Sunday, 19 January 2020
SMART CUSTOMER: Diesel Generator standard performance and deration
Did you ever face a situation where you bought a diesel generator and found that it is not giving the output as claimed in the marketing collateral's or presented during the sales pitch? Nothing can be more frustrating than that.
Probably this issue is related to deration, and we all must know about it.
When a generator operates in less than its rated capacity, it could possibly be that the generator is running with deration.
All diesel generators are designed to run efficiently at sea level under a standard condition of ambient Temperature and Pressure (STP). Generators are certified by the manufacturer which specifies the rating, and this rating is true at STP. Any fluctuation from STP can affect the performance of the generators. However, the effects of these factors are minimal unless the conditions are extreme.
All generators need adequate air for combustion. Air is trapped inside the combustion chamber and is put through extremely high pressure and temperature combined with fuel. The mixture then ignites and pushes the piston down. The quality of air thus becomes very important to determine the power output from the ignition.
In areas of high altitude, air pressure drops reducing the air density. This results in presence of less oxygen in the combustion chamber and hence reduces the power output. A lot of heat is generated during the combustion process. This heat needs to be dissipated, to maintain the optimum temperature for the engine. At high altitude, due to low air density heat dissipation happens at a lower rate and the engine remains hot and overheating could be a common problem.
High ambient temperatures also reduce air density and can cause similar ignition
problems due to inadequate air supply inside the combination chamber.
In cases of extreme humidity, water vapour in the air displaces oxygen and low oxygen levels result in poor ignition.
We have tried to explain how non-standard ambient conditions can adversely affect generator performance. To guess the new output under the non-standard conditions, every manufacturer uses their own deration recommendation.
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