What is a Diesel Generator? | How Do Diesel Generators Work?

Jun 22, 2022 | Diesel generator

Diesel generator turn diesel fuel’s energy into electricity. They work somewhat differently to other types of generators.

Let’s take a closer look at how diesel generators function, what they’re used for, and why you might want to invest in one. Do you require a temporary rental power source? Diesel Generator Rentals Australia are offered by Viking Industrial. Our knowledgeable and skilled support team is committed to giving our clients a high-quality, trouble-free experience.

How does a diesel generator work?

To generate AC (alternating current) power, diesel generators go through a series of stages.

When a diesel (combustion) engine transforms some of the chemical energy in the fuel into spinning mechanical energy, the process begins. The AC alternator then generates power from the revolving motor, while a wire travelling through a magnetic field initiates electrical charges.

Both primary and backup power can be supplied by this generator. A diesel generator, for example, could be used for primary power in a rural area with limited grid access, or for standby or backup power during a blackout.

Single-phase machines are suitable for home or small business use, whereas 3-phase machines are suitable for long-term or heavy-duty industrial use.

Generators should not be used in conjunction with mains power, which is why they are generally equipped with a transfer switch to avoid this.

Diesel generator

What are the advantages of using a diesel generator?

Diesel generators have a number of advantages.

Robustness, extended life, low maintenance requirements, excellent efficiency and safety are just a few of them.

Diesel generators are suitable for a variety of situations:

  • Those who require a portable generator for use on construction sites
  • People who live off the grid and require a stable electricity supply
  • As a battery backup for a solar panel
  • For use in large-scale events
  • For use on farms and in agriculture
  • In a remote mining location as a constant power supply
  • In large enterprises, warehouses and healthcare facilities that run on a continuous basis and require an emergency power source in the event of a power loss
  • In the event of a power outage in shopping centres or supermarkets.

Essentially, a diesel generator can keep your home, business or critical service running during a power outage.

If necessary, you might even use one as a primary power source.

How efficient are diesel generators and how long do they last?

Diesel engines have a higher thermal efficiency than other types of internal combustion engines because they burn fuel using compression heat rather than spark ignition.

Diesel generators are particularly efficient because of this, especially when used continuously and heavily.

On average, diesel generators require 0.4 litres of fuel per kWh produced, which translates into a 25 percent efficiency rate. However, the efficiency of a diesel generator depends on the circumstance and how it is used.

Diesel generators have a longer lifespan than petrol generators because they are subjected to less wear and tear.

Which is better: diesel or petroleum generators?

Diesel generators have various advantages over petrol generators on the surface.

Diesel generators, for example, are more efficient since they use half the amount of fuel and don’t have to work as hard to create the same output as petrol generators.

While diesel is more expensive per litre, a diesel generator will use less fuel overall, resulting in reduced long-term expenditures.

Diesel is also safer to use than petrol since it is less volatile. In addition, because a diesel engine runs cooler and doesn’t have to work as hard as a petrol engine, its maintenance requirements are lower.

Advantages of petrol generators

On the other hand, there is a larger selection of petrol generators on the market, and they are often less expensive to purchase. Petrol is also cleaner than diesel since it emits fewer pollutants. However, a diesel generator uses less fuel, resulting in less pollution overall.

The distinctions between the two types are likewise becoming more blurred. Many modern petrol cars, for example, have built-in safety systems to compensate for their higher safety risk. While diesel generators are noisier than petroleum generators, several models now have noise-reduction technologies.

So, which is the better option?

The answer is complicated since it relies on why you want a generator in the first place.

  • Diesel’s cost-cutting and efficiency benefits are unlikely to be realised for short-term or sporadic use. So, if you’re looking for a generator for occasional or backup power, petrol is likely your best bet.
  • In high-use or heavy-industry settings, diesel is more cost-effective in the long run, which makes it the better option.

What size diesel generator do I require?

Diesel generators are available in a wide range of styles and sizes. This ranges from 6kVA to 11kVA portable generators to 2,000 kVA or greater 3-phase stationary generators.

You could utilise a portable generator for backup, commerce, agriculture or household use. A large 3-phase stationary model may be required for intensive and ongoing use.

Consider the following factors while determining the appropriate size:

  • The wattage requirements of the appliances or devices you intend to run, for both running and startup
  • Whether or not you plan to run multiple pieces of equipment at the same time. If that’s the case, you’ll need to tally up each person’s criteria to get a total
  • The wattage needs are converted to kVA. This is accomplished by multiplying the kW demand by the generator power output factor (usually 0.8). So, for 7kW of electricity and a power factor of 0.8, a generator of at least 8.75 kVA is required (7 divided by 0.8).

Is there anything else I should think about?

Look for diesel generators with solid warranties from reliable vendors with service agents. This includes the option of extending the warranty period. Viking Industrial has a huge selection of high-quality diesel generators in a variety of sizes and types. Contact our staff to discuss the best generators for your needs based on your size requirements.