Electric Generator Maintenance

Without a doubt, an electrical generator provides an invaluable service when the usual electrical network is, for some reason, not available. Given its importance, it is necessary that it is always in optimal conditions. Therefore, below, we will give you some tips for the maintenance of your generator.

If you have a generator, it is because you are farsighted: you are anticipating a possible failure of the electrical network. But, although necessary, it is not enough. We must ensure that the electric generator works properly whenever we require it. Thus, we not only guarantee its efficiency and performance, but also extend its useful life.

The question then arises: How should the maintenance of an electric generator be? 

To answer it, to know how to carry out the maintenance of this machine, it is necessary to know how it works, what general recommendations must be taken into account, what are the parts of a generator and what routine actions contribute to keeping it in perfect condition. Let's see.

Table of Contents

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What is an electric generator and how does it work?

An electrical generator is a machine that basically converts mechanical energy into electrical energy. It works by harnessing the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction.

The engine transfers mechanical energy to the rotor, a fundamental part of the alternator, which ends up generating electrical energy. You can know more about it by consulting it here.

So that we can identify two elements in the operation of the generator: the one in which the electrical energy takes place, that is, the motor; and the one in which the electrical energy takes place, that is, the alternator.

In this sense, the maintenance of an electric generator has to take into account, mainly, these two parts: the engine and the alternator.

General recommendations

Before going into detail with the maintenance of the engine and the generator (and the components that make them up, of course), it would be worth considering some general recommendations. Both to maintain our integrity and the integrity of the electric generator, the following information must be taken into account.

Regarding our safety

Before intervening in any machine, be it an electrical generator or any other, we must think about our own safety. You have to have the necessary equipment and the right tools.

It is necessary to identify the risks, (in the generator we can find the electrical risk, of entrapment, of burn, among others); You have to make a plan in case of any eventuality.

After identifying the risks and implementing the security measures to preserve our integrity, the generator is intervened. The following safety guidelines must be taken into account, among others:

  • Maintenance should never be carried out while the generator is running. Too many risks are taken unnecessarily.
  • Similarly, the generator should be checked and intervened, preferably when it is cold and turned off, to avoid burns.
  • Disconnect the distributor or the spark plugs, to totally eliminate the possibility of accidental ignition when performing maintenance.
  • Stay away from rotating parts.
  • Handle the battery electrolyte with extreme care, avoiding contact with skin or eyes at all costs.

Regarding the integrity of the electric generator

The best maintenance a generator can receive is proper use, regular servicing, and regular, diligent care.

Of course, this is not all about rigorous maintenance of any machine, but frequent care and servicing can mean a lot of time in terms of generator life, as well as better performance and efficiency.

Among other things, to keep the generator in optimal conditions, regular care should take into account:

  • Taking care of the generator environment. You have to be careful of excessive humidity, for example; or from an environment with stale air.
  • That good cooling and ventilation be maintained at all times: dust and heat contribute to rapid wear of the internal parts of the generator.
  • Regularly monitor the engine oil and coolant levels, as well as the condition of the air filter.
  • Periodically review the status of the electrical system; there should be no worn components.
  • Regularly clean the generator frame with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid at all costs that the fuel tank is completely empty. (Avoid, of course, filling it with the engine running)

Maintenance of the engine of an Electric Generator

As said, the mechanical energy is generated by the motor. Our models have powerful Perkins engines, capable of reaching more than 1800rpm and giving rise to the generation of more than 60KW. They can work steadily and uninterrupted for more than twelve hours. They are four-stroke diesel engines with direct fuel injection.

The operation of internal combustion engines is, in general, the same. A brief explanation is as follows: Fuel enters the chamber or cylinder; there, where the fuel and oxygen mix, the ignition that drives a piston is generated.

This piston moves the crankshaft. This is where the rotary movement actually takes place, which the alternator will use to generate electrical energy.

We see then that, in its operation, the engine depends on many parts working together. For them to do it optimally, their maintenance must take into account some parameters and follow an established program.

Maintenance program

It must be considered that the conditions in which the generator operates will determine the period of time between oil and filter changes. If the conditions are considerably adverse, the time is shortened. However, the approximate times, in optimal conditions of use, are as follows:

  • Engine oil change: every 50 hours. However, periodically you have to check the level through the dipstick and its quality.
  •  Clean the air filter: every 25 hours.
  • Change the oil and air filter: annually.
  • Change spark plugs: annually.
  • Clean the cooling system: annually.

Maintenance of the electrical system of an electric generator

The movement that the motor gives to the rotor, which is captured by the stator, and which is converted into electrical energy, takes place in the alternator. This element is essential. Its maintenance depends on the efficiency, performance and, of course, the power that the generator can offer.

The following tips must be taken into account to carry out the maintenance of the alternator:

  • You have to have the right clothing and tools.
  • Before intervening on the machine, make sure that it is completely switched off and that it cannot be started accidentally.
  • Pay attention to the temperature, if the generator was recently turned off; this can prevent burns.
  • Every twenty hours of operation, check the tightening of the fixing screws. Vibration can cause them to loosen.
  • It is essential that the bearings that allow the movement of the rotor are adequately lubricated. For this reason, periodically it is necessary to check the condition of the lubricant.
  • Regular cleaning of its components with specialized products is recommended. And, at the end, ensure that there are no residues of such a product.

As we can see, an electric generator requires specialized maintenance so that all its parts function fully and optimally. Therefore, it is recommended that you contact us for advice.

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