What You Need to Know About Diesel Generators

AC (alternating current) electricity is generated by diesel generators through a series of steps.

The process initiates with a diesel (combustion) engine that converts a portion of the fuel’s chemical energy into rotating mechanical energy. This rotating motion is then utilized by the AC alternator to produce electricity. As a wire moves through a magnetic field, it induces electrical charges, contributing to the generation of electricity.

Diesel generators serve various purposes, including both prime and standby power applications. For instance, in remote areas with limited access to the grid, a diesel generator can be used as a primary power source. Alternatively, it can serve as standby or backup power during power outages.

These generators are available in different configurations. Single-phase generators are suitable for household or small business use, while three phase generators are more suitable for long-term or heavy-duty industrial applications.

To ensure the safety of the electrical system, generators should not be used simultaneously with mains power. To prevent this, many generators are equipped with a transfer switch, which effectively disconnects them from the mains power supply when in use.

Diesel Generator Benefits

There are a range of benefits when looking at 3 phase generator hire. Below are some of the scenarios where a diesel generator can be used:

  1. Off-grid living: Individuals living in remote areas or off-grid locations rely on diesel generators to ensure a reliable power supply.
  2. Backup for solar battery: Diesel generators can serve as a backup power source for solar battery systems, providing continuous electricity when solar energy is insufficient.
  3. Large-scale events: Diesel generators are commonly used to meet the power demands of large events, ensuring a consistent power supply for lighting, equipment, and other requirements.
  4. Farming and agriculture: Farms and agricultural operations utilize diesel generators for various applications, such as powering machinery, irrigation systems, and farm facilities.
  5. Remote mining sites: Diesel generators serve as a continuous power source in remote mining sites, where access to the grid may be limited or nonexistent.
  6. Businesses and essential services: Large businesses, warehouses, health services, shopping centers, and supermarkets rely on diesel generators as emergency power sources during grid outages, enabling them to continue operations uninterrupted.
  1. Tradespeople: Portable diesel generators are ideal for tradespeople who require a mobile power source for work sites.

Diesel generators offer the capability to keep homes, businesses, and essential services functioning during power outages. They can also function as the primary power source when necessary.

Diesel Generator Efficiency

Diesel engines utilise compression heat rather than spark ignition to combust fuel, resulting in higher thermal efficiency compared to other internal combustion engines. This inherent efficiency makes diesel generators highly suitable for continuous and heavy-duty usage.

As a general guideline, diesel generators consume approximately 0.4 liters of fuel per kilowatt-hour (kWh) produced, translating to an efficiency ratio of 25%. However, the actual efficiency of a specific diesel generator will depend on the operating conditions and usage patterns.

Moreover, diesel generators are known for their longevity, as they experience less wear and tear compared to generators powered by gasoline. This durability contributes to their overall longevity and reliability.

Deciding on Diesel Generator Size

Diesel generators are available in a wide range of types and sizes to cater to different needs. This includes portable models ranging from 6kVA to 11kVA, as well as stationary 3 phase generators that can go up to 2,000 kVA or even larger.

Portable generators are suitable for trade, farm, home, and backup power applications. On the other hand, larger 3-phase stationary generators are designed for intensive and continuous usage.

To determine the appropriate size of generator for your needs, consider the following factors:

  • Power requirements: Calculate the wattage needed to run your appliances or machinery, taking into account both the running wattage and the startup wattage.
  • Simultaneous usage: If you plan to operate multiple equipment simultaneously, add up the wattage requirements of each to determine the total power needed.
  • Convert to kVA: To convert the wattage requirements to kVA, divide the kW requirements by the generator power output factor, which is typically 0.8. For example, if you have a 7kW requirement with a power factor of 0.8, you would need a generator with a minimum capacity of 8.75 kVA (7 divided by 0.8).

Once you have an idea of the size requirements, reach out to our team to discuss the best generator options that match your specific needs. We can provide guidance and help you find the most suitable generator for your requirements.

Why Choose a Diesel Generator Over Petrol

Finally, while petrol generators are usually cheaper, diesel generators have a range of benefits.
Firstly, diesel generators are known for their higher efficiency. They require significantly less fuel, sometimes as little as half the amount, to produce the same output as petrol generators. This means that despite the higher cost per liter of diesel, a diesel generator can result in lower fuel expenses over time.

Additionally, diesel fuel is less volatile compared to petrol, which contributes to a safer operating environment. Diesel engines also tend to run cooler than their petrol counterparts and operate at lower RPMs, reducing the strain on the engine. As a result, diesel generators generally have lower maintenance requirements.

Overall, diesel generators provide greater fuel efficiency, increased safety, and reduced maintenance needs when compared to petrol generators.