Category: Blog
Date: August 6, 2021

A construction of a diesel generator is relatively simple. It is a combination of a diesel engine and an electric power generator which is often an alternator. Its internal combustion engine is designed to run on fuel oil, or natural gas. To ensure that you get the desired level of power from your machine, then you need to focus two aspects. You would first need to get a good diesel generator. At Al-Bahar, we have a wide range of Caterpillar diesel generators in UAE. To check out our range of generators, click here.

Now, it is a widely known fact that diesel generators require much less maintenance as they are much more durable & reliable. At the same time, they are cheaper to operate as the cost of diesel is significantly less than gasoline or even natural gas.

The second aspect for getting the desired level of performance is to maintain the generator in the right way. It would be a smart idea to commit to a preventive maintenance plan. To check out our plan for diesel generator maintenance, click here.

Apart from committing to a maintenance program, you also need to carry out a different tasks on a daily basis. Not only will this guarantee uninterrupted power supply, but it will also prolong the life of the machine. Here are some of the things that you should carry out. 

Testing Batteries

Weak or undercharged starting batteries are often a common cause of generator starting issues. The battery should be fully charged and well-maintained to avoid any such issues. 

  • Testing the batteries in the Right Way: Just checking the output voltage of the batteries is not going to be enough to determine the ability to deliver adequate starting power. As your battery will age, the internal resistance to current flow will go up. Hence, the only accurate measure of terminal voltage must be done under load. 
  • Cleaning the batteries: If you see any signs of corrosion around the terminals, you will need to remove the battery cables and wash the terminals with a solution of about 100 grams of baking soda and about 950 ml of water. You should avoid the solution from entering into the battery cells. When finished, flush out the batteries with clean water. While replacing the connections, it is recommended that you coat the terminals with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. 
  • Checking the specific gravity: In case you have an open-cell lead-acid batteries, you can use a battery hydrometer to check the specific gravity of the electrolyte in each of the battery cells. A fully charged battery should have a specific gravity of 1.260. Charge the battery if the specific gravity reading is below 1.215. You also need to check the level of the electrolyte at least every 200 hours of operation. If it is low, fill the battery cells to the bottom of the filler neck with distilled water.

Checking the Cooling System

You will need to check the level of the coolants, especially during shutdown periods at the specific intervals. You will need to remove the radiator cap after allowing the engine to cool. If necessary, you can add coolant until the level is about 3/4th of an inch below from the top. Most heavy-duty diesel engines will need a balanced coolant mixture of water, antifreeze, and coolant additives. You will need to check the exterior of the radiator for obstructions. Then, remove all the dirt or foreign material with a soft brush or cloth with caution to avoid damaging the fins. If possible, try to use low-pressure compressed air or a stream of water put in the opposite direction of normal air flow to clean the radiator.

Fuel System

Diesel, as you might know, is also subject to contamination and corrosion within a period of just one year. So, therefore it is recommended that you go through regular generator set exercise to use up stored fuel before it degrades. You should also drain fuel filters at the recommended intervals as the water vapour that accumulates and condenses in the fuel tank. You also need to carry out regular testing and fuel polishing as it may be required if the fuel is not used or replaced in three to six months.

Routine General Inspection

When you are running the diesel generator, the exhaust system, fuel system, DC electrical system and engine should be closely monitored for any leaks that can cause accidents and other hazards. As with any internal combustion engine, proper maintenance is required. Diesel generator sets is no different, and the most important maintenance is that you may need to do oil changes at every 250 hours of operation for a sustained and reliable performance.