An unstable pound, rising demand and ongoing trouble in the Middle East are all partially responsible for rising fuel prices. In this economic environment, a cost-effective genset is not just a luxury, but a necessity.
diesel generators and gensets have proven to be a very efficient way to generate power on-site, especially for applications that require a high kVA output. While it is true that diesel fuel costs slightly more per litre than petrol, there is also substantially more power per litre of diesel compared to petrol. When you add the increased efficiency of the diesel engine you get substantially more electrical power (more kWH – kilowatt hours) per pound with a diesel genset, and that is what really matters.
Diesel engines are designed to use diesel fuel, obviously, but just what is different about a diesel genset, and why does that matter?
Petrol engines rely on an electric spark to ignite a moderately compressed fuel-air mixture inside the cylinder. This is easy to engineer and build, but it is not particularly efficient. Diesel engines rely on compression alone for ignition. The air (without fuel) is compressed to a much higher degree than in a petrol engine. The highest performance petrol engines compress to at 12:1 ratio at best. The lowest performing diesel engines work at 14:1 compression, and top of the line generators and gensets rely on compression ratios up to 25:1.
As the air is super-compressed, its temperature rises until the diesel fuel is injected. The fuel ignites spontaneously due to the heat and pressure – a much more efficient process, but one that relies on real precision engineering and manufacture. A petrol engine can work, though even less efficiently, with a leaky cylinder. A diesel engine won’t.
There are several basic types of diesel engines. They can use either a 2 cycle (or two stroke) or 4 cycle system. They can be either air or liquid cooled. Exactly what you need depends on just how many kVA or kWH you need, and what conditions the genset will be working in. For most purposes in the UK, we would suggest a water cooled 4 cycle diesel generator, as this is the quietest, most efficient and overall most effective configuration. Each type can be manufactured to supply standard, single-phase AC power or three-phase power, which is required for certain industrial purposes.
The core reasons are reliability and cost efficiency. For example:
Diesel engines are used the world over to power plants and equipment, for electrical power generation and as vehicle engines. They are used in almost every industry and can be seen all around you, from the train or bus that takes you in to work to the plants and construction equipment that is busy building tomorrow’s Britain. They power almost every boat you see in the seas and rivers, and serve as back-up generators for hospitals, telecommunications companies and the thousands of other businesses we rely upon every day. They also serve as a very robust, convenient and efficient system of portable power generation.
Diesel powered electrical generators(aka gensets (or generator sets) have innumerable industrial, commercial, military and even maritime applications. They are suitable for smaller, low kVA loads like individual homes, or can be scaled up to power entire factories, commercial complexes, cruise ships and even small towns. They excel both as primary power sources and as emergency or portable back-up power supplies.
Small gensets, up to around 30kW, are more commonly used for home back-up power or for camping applications. Industrial diesel generators are made at al power levels, from as little as 30kW up to a few megawatts.
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