Pre-Summer Generator Load Test and Essential Checklist
This is a Perfect Time for a Generator Test
Summertime power demand is right around the corner and increased power outages due to extreme weather, hurricanes and wildfires are a real possibility for many parts of the country. Backup power generators require regular maintenance so that they work properly when they are needed. Now is the perfect time to have your power system serviced by a professional generator technician to ensure your business can continue during power outages.
We have compiled a list of some of the most common failure points on emergency backup generators. The key is to identify any issues before they become a problem and to make sure your generator will be prepared for potential power outages this summer.
1. Check Starter Batteries and Startup Systems
Often the most common failure point for a backup generator is a dead battery. Performing a test start is a good way to check the batteries and startup systems to make sure that are charged and capable of starting the generator.
2. Ensure ATS is Working Properly
Most backup generators rely on an automatic transfer switch (ATS) to detect a utility or primary power outage and switch to backup generator power. ATSs should be regularly inspected to make sure the contacts are clean and should be occasionally tested to ensure operation during an emergency. The best way to test an ATS is with a planned cut-off of the utility power source, this will test not only the ATS, but the entire backup power system.
3. Fuel Quality and Level
Fuel tanks should be regularly checked for fuel levels and fuel quality. Long term storage of diesel fuel can lead to water and bio-chemical growth in the fuel tank, these can lead to engine damage and even stop your generator from running if they are not maintained properly.
4. Oil and Filter Quality
Backup power generators should be under a regular service schedule, which should include regular oil and filter changes. Now is a good time to double-check that the generator’s oil and filter have been replaced within the year (at most), and that the oil levels are correct.
5. Load Bank Test
Perhaps the best way to ensure your generator is in good working condition is to perform a load bank test. A load bank test is like an exercise routine for your generator, as it simulates an electrical load and applies it to the generator set. This can test the complete generator set including the engine, load carrying capabilities, cooling system, the alternator/ voltage regulator, and make sure the entire generator set is operating properly and will cover the power load. Additionally, with the increasing use of after-treatments including diesel particulate filters (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to meet diesel generator emissions standards, load banks play a vital role in maintaining generator reliability by allowing it to operate at the temperatures needed to eliminate common issues like back pressure build up and wet stacking.
At Global Power Supply, we provide project management and logistics for maintaining and monitoring the equipment we sell. We offer new, surplus, and used generators from 56 kW - 2500 kW for sale, as well as nationwide rental options for emergency or temporary maintenance solutions.
If you are in need of a backup power system, whether it be a diesel generator, natural gas generator, UPS system, or any combination of these, please contact us today for help.