Critical Power Systems: A Well Planned Maintenance Schedule Minimizes Generator Failure Risks

Maintaining your critical power source ensures individual safety during electrical failure. These systems may be the lifeline of your production facility or an essential component for operating backup lighting and emergency items. A properly designed generator is the first step in minimizing many of the common problems experienced with secondary power sources.

Preventative maintenance is essential because it keeps your well designed generator operating at its peak performance capabilities. You cannot keep critical power systems from failing at all times. Things can happen even when the most appropriate care measures are taken; however, this important system task does decrease the chances of failure when your backup electrical source is essential.

Emergency Power Generation: Avoiding Typical System Catastrophes

An emergency power generation setup can fail due to multiple causes. The most frequently occurring reasons for failure are starter, fuel, mechanical, light load, control, and software issues. A system may not start due to a bad battery cell, being in a discharge state too long, or neglected maintenance. Batteries used in these systems are typically lead-acid based. They can leak if not cared for correctly or lose their charge as cells begin to degrade. Tests may be run during preventative maintenance to determine the overall health of your system battery.

Connections may become loose, damaged, or acquire grime over time. A technician will inspect each cable and its associated connection to be certain they are tight. Terminal cleaning, cable replacement, and other processes may be performed to ensure electrical resistance is minimized.

Fuel problems are the second biggest cause for emergency power generation failure. Most generators operate on diesel fuel that could gum up, block lines, or cause the pump to fail when not maintained. The tank should be topped off and go through monthly load testing to ensure the fuel does not sit idle for too long. Testing has to be under the required capacity for emergency operation. Light load running is just as problematic as not running the system at all.

Mold growth is another reason for this maintenance task. Engine, cooling, and other equipment components might stop functioning with little to no warning. A preventative schedule reduces sudden failures because each component is tested for defective performance. It is easier to replace the part during this process than while having to replace it in the middle of operation.

As discussed above, insufficient load testing should never be performed, but is often the general routine of generator owners. You should always have a professional service perform proper load testing on each emergency generator. These systems can be compared to a car engine in that they run smoother and longer when tested at a higher temperature. A minimum of sixty percent of full capacity is recommended for monthly testing.

Insufficient loads cause carbon buildup that could cause a fire, part degradation, and decreased efficiency. Operational sequence issues also harm system performance and can be detected during regular maintenance. Prime Power professionals work with you to determine the most optimal maintenance schedule for your critical power systems. Call us today to have one of our technicians begin setting up a dependable preventative maintenance schedule for each of your backup systems.

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