Technical support


How does a genset work?

A genset is a combination of a prime mover, (typically an engine), and an alternator. An engine converts the chemical energy of a fuel to mechanical energy. That mechanical energy is used to spin the alternator rotor, converting mechanical energy to electrical energy. The main parts of a generator are:

• Engine
• Alternator
• Control Panel
• Fuel System
• Lubrication System
• Automatic Voltage Regulator
• Main Assembly/Frame
• Cooling and exhaust system

The engine use fuel, producing motion that causes the rotor in the alternator to spin. In the alternator, the rotor spins around a stator and through magnetic induction, it creates an electrical current. Different gensets have varying amounts of voltage and power. The control panel is where the generator is operated through. The control panel also displays information from sensors and flashes alarms when the generator needs to be attended.

What is the difference between kW, kVa, and kVar?

Kilowatts(kW) are the unit of measure of ACTIVE power while Kilovolt amps(kVa) are the unit of measure of APPARENT power. kW and kVa are directly proportional to each other through the relation of the power factor. The power which flows back and forth that means it moves in both the direction in the circuit or reacts upon it, is called Reactive Power. The reactive power is measured in kilovolt-ampere reactive (kVAR)

What is a power factor?

The power factor is the ratio between Kilowatts (kW) and Kilovolt amps (kVa). The power factor of a generator is determined by its design and connected load. The higher the power factor of a generator, the more ability it must efficiently transfer energy to its connected load. The lower the power factor on a generator, the less efficient it will be and the higher its power costs. The standard power factor for a three-phase generator is 0.8. Multiplying 0.8 by the amount of power in kVa will give you an estimate of its power in kW.

What is the difference between Standby and Prime power?

Standby power generators are utilized in cases where there already exists a reliable source of continuous power and the generator is only needed for emergencies like power outages. It is recommended that their only use should be for emergencies, maintenance, and startups. Prime power rated generators are generators that are intended to be used as a primary power source. Prime power generators are used situations where there is no mains grid or utility source, often the case for industrial, mining, oil, or gas operations.

What does an Automatic Transfer Switch do?

An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) changes the power source from one source to another one, mainly from utility or mains grid to the generator in times where the power from the main is short. An ATS does this automatically through voltage sensing without the user having to detect and then manually switch their generator on. ATS’s are used for emergency power outage situations or cases where a site always needs regular high accessible power. For example, in locations like satellite transmission sites, data centers, factories, farms, etc.

What size/type of genset do I need?

When selecting a generator, you should consider a various amount factors that meet your specific requirements. General factors to consider are:

• Operation Category (Standby or Prime Power).
• Amount of load
• Properties of load
• Insulated or Non-insulated unit
• Ambient Conditions

For a better estimate, you can contact a General Power generator sales rep to better analyze and evaluate the system that will suit your needs.

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