What is a Power Generator Set?
A power generator set can be referred to more conveniently as a “genset”. If you may more commonly hear gensets referred to as generators, and in fact the two are used interchangeably. The “set” of a power generator set refers to all the individual components that work together to make generators function.
While you may immediately recall the portable generator that was used to power your backyard party, gensets also include the large, industrial generators that power businesses in times of power outage. We have put together some more information to help you understand how these useful devices work.
How Does a Power Generator Set Work?
The base components of a power generator set are the engine and alternator enclosed within a metal housing. The combustion engine uses fuel to drive the rotation of a rotor. The rotor is attached to a magnet within the alternator. The alternator is responsible for creating the electrical energy. The magnet spins inside of a stationary piece called a stator, which is lined with coiled wiring. By electromagnetic induction, the spinning magnet induces an electrical alternating current in the wiring. This current can then be used to power a load.
A genset can also include many other components, all found within the metal housing enclosure. The enclosure itself is designed to reduce sound pollution. It also protects the apparatus from water damage, corrosion, and environmental damage.
The fuel source in a genset can either be housed in the enclosure or connected by a line to an external source. This is an important difference between diesel and natural gas gensets that will be elaborated on later.
A genset can also include a control panel for adjusting operation. Depending on size, the genset may be attached to a trailer for ease of portability.
Diesel Versus Natural Gas Gensets.
Power generator sets will have engines that are designed to run either on diesel fuel or natural gas. The fuel type has implications on the operation of the genset, so that diesel and natural gas gensets will be ideal for different applications.
Diesel power generator sets are sometimes smaller, which may lend themselves to portability. They are often better suited for rental and standby-power applications. Diesel can save some money with its superior fuel efficiency. It is also a safer option compared to natural gas, as it is less flammable reducing the risk of explosion. They often last longer and have fewer maintenance costs.
There a few things that must be considered when using diesel fuel. Diesel is more expensive, thanks in part to federal and state taxes. Also, access to diesel fuel at the site of use is not as easy compared to natural gas. Contrasted with relatively abundant natural gas lines, diesel fuel may need to be transported to the site to fill the gensets’ tanks.
Natural Gas Power Generator Sets.
Natural gas gensets are better options for use as prime-power electrical sources. They have access to natural gas lines, meaning ease of access to a consistent fuel source. Natural gas is cheaper than diesel, so you will save some money in this regard. Natural gas tends to be less odorous than diesel exhaust, so this will be less of nuisance if the generator is close to a business.
Natural gas gensets do tend to have higher maintenance costs, meaning they might not last as long. Natural gas is also more volatile than diesel, so safety considerations may need to be made on handling and when deciding on where to place the genset.