How Much Should Maintenance Cost You?
There are many different companies offering many different levels of generator servicing and maintenance throughout the UK, the truth is generator maintenance is not cheap for it to be done correctly and if all you are looking to have done is the engine filters changed then you might as well consider doing this yourself.
There is a common misconception in the Generator industry about what should and should not be done during a service visit, but 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 we also complete the following-
- Megger test of windings to measure insulation resistance and track deterioration.
- Regular Fluid Sampling 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
WHAT’S RIGHT? WHAT’S WRONG?
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 standby systems and critical power systems must always remain available, to do this they must maintain certain set points and levels of readiness to support outages and loss of supply events.
The approach to inspecting and hardly completing any relevant servicing tasks twice annually simply is not enough, older systems may fail and go undetected until it is needed whereas newer systems will alarm and highlight faults much sooner. As industry specialists we see it far too often where this servicing approach has been taken for four, five and in some cases ten years or more and the equipment is in horrendous condition and clients are looking at replacements with the root cause simply being a poor maintenance regime.
Lots can be missed by taking this approach, failed chargers, batteries, glycol levels, generator issues and this is all avoidable by employing competent specialists and delivering the correct levels of maintenance.
Pleavin Power takes a very disruptive approach to this and offers a service that is not very common, we will assess your systems prior to offering support and identify any areas of concern, address any existing issues, and provide suggestions for where improvements can be made.
The next stage will be for us to complete what we call benchmarking, this is where we will complete a major service visit, replace all engine fluids, components as per OEM recommendations, test cranking batteries, test fuel systems, check alternator winding insulation and main rotor condition before completing a functional system test, mains failure and load test. Upon successful completion of this process the equipment will now be ‘benchmarked’ at our standard and be 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?
In any application where an engine operates be it in an industrial, electrical generation, or marine propulsion application there are certain levels of maintenance that are required to be met to maintain performance and efficiency. Often a grey area when discussed ‘spinning’ of oil and fuel filters simply is not enough.
OEM’s specify the correct levels of service and intervention required and failure to comply with this often leads to premature failure.
Pleavin Power can work with you to develop a bespoke planned maintenance regime and sampling process that allows you 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 Oil
- 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