Ways to Prevent Generator Low Load Damage

At Adept Power Solutions, we have best practices for preventing generator low load operational damage. Our Generator Servicing and Generator Maintenance Services offer you the support you need, tailored to your industry and specific business needs.

Best Practices for Low Load Generator Operation

Diesel generators should generally run on a minimum of 30% of maximum capacity as a worst-case scenario. In other words, your low load operation should sit around 60 - 75% of maximum capacity. There are, of course, multiple factors that can come into play and each generator’s individual and specific needs will decide its usage. To ensure the longevity of a generator and prevent low load damage, these capacity guidelines should be adhered to where possible.

There will be occasions where diesel generators are required to run below the advised minimum capacity and, by and large, the odd instance will not cause any damage. However, over time, if the generator is regularly run on too low a capacity, there can be negative consequences to performance.

Low Cylinder Pressure in Diesel Generators

Running a generator on low load can result in low cylinder pressure. Subsequently, poor combustion over time will lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the engine.

Low Temperature/Higher Pollution in Diesel Generators

Full combustion occurs at higher temperatures, however by running a generator on low load, the engines cool and run at a decreased temperature, thereby only partially burning the fuel. As a result, this leads to an increase in exhaust emissions which are hazardous due to their high hydrocarbon content, resulting in increased environmental pollution levels.

The Effect of Internal Glazing on Diesel Generator Performance

Running a generator on low load, and therefore under cooler temperatures, can result in gases escaping past piston rings, which will burn any oil lubricating the cylinder walls and produce an enamel-like glaze. This also removes the intricate design within the cylinder designed to hold the oil and returns it to the crankcase via the scraper ring. As a knock-on effect, this results in lower oil performance and higher oil consumption.

Why Diesel Generator Low Load Care is Important

Ultimately, by running your generator on a low load too frequently, or for prolonged periods of time, you may experience power loss, poor performance and failing components, which can lead to increased downtime and more frequent unscheduled generator maintenance. In the worst of cases, this can lead to total generator failure. After any low load operation period, our suggestion is that the generator is operated with an increased load for a short while to not only raise temperature, but the pressure as well.

A no load operation is far from ideal, but this should never be run for more than a 15-minute period, if absolutely necessary. The above information is the guidance we recommend you stick to.

Get in Touch Today

If you want to know more about the Generator Maintenance services from Adept Power Solutions to help prevent low load issues, contact our expert team today. As a Diesel generator supplier, we have a comprehensive range of diesel generators. Contact us to learn more.