Diesel generators – you may not see them, but they are everywhere. These workhorses of industry provide either continuous or standby power to homes, hospitals, schools, churches and factories to name but a few.
They can be small enough to carry comfortably or so large they wouldn’t fit inside your house. There is a range of units to suit everyone. Diesel generators consume diesel and turn the energy in the fuel into electrical energy to provide power to the things you need. The items that need power are called the load.
The diesel engine (how the diesel engine works) provides power to spin the AC alternator (how the AC alternator works), which in turn generates electricity to power the load. The radiator (how the radiator works) also cools the engine to prevent it from overheating.
Each of these components parts is made up of a series of ever smaller and more complicated elements, each performing a specific function. For example, the alternator is made up of the alternator main stator, the alternator main rotor and the alternators excitation system.
The excitation system is made up of yet smaller parts – the alternators exciter stator, the alternators exciter rotor, an AVR and some diodes. All these smaller parts perform essential functions to maintain the power output of the generator.
A generator can produce almost any voltage – as long as it is ordered to produce the voltage required. It can be impossible to change between some voltages without changing some of the components parts, so its important to make sure you buy what you need. For example generators are often available in three and single phase variants. Single phase is usually used for domestic and small commercial premises, whereas 3 phase is used for larger buildings.
Power produced from a diesel generator depends….. different sized generators will give different amounts of output. The bigger the generator, the more power you can typically get, but this also becomes more expensive.
An inverter generator is a special kind of machine. Rather than the alternator feeding the load directly, the power is rectified and then an inverter is used to produce really good quality AC power. Read more about inverter generators.
A silent diesel generator is a generator that has a steel or plastic surround to reduce the noise. See silent generators. The best known brands are probably Caterpillar (USA), Welland UK Power and Cummins (USA).