Cardiff Diesel Services

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Is your standby generator performing as it should?

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Many standby generators form an essential link in the disaster avoidance and contingency planning chain. They provide electrical power to critical systems in times of mains failure, which ultimately ensures business continuity. Generally, the UK has a very reliable utility grid, which means standbys are seldom called on to run. Consequently, they may not command the highest priority from a maintenance planning viewpoint.

Infrequent use of standbys often results in component degradation affecting electrical contactors, batteries and seals. However, the fact that units are run so little, often means that machines reach a great age, therefore necessitating a tight maintenance regime in its own right. Perished hoses, leaking joints, and rusting radiators are some of the most common causes of problems engineers see on a regular basis on ageing plant. Yet, these issues may only become evident upon a full load test. Indeed, quite apart from a short off load run not testing all components and systems, it can, in the longer term, be detrimental to the generator, due to the build up of condensation and associated corrosion problems.

It is therefore recommended, to carry out a full load test, where all systems are fully tested, over a period of three hours. This includes, mains sensing controls, changeover switches, cooling, exhaust, controls as well as the obvious engine and alternator. Not only does this test demonstrate the generator is capable of sustaining its rated load for a set period, but all systems are thoroughly proven, condensation purged, and electro mechanical devices operated and lubricated.

Load testing your generator once a year may be one of the best value insurances you can set in place for your business. To enquire about load bank testing please contact us