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After using diesel generators for so long, you should know some of the technological advances of diesel generator sets
July 05, 2022
In modern times, most people at some point in their education would have been aware of the industrial revolution. One of the most important births of this era was the steam engine, and since this innovation undoubtedly paved the way for further industrial innovations, we can now enjoy even greater progress. These innovations include, most notably, diesel engines and generators.
Most people in modern society will have learned about the industrial revolution at some point in their education. One of the most important births of this era was the steam engine, and since this innovation undoubtedly paved the way for further industrial innovations, we can now enjoy even greater advances. These innovations include, most notably, the diesel engine and the dynamo. Pioneered by Rudolf Diesel, diesel power seems to be constantly evolving, certainly at a faster pace than the innovations of a hundred years ago.
Perhaps the most significant modern advancements in diesel engine technology have and will continue to improve fuel economy. As always, gas engines have been more widely adopted by the general public. As fuel economy continues to switch, diesel is usually largely overshadowed by traditional gasoline use. That said, diesel engines have found a solid user base in all forms of industry, especially those that require fuel economy for heavy-duty transportation, backup power, and major agricultural operations, among others.
Over the past few decades, numerous attempts have been made and successful to better the overall efficiency of diesel engines. Most of these modifications in one way or another involve power ignition within the engine, which is created by a combination of oxygen and fuel. This mixture eventually produces the necessary energy to ignite the engine.
In contrast, gasoline engines use spark plugs to ignite the process. In a diesel engine there is no such thing as a spark plug; in fact, the ignition process takes place directly because oxygen is allowed into the combustion chamber. In this process, the oxygen is then compressed and heated to a temperature of over 538°C. As fuel is injected into the combustion chamber through the pre-ignition chamber, the internal heat instantly ignites the fuel and expands the air in the chamber, which naturally moves the piston inside. That momentum then drives the crankshaft. A small amount of fuel is also released from the pre-ignition chamber to keep the engine running. The more evenly these droplets are used, the better the fuel economy and overall efficiency of the engine.
At the forefront of diesel engine innovation are companies such as Cummins, which have provided significant technological advances to the industry through their research and development departments. While these companies are doing all they can to advance engines and diesel generators, it is important to reflect on the innovations made to date.
Over the years, there have certainly been a significant number of diesel engine modifications, including those that directly affect the combustion chamber. More specifically, in recent years, improvements have been made to the pre-combustion and combustion chambers in order to obtain maximum power, resulting in turbocharging. Building on these advances, digital interfaces have replaced the previous analog controls. Digital control provides better fuel injection accuracy and timing, reducing exhaust emissions. In addition, more modern technological achievements have been made to help the transition to emission reduction technologies, such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR).
More recently, greater modifications have been made to diesel engine combustion chambers, including modifications to achieve optimal combustion rates, ultimately providing more power and better fuel economy with less fuel emissions.
Diesel engines have also undergone sound modifications, including sound attenuation changes to reduce the level of noise emitted by the engine, which subsequently became synonymous. Such changes include the installation of ceramic and other acoustic absorbing materials into noise pockets in the pre-chamber.
Fuel systems and fuel handling
As the diesel engine technology described above advanced, extensive advances were made in fuel systems and handling; for example, common rail fuel systems designed specifically for direct fuel injection. Ultimately, this advanced form of fuel injection transfers diesel fuel from the fuel tank to individual valves while maintaining maximum pressure to homogenize the diesel and oxygen as the mixture vaporizes. This process also results in better control, power output and less fuel emissions. Other improvements in this form of fuel injection introduce the use of up to five fuel injections for each combustion cycle, further improving fuel efficiency.
Because of the high sulfur content of diesel fuel, large amounts of particulate matter are typically present in the engine during combustion. These particles can clog certain areas of the engine and really affect overall performance. Due to government requirements and continued research and development on this issue, progress has been made to reduce the amount of particulate matter and create a diesel fuel with a lower sulfur content, which will naturally reduce fuel emissions in the exhaust gas.
Analog to Digital Control
As mentioned earlier, newer diesel engine models have undergone a shift from analog to digital control technology. While both controls are used to monitor or change the function of the engine, each control seems to fix the position of the various engine sizes. As digital technology has advanced, diesel engines and generators, which typically involve larger scale operations, have moved from analog to digital controls to better monitor backup power for similar sized facilities and equipment. However, analog still has useful uses for smaller engines and generators to provide backup power.
In addition, the transition to digital control for many diesel engines has improved the monitoring of fuel and coolant levels as well as engine oil, temperature and battery life. The purpose of using digital controls for such monitoring is primarily due to the amount of manual labor required to adjust and correct engine faults. More importantly, in the event of such a failure, the analog control would only warn of the impending problem and would not provide specific details of the error and how to fix it. For many people involved in diesel engine and generator operations, this can be a frustrating problem.
This notification, or lack thereof, may be sufficient at smaller facilities and on a less critical scale, but when lives and livelihoods are at stake, digital controls can be more helpful than just lighting up a notification. In some cases, the use of hundreds of digital alerts and notifications specific to many different precise issues has primarily made diesel engines run more smoothly. In addition, this digital technology also makes the operator's job easier, especially with the further integration of the Internet. With digital control comes greater reliability, diesel engines can continue to run even when they encounter mechanical problems, thus limiting any possible downtime in the facility. As if that wasn't enough praise for the digital controls, reduced fuel emissions, and overall efficiency in adjusting engine fuel rates and timing only further justify their use. In addition, the amount of voltage and output frequency has better stability when using digital controls. For example, the diesel generator sets developed and produced by Top Bo Power are fully integrated with this technology, using digital control as well as Top Bo Cloud Service Management System, which can remotely control and operate the generator, realizing that the generator can be remotely monitored, operated and queried on the cell phone or computer side, truly unattended.
In recent years, advances in diesel generating sets and engines have begun to make significant progress in many different ways. Whether it's preventive maintenance or reducing fuel emissions, we've certainly come a long way since the steam engine and the methods of the industrial revolution. While individual advances in digital controls, fuel emissions handling, and engine modifications have certainly been significant; all of the advances associated with diesel engines and diesel gensets have proven to have a greater impact on industry than any individual development, collectively improving the use of diesel fuel.
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