How Much Should Maintenance Cost You?
There are many different companies offering many different levels of Generator Servicing and Maintenance throughout the UK. However, Generator Maintenance is a mindful process and requires exceptional service. If all you are looking to have done is the engine filters changed, then you might as well consider doing this yourself.
A common misconception in the Generator Industry is about what should and should not be done during a visit. The truth is, nearly all manufacturers recommend the following as a minimum:
- Fluid levels checked & sampled.
- Fluids are replaced every 500 hours of operation or every three years whichever occurs first.
- Engine Valve Lash Adjustment at initial 250 Hours of operation and then every 500 Hours.
- Replacement Fuel, Oil, Air and auxiliary system filters at least every six months.
- Adjustment or Replacement of Drive, Auxiliary and Fan Belts Every three years.
- Replacement of engine Thermostats and seals every three years.
- Testing of battery CCA, Charge rate and capacity.
- Integrity Check of the auxiliary fuel system, storage, and operation.
- Integrity check of Engine and alternator heaters.
- Control system inspection, connection check and functional operation.
- Connection Torque check in the generator terminal box & on the generator output breaker.
- Mechanical guards, fixings and systems check.
- Load-bank test to achieve at least 80% of rated load for four hours.
As well as the above part of the Generator Servicing we also complete the following:
- Megger test of windings to measure insulation resistance and track deterioration.
- Regular Fluid Sampling that gives you a clear image of system health and fuel quality.
- Firmware updates and software updates for primary and auxiliary control systems.
- Tripping battery testing and switchgear maintenance.
- System functionality testing to ensure correct operation, not just an offload test.
- Black-building simulation, Supply isolation or Emergency Situation Simulation.
Historically, the industry standard for ‘servicing’ Standby equipment is to complete what is classified as one ‘Major’ and one ‘Minor’ a year. The issues with this approach is that Standby Systems and Critical Power Systems must always remain available. It must maintain certain set points and levels of readiness to support outages and loss of supply events.
Inspecting and hardly completing any relevant Generator Servicing tasks twice annually is simply not enough. Older systems may fail and go undetected, whereas newer systems will alarm and highlight faults much sooner. As industry specialists, we see this poor servicing approach too often. In this case, clients are looking at replacements because of a poor maintenance regime. Failed chargers, batteries, glycol levels, generator issues are avoidable by employing competent specialists and delivering the correct levels of maintenance.
Pleavin Power approach
Pleavin Power takes a very disruptive approach and offers a Maintenance Service that is very detailed. We will assess your systems prior to offering support and identify areas of concern. In addition to that, highlight any existing issues, and provide suggestions for improvements.
The next stage is to complete what we call benchmarking, a major service visit:
- Replacing all engine fluids.
- Replacing components as per OEM recommendations.
- Testing cranking batteries and fuel systems.
- Checking alternator winding insulation and main rotor condition.
Afterwards, completing a functional system test, mains failure and load test. The equipment will then be ‘benchmarked’ at our standard and ready to enter one of our industry leading SLA agreements.
Our SLA’s don’t offer ‘twice yearly visits’, ‘major’, ‘minor’ or ‘A’ & ‘B’. We begin with quarterly site visits, inspections, periodic sampling and functional testing. In some of the most critical applications, our engineers support clients on a weekly and monthly basis.
The only question left to ask is how thorough is your maintenance regime?
For any engine operating application, there are certain levels of maintenance. Those levels are required to be met in order to maintain performance and efficiency. OEM’s specify the correct levels of service and intervention, while failure to comply often leads to premature failure.
Pleavin Power can work with you to develop a bespoke planned maintenance regime and sampling process. This allows to monitor engine wear and predict overhaul intervals, minimising downtime and premature failures. As a minimum, engine’s that operate for continuous operation, should have the following completed (every 450 Hours):
- Replacement Fuel, Oil, Fuel Water and Primary filters
- Replacement air filter when required often completed at 1000hr intervals
- Valve lash adjustment
- Injector height/clearance adjusted
- DC drive belt adjusted
- Fan drive belt adjusted and bearings greased
- Generator Bearings Greased
- Electrical Connections inspected