Caterpillar generator sets are designed and manufactured to provide ease of installation and simplicity of operation. The correct rating selection and the correct installation of a generator set are crucial for a proper and smooth operation.
1) Indicative guidelines for designing the installation site/room of a generator set
The following brief instructions intend to assist and advise upon a generator set installation in order to ensure the best possible results for the user-owner*:
For correct connection of power generators, special attention should be given to the following*:
- Connect the generator set with the automatic transfer panel using a 2x1 shielded cable in order to avoid induced currents.
- Connect a 220V power supply to the generator set’s control and operation panel for battery/ies maintenance (battery charger) as well as for engine preheat system (if included).
2) Indicative instructions/checks for uninterrupted operation of generator sets
Proper operation of generator sets
- CATERPILLAR constitutes that the operation of generating sets should be with a minimum load of 40%. This will prevent potential liner glazing (as a possible consequence of operating at low loads) and possible high oil consumption.
- The scheduled maintenance of a generator set should occur every 250 hours of operation or annually (whichever comes first) after contacting ELTRAK-CATERPILLAR’s service department.
Proposed inspections during operation of generator sets
The following actions should be followed by the operator of a generator set in order for the genset to operate and perform at its full capacity*:
- Visual check of the fuel tank for any oxidations.
- Fuel level check. Fill up if necessary.
- Engine oil level check. Fill up if necessary.
- Cooling system antifreeze level check. Fill up with the special CATERPILLAR antifreeze fluid if needed.
- Check the voltage of the batteries and charger.
- Visual inspection for leakages.
- Engine temperature check (only if pre-heater is installed).
For the direct/auto-start of the generator set, its battery system should be always under load. For this purpose,
3) Engine fuel
Important disclaimer on biodiesel (regarding the biodiesel fuel)
Dear Clients and Partners,
Lately, popular discussions are a fact in what regards to the quality of the available diesel on the domestic market (according to European standard EN 590) and several problems are attributed to it, especially in internal combustion engines. In general, biofuels are promoted by the European Commission, in an effort to limit emissions to the atmosphere:
- Improvement of energy security.
- Separation of energy sources.
- Dealing the Greenhouse phenomenon.
- Strengthening the agricultural sector.
The Disadvantages of using biodiesel are:
- Lower energy content by 10-12% (reduction of the maximum power output).
- Tends to form heavy hydrocarbons aggregates (blocking high pressure systems / fuel filter).
- Extremely corrosive to some elastomers (seals, gaskets, flexible connectors).
- Thinner for deposits (frequent oil change needed).
- Corrosion of metal parts (low resistance to oxidation).
Additionally, storage of biodiesel at large intervals generates fungi that grow and cause fungal mud which affects negatively the fuel circuit causing operational problems. This is a frequent occurrence on generator sets used as back-up (stand-by) or seasonal solution and the reason is because the biodiesel is stored for long periods.
This precipitate is deposited on several parts, for example on the oil pump and the bottom and the sides of the tank, resulting in pump’s malfunction and problematic operation due to tank’s deterioration, which if not cleaned / replaced will affect any remaining diesel left in it, even if this is renewed.
Eltrak – Caterpillar, always close to its customers, proposes the following preventive actions/steps in order to protect the customer and his investment:
- Generator set operation at least once a week for about half an hour with a minimum load of 40%, if possible.
- The fuel should be supplied from a reliable supplier in order to avoid any fraud and poor fuel quality.
- The fuel tank should be filled only with diesel fuel that conforms to the Caterpillar’s specifications.
- Fuel tank’s fuel must be renewed at a minimum of two (2) times per year in order to avoid gelling of the fuel due to the high biodiesel level content (it deposit a layer of waxes and gunge in the fuel tank and the fuel lines which can even damage/clog up the fuel pump and filters).
- The fuel level (within the tank) should be maintained to the maximum level, as much as possible, in order to avoid oxidation.
- Use of a biodiesel oil preservation improver is essential (special antifungals fuel chemical additives and oil stabilizers available from many commercial chemical manufacturers such as wurth, castrol, liqui moly, amsoil, prestone, etc).
Letter / Research from T.E.E. Dr Mechanical Engineer Leonidas Ntziachristos, <<The use and the impacts of biofuels in combustion engines>> («Χρήση και επιπτώσεις των βιοκαυσίμων σε κινητήρες εσωτερικής καύσης»):
* The purpose of these general installation and operation instructions are only to advice and inform and in no way contain 100% of a complete genset installation instruction set.