Planning a Large Generator Project

Why Buy a Diesel Generator?

We are frequently faced with large scale generator projects. Whether this is a multi megawatt diesel generator project, or a multi-site, high volume contract, we have the experience and expertise to deliver your large generator project, to your specification, on time and on budget.

6 Factors to Consider for Your Generator Project

When it comes to enquiring about a large project involving one or more power generators, there are 6 main factors to consider while in the planning stage:

1. The Generator(s)

First of all, what kVA or kW output do you require? If you need help converting values then why not try our kW to kVA Conversion Tool. We offer canopied silent generators ranging from 7 kVA up to 550 kVA and larger open generators all the way up to 3000 kVA. Having a preferred brand or model of generator in mind will also help speed up the process, however if you only know of the power output required then our expert sales team are on hand to recommend the perfect generator set to suit your every need. If you require a single phase power supply, we can also provide services to convert any of our three phase generators (within reason!) down to single phase to suit your needs.

2. The Enclosure

If you are looking for one of our silent canopied generators smaller than 550 kVA then this aspect may not apply to your project. However, if you require a larger open-frame generator then this is an important factor.

The first detail to consider would be the type of enclosure you require, such as a containerised solution (20ft, 30ft or 40ft), or whether your project would warrant a completely custom designed enclosure, built to your exact space requirement. However, the option between enclosure types may not be a free choice depending on the size of the diesel genset selected, and the next factor: noise level.

Given that the average noise level of an open diesel generator set is approximately 105 dBA at 1m (that’s 5 dBA louder than a train passing just 1 metre away), your generator will need its sound attenuating in order to be used in a commercial or residential setting. The average genset installed in an ADVANCED built acoustic container or enclosure will only produce 70 to 75 dBA (at 1 metre), and the quietest enclosure we have produced was all the way down at just 55 dBA (at 1 metre). That’s quieter than normal conversation.

As briefly mentioned earlier, if you require a specialist low noise level for your big generator project, then you may have to opt for a larger sized container or even a bespoke built enclosure in order to attenuate the sound of the generator appropriately.

3. The Fuel Supply

Another significant factor in planning your large diesel generator project is the fuel tank(s).

For smaller, canopied silent generators we offer additional free-standing fuel tanks to extend your running time capacity. Additionally, we also offer custom-built extended base fuel tanks, which provide a more space efficient solution for increasing the standard fuel tank capacity.

For larger diesel generator projects that are containerised or feature bespoke built enclosures, we can custom build free standing bulk fuel tanks that can be situated either inside or outside of the enclosure. Another option for bulk fuel storage is the addition of a high-capacity belly tank. These tanks can store much more fuel than free-standing solutions and are also very space efficient as they sit directly underneath the container or enclosure. To build such tanks for your generator project, we would simply need know the capacity you require in litres, or the running time that you wish to achieve from the generator, on a single fill of fuel. Our highly-experienced 3D design team will then be able to use the latest software to model the perfect solution to suit your needs.

4. Louvres

All generators require a sufficient air flow in order to function as expected. As a result, louvres will be required to provide your power systems with the necessary fresh air flow. That main types of standard louvres for containerised and custom-built enclosure generator projects that we offer are:

We can also offer more purpose-built styles and options of louvres, such as fire resistant, gas tight etc. If you are unsure what the best solution for your large generator would be, then get in touch with our sales team who will be able to advise which type(s) of louvres would be best suited to you.

5. Synchronising

If you don’t plan to do any type of synchronising with your diesel generator special build project, then this step can be skipped over.

However, many large generator projects (such as data centres) feature multiple diesel fueled generator sets that work together in parallel to provide a larger overall electric power output. This would be classed as set-to-set synchronising.

Alternatively, your project may require set-to-mains synchronisation so that you can have a seamless transfer (sometimes known as no break return) on your transition from generator power back to mains supply. This functionality requires specialist control panels to achieve. Therefore, if you do plan on performing any synchronising with your generator, the extra additional costs and complications should be planned for.

6. Additional Features

Now that we’ve covered the generator, enclosure and functionality, any other additional features for either the generator or the enclosure should be accounted for. These may include:

  • The circuit breaker - will it be set-mounted or elsewhere?
  • Cable entry - will cables access the generator via a gland plate or link box?
  • Painting the enclosure - do you have a paint specification in mind? Such as standard, marine, or any other spec
  • An ATS panel or control panel upgrade for the generator itself
  • Bespoke fuel transfer systems
  • The exhaust system
  • Alarms - fire alarms, smoke alarms, intruder alarms, or other alarms.
  • Any other additional electrical components - such as internal or external lights, or any other components you may wish to add to your project.

When it comes to planning a large diesel generator project, this article is just a starting point. However, with the 6 factors above planned and accounted for, our expert sales team will be able to work with you to provide a cost effective solution for your power requirements. To speak with us regarding your project, or to discuss any of the elements listed above, send us an email to enquiries@adeltd.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1977 657 982.

Blog published by Advanced Diesel Engineering on November 8, 2018