Generators are vital machines that provide energy for various purposes. In many industries, powerful generators produce electricity to run crucial infrastructure. In other cases, these standby generators serve the purpose of backup power in case of emergencies.
Whatever the use of a generator may be, much like everything else, they don’t last forever. Unfortunately, getting rid of or moving a commercial generator isn’t as simple as perhaps disposing of a small, portable generator. There are health, environmental, and legal implications to worry about.
This is where generator decommissioning comes in!
What is Generator Decommissioning?
Generator decommissioning is the process of removal of commercial generators. In other words, it’s basically the withdrawal of the generator from service. Since commercial generators are very big and complex, this decommissioning process requires experts who work with the generator owners and any other vendors involved to properly remove the generator from the site.
In some cases, the generator may just be moving from one site to another, especially if it’s in working condition and being sold. In other cases, it’s the job of the generator decommissioning company to safely and lawfully dispose of the many components that go into these generators.
There can be a number of reasons why any company or facility may seek generator decommissioning:
- Power Upgrade: Perhaps the facility has outgrown the standby power provided by the current generator and needs to get a bigger one.
- Shutdown: The facility using the generator may be shutting and no longer needs a standby generator.
- Failure: The generator has developed faults that are beyond repair, or it simply isn’t efficient enough.
- Technology Upgrade: The facility wants to upgrade to a newer model with more advanced, modern technology that uses less fuel and has lower emissions.
Why do Commercial Generators need to be Properly Decommissioned?
As mentioned earlier, commercial generators used in big facilities and factories, either for power generation or as a backup source, are quite complex. There are hundreds of components, connections, and wirings. Plus, the generator itself is quite heavy and may require a crane and truck to move it.
That’s not the only reason you may need to hire a professional generator removal service. Many components of the generator are regulated by laws on a state or federal level. Disposing of these components the wrong way may get the owner entity in legal trouble with heavy fines from the local municipalities.
Furthermore, there’s always the threat of environmental damage. For instance, fuel leakage during the removal process can pose an extreme danger. Similarly, exposed wiring and bad connections can compromise the integrity of the main electrical connections of the facility that provide power to the whole structure.
It’s highly unlikely any company or facility would have the technical and labor capacity to remove and move the generator by themselves. It’s not something your average generator maintenance crew can carry out.
Such a laborious and technical job requires the help of professionals who work with generators regularly and understand the different types of them. These experts can properly decommission a generator (whatever the end goal may be) and get it off the facility in a safe and legal manner.
Steps of Generator Decommissioning
Generator decommissioning is a multi-step project that can take anywhere from a few days to weeks, depending on different factors. If you’re looking to decommission or remove a generator, here are the key steps of the process:
Find the Generator Decommissioning or Removal Service
The first step is to find and hire a professional commercial generator removal company to handle the job. It’s best to find a service that’s near your location, but that’s not always necessary.
Once you’ve hired the company, they will carry out a site inspection. This is basically an expert evaluation of the condition and specs of the generator (KWs, Voltage, Amperage, size, weight, etc.), electrical system, and the site itself.
The company will document all these and also note the decommissioning goals. If you’re moving the generator, where will it be moved to? Are you selling certain components that need to be moved and delivered somewhere? Or do you simply want to dispose of it?
The generator decommissioning company then reviews all the information collected and determines the best course of action to remove and transport the commercial generator. They will quote you the total cost of the removal.
It’s also the responsibility of the decommissioning experts to arrange any machinery, for example, a crane, and transportation vehicle, to move the generator and other components.
This review process will also include an analysis of local regulations to ensure that the whole process complies with any rules set by the local or state government.
Finally, they will finalize a timeline for the whole process, which can be several days.
Decommissioning (Removal and Shipping)
The last step is, of course, the actual removal of the generator from the site. The company will coordinate with the on-site personnel and may enlist their help if need be.
The very first step in this process is removing the electrical connection of the generator to the facility. Then come a number of steps to disconnect the actual generator from the installation site. Finally, the generator is moved to a transportation truck with the help of machinery.
After that, new connections will be finalized with new labels as necessary. It’s also important to remove any excess wires and conduits left from the generator.
If you plan on installing a new generator in place of the old one, the decommissioning company can also carry out that task for you.
Generator decommissioning is a complex process that requires expert knowledge and attention to detail. It’s a process that only the right professionals can carry out who has the correct training.
Plus, it’s a pain to try to do something of this sort on your own, as you will need to hire several vendors for different stages of the process. There’s always the risk of something going wrong too that can result in damage to the facility or the generator.