Generators, just like any other machines, are susceptible to damages. They can wear out in time and malfunction. For this reason, it is necessary to keep a generator consistently maintained in order to ensure that it works at its optimal condition all the time.
When talking about industrial generator maintenance, two things are almost always mentioned: generator rewinding and generator overhauling. But what exactly are these two procedures, and how do they differ from each other?
Below, we will guide you through their definitions and which service you should opt for.
What is a generator rewind?
In general, rewinding an electric motor is the process of enabling an old motor to regain some or even all of its initial efficiency after wearing out. It typically involves the removal of the old winding coils, the insertion and connection of the new winding coils, and the insulating of the complete winding.
When it comes to generators, particularly, rewinding is often necessary when there are damaged copper windings. Generators generally have insulating copper windings in both its stationary and rotating portions – these windings are usually supported by a stack of thin layers of steel.
During a generator rewind, these old, damaged copper windings as well as the steel have to be removed and replaced.
What is a generator overhaul?
An electric motor overhaul typically involves an initial inspection and diagnosis of the equipment, bearing replacement, a test run, and a report. In other words, overhauling is generally a part of an electric motor’s regular inspection and maintenance procedure to ensure that it continuously runs efficiently.
When talking about industrial generators, particularly, generator overhauling is a fundamental, technical, and time-consuming procedure that usually needs trained service engineers.
How to know if a generator needs a rewind or an overhaul?
Most often than not, a generator needs rewinding if the cables situated in its stator are malfunctioning. The stator is a ring coiled with copper wires whose main function in a generator is to convert the rotating magnetic field to electric current.
When the cables in the stator fail to function properly, the entire generator may also fail to operate. This is where generator rewinding comes in. Rewinding the stator is required throughout the lifespan of the alternator where the stator is found. There are different symptoms that may indicate when this procedure is already necessary: faulty parts, poor insulation resistance, poor winding resistance, and others.
There are certain issues in a generator that needs more than just rewinding. However, issues such as fluid leakage, high fuel usage, increased gas emission, and a slow start may indicate a more severe problem that already needs a generator overhaul.
The persistence of the problem in a generator usually already calls for the help of a trained service engineer who will conduct generator overhauling to detect the primary issue that needs to be repaired. A complete generator overhaul usually needs the engine to be disassembled and removed in order to fully detect the cause of the problem and to gain a better idea of the best course of action to take for a generator to perform optimally again.
Essentially, there is not a lot of difference between a generator rewind and an overhaul – these are both essential procedures in the maintenance of a generator. All in all, it just depends on which service will help in maintaining industrial generators, ensuring they are at their optimal condition.