Even if starting off with just one unit, it’s worth asking the equipment manufacturer what steps can be taken to parallel a single generator with others to form a modular power plant set up. For instance, is the generator equipped with this capability as standard? Also, how long would it take to pair two units? With many generators, this process can take under 10 minutes, but not all offer this capability. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to check before an investment is made, in case this capability is needed in the future.
When coordinated by a network of controllers, plug-and-play generators can power up and down according to the on-site power requirements at any given time. For example, only one or two may be operational during periods of low load, thereby boosting fuel efficiency. Equally, all units may become active in periods of high demand.
There are a number of additional benefits from modular capability. Firstly, equipment reliability is enhanced as the failure of a single unit is mitigated by configuring the remaining units to increase their output to maintain the same power output. Secondly, the cost and length of service intervals is reduced, as it isn’t necessary to stop the entire power delivery during essential maintenance operations.
Control systems and power management for generators
The ideal control system should offer a variety of features. For instance, the ability to remotely start and program the machine, display warnings, for instance low fuel and other performance issues, in addition to deliver a broad range of analysis data. This helps to better utilise the efficiency of the power plant while providing a valuable overview of the application process.
Reduced maintenance time and costs
Many generators are now equipped with Power Management Systems (PMS). What makes them ideally suited for rental applications is the plug-and-play design that allows for easy and rapid configuration. PMS provides the means to optimise the fuel consumption and performance of generators in parallel with load demand,
starting and stopping units with corresponding increase or decrease of load. It also helps avoid engine damage to generators from running with low load levels, thereby increasing their useful work life.
It will pay to think modular because bigger is not necessarily better. Modular is not just about large installations, it can make a lot of sense with units around the 150 kVA level as well.
For users, contractors and event companies who have always rented the same size generator, now is the time to seek expert advice about the latest developments that are designed to help to match outputs to applications.