How do i size a generator?
Sizing a generator is a complex process, you will need many different pieces of information such as average power consumption as well as peak power consumption. Different loads have different requirements, for example electric motors require significantly higher alternator capacity to start. Once running they only use a portion of the that maximum start up power. This can cause issues if the machine isn't sized correctly. Where as a resistive load (lights, heating elements etc) will consume electrical energy consistently from start up to full operating conditions. This efficiency of load is related to a term called Power Factor or Pf. If you have any questions regarding the correct size machine for your application, it is best to consult an expert or contact us for advice before purchase.
What is "light loading" and how does it affect my machine?
Light loading is common in diesel powered generating sets. It relates to engine load over continued operation and can cause significant damage to the diesel engine components if left unchecked. In essence, during light electrical load, the engine is still operating at its designed rotational speed with lower cylinder back pressure. This allows the piston rings to cool and lower radial pressure on the cylinder bore. In this situation low combustion temperatures and lower compression cause the rings to polish or 'glaze up' the bore, this then allows engine oil to bypass the rings and enter the combustion zone. Once this occurs you will notice engine oil issuing from the turbo seals and out of the exhaust pipe. increasing load will "burn" this glaze away but if no remedy is applied permanent engine damage may occur. This is why machine size is critical for prolonged machine life.
the earth leakage on my generator keeps tripping even though i have additional RCD protection on my load?
In many cases, having two Residual Current Devices (RCDs) in a system will not allow the system to function properly. If you are using the generator to power a separate distribution board that has its own Main RCD system you will often have to remove the RCD from the generator or the distribution board. If you are unsure, always contact a licenced electrician.