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Generator Light Repair

Colorado Generator Service > Generator Repairs>

Generator and Systems Light Repair

Generator Cooling System Repairs
Light repair is an internal classification and can be to both large and small generators and support systems. Most light repairs can be completed with minimal generator downtime. Hospitals and industries with a critical need for power cannot allow any generator downtime and must have a replacement emergency power supply while work is being completed on the affected generator.

These repairs can be divided into the following systems:
  • Engine - Includes mechanical and engine specific electronics
  • Electronics - Includes control panel and alternator and generator interface and controls electronics
  • Auxiliary and Support Systems - Indoor and outdoor application for generator supporting systems
After the repair is complete, we test the failed system. Our clients are ensured that power will be supplied on demand when needed. 

Generator Engine

The engine is mechanical but controlled by electronics. Electronic Control Module (ECM) and Engine Control Unit (ECU) are popular terms used for the component that controls the engine functions. All operate with the same basic concept. 

The ECU or ECM is divided into several hardware and software areas. The Input/Output (I/O) unit receives inputs from sensors such as coolant temperature, oil pressure engine RPM, and commands from the generator control panel. All inputs are used to calculate outputs. Outputs can be anything that performs a function, electronic injectors are a good example. 

When performing a repair task on a generator, the technician must be familiar with the troubleshooting software associated with the failure. Once the failed component is identified, the cause of failure is isolated and the repair process is started. Common repairs to the engine include:
  • Fuel System - Replace injectors, fuel lines, fuel pumps, and filter/water separators
  • Cooling System - Belts, hoses, and thermostats 
  • Intake Air System - Turbochargers and air filters
  • Engine Electronics - Sensors, ECM, start batteries 
This list is an example of parts that can be replaced on a given trouble call. Any one of the issues above can cause a fault code or shutdown the generator. 

Generator Electronics

Circuit Card Generator Controller
There are a host of electrical and electronic systems within a generator system. Generators used in both indoor and outdoor applications each have the same master controller theory. Two separate electronic systems exist in a common power generation unit. 

The engine electronics and generator control electronics are the two systems. All engine functions are controlled by the ECM/ECU. This unit is a slave controller. It communicates with the master controller. The master controller receives engine and alternator information and sends information in the form of operational commands back to the engine ECM. This allows the engine to keep pace with load demands.

Each generator manufacturer develops hardware and controlling software that interfaces the generator with the engine. These panels are termed Human Machine Interface (HMI). HMI panels offer the user manual or automatic operation. The Manual feature allows for testing functions and the Automatic feature starts the generator. Most panels contain an Emergency Stop button. Once depressed by the operator, it must be reset by a turning clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Each manufacturer includes advanced features. The Cummins PCC 3200 PowerCommand Digital Paralleling Control offers:
  • Digital electronic controls including voltage regulation and overcurrent protection
  • Digital paralleling controls
  • Both analog and digital AC output voltage monitoring
  • Battery and alarm warning systems monitoring
  • Generator set monitoring
Many more examples exist, and all manufacturers have different hardware and supporting software application for generator control. It requires a skilled technician to isolate the failed component and cause correctly. Load testing a generator places it under a real-time load. This test identifies generator problems when electrically loaded. It is used many times to help identify upcoming generator problems.

Generator Auxiliary Systems

Distribution Control Panels
Equipment that supports the operation of the generator and supports supply of power is placed in the auxiliary systems category. Sometimes these systems are called supporting systems. Indoor, outdoor and portable generators all have some type of supporting system.

Portable and Stationary Generator Supporting Systems
Generators housed in a sound attenuated enclosure are manufactured in both stationary and portable applications. The sound attenuated enclosure is constructed on a trailer for portable generators. Stationary units must have some style of lifting device to move.

Both units are constructed as a complete power generation system. All supporting systems are housed in the container. A sample of light repair tasks for supporting systems are listed below:
  • Replace or repair ATS
  • Replace circuit breakers in the distribution panel
  • Replace distribution panel switches
  • Replace both main and remote located generator control panels
Indoor Generator Support System
Indoor generators are complete power generation units but require auxiliary systems to operate. They require sufficient engine cooling system air for the radiator. Many times, the generator is located so the radiator is facing the outside wall of the machinery room. Cooling ductwork connects the radiator to louvers that are automatically controlled to open when the engine starts and close when it shuts down. Engine exhaust is routed through the muffler and then travels through exhaust ductwork to out-of-doors. Fuel is supplied to the engine by an external fueling system. Some common repair tasks include:
  • Replace fuel system controller, replace Tank Level Indicators (TLI) day tank, replace day tank transfer pump and connecting pipes
  • Replace muffler and exhaust ductwork
  • Replace louver motor, louvers for cooling system air supply
All of the light repairs in the lists above represent a basic example of tasks that can be involved in a repair to an emergency or backup power generation system. Often it is not clear which area is affected when problems occur. Our skilled staff can isolate the area and determine the cause of the failed component or system. Contact Us and we will solve your power generation problems.





 

 



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