Cost saving opportunities for generators

WASP Diesel mining services manager Craig Watson explains the top ways to reduce generator costs in tough times.

Because the largest suppliers of generators for both sale and rental are either engine manufacturers or strategically aligned to engine manufacturers, very little attention is paid to the fact that over 90% of the cost of operating a generator is the cost of fuel.

There are three important elements in selecting the right generator or generator system for your application;

Correct sizing

This is a crucial part of the generator selection process.

Oversizing is the most common mistake in generator selection and not only leads to unnecessary fuel consumption and carbon emissions, but it can also cause irreparable engine damage due to glazing.

Ensuring an experienced generator technician assists in the sizing process is critical in ensuring maximum cost savings.

Establishing the nature of your load

Throughout the course of a day or work cycle, the load required from a generator will either be relatively fixed or variable.

A fixed load means that the power required by your application remains relatively constant throughout the day.

Once this is established, a generator should be chosen that can provide this amount of power at about 75% of maximum output.

A generator operates at its most efficient around 75% loaded.

If users have a variable load, such as an accommodation camp for example, the load required will vary significantly throughout the day.

Using the accommodation camp as an example, the load will be significantly higher when the residents are eating meals and showering than it is when they vacate the camp for extended periods during the day to work.

This kind of load can present dramatic fuel and carbon saving opportunities through the use of paralleling control systems. This is when multiple smaller generators are used in parallel, running together to provide the peak load and then automatically dropping off when the load is low to save fuel and carbon emissions.

Selecting the most efficient engine

Once the generator sizing and nature of load has been determined, the third vital step in ensuring the most cost-effective generator package is selected in reviewing the available generator engines in the size range required.

Even incremental fuel efficiency advantages can translate into major cost savings over the course of a project, so picking the most efficient engine available in the size required is of paramount importance.

By following these steps, dramatic fuel and carbon emissions can be made even on small or single generator applications.

WASP Diesel mining Services manager Craig Watson: 1300 302 991.

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