December 19, 2018 — There’s no time for convention on the job site. Sticking with what has always been done can be an expensive mistake. When it comes to powering the job site, convention is a hindrance. “In the past, we brought in one large generator and put it into a distribution box, which powered the various needs across the site,” said Brett Shive, senior field service technician at Allmand. “If the generator ran when you weren’t using power, it was no big deal back then. But in today’s world, using the distribution power method can be troublesome, since oversized generators aren’t always run at nominal load.”
With new Tier 4 emissions standards, running a generator below nominal load can lead to wet stacking. This occurs when the generator is run on too light of a load for the size of the generator and fails to reach the correct operating temperature, meaning unburned fuel is exhausted and interpreted as wetness in the exhaust system. This then causes the generator to shut down, leading to expensive downtime on the job site.
For example, if your customer estimated a power need for around 60 kW, then renting them a 65 kW unit ensures they would be capable of generating all the power potentially needed for the job. However, the generator would typically be underused and would not run at full load. “Often, only half of the power a generator can produce is used on the site,” said Shive. Giving the customer more power than they need serves as a safeguard — more is always better, right?
This is not the case on today’s job sites. Moving away from the one-size-fits-all mentality can create opportunities for improved operations. “Implementing multiple smaller generators promotes a more efficient work site,” said Shive. “Strategically placing several generators around the site to provide the power that’s needed, when and where it’s needed, ultimately saves run time, prevents downtime and gets the job done in a timely manner.”
This not only helps your customer power more efficiently, but reduces the potential for downtime, meaning your equipment is turned around faster.