The importance of Standby Generator Maintenance

Protected by Copyscape Unique Content Check
Published: 03rd December 2010
Views: N/A

The usual mode for a standby generator is ‘idle’ however it must be able to immediately start up if the mains power fails. It is imperative therefore that an appropriate maintenance regime is implemented that includes scheduled testing, inspection, repair, emergency call out and spares holding support.
The purpose of a standby generator is to anticipate a power cut and be able to supply the required power output. An Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) system can deal with short term power cuts but anything that exceeds the UPS battery’s ability will not be supported as it is deemed a critical load. The standby generator must always be able to respond when needed to deliver power protection to ensure power continues during a power cut.
Although a sturdy and robust item, generators do incur wear and tear and can sometimes fail. This failure must be found when the generator is required, such as during a power cut, by implemented a maintenance regime tailored to the specific generator and its applications. This regime should include maintenance visits, call outs and spare parts.
A key thing that should be monitored is that the generator’s engine coolant heaters are warming the engine block and that the mains trickle charger is keeping the starter battery charged. The automated mains failure (AMF) is what signals the generator to start and should also be regularly checked, ensuring power is supplied to the critical load within 2-10 seconds.
The cooling system incorporates a fan, water pump and radiator that should all be checked for leaks and general wear. The fuel systems components should be checked along with the lubrication oil system, the starting system and the generator mechanics. Generators have fluids that regularly need to be replenished or changed.
Maintenance visits ensure technicians can inspect and test units and replace or replenish the required items. They can also, if agreed, simulate a power cut to test the power protection systems response. Visits such as these are scheduled into a maintenance contract that includes call out cover, whereby client’s needs are matched to response times during a power cut. There is also remote 24/7 generator monitoring that enables messages to be sent to the maintenance providers service centre about alarms and faults.
Recent announcements indicate that there could be more frequent, extended power cuts across the UK from as early as 2012. Therefore it is extremely important to implement a form of power protection, above the UPS battery’s ability, to protect critical loads. It is also key to ensure all UPSs are working on a frequent basis and that dead ups batteries are substituted with an ups replacement battery.

This article is copyright

Report this article Ask About This Article

More to Explore