For anyone who has never owned or worked with diesel generators before, they can be extremely daunting.
There is a lot of technical jargon to learn. A lot of parts to understand. And a lot of miscellaneous details to remember.
However, this article focuses more on the terminology and knowledge that you may need to understand the basics of diesel generators.
Key Terms – Technical Specifications
Max Output: The maximum output that the generator is capable of producing under normal conditions over a year.
kW and kVA: kilowatt(kW) and kilovolt-ampere(kVA). kW is the unit of real power and kVA is a unit of apparent power.
Prime Output: Prime power ratings is defined as having an "unlimited run time” where the generator will be used a primary power source and not for backup power.
Voltage – Single Phase: Single phase power is a two wire Alternating Current (AC) power circuit. One power circuit and one neutral wire and power flows between the power wire (through the load) and the neutral wire.
Voltage – Three Phase: Three phase power is a three Alternating Current (AC) power circuit. Compared to a single phase, a 3 phase power arrangement provides 1.732 times more power with the same current and provides (7) power circuits.
Frequency: In a generator, there is a prime mover (an engine) connected to the actual generator, which consists of either rotating coils of wire within a magnetic field, or rotating magnets surrounded by coils of wire. The number of poles and the rotational speed determine the output frequency. Frequency = (Engine RPM * Number of poles) / 120
Engine Speed (rpm): The number of revolutions per minute (rpm) that an engine is moving.
Sound Level: Sound produced when the generator is running.
This may be a lot to remember and learn how it is applicable to your situation.
But it does not have to be a hard process if you know what the generator will be used for. Some use cases are for mobility, power, low noise level or customization. Each use case requires a slightly different type of generator.
As they are a huge investment to businesses, do keep in mind that they have different compatibility, therefore to future proof your purchase, ensure that the generator that you purchase is expandable to accommodate your current and future business requirements.
You can read about how to decide which generator is right for you here.