In this post, you will learn eight simple tips and guidelines. They will help you in how to reduce your generator’s fuel consumption rate.
If you don’t check it, your diesel GenSet can use a lot of fuel. But there are some ways to ensure that you save money on fuel.
When you buy your diesel unit, it is essential to see the fuel usage rating. Of course, with age, this might change. But it should not change too much.
Under different loads, a GenSet will spend different amounts of fuel.
On average, a 60Kw generator can consume fuel at 3.8 gallons per hour at a load. At half load, it will use less, say, about 2.9 gallons per hour.
On average, a 40Kw unit can use 3.2 gallons per hour at a three-quarter (75%) Load. At half Load (50%), it can use 2.3 gallons per hour.
Of course, these are general guidelines. The fuel usage differs from one unit to another.
Keep reading to see a few ways that you can use to lower the fuel usage of your diesel or gasoline unit.
Reduce Your Generator’s Fuel Consumption
Do you run your generator a few times every month? Perhaps you use it daily in a remote place that does not have the primary grid connection.
These tips will help you.
They will also help if yours is a backup unit that you run when there is a power blackout:
1.Only run the necessary appliances
If you run your generator on 75% load, it will consume more fuel than when you run it on 50% load.
You should find out whether it is necessary to run it at full Load. Do you need to run all the appliances that use power in your house?
Before you buy your unit, check the energy needs of your home or business. That way, you can buy a GenSet that is big enough for your needs.
But buying a unit is one thing, and running it is another thing altogether. Do an audit in your home or business.
Check the power needs of the essential appliances. These are fridge, air conditioner, lights, washing machine, dryer, humidifiers and so on.
When there is a power blackout, you do not need to run every appliance using the generator. Instead, you should power a few devices so that it runs on a three-quarter or half Load. This is going to save fuel more than when it runs on full Load.
Switch off all the lights that you do not need. Also, switch off all the electronics that you do not need to use. If you are not using a computer, switch it off. If you are not watching the TV, switch it off.
You can also switch off the power guzzlers such as washing machines. A water heater can use 14% of the power while a washer and dryer use 13% of energy.
TV and its accessories can use up to 4% while lighting takes 12%. You can see the big energy consumers. Switching off a few of them will reduce the Load considerably.
2. Service your generator on time
A generator runs on almost the same principle as a car. If you service it on time, it will use fuel at a lower rate. If you are late in servicing it, it will use too much energy.
If it is running on old oil, it will spend more fuel. If it has an old, dirty air filter, it will burn more energy. Servicing the unit means giving all these parts a check.
You can organize the servicing of your GenSet in two ways. One of them is to sign a service contract with the company that sold you the unit. That way, they will maintain it on a regular schedule.
Another way is to service it yourself. If you have small, portable gasoline units, you can change the oil. You can also replace the spark plugs and other small parts on your own.
Do you have a big diesel unit for your home or business? You can hire an on-site technician to do the maintenance for you.
Modern GenSets have intelligent functions. Some will shut down when the temperature crosses a certain point. But at the same time, a unit that lacks service will not work well.
Your unit might have functions that help to protect it from damage. But you should service it on time. Check the most important thing as soon as you notice a change in its performance.
3. Do not run your generator on less than 50% Load
Does your GenSet consume more fuel on full Load or three-quarter Load? All the same, do not under-use it.
When you run it on less than half Load, you will affect its lifespan a great deal.
This happens because it cannot achieve its best operating temperature. Thus, it puts the engine in jeopardy since it doesn’t run as it should.
Diesel sets operate better when they are running a load. You need to switch on more appliances to increase its Load. Besides, running low gear also makes generators consume more diesel for nothing.
4. Remove carbon deposits on time
Diesel GenSets produce carbon polymer. This comes from the parts that create high temperatures after running for some time. This makes it use more diesel.
The carbon polymer deposits get to the piston top, injectors, valve seats, and other parts. The carbon deposits cause the generator to operate. This might make your GenSet consume more diesel.
If you use your unit more frequently, remove the carbon deposits every four months. If not, you can remove the residues twice a year. Carbon polymer deposits can also harm certain parts of your unit’s engine.
5. Service on time and use genuine replacement parts
When you are servicing the unit or when you are replacing any part, use genuine parts only. They will be costly, but the good thing is that they last long. So, you will definitely recover your money.
Get genuine or OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. They come from the manufacturer of your unit.
If you buy yours from China, you should also find out where to buy the parts. The supplier will direct you to a place near your place where you can get genuine pieces.
Check the user manual to know the type of oil that you should use. Use the recommended coolant, and if you have to use water, use clean, demineralized water.
Oil filters, fuel filters, spark/heater plugs should be what the manufacturer recommends.
If you use parts of lower quality, they will affect the consumption rate of your unit. They will not last long anyway.
6. Use alternative power sources
Do you live in a place that experiences frequent power blackouts? You might as well go the whole way and get alternative sources of power.
One of the best ways is to buy solar panels and a bank of batteries. That way, you can use the generator to power only the most necessary items. You can use solar energy to run the other appliances.
If you live in a windy place, you can install small wind turbines and connect them to the power in your house.
These alternative sources of energy cost a large amount of money. But once you do the installations, there is no more expenditure.
There are no power bills to pay since wind and solar are renewable energies. Also, renewable energy equipment lasts a long time.
Using alternative sources of energy is going to make the Load on your generator easy. It will also reduce the number of times that you run your GenSet. When the frequency of running your GenSet reduces, you save more fuel.
7. Choose a high-quality set
Cheap is expensive! If you buy an affordable generator, it consumes more fuel. You can also find that its parts wear out fast. You have to change them more often.
It is best to buy your diesel or gasoline unit from renowned brands with many years in the market. Also, do not worry about the price too much.
If your diesel set comes with features that are worth that price, pay it. It is always better to spend more money and get more features than spend less and get fewer features.
8. Never overload your generator
Find out the load rating of your set from the manufacturer’s website or the user manual. If you overload yours, it will produce black smoke.
This kind of smoke is a sign that it is not burning the diesel fuel completely. Thus, you will be losing much of your power instead of saving it.
Also, do not under-load the unit. Make sure it is running on 75% of Load and at least 50%. Any higher or lower than the above limits will lead to fuel loss.
Use these eight tips for how to reduce your generator’s fuel consumption. You will save money on your diesel usage.
You can do the two most important things. First, buy a high-quality unit of the correct size. You can get it after calculating the power needs of your appliances.
Second, create a regular maintenance routine. Service your unit on time. That is going to prolong its life, and it will be cheap on fuel.
Always check the unit when it is running. If you notice thick and black smoke, something is wrong. You are losing fuel. If you see thick blue smoke, a part needs replacement.