In our experience at The Generator Sales & Servicing Company, the most common reason for a Diesel Generator not starting is the battery condition. Often overlooked when part of preventative maintenance, batteries should be tested not only just for volts but the CCA capacity also.
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) is a rating defining a battery’s ability to start a diesel engine in cold temperatures. The rating refers to the quantity of amps a 12-volt battery can produce for 30 seconds while ensuring a voltage of at least 7.2 volts. The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery.
If a generator has not charged the battery or batteries (in case of a 24v system) for sometime, you should expect a drop in the performance of the battery. To maintain optimum performance, particularly with regard to standby power (emergency back-up) generators it is recommended the generators are fitted with a battery trickle charger. A very handy tool to have is a battery booster, a portable jump pack which the engineers at The Generator Sales & Servicing Company rely on heavily for a quick remedy.