All machines, no matter their brand and quality, experience issues throughout their lifetimes. Electrical and engine issues are inevitable in machines, and generators are no exception to this. Generators, just like all machines, can experience failure and operational downtime at some point.
Nonetheless, although they are inevitable, the chances of operation failures and other issues in generators can be avoided with proper maintenance and repair. Generator overhauling, particularly, is an important procedure in detecting and fixing various problems in a generator, which are often serious in character.
Specifically, when it comes to the diesel engine of a generator, constant monitoring and maintenance through overhauling is crucial. As such, it is important to consider maintenance when the diesel engine starts exhibiting any of the following signs – read on to find out more.
Increased blow-by gas
Blow-by gas occurs when there is a leakage of combustion gases between a piston and the cylinder wall of a generator. It happens normally because a perfect sealing between a piston and cylinder wall is not possible.
Although the tangential load pressing the piston rings into the cylinder wall may create a good seal, there can still be ring gaps where the gases can get through and enter the crankcase.
Sometimes, however, the emission of these combustion gases can go above normal. When this occurs, it could be a sign of a faulty component in a generator, and to be sure, a generator overhauling may be necessary. Regular inspection of a generator and measurement of the blow-by gas it emits are important to make sure that it does not discharge excessive gas.
Increased fuel consumption
Increased fuel consumption can also be a sign of issues in a generator that needs overhauling. As such, it’s key to be aware of the various possible factors involved. For instance, different brands of generators typically have different fuel consumption rates.
While generally, the size of the electric load is determinative of fuel consumption. If the load is large, fuel consumption is also large. On the other hand, if the load is small, the fuel consumption is also relatively small.
Sometimes, however, generators may consume fuel far excessively. If this happens, there is a great possibility that the generator is experiencing some sort of issues.
It can be a worn-out compression system, a piston assembly error, damaged seals of the joints of the body, and others. To find out exactly what issue needs repairing, generator overhauling should be conducted. In doing so, you will then be able to determine if generator rewinding or a complete replacement is needed.
Insufficient compression pressure
A generator’s diesel engine with low or insufficient compression pressure may encounter constant difficulty in starting. There are several possible reasons for the insufficient compression pressure of diesel generator cylinders: worn-out piston rings or cylinder liners, change in the shape of the combustion chamber, damaged cylinder head gasket, and others.
Regardless of whatever reason, an insufficient compression pressure is already a good indicator that a generator’s diesel engine needs overhauling to determine the root cause of the issue.
This can be done by: measuring the compression pressure through removing the nozzle holder and connecting a pressure gauge fitted with an adaptor in its place; and starting the engine with a starter and running it at the specific idle speed to make sure that the compression pressure falls within the specified value.
Overall, there can be several different signs that a generator’s diesel engine is encountering some serious issues and therefore needs an overhauling. A generator overhaul is a necessary procedure to identify any issue in a generator that needs immediate fixing.