HOW TO CORRECTLY START A GENERATOR SET?
Today we are going to raise something different than usual and taking advantage of the fact that Antonio M. C., mechanical technician and installer at Tecnics Grupos Electrógenos, SL, has approached our central offices, we will take advantage of your visit to ask you some questions about the correct start of a Generator.
Fortunately at the moment to realize the start of a generator set is a relatively simple task but it carries with it a series of previous checks that are essential to realize.
Let’s see what Antonio tells us about the correct procedure to start the generator set.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWER ON THE START OF A GENERATOR.
Q : Good afternoon, Antonio and thank you for offering to answer our questions, in the first place tell us a little how the start of a generator set would be carried out correctly.
A : Good afternoon, as I told you before, the starting of the engine is a simple procedure and may vary slightly depending on the model and generator set, but generally does not usually differ too much.
Before carrying out the start-up, a series of checks must be carried out which are essential for the correct operation of the motor. Among these checks we can highlight, check the level of fuel, coolant and engine oil.
Obviously we must replace those that are necessary, always following the technical specifications marked by the manufacturer.
Keep in mind that the oil level usually has a minimum and maximum level that we should not pass. Care should be taken not to mix liquids while replenishing, as this may cause problems in the group.
It is also advisable to check the air inlets and outlets and fumes are not obstructed, this is important because it could seriously damage the generator set.
Q : In this regard, many manufacturers warn and recommend that we only use the spare parts and lubricants of their own brand for this type of operations. Antonio, what do you think about it?
A : Certainly today with the number of brands available in the market we find it easy to find generic spare parts and lubricants for generator sets that are considerably cheaper and perform a function similar to those of the manufacturer. But with my years of experience and in my opinion I think that the spare parts and lubricants recommended by the manufacturer offer a greater guarantee and durability, it must be taken into account that these companies invest millions a year in improving their products. All these improvements are focused to obtain the maximum performance of the engine and to extend as much as possible its useful life. It is true that their products are more expensive, but you have to think that a failure by a lubricant or inadequate replacement can be enormously more expensive. I of course always recommend using the lubricants and spare parts offered by the manufacturer.
Q : Perfect. Continuing with the topic, once the relevant checks have been made, how do we continue with the start up?
A : Once the checks have been made, as a general rule, to start the engine we set the speed control to idle. Insert the key into the starter and turn it clockwise,although at the moment most generators have electronic starting so it is only necessary to press the start button. And we waited for the ignition of the engine and its start. Once started, release the key and that’s it.
Indicate that if the engine does not start for any reason, it is advisable not to force the ignition with the key for more than ten seconds in a row. It is preferable to wait 1 or 2 minutes and try again.
Q : It does not seem complicated to start the engine. something important that we should take into account when starting the engine?
A : Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds, the initial checks are what give the start-up process complexity. I think we have commented on the main considerations for standard startup of generator sets.
Now, to perform the initial start-up of a reconditioned engine or after long periods of time, before starting the process described above, it is advisable to set the stop lever to the “stop” position and operate the starter engine for a few seconds, 9 or 10 seconds, until the oil pressure in the control panel is checked to check that it is within the set parameters.
It is also not advisable for the engine to operate with the cold start, since being internal combustion engines can cause greater wear due to corrosion. In addition, it is not advisable to abuse the engine’s idle speed, as it causes increased engine wear and increased smoke generation.
Q : Is the commissioning of a generator set after its installation carried out with the same procedure or is there any variation?
A : Well, as a rule usually differs a bit, it is necessary to take into account that the generator set requires an initial run, so during the first few hours agreed not to put the group to maximum operation and to make an initial start of variable speeds and loads .
Apart from the initial checks, it is also checked that the oil pressure, the temperature of the cooling system, are adequate, that the alternator correctly performs the loading processes, etc. In general, they are usually longer processes due to the large number of initial checks to be carried out to ensure a correct functioning of the generator set, although the steps to follow are usually not very complex.
Q : Is it advisable to start the generator set periodically?
A : Yes, without doubt, It is convenient to start the generetor 1 or 2 times a month, keep in mind that as we have already explained, in addition to performing the start up, another series of checks are carried out to help keep the components of the generator set in good condition, and these checks help to a great extent to ensure that the generating set is kept in perfect operating condition.
In addition, it is always advisable to carry out this periodic start-up periodically, to carry out all the component checks indicated by each manufacturer in the generator set, such as filters, radiator water, cooling system, hoses, clamps, electrical system and electronic, etc.
I think it is clear how to start a generator set and the considerations that should be taken into account when it is done. We take the opportunity to thank Antonio for answering our questions in a clear and simple way, and we hope to have him again here for future technical consultations.
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