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A diesel generator "set" consist of diesel engine, a generator and various other components, control systems, circuit breakers, sound attenuation and jacket water. Together they form a generating set or in short called genset.
Generator sizes range from 8 to 30 kW are generally used for homes, small shops & offices the often the larger industrial generators from 8 kW (11 kVA) up to 2,000 kW (2500 kVA three phase) are used for big office complexes or large factories.
Generally high power 2,000 kW sets are enclosed in a 40 ft. ISO container which is equipped with fuel tank, controls, power distribution equipment and all other necessary equipment required to operate as a single power unit or as a standby grid power backup. These diesel GenSets are power modules fixed on huge triple axle trailers weighing approximately 85,000 lbs or more. Further theses modules are used for small power stations utilizing one to 20 units per power section. Hundreds of such power modules are combined with these sections. With proper paralleling gear these work as a single power plant they are joined together with the large cables and a paralleling control panel.
Small generators of 10 to 30kW are used in many ways. Primarily for emergency
power during power outages or brown-outs. Industrial diesel generators of 500kW
and larger are used for emergency power and supplying additional power to utility
grids during peak periods or at times when power demand is highest (peak shaving).
The selection of generating sets depends upon the type and amps or load they need to supply power for; For example it must be considered whether the generating sets are used for emergency or primarily for main power. The kind and size of motors to be started by generators is generally a crucial parameter. So while selecting the generators sizes the factors such as load combinations, maximum power, and main power rating must be well thought out. The ecological conditions such as height, temperature and emissions regulations also must be considered when selecting the size of generator. In some critical applications at least one complete generator must be spared in a set of generator to be used for maintenance purpose. This spare generator will work as a spare unit in case the breakdown takes place.
Generator Rating Terminology
Standby Rating based on supplying emergency power when there is interruption of normal power supply. There is no constant overload capability available for this rating. See our Standby Generators
Typical application : Backup emergency power plant in hospitals, offices, factories etc, connected to utility power grid.
Prime (Unlimited Running Time) Rating:
Typical application : The generator is the only source of power in the areas of application such as remote mining or construction site, fairground, or festival etc.
Prime power output is 70% to 80% of the standby rating.
Base Load (Continuous) Rating :It is applicable for regular power supply to a constant load up to the entire output rating for unlimited hours.
When generator runs for a long period on unvarying load, or is paralleled with the mains.
It is applicable when it continuously supplies, emergency power at the maximum permissible level at 8760 hours per year.
When GenSets are used even for 200 hours per year for peak shaving /grid support.
Note : Letís take an example Ė Suppose if in a given set the Standby Rating were 1000 kW, then a Prime Power rating would be 850 kW, and the Continuous Rating might be 800 kW. However the rating is varied from one generator manufacturer to another. The best way is to take the rating from the individual manufacturer's data sheet.
Usually a particular genset might be given all three ratings which is stamped on the diesel generators data plate, however sometimes it may have exclusively either a standby rating, or a prime rating.