According to Redstar, a generator is a simple machine that consists of a 1,500rpm fixed speed diesel engine coupled to an alternator.
There are three basic generator applications:
- Standby: When a generator is only used in the event of a power blackout, and will only run for a small amount of hours each year. The key decision criteria will be price and access to service and parts.
- Prime fixed: Used as the sole source of power but will be fixed in one position or rarely moved over its life. The key decision making criteria for fixed prime generator is fuel consumption.
- Prime mobile: This generator will run for a lot of hours. Fuel consumption and a robust canopy are the key decision making criteria.
The key to minimising fuel consumption is to have the generator sized correctly and then to choose the most fuel efficient generator available in that size. Getting the generator sized so that it operates at or near 75% of its maximum rated output is essential.
Steps to take in choosing the right generator
- Decide whether your generator application is standby, prime fixed or prime mobile
- Once your generator is running 90% of your ownership costs are fuel
- Get a specialist generator supplier to conduct a power audit of your site
- Select a generator size that will operate at around 75% of its maximum load at your site’s peak load point
- Compare the fuel consumption of the available engines in that size range
- Install the generator 50 metres away from your crusher or conveyor
- Have your generator inspected by a specialist generator company once a year