Diesel Engines: Common Components of Emergency-Power Systems

By Thomas A. Westerkamp  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Emergency-Lighting Systems Give Managers FlexibilityPt. 2: Emergency Power: Key Maintenance Practices for GeneratorsPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: What are Common Problems with Diesel Engines?Pt. 5: Bearing Problems Negatively Impact Emergency-Power Systems

Diesel engines are common components of emergency-power systems. They are connected directly to en electric generator and provide the generator’s rotating motion, which produces power when an event interrupts the normal power supply.

Diesel engines have higher compression ratios that spark-ignited engines. The full charge is taken into the combustion chambers at the right time in equal quantity and proper condition to burn. The heat of the compressed air in the combustion chamber causes the fuel to ignite.

Proper engine operation depends on two things: compression for ignition and injecting the proper quantity of fuel into the cylinder at the right time. Diesel engine generators usually are located in building equipment spaces or separate buildings and are connected to the plant’s power-distribution system.

When normal power is interrupted for a certain preset interval of time, the emergency diesel engine automatically starts. The generator picks up the electric power load for critical services so no interruption occurs, except possibly a brief flicker of lights.

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  posted on 4/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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