Most people ask: Which type of alternator is in a diesel generator? There is no doubt that the brushless alternator is the best.
It has fewer moving parts and thus fewer risks of breaking down. It also requires less maintenance and care because it has fewer moving parts.
Today, all the big brand names for diesel generator sets use brushless alternators. So what does this alternator do?
The alternator is a part of a diesel generator. It changes mechanical energy to electrical energy. You cannot use mechanical energy to power your home or business appliances. This part converts it to alternating current, which flows back and forth.
Alternators come in brush or brushless versions. The brush alternators use carbon brushes, which need replacement from time to time.
The brushless alternators have no brushes, as their name suggests. That is why they are so easy to run and maintain. Brushless diesel GenSet will have fewer downtimes than a brush one.
There is another benefit of using a brushless alternator. It does not create dust and draws air from outside for cooling.
Tips for choosing brushless alternator for diesel engine
There are many brand names and models of brushless alternators in the market. It can be hard to choose the best one for the first time.
You also need to know the size of the alternator to buy. You might buy a small one that fails to meet your business or home power needs. You need to see the frequency rating, the amperage, and the output voltage.
You also need to know about the build quality of the alternator. Things like bearing types, material for the cover, and the frame are crucial. You will spend a large amount of money on an alternator or generator. You need the assurance that you will be getting the total value of the same.
You can follow the tips below to get the best alternator for your diesel engine and generator.
1. Output voltage and phases
These are some of the most significant considerations. Power output is essential if you are looking for a brush or brushless alternator. Higher voltage is better. The good thing is that you can get an alternator with adjustable voltage.
If you get the Three-Phase BoliPower BLG Series, you will find that it has ratings for different voltages. The voltage rating starts at 110V. Depending on your power needs, you can adjust it to 220V, 400V, or 480V.
A wide range of output voltage is better. Different regions have different voltage ratings. Some continents use 110 to 127V while others use 220V t0 240V.
Still, most of the alternators in the market have a three-phase output on the output voltage. Smaller ones can have a single-phase output.
Some designs come with two-phase outputs, and some can even come with up to 6-phase results. The availability of spare parts and ease of use are also critical. For this reason, most businesses and homeowners choose the three-phase alternators.
Other things that you need to be aware of include voltage regulation. This is how the alternator handles the no-load to complete load transition. There are some voltage fluctuations, but they should not exceed.
2. Alternator build quality
Whether they are brushless or have brushes, alternatives should last a long time. The design and build quality are crucial.
When ordering yours from China, look for things such as a steel frame. Steel is a strong material that can last a long time. It needs a coat of paint to make it anti-corrosive. These alternators already come with enough protection against that.
It should also have a strong cover. This enhances the protection of the inner parts. It also ensures the safety of the alternator.
Most alternators from China come with a cast iron cover. Cast iron is notorious for developing rust. The manufacturers finish their alternator covers with the best paint. This keeps the rust away.
Other things that you need to consider when it comes to the build quality include the bearings type. Again, using our example of the BLG series, they come with high-quality ball bearings.
This series also comes with single and double-bearing connections. These connect the driving chip and the shaft extension.
An alternator to create a magnetic field and produce electricity needs a sound chip. The best material for making these chips is silicon.
That is why most alternators from China come with silicon steel chips. These perform well, and they last a long time. They help the alternator keep its magnetic and electrical properties for a long time.
Long story short, do not buy an alternator that is not weatherproof if you want it to last a long time.
3. The control module and panel
All alternators come with a control panel. There, you can program the alternator to achieve the things you want. Beneath the control panel is the control module/programmable logic controller. This interprets the commands that you put in. The control module tells the alternator what it should do.
You will see a dial for the speed or RPM – revolutions per minute on the control panel. Usually, three-phase generators will run at 1500 to 1800 RPM to generate 220V. If it reads different speed figures. The RPM differs from one brand name to another or from one model to another.
There is also a display for the voltage. You will always know that your diesel engine gives the correct voltage output.
You should also see the frequency and the current that the diesel engine generates. By checking the user manual, you will always know when everything is running at its best level. If it is not, the alternator might be faulty, and so you need to have a technician check it.
The terminal rail is also another component of the control panel. This is where the wires coming from the alternator and the engine meet. There will also be circuit breakers and fuses that help to ensure safety.
The alternator comes with other features. These include the main circuit breaker for mounting on the side. It can help stop the alternator if there is an overload as a safety measure to not sustain damage. There are also some knobs for different functions.
Many control panel accessories, including the current transformers, come dismantled. It is best to find a technician to put them together.
4. Alternator size
This depends on the application of this device. If you want to use it with a big diesel engine, you need it to be big.
Alternators have many uses in the market today. Some find that in the marine industry. Others are in the alternative electricity generation plants, such as wind turbines. Know the appropriate size for you. It is best to calculate your electricity needs.
One thing to remember here is that a big alternator produces higher output at low speeds (RPM). The vice versa is also true.
While bigger alternators cost more money, it is best to get one bigger than what you need. There are many benefits of getting an oversized alternator. One of them is that it stops the discharging of the batteries. You need the batteries to keep charge so that the diesel engine can start all the time.
Even in a car or truck, a bigger alternator cannot cause any damage to the vehicle’s electronic system. Your electrical system will not sustain any damage from the use of a bigger alternator.
China is the world’s hub for all types of generators and alternators. You can also find all sizes of brushless alternators.
A good alternator for a diesel engine can cost a good amount of money. While checking the price, check the shipping fee and the time it will take for the generator to get to you.
Before you worry about the cost, look at the features that the alternator offers. It is better to pay more money and get more features than pay less and get fewer features. Consider things like voltage, frequency, and build quality.
Check the warranty too. You can ask the manufacturer or vendor whether they stock the spare parts for the alternator.
A warranty of at least 24 months is suitable for an alternator that you will use almost daily. Even though it needs minimal care and maintenance, it will require an overhaul after some use.
Final thoughts on the brushless alternator for diesel engine
Buying a suitable brushless alternator for a diesel engine has its benefits. It means less downtime for your business. There is also less need for repairs, maintenance, and cleaning.
The most important consideration when buying a brushless alternator is size. It should meet your power needs to reduce your business downtimes. It is better to get an oversize generator than a small one to meet your power needs.
Because it does not have brushes, it is easy to maintain. With time though, you will need to replace some of the parts. These parts might be available with the vendor who sold you the alternator. They can also get them for you from the manufacturer.
The installation method of the alternator is also very vital. It should be mountable on the diesel engine.
It is better to get a technician to do the installation to test how it operates and performs. They will also know how to program the alternator. They get the diesel engine to perform at its best ability. This is not something that you want to attempt on a do-it-yourself basis.