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Brief description of the main components of diesel generator sets and their functions

July 11, 2022
Today, diesel gensets have become the lifeline for many businesses. When your mains power fails, a diesel generator set ensures a seamless and continuous supply of power to you, and more importantly, a diesel generator set helps maintain ongoing operations and reduces the risk of downtime with declining profits or (worse) data loss. Of course, diesel generators can also serve as a reliable primary power source.
Today, diesel gensets have become the lifeline for many businesses. When your main power supply fails, diesel gensets ensure a seamless continuity of power for you, and more importantly, diesel gensets help to maintain ongoing operations and reduce the risk of downtime or (worse) data loss in the event of a drop in profits. Of course, diesel generators can also serve as a reliable primary power source.
But have you ever wondered what makes your diesel generator work? What are the key components of a diesel generator and how do they work? Now, follow Topper Power to take a closer look at the key components of diesel generators and their functions.
Diesel generators are powered by an engine. This provides mechanical energy, which is converted into electrical energy by the generator.
Alternators utilize the principle of electromagnetic induction. This involves causing electrons to flow through the wires by using a magnetic field. In the case of diesel generators, several strong magnets are placed around a rotating shaft attached to the rotor. As the shaft rotates, the rotor continuously moves the north and south poles of its magnetic field across a bundle of wires surrounding them. This causes a large amount of current to flow back and forth across the wires, producing alternating current.
Voltage regulator
The amount of current generated depends on the speed of the engine. However, most electrical equipment requires a stable, consistent power supply. For this reason, a voltage regulator is needed to ensure that the power output remains consistent.
Fuel System
As with diesel vehicles, the fuel system maintains the fuel supply to power the engine. The fuel system will contain a storage tank that is typically capable of running the generator for 6-8 hours, depending on the electrical load. For smaller or portable units this can be connected to the main fuel tank or for larger models it can be connected externally.
Exhaust system
The combustion of diesel fuel produces toxic gases that need to be safely vented through an exhaust system. This is a network of pipes that safely vents exhaust gases to the outside air.
Cooling System
In addition to generating mechanical energy, the operation of a diesel generator generates a lot of heat, so a cooling system is needed to prevent overheating and damage to the unit. The cooling system is a network of ducts that carry the cooling fluid through the heat exchanger, transferring heat to the outside air or, in some cases, to the auxiliary fluid.
Starter and battery systems
The diesel engine itself relies on a relatively small electric motor to start and run. This starter motor is powered by a battery. This can either be charged externally or use a portion of the generator output to charge itself.
Control panel/transfer switch
Finally, the control panel puts the user in charge of the generator's operation and functions. Most standby generators also have an automatic transfer switch that starts the generator in the event of a mains power failure.