Equipment Showcase: Diesel and Gas Generators

The market for mobile and smaller-scale power generation continues to grow. Commercial and industrial sites are using generators to produce their own power, often to ensure a constant flow of electricity in the event of an outage, or to provide generation in remote locations. The prevalence of severe weather events in many locations in recent years also has contributed to growth in the residential generator market. A need for reliable backup power, and the wish for more resiliency in generation, is driving the use of generators. Natural gas and diesel are the most common fuels for generator units, which include portable, inverter, and standby models. Some of the leading manufacturers and distributors for generators are featured here.

Caterpillar Introduces New Gas Generator Set

1. Caterpillar Energy Solution’s MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas generator set provides greater power with reduced oil consumption. Courtesy: Caterpillar Energy Solutions

Caterpillar Energy Solutions has launched its new MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas generator set (Figure 1). It is characterized by more power and reduced oil consumption. In addition, it has an electrical efficiency of up to 45%. The combination of very high efficiency, reliability, and performance makes the TCG 3020 V20 an all-round talent among gas engines. Though its dimensions are almost the same as those of its predecessor, the compact MWM TCG 3020 V20 gas engine boasts an output of 2,300 kWe, a performance increase of up to 15%. Apart from a greatly reduced oil consumption of merely 0.15 grams/kWh and high efficiency values, the new model offers lower maintenance and installation costs. The flexible TCG 3020 V20 is suitable for natural gas, biogas, landfill gas, and propane gas applications. The new MWM power genset enables an electrical efficiency of 45% for natural gas and 43.6% for biogas. The overall efficiency in natural gas operation is more than 87%. Owing to its high profitability and reliability, the MWM gas engine is ready for the challenges of Industry 4.0. The digital control system TPEM (Total Plant and Energy Management) consolidates all genset and plant control data in a single system. TPEM facilitates the control and monitoring, not only of the power genset, but also of the entire distributed energy generation plant. In most application scenarios, this eliminates the need for additional control systems. Thanks to the digitized power plant control, the TCG 3020 V20 yields high performance, maximum capacity, and optimum plant availability. Besides the reduced installation and operating costs as well as the secure, smart plant control, the TCG 3020 V20 features improved cost-efficiency. Provided high-quality gas is used, maintenance intervals of up to 80,000 operating hours are possible until the next general overhaul. Caterpillar Energy Solutions GmbH, Mannheim, Germany

New Life for Decommissioned Generators

2. Caterpillar’s C18 industrial power units, used in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and shown here in an enclosure, are being repurposed by Depco Power Systems for use by heavy equipment operators and others. Courtesy: Caterpillar

Depco Power Systems has served as a global leader in buying and selling industrial power equipment for customers worldwide for more than 20 years. The company is bringing that experience to work for New Orleans as part of the dismantling project of the flood control systems that were put in place after Hurricane Katrina. In December 2018, work began on a $17 million project to remove the temporary pumps and floodgates constructed in 2006 to protect New Orleans against future storm surge after 80% of the city flooded in the aftermath of Katrina. The current decommissioning project concludes a decade’s worth of flood protection to the area after a new, permanent solution was completed in May 2018. Depco helped with the effort by purchasing 92 generators and engines from the project and is actively finding new uses for the equipment. Units are being repurposed, including C18 industrial power units (Figure 2), and 3412 power units, for use by heavy equipment dealers, and oil and gas companies, among others. “We are proud to help put back to work the equipment that has helped protect the City of New Orleans for the past 12 years,” said Dick Davis, president of Depco Power Systems. “After receiving any necessary servicing and testing from our high-quality team and facility, the units will now help power other pumps, oil rigs and other projects throughout the world.” Depco Power Systems, Houston, Texas

CO-SENSE Technology Warns Against CO Poisoning

3. Generac’s GP6500 portable generator is equipped with the company’s CO-SENSE technology, designed to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning. The generator will immediately shut down when CO levels become unsafe. Courtesy: Generac Power Systems

Generac Power Systems’ equipment has been used extensively in recent years to provide power in the wake of outages caused by extreme weather events or other disasters. The company in the past year introduced its CO-SENSE technology, designed to protect portable generator users against carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. The technology can sense when CO reaches dangerous levels and will immediately shut down the generator. Generac’s CO-SENSE is engineered with algorithms to rapidly detect the accumulation of CO, much faster than a typical residential CO monitor. If carbon monoxide builds toward an unsafe level around the generator while it is running, the unit will immediately shut the engine off and display an LED alert notifying the user of the hazard. The technology was demonstrated last year on Generac’s GP6500 portable generator (Figure 3), and Generac rolled out the technology on its portable and inverter generators of 15 kW or less throughout 2018 (the company also makes large generators, including the MDG25IF4 diesel-powered unit, which provides three-phase 25 kVA prime power in a compact cabinet). The impetus behind the development of CO-SENSE technology is the ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 portable generator safety standard. It is an update to the existing comprehensive ANSI/PGMA G300-2015 safety standard and now addresses carbon monoxide, an update that Generac helped craft as a charter member of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA). After extensive research, discussion and validation, including a review of alternatives such as reducing overall CO emissions, the PGMA—a collaboration of many well-known portable generator manufacturers joined together with the goal of reducing carbon monoxide injuries and deaths from misuse of portable generators—concluded that the best solution is for the generators to automatically shut down when CO reaches unsafe levels. Generac Power Systems, Waukesha, Wisconsin

A Lightweight Source of Portable Power

4. The P 3500i portable generator from Atlas Copco is designed for daily use at work sites. It has a six-hour run time on a single fueling. Courtesy: Atlas Copco Power Technique

Atlas Copco’s inverter power P 3500i generators offer contractors a lightweight, efficient, and reliable source of portable power. The P 3500i (Figure 4) uses advanced electronics and magnets to ensure efficiency. An inverter produces high-voltage, multi-phase alternating current (AC) power. The AC power is converted to direct current (DC), and then the DC power is inverted back to clean, predictable AC power at the required voltage and frequency. The P 3500i delivers 3.0 kVA. Designed for daily use or for frequent single jobs typically involving handheld power tools, the iP portable generators are easy to operate, with a recoil start function that ensures fast activation. Fuel consumption is low thanks to variable speed control that adapts engine speed to load conditions. Additionally, the generator can be connected and used in parallel to increase the overall power capability without requiring a larger generator. Incorporating fuel tanks of three gallons, the P 3500i can run for as long as six hours before refueling, which saves time on busy construction sites. Despite their large fuel capacity, the generators are compact and lightweight—just 99 pounds—making it easy to move them around sites. The generators are also fitted with noise-reducing canopies to keep engine noise levels around 63 decibels, which is comparable with an electric razor. Thermal protection enables the generators to operate efficiently even in extreme weather conditions, while automatic voltage control (AVR) ensures clean, consistent and reliable power where it is most needed. The iP generators, together with the previously launched P generators, provide an easy-to-operate solution for contractors seeking efficiency and reliability at the click of a switch. Atlas Copco Power Technique, Rock Hill, South Carolina

Generators Suitable for Harsh Environments

5. The APTG 25 generator from APT features a steel enclosure, along with a single-point lifting beam and trailer and skid configurations. Courtesy: APT

APT has been a leading provider of tools for the construction and industrial markets since 1938, with the APT brand representing quality, performance, and innovation in the pneumatic tool industry. The company’s product line also includes compressors, pumps, light towers, and generators. Applying insights gained from industrial customers, rental companies, public utilities, and other end users, APT generators are designed to withstand the most demanding on-site conditions and environments. The APTG 25 (Figure 5) features a sound-attenuated, rugged steel enclosure, large doors, and access for superior serviceability, a single-point lifting beam and trailer or skid configurations. The digital controllers have multiple projections built in, including low-fuel warning. APT generators are purpose-built for quick, easy, and safe transport and on-site handling. Built to last, an APT generator will provide years of dependable service for your electrical power generation needs. APT, Santa Ana, California

Large, Portable CPPG 7W Generator

6. Chicago Pneumatic’s CPPG 7W portable gasoline generator has a 6.6-gallon fuel tank and can run continuously for eight hours. Courtesy: Chicago Pneumatic

Chicago Pneumatic produces high-performance tools and equipment designed for an extensive range of applications. Chicago Pneumatic (CP) offers a wide range of pneumatic, hydraulic, and fuel-driven equipment, including generators. A featured product is the 7W portable gasoline generator, which is designed to deliver stable electrical output and safe, user-friendly operation over a long service life. The largest portable generator in the CP lineup, the CPPG 7W (Figure 6) features a 6.6-gallon fuel tank that can run continuously for eight hours. At 120 V or 240 V, the generator produces a continuous output of 7,000 W. The unit weighs just more than 80 pounds and measures 28 inches (length) by 22 inches (width) by 22 inches (height). A CP gasoline engine offers a power output of 12 hp. The CPPG 7W offers both an electric and manual starter. Chicago Pneumatic, Rock Hill, South Carolina

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