Did you know that a large percentage of backup generators use diesel? While diesel is commonly used, its storage methods can lead to contamination, which can be detrimental to the operation of your generator. You should avoid using fuel that has been stored for an extended period of time as it may be degraded or contaminated since they may cause your generator to function improperly.
Backup generators are needed with no warning as power blackouts are not pre-planned. It would, therefore, be counterproductive to have a backup generator that stalls just when it is needed. It is essential that you keep up with the maintenance of your generator by constantly checking and testing fuel storage.
Sources of fuel degradation
There are different factors that cause the fuel in your backup generator to degrade including:
(a) Microbes: Water is known to harbor microbes that create sediments, which can compromise filtration systems in your backup generator. Generator fuel tanks usually have water bottoms that may harbor these microbes.
(b) Shelf life: Diesel fuel, like many other products, has a shelf life, usually six months. After the six-month period, the fuel begins to degrade. After two years, the level of diesel degradation can make it ineffective. Degraded fuel can cause other problems in your backup generator including compromising cloud and flash-points and distillation. Degraded fuel, therefore, impairs generator operation.
(c) Gelling: Diesel freezes at temperatures that are higher than most other fuels, meaning that diesel fuel is easily compromised in cold environments. Standard diesel is known to freeze at below 0 degrees Celsius causing clogging and gelling in fuel pipes, compromising the operation of your generator.
How to prevent fuel degradation
There are five methods that are applied to ensure that diesel flows properly in your backup generator including:
(a) Filtration: Filtration is meant to remove contaminants and water in diesel. Inborn Energy filtration systems guarantee the removal of contaminants and water from the bottom of your generator fuel tank. Our systems remove the fuel, filter it, and return it back in the tank, which ensures that fuel is not wasted.
(b) Sampling: Sampling encompasses all checks on your fuel to ensure that it is stable enough to handle your full load. The results of the fuel sampling can help in remediation of any arising issues.
(c) Treatment: Treatment involves the addition of different substances to help remedy and avoid the buildup of contaminants in your diesel fuel. Any new fuel that is added in your backup generator needs to be treated to prevent contaminating the system.
(d) Fuel Top Off: Fuel top off is achieved with 189 Litres of fuel and is aimed at reducing the water in the system as well as preventing condensation. Topping off the fuel reduces sidewall condensation. Topping off is part of a preventative maintenance program that can help reduce the time you spent with your fuel vendor.
(e) Polishing: There are three major steps that are involved in fuel polishing that are designed to prevent the buildup of fungi and bacteria in your diesel fuel. Polishing of fuel is meant to curtail microbial development, which is a major cause of failure in diesel engines and backup generators. Fuel polishing should be a part of your annual generator maintenance.
The best way of reducing fuel degradation in your backup generator is to ensure that there is schedule fuel maintenance. If you have not yet undertaken fuel maintenance for your generator, you should contact a generator service company as soon as possible before any major issues with your generator arise.
At Inborn Energy we are committed to ensuring that your generator is in tiptop condition when you need it. We offer preventive maintenance services that are customized for your system. We have expertise in a wide array of generator systems and power backup systems.
Need help with maintenance of your generator? We can help.
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