WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK THE GENERATOR ENGINE BLOCK HEATER.
Engine block heaters also known as a water jacket heaters are critical to diesel generators operating effectively in all standby power applications. The heaters ensure the coolant is maintained to an optimum start temperature.
Diesel generators start and operate more efficiently when warm in the following ways:
1) Cold starting a diesel engine involves a considerable drain on the batteries the colder the engine the more CCA (Cold Cranking Amps) needed to crank the engine. The most common reason for a generator to fail to start is a over discharged battery.
2) The residual heat from the water jacket ensures engine oil is at an optimum viscosity. This ensures a) Oil Pressure rises quickly ready for loading b) Reduction in engine wear by lubricating moving parts with warm oil during the start cycle.
3) The engine temperature warmer than the ambient temperature reduces the risk of water in the engine sump through condensation.
4) Engine emissions and fuel usage are lower on starting with a warm engine.
RECENT CLIENT ISSUE:
Critical to our clients business operation a 150KVA John Deere Generator. Problem with starting, picked up on their weekly maintenance schedule. Generator would have three unsuccessful attempts to start.
Diagnosed by A) the temperature of the engine (was not warm to touch) and B) the electrical continuity of the engine block heater we decided to drain the coolant and inspect the engine heating element.
Engine Block Heating Element has seen better days. Cleared engine heater housing of all debris, and refitted new heater. Customer advised to upgrade battery to a manufacturer’s recommended CCA battery to help with starting however remedied the starting issue.
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