HOW DOES A GENERATOR WORK?

HOW DOES A GENERATOR WORK?

Posted by Pressure Pump Solutions Ltd on 2nd Jul 2021

Generators are handy appliances that supply electrical power during a power failure and prevent discontinuity of daily activities or interruption of business operations.An electric generator is a device that will convert mechanical or chemical energy into electrical energy. They do this by capturing the power of motion and turning it into electrical energy from the external source through an electrical circuit. A generator is essentially an electrical motor working in reverse. Once an electrical current has been established, it is directed through copper wires to power external machines, devices, or entire electrical systems.

There are nine parts to a generator, and they all play a role in getting power to where it is needed most. The parts of a generator are:

Petrol Inverter Generator

1: Engine. The engine supplies energy to the generator. The power of the engine determines how much electricity a generator can provide.

2: Alternator. This is where the conversion from mechanical energy to electrical energy occurs. Also called a “genhead”, the alternator contains both moving and stationary parts that work together to create the electromagnetic field and movement of electrons that generates electricity.

3: Fuel System. The fuel system makes it possible for the generator to produce the energy needed. The system includes a fuel tank, a fuel pump, a pipe connecting the tank to the engine, and a return pipe. A fuel filter removes debris before it gets to the engine and an injector forces the fuel into the combustion chamber.

4: Voltage Regulator. This component helps control the voltage of the electricity that is produced. It also helps convert the electricity from AC to DC, if needed.

5: Cooling and Exhaust Systems. Generators create a lot of heat. The cooling system ensures the machine does not overheat. The exhaust system direct and remove the fumes the form during operation.

6: Lubrication System. There are many small, moving parts inside a generator. It is essential to lubricate them adequately with engine oil to ensure smooth operation and protect them from excess wear. Lubricant levels should be checked regularly, as often as every 8 hours of operation.

7: Battery Charger. Batteries are used to start up the generator. The battery charger is a fully automatic component that ensures the battery is ready to go when needed by supplying it with a constant low-level of voltage.

8: Control Panel. The control panel controls every aspect of generator operation from start up and running speed to outputs. Modern units are even capable of sensing when power dips or goes out and can start or shut off the generator automatically.

9: Main Assembly / Frame. This is the body of the generator. It is the part that we see; the structure that holds it all in place.

What Kind of Fuel Do Electrical Generators Need? Today’s electrical generators are available in many different fuelling options. Diesel generators are the most popular industrial generators on the market. Residential generators more commonly include natural gas generators or propane generators, while the smaller portable generators typically run-on petrol, diesel fuel, or propane. Some generators are bi-fuel capable – running on both petrol and diesel.

How to Choose a Generator

1: Look for a generator with a long run-time at half-load. The longer the generator can run, the less often you will have to refuel it. ...

2:Make sure you select a generator with enough outlets and the right type(s) of outlets. ...

3: Portable generators can be heavy. ...

4: Some generators come with a heavy-duty generator cord set.
It is fair to say that most of us depend on electricity in a big way, and that's why generators matter, weather you are an enthusiastic DIY person that regularly taking on household projects or a tradesman that relies on electric as part of his or her trade either way, a high-quality generator is often an essential piece of kit. Indeed, if you live in a place where the power goes out frequently, it’s always a smart idea to have a generator handy as a backup power source.

In today’s world of generators there are more choices available at better prices than ever before. However, you need to understand the choices if you expect to choose well.

There are 3 main types of generators: portable, standby, and inverter. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so figure out which type of generator fits your needs to make the best decision possible!

By the time you finish the present article, you will know how to choose then buy the size of the generator required to meet your requirements.

Ask Yourself! Do I Need a Generator for Home Use or Professional Use?

First, Identify Your Requirements


Application

Since generators are meant for both domestic and industrial applications. You should know whether you are looking for one for backup power for homes, leisure use, or to power your factory.

Wattage:

It is essential you know exactly the type of load you need to run for which a power analysis should be done. Overloading a generator is the most common cause of failure and can cause damage to your appliances or the generator itself. Just as you would not run your car at maximum speed all day, it is the same for generators. Most appliances demand a higher current when they start, this is called surge. So your generator must have enough spare capacity to cope with that demand We have a handy calculator to help you work it out.

Fuel Type

It is important to figure out the fuel type of the generator because it helps in estimating the fuel cost. There are wide-ranging fuel and cost -efficient diesel, LPG, and petrol generators that may lie within your range.

Load Type

The nature of the load also impacts significantly over the type of generator. For instance, you may either need generator to power robust devices such as tools or for sensitive electronic equipment. If you are running sensitive electronics, you will need an inverter generator, or the electronics will be blown. Inverters produce higher quality AC current.

Portable Generators - Open Frame or Inverter?

Buy a portable as a backup power source. Portable generators provide good backup power sources in a click. Select the type of generator that makes the most sense for you to identify the quality level of a generator, that matches your expectations.

Quick Tip: Portable generators are also used on building sites, they tend to use a lot of power. Therefore, make sure you buy a machine that can produce more than 6,000 watts of power.

Open Frame or Inverter?

When it comes to portable generators, there are two main types, open frame, and inverter designs. Open frame generators provide the highest wattage for a given purchase price.

If your primary objective is essential backup power protection for your home with no need for the quietest operation or variable engine speed. Then an open frame is probably your best bet.

Inverter generators cost more per watt of output, but they're quieter, and they use less fuel because engine speed varies with the amount of electricity demanded.

If you need power in a trailer park or while camping, you'll appreciate the lighter weight quieter operation and more economical fuel consumption of an inverter.

An emerging configuration of the generator is called the digital hybrid. It has the looks and lower cost of an open frame model but the quieter operation, lower fuel consumption, and more refined electrical output of an inverter.

Low Price or High?

You will not shop for a generator exceptionally long before you notice a wide range in the cost of different brands. Some brands cost more than twice as much as others for a given size of output with the same features, and this naturally raises a question. Is the extra cost worth it?

The price of generators has dropped a lot. Even expensive one’s today are cheaper than they were in the 1990s, and while this is a good thing, you do need to be careful. The low price does not necessarily mean good value if reliability and efficiency are not also there. What is the point in having an economic generator if it will not work when you need it to?

Will I Need a Specific Generator for Sensitive Electronics?

The answer is Yes. If you need to power anything with a microprocessor, you will need to buy a generator for sensitive electronics. This is because these types of equipment are considered sensitive to electrical power and should not be run directly from a traditional generator.

Let us look.

Conventional generators are designed to consume fuel and run at 3,600 rpm to generate direct AC power of 120 volts and 60Hz. However, like most conventional motors, these generators do not maintain a steady, constant 3600 rpm; there are momentary fluctuations.

These fluctuations are called harmonic distortion, and they create moment-by-moment small power drops and surges. These surges can be extremely harmful to electronic devices.

In contrast, inverter generators have a much more complex mechanism that converts AC to DC power, and then converts it back to AC power for output. This means that inverter generators produce a constant, steady voltage of electricity without harmonic distortion.

Inverter generators produce energy without the surges that can damage electronics. They also have the advantage that they can produce only as much electricity as is demanded at a specific time, making them more efficient.

What Wattage (output) Will I Need?

Power Requirements

It is important to figure out the power that you will need to power the appliances. Individual watts are specified on the electrical equipment. Some devices have additional starting watts that should be added to the total watts. The starting watts are found by multiplying the individual watts by 3. Also keep in mind that if your estimated total wattage is equal to 6000 watts, you head out and buy 6 KW generator. Generator KVA should be at least 20% greater than the estimated power.

Here are some of the appliances and their approximate watts to give you an idea about typical watts. However, you will have to assess your home or commercial requirements properly. The watts are specified on the equipment labels[/vc_column_text]

Electrical Appliance Estimated Watts

Toaster1050 - 1500

Vacuum Cleaner 1000 - 3000 + Starting watts (multiply individual watts by 3)

2 HP Motor 6000 (starting watts) and 2000 (operational watts)

1 HP Motor 3000 (starting watts) and 1000 (operational watts)

Water Heater3000

Iron 1000

Fridge 700 - 1000 (starting watts)

After you have figured out the watts, you will have to find a generator that meets these requirements. Generators are normally rated as KVA or KWs. To converts watts into KWs simply divide the total by 1000. However, to convert watts into KVA you will have to first convert watts into KWs and then divide by 0.8, which is the power factor.

Example

– To convert Watts (W) to KiloWatts (kW) divide by 1000 – Eg. 1000W = 1kW

– To convert KiloWatts (kW) to Kilo-volt-amps (kVA) divide by 0.8 – Eg. 1000W = 1kW = 1.25kVA

Inverter Generator Vs Generator?

Conventional portable generators can produce more power than inverter generators. This has to do with several factors including the size of the fuel tank and the mechanical difference in electricity production. Inverter generators are more energy efficient thanks to how the final AC current is produced.

Inverters produce consistent and reliable power which does not rely on the engine speed. The power generated by inverter generator is much “cleaner” than the power produced by conventional generators. This power is almost of the same quality as the electricity typically supplied by your electric company.
best air compressor, silent electric air compressors, petrol engine powered air compressors, belt air compressors, direct drive air compressors, petrol air compressors, screw compressors, silent oil free compressors, battery powered air compressors, 50 litre air compressors, 100 litre air compressors, 200 litre air compressors,
An inverter generator electronically throttles the engine up and down to meet demand instead of running full tilt all the time. The resulting improvement in efficiency means that you will not have to fill up the gas tank as often. Inverter generators also produce lower emissions and are generally incredibly quiet.

Diesel vs Petrol Generator: Which is right for me?

Diesel Generator the Positives

Diesel generators are among the most used generators. ... Diesel engines last longer and take longer to depreciate which makes them very cost effective. They last longer because they do not have to work as hard as petrol engines to produce the same power output. A diesel engine lacks an ignition system.

For decades, people thought of diesel as a dirty, smelly truck fuel. But it has done a complete 180 to give petrol a run for its money – literally. Because one of the biggest advantages of diesel engines is their fuel efficiency. This comes down to the diesel motor’s higher compression. So, a like for like comparison of diesel generator and petrol generator will put the diesel ahead.

With diesel you also get a lower cost of maintenance. That is why so many industries rely on diesel fuel to run their business, whether it is for generators, bulldozers, excavators, or tractors.Diesel engines, and therefore diesel generators, last longer, cost less to run and take longer to depreciate.

Why do they last longer? Because diesel engines do not have to work as hard as petrol engines to get the same power output. This means the engine parts are under less stress. Also, diesel fuel is self-lubricating which means the fuel delivery system should last longer than that of a petrol engine – perfect if the generator has not been used for a while.

Diesel Generators are often more efficient and require less maintenance than their petrol counterparts.

Another thing that gives the diesel engine the upper hand is the lack of an ignition system. It simply does not need one, which means one less thing to fail. What is more, they can operate at loads between 60% to 100% for prolonged periods, which is an advantage over its petrol counterparts.

While you can find diesel generators powering smaller loads, such as domestic appliances for back up or DIY tasks, the advantages are best seen in heavier industrial and mining applications. In fact, diesel generators are the backbone of the mining and construction industries.

Diesel Generator Negatives

Diesel engines emit more noxious gases and CO2 per litre of fuel than petrol-powered engines. However, the upside is that because diesel engines use less fuel, they can also emit less CO2 over time. It all depends for how long you are using your generator.Cost is another factor. Traditionally, diesel has been more expensive than petrol – about 10% more in Australia. But the balance is certainly tipping.

Even though diesel generators last longer and are less likely to fail, they may be more expensive to fix when they do.

Petrol Generator the Positives

In addition to the cost of petrol being lower than diesel, there are a few pros for petrol. There is more choice of models for petrol generators. Like cars, this is because petrol generators have been around for longer. But that said, you will find a growing selection of diesel generators for a whole range of applications and budgets these days; including home/business backup, trade/construction applications, solar set up backup, events and much more.

While diesel generator is praised for their fuel efficiency, petrol generators are now being built with all kinds of economy modes and features to bridge the gap.

8kva Petrol Generator: for trade and agricultural use

Petrol Generator the Negatives

Petrol is much more volatile than diesel fuel. So, if you are carrying lots of fuel for your generator, diesel is a safer option. Also, because of the way diesel engines work, they are much safer than petrol engines. There is no spark ignition, which means no risk of explosion and less maintenance than a petrol generator. At the same time, with petrol generators today, a whole variety of safety features and checks are incorporated to ensure this is not an issue anyway.

Another downfall of petrol generators is that they reach a higher temperature than their diesel counterparts. This leads to more wear and tear on the generator parts over time, meaning more frequent maintenance and repair, and ultimately, a shortly life span. Consequently, petrol generators are not usually run at high loads for extended periods.

Generators - The Verdict

It is a close match…we say that if you are looking to use the generator for heavy commercial use, then diesel is probably the way to go. But if you are already operating other equipment with petrol, then a petrol generator can do the job also – when you consider leading brands from the likes of Hyundai, they all have first rate options in both petrol and diesel. It really comes down to which model suits your application the best. We hope that this article has given you fuel for thought?

Check out our full range of petrol and diesel generators here.

Can I Use My Generator be Used Outside in All Weather?

NOTE! Manufacturers strongly and clearly state that their generators should not be used in rain or other wet conditions, largely because of safety concerns. Generators produce powerful voltage, and when you add wet conditions, this could lead to electrocution or explosion.

Standby Generators Explained

A standby generator is a back-up electrical system that operates automatically. Within seconds of a utility outage an automatic transfer switch senses the power loss, commands the generator to start and then transfers the electrical load to the generator. The standby generator begins supplying power to the circuits.

How to Maintain Your Portable Generator


Clean Generator. Clean with Towels and a Degreaser Every 1 Year and Check for Leaks.

Change Oil. 25 Hours or 1 Year (Should Also be Changed after the First 5 Hours of its new life)

Change Oil Filter. ...

Change Air Filter. ...

Change Spark Plugs. ...

Check Fuel Filter. ...

Check Battery. ...

Add Fuel Stabilizer.


What is Fuel Stabilizer?

Adding Fuel Stabilizer to your Generator Before Storage

If you plan to store your generator with fuel in the tank, make sure to mix in some fuel stabilizer first. If this is not done, then your generator may not start next time you come to use it, since the fuel may degrade and block up the carburettor. Fuel stabilizer helps prevent the carburettor from blocking up and may help extend the life of your generator. For long-term storage, we always recommend to manually drain your carburettor to maximize the lifespan of your generator.

Adding fuel stabilizer is a straightforward process. Just follow these simple steps:

1) Add the correct amount of a properly formulated fuel stabilizer in the tank (if you aren't sure which brand to use, we recommend Mountfield MS1211 Universal Fuel Stabiliser). The recommended ratio for most stabilizers is approximately 1-ounce of stabilizer per 2.5 gallons of fuel, but double check the recommendations on your bottle.

2) Next, run the engine for about 5 to 10 minutes to allow the treated fuel to cycle through the engine and the carburettor. Follow the directions in your owner’s manual to shut down the generator.

After this, your generator will be ready for storage. If you neglected to do this in the past, you may need to clean or replace your carburettor to get your engine running properly again. For advice about this, check out How to Change Your Generator's Carburettor

If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a message at technical@pressurepumpsolutions.co.uk to speak with our friendly and knowledgeable technical support team.

How to Purchase a Generator

Pressure Pump Solutions Ltd. offers a wide range of quality diesel and petrol generators for sale, for trade, domestic and commercial use, all of which are manufactured by the world-leading manufacturer of Generators - Hyundai.



What Is An Inverter Generator?