to power your construction site.
Here are some common types of industrial generators:
These are typically used as backup power sources in case of an emergency. Standby generators are usually powered by natural gas or propane, and they automatically turn on when the power goes out.
As the name suggests, portable generators are designed to be easily moved from one location to another. They’re typically powered by gasoline, and they’re a good choice for construction sites or other outdoor applications.
Inverter generators are designed to provide clean power for sensitive electronic equipment. They’re also relatively quiet, making them a good choice for camping or tailgating.
What to Look for When Buying an Industrial Generator
There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when shopping for an industrial generator. First, consider the types of power you’ll need to generate. For example, if you’re looking for a backup power source for your office, you’ll need a generator that can handle the electrical load of your office equipment.
You’ll also want to consider the fuel source for the generator. Gasoline generators are typically less expensive than diesel generators, but they require more maintenance and they’re not as efficient. Diesel generators, on the other hand, are more expensive upfront but they’re more fuel-efficient and they require less maintenance.
Finally, you’ll want to think about the size of the generator. You’ll need to make sure it’s big enough to handle your power needs, but not so large that it’s difficult to move or store.
How to Maintain an Industrial Generator
There are a few things you can do to keep your industrial generator in good working condition. First, make sure you regularly inspect all of the parts for wear and tear. This includes the engine, the alternator, the fuel system, and the electrical system.
If you notice any issues, make sure to have them repaired as soon as possible. Ignoring small problems can lead to big problems down the road.
You should also regularly perform maintenance tasks like changing the oil and filters, checking the coolant level, and tightening all of the bolts. These simple tasks can help keep your generator running smoothly for years to come.
Maintaining your industrial generator is essential for keeping it running properly. By familiarizing yourself with common maintenance tasks and knowing what to look for when shopping for a new generator, you can keep your business up and running during an outage.