Welcome to The Complete Guide to Generator Terms: A Depco Power Systems Glossary
Unlock the secrets of the generator industry with our comprehensive guide, crafted by Depco Power Systems’ team of experts. Explore an extensive range of terms and concepts related to generators, engines, marine transmissions, power switches, and more. This indispensable resource is designed for professionals and newcomers alike, helping you navigate the world of power systems with ease.
- Alphabetically organized terms for quick reference
- Definitions covering various generator types, fuel options, power ratings, and components
- Insights on installation, operation, and maintenance
- Information on the latest industry trends and technologies
Don’t miss out on this essential glossary, perfect for anyone looking to excel in the generator industry. Access the full guide below, or download a copy to read at your leisure.
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An alternator is a device that converts mechanical energy into electrical power via electromagnetic induction. Also referred to as a gen end or generator end, alternators can be either stand-alone units or integrated within a genset.
AUTOMATIC TRANSFER SWITCH
An automatic transfer switch (ATS) detects power outages and immediately switches the load from the primary power source to a backup power source, maintaining a continuous supply of electricity.
AutoStart is a device that automatically starts a generator when it detects low battery voltage or high-temperature conditions. It ensures reliable backup power in times of need.
Backup power systems provide continuous electricity for homes or businesses during power outages, allowing devices, machinery, and appliances to operate uninterrupted.
BLACK START GENERATOR
A black start generator is a diesel-powered unit capable of starting an entire power station or electric grid without relying on an external electricity source.
A circuit breaker is an electrical safety device that interrupts current flow to protect equipment and minimize fire risk when an overcurrent situation arises.
CONTINUOUS POWER GENERATOR
A continuous power generator serves as the primary power source and operates without interruption, commonly used in remote locations where the power grid is unavailable.
Cycles refer to the combustion revolutions that generate energy. A 2-stroke engine produces power during each revolution, while a 4-stroke engine generates power every other revolution.
A diesel engine is an internal combustion engine that uses diesel fuel, commonly employed as the primary power source in remote locations or as a backup power supply.
Emergency power refers to an independent electrical power source that operates vital systems when the primary power source is disrupted.
ENGINE BLOCK HEATER
An engine block heater maintains warmth in the engine’s water, increasing oil pressure and allowing the engine to reach optimal speed more quickly and operate for longer periods.
EPA TIER RATINGS
EPA Tier ratings are a series of regulations aimed at reducing harmful emissions and pollutants. Implemented in phases, the current ratings include Tier 1, 2, 3, and 4, with stricter regulations in each subsequent tier.
Excitation refers to the specific direct voltage required to energize a particular field coil in a generator.
A fuel filter removes contaminants from fuel, protecting generator components from corrosion and ensuring efficient operation.
Fuel injection involves small electrical components delivering fuel into an internal combustion engine, mixing it with air before entering the combustion chamber for optimal performance.
A fuel tank stores fuel required for generator operation and can be designed as above-ground tanks, sub-base tanks, or underground storage tanks. These tanks ensure an uninterrupted fuel supply for the generator during its operation.
A generator is a device that converts mechanical energy, derived from sources such as diesel fuel or natural gas, into electrical energy. It is used to power machines and systems during power outages or in remote locations where power is unavailable.
GENERATOR BATTERY CHARGER
A generator battery charger is a separate, static device that maintains the generator’s battery charge without manual intervention, ensuring the generator is ready for use when needed.
A generator enclosure houses a generator set, protecting it from weather, animals, and harmful elements while also reducing noise levels and ensuring safe operation.
The generator end, also known as an alternator, houses electrical conductors that convert mechanical energy into electrical power, forming an essential component of a generator.
A generator radiator absorbs heat generated by the engine’s cylinders, preventing overheating, fires, and malfunctions, thus ensuring efficient and safe generator operation.
Generator voltage refers to the electrical potential needed to drive current across a circuit, measured in volts. Single-phase generators typically have a voltage of 120 or 240, while three-phase generators’ voltage ranges from 120/240 to 4160.
A genset, or generator set, consists of an engine, generator end, control panel, and skid, working together to convert mechanical energy into electrical power
Horsepower is a unit of measurement used to configure the power output of generators. For example, a 500-horsepower engine corresponds to a 373 kW rating
A kilowatt is a unit of electrical power equal to 1000 watts, representing the amount of energy required to work at a rate of 1000 joules per second.
LOAD BANK TEST
A load bank test involves connecting a load bank to a generator to simulate the actual load, assessing the generator’s ability to handle its designated electrical load and ensuring reliable performance.
A megawatt is a unit of power equal to one million watts, commonly used to measure large amounts of power generated by industrial-scale generators.
NATURAL GAS GENERATOR
A natural gas generator is a type of generator that converts natural gas into electrical power, offering an alternative to diesel or gasoline-powered generators.
A new generator refers to a newly manufactured unit that has not been previously owned or used, ensuring optimal performance and reliability.
NEW SURPLUS GENERATOR
A new surplus generator is a unit that has remained in inventory for an extended period or exceeds the original purchaser’s requirements but has not been used. These generators offer cost-effective alternatives to brand-new units.
Onsite power refers to electricity generated at the location of a business operation, as opposed to power imported from external power distribution grids. This can provide a more reliable and cost-effective power solution.
Parallel operation, also known as synchronizing, involves connecting two or more generators to the same electrical bus. This is often used in critical applications where fast response times are essential for maintaining power continuity.
PERMANENT MAGNET GENERATOR
A permanent magnet generator (PMG) is a type of generator used for secondary excitation, providing reliable electrical energy for the voltage regulator. These generators are known for their compact design and high efficiency.
Power factor is the ratio of real power (watts) to apparent power (volt-amps) in an electrical circuit. It represents the efficiency with which electrical power is converted into useful work.
A power outage is a complete loss of electrical power from distribution grids, typically caused by weather, natural disasters, scheduled maintenance, accidents, or other unforeseen events.
A generator’s power rating indicates its running time, either indefinite or limited, depending on the type of power (prime or continuous). These ratings help users select the appropriate generator for their needs.
A power system is a network responsible for power generation, distribution, and transmission, ensuring reliable and continuous electricity supply.
Prime power refers to electricity generated by operators who do not purchase power from public utilities but instead produce their own electricity, often through onsite generation.
A rebuilt generator has been restored and tested according to the original equipment manufacturer’s (OEM) specifications and typically includes the manufacturer’s warranty, ensuring reliable performance.
Rental generators are mobile units available for temporary use during emergencies or to power short-term projects, offering a flexible solution for temporary power needs.
Safety shutdown involves several crucial steps: verifying no fuel flow, adjusting the unit’s voltage regulator until the field current reaches the no-load value, opening the generator circuit breaker, opening the generator field breaker, and completing full decommissioning if removing the unit from service.
A sound-attenuated enclosure features acoustic barriers and insulation to absorb vibrations and reduce noise. These enclosures often include exhaust systems to further minimize noise levels.
Standby power is the electricity supplied by a standby generator when a power outage or shortage occurs, ensuring continuous power for essential systems.
Switchgear distributes power to designated circuits, de-energizing equipment for maintenance while ensuring continuous power for critical systems, maintaining the reliability and safety of electrical installations.
Synchronization involves matching the frequency, phase, and voltage of a generator to an electrical grid, allowing for the seamless transfer of power in an AC power system.
Three-phase power is a method of alternating current power generation, transmission, and distribution using a three-wire AC power circuit. It is commonly used in commercial and industrial facilities, as it accommodates higher loads with greater consistency and efficiency.
TIER 4 FINAL
Tier 4 Final is an EPA standard that requires a 90% reduction in NOx and PM emissions. Most Tier 4 engines employ urea-SCR catalysts for NOx control and advanced exhaust gas after-treatment technologies to meet these strict requirements.
A transfer switch, either manual or automatic, transfers the electrical load from the primary power source to a backup power source during a power outage or failure.
A used generator has a previous owner and service history. After its original use, the generator is tested and inspected to ensure it can continue to operate safely and effectively.
A voltage regulator, also known as an automatic voltage regulator (AVR), is a solid-state electronic device designed to maintain generator output at a predetermined value. It ensures a consistent and stable voltage supply by automatically adjusting the generator’s output in response to fluctuations in the electrical load or input power.