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rosbor

Comparing Generator Set Noise Levels

by Roger Rosborough (rosbor) ‎12-18-2014 04:56 AM - edited ‎12-18-2014 05:02 AM

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Generator set sound levels vary greatly across the world because of different regulations regarding maximum noise levels. They can differ even further depending on other factors including the technology used by the generator set manufacturer, the measuring techniques and how the data is reported. This makes comparing noise levels from similar-sized generator sets confusing and in a lot of cases, imbalanced.

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With natural gas production at an all-time high and natural gas prices falling, it would be prudent to consider this fossil fuel as an alternative source to traditional diesel-fueled power generation applications.  When it comes to productivity, however, the power and torque generated by diesel engines far surpasses that of similar sized natural gas engines.  One increasingly attractive solution that comprises the best of both worlds is dual-fuel technology, which allows one engine to run on two fuels.  

 

 

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As a follow up to the SpecSizer 101 Basics introductory course, we’re looking forward to sharing a more comprehensive review of the Tool  with SpecSizer 201 Intermediate training. This presentation will cover tips and tool features/options to optimize your generator set selection, in order to size a more competitive, cost effective genset for your site application. The discussion will also include a brief discussion of nonlinear loads’ harmonics and distortion and how we mitigate the effects on the genset sizing with SpecSizer.  We’ll also review the SpecSizer page locations and process to view and utilize technical data imported daily into the Tool that helps you understand your genset selection, or provides you the technical information you need to make informed decisions on alternative genset selections for your spec and site application.

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We first developed SpecSizer to help simplify the generator set sizing process for consulting specifying engineers, but it’s developed far beyond that since the legacy program was introduced in the 1980s. Our latest version provides comprehensive technical data, load models and algorithms to assist in identifying a properly sized generator set by considering factors such as site conditions, load characteristics and required performance.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency supports a cleaner diesel-fuel program to significantly reduce sulfur and produce an immediate improvement in air quality. This program also encourages the use of biodiesel, a non-toxic, clean-burning fuel that can be blended with traditional diesel in any percentage for use in standard petrodiesel engines without the need for modifications. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel provides numerous environmental and economic benefits including reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased engine efficiency.

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IHS, a global information company, reports that more than $100 million was spent on uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in 2012 for healthcare and insurance applications in North America alone. It’s not a matter of whether or not UPS can be used in healthcare applications. Instead, we must figure out where the UPS should be applied in the electrical system.

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We all know that we should pay attention to the mechanical components of an electrical system. These are essential not only for the proper operation of the entire system, but also for avoiding mishaps like arc flashes. However, we find that maintenance on electrical components like automatic transfer switches, circuit breakers, switchgear and UPS batteries are sometimes overlooked. There are many documented cases where failures and breakdowns of electrical systems have resulted in injuries, property damage, extended downtime, lost productivity, legal action and fines.

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Caterpillar is a long-time sponsor of the 7x24 Exchange conference where mission critical professionals, who design, build, and operate data centers, come together twice a year to trade ideas on how to improve uptime and energy efficiency. The 2014 7x24 Exchange spring conference is scheduled for June 1-4 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Pawelski

Let Your Generator Set Breathe with a Remote Cooling System

by on ‎05-19-2014 09:36 AM - last edited on ‎06-05-2014 11:52 AM by Administrator

Most standby diesel and gas generator sets are equipped with radiators to regulate temperature. However, there are times when it is better to use a remote cooling system for temperature control. In urban installations where the generator set is in a basement or on the ground floor of a building, it is often impractical to use a large air inlet on one side of the building and a large air exhaust on the other side. Implementing a remote radiator behind the building can be a much better option, because all the cooling noise is on one side of the building and most of the mechanical noise from the engine can be contained inside the power room. 

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KelscNM

What to Expect with On-Site Power System Costs

by on ‎04-23-2014 03:40 PM - last edited on ‎05-08-2014 09:18 AM by Administrator

Many times I’ve been asked to provide the price of a Caterpillar generator for people in the project planning process. They are typically looking for a back-of-the-napkin calculation to see if the power system investment, whether it’s an emergency system or cogeneration system, makes financial sense. I understand why people seek an estimated range—it’s a fast way to determine whether a project will fall within an anticipated budget or deliver a specific payback hurdle. If it’s reasonable, then they’re open to taking the next step. If it’s too much, then they look for another option elsewhere.

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Power-Pop

Reduce Start Time for Your Emergency Power Supply

by ‎03-25-2014 10:28 AM - edited ‎04-15-2014 01:23 PM

We don’t always think about our emergency power supply setup until it’s needed. However, managers of critical power applications, like hospitals and data centers, need to be prepared for any duration of power loss. Not only is the reliability of the backup system crucial, quick start times are required before an electrical load can be accepted. The longer it takes for the system to start, the longer a critical application goes without power.    

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bakersj

SpecSizer Moves Online

by ‎03-17-2014 08:57 AM - edited ‎03-17-2014 02:51 PM

Since the launch of SpecSizer in 2006, we have met with thousands of consultants around the world to make it the most convenient, useful software tool for genset sizing.  As Internet connectivity and mobile computing platforms have grown in popularity, it became clear that we needed to convert SpecSizer into an online application. With many new enhancements and useful modifications, the web-based version of SpecSizer provides new functionality that every user can undoubtedly utilize and appreciate.

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A critical element in developing an effective UPS solution is gaining a deep understanding of not only critical loads, but also the overall business needs and growth plans for the customer.  Every site has unique power needs, obstacles to overcome, and definitions of success, so the more one is seen as a partner who understands the plan for the business, the better opportunity there is to achieve the goals and lay the foundation for future electric power needs

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Reliable standby power provides protection in the event of power failure. For critical operations, like hospitals, data centers and water treatment plants, continuous power is essential. Standby applications inherently have limited hours of operation because they only kick on when there’s an interruption in power flow from the main source. Therefore, the more hours the dedicated standby system runs, the more important your fuel choice becomes.

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Grant

Preventing Unscheduled Power Outages: Electrical System Maintenance

by ‎10-15-2013 08:32 AM - edited ‎10-15-2013 10:29 AM

Imagine this: you’re completing a routine power station walkthrough before your shift ends. All of a sudden you hear a loud bang and duck your head as sparks fly across the room. You’re surrounded by darkness, and you hear machinery shutting down; you realize the power is out. It’s clear that you’re dealing with an unscheduled power outage, but what caused it? You investigate and discover the root cause to be a lack of maintenance.

 

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diesel_dude

The Future is BIM?

by on ‎09-10-2013 03:06 PM

As a manufacturer of large equipment that is integrated into larger facilities, we are often asked for 3D models of our generator sets.  To meet these requests, our engineers take a genset model developed in our engineering software, remove any proprietary information, and then provide an “easy-to-use” 200Mb file—which turns out to be not as easy to use as it should be.

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KelscNM

A Brief History of Renewable Energy Engineering at Caterpillar

by on ‎08-19-2013 01:14 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 11:09 AM by Administrator

I recently received an invitation by a Caterpillar customer, Luc Turcotte of EBI Energie, and our local Caterpillar dealer salesperson, Regis Drouin of Hewitt Equipment, to visit what was billed as the most advanced landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) facility in North America. With that kind of billing, it was an offer that I couldn’t refuse... 

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KelscNM

Who Reads This Caterpillar Marketing Stuff?

by on ‎07-16-2013 03:11 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 12:22 PM by Administrator

As a mechanical engineer by education, I’m still a little uneasy about carrying the word “marketing” in my job title. 

 

I spent the first ten years of my career at Caterpillar as a sales engineer and territory manager working in North and South America, calling on customers and consulting engineers who usually had a very real and very specific technical requirement that revolved around getting the right product or service to ensure reliable power for their business. It wasn’t only about meeting a business plan, but ensuring success for our customers, our dealers, and Caterpillar. Needless to say, this seemed like very serious, important stuff.

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Siggy62

Modular UPS: What’s All the Hype?

by on ‎06-13-2013 04:27 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 12:25 PM by Administrator

You can find a lot of opinions out there about “modular UPS,” but who can you trust?  While some of the features sound cool enough, I just can’t wrap my head
around the impracticality of it all

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rosbor

Hybrid Power Solutions on the Rise

by Roger Rosborough (rosbor) on ‎05-15-2013 03:53 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 03:29 PM by Administrator

Have you ever wondered about electric power supply in remote areas? Power grid capacity only reaches so far. With increasing power need in remote areas—even in places like deserts, the arctic and jungles—it’s not surprising that hybrid power solutions are becoming more popular. Today’s blog post is focused on how hybrid power solutions can help increase efficiency in remote areas while cutting operating costs.

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Pawelski

How Does a Tornado Affect a Running Generator Set?

by on ‎04-24-2013 12:36 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 03:31 PM by Administrator

Power generation systems are essential to everyday life and economic growth. Some critical standby applications, such as hospital power, can even be the difference between life and death for those relying on vital electrical equipment. In cases like these, it is absolutely necessary to avoid power outages and interruptions.

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KelscNM

Biogas, Meet CHP

by on ‎03-21-2013 08:55 AM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 12:23 PM by Administrator

Almost daily, we hear of new efforts being made either by a government entity or a given industry to actively pursue sustainable energy, with the ultimate goal of implementing it sooner rather than later. I find this quite encouraging, given the imperative to diversify our global fuel supply.

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Sound regulation, testing and guidelines for electric generation products have never been clear in the United States. Today, most of the responsibility falls on state and local governments, but overlapping guidelines from hundreds of governmental bodies are confusing for manufactures, customers and the public. This results in varying sound regulations, testing and standards, which can be threatening to public safety.

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It didn’t come in with all the fanfare of the new year, but January 8, 2013 marked the day we welcomed the 10,000th registered user of Caterpillar’s Electric Power SpecSizer tool. Considering that Caterpillar’s first generator set sizing software program was released in the mid-1980s, this may not seem like a big deal. However, we only began registering users in 2010, so this demonstrates a substantial increase (about 250 new users every month) in registered SpecSizer users.

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By now, we’ve all seen the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy on the east cost of the United States. In many of the hardest hit areas, the initial recovery efforts were hampered by wide-spread power outages. We’ve worked with Cat dealers to mobilize equipment, personnel and other resources to help the affected areas, and hundreds of megawatts of portable generator sets are available to ease power shortages...

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Selecting the correct generator set rating can be a confusing proposition. The seemingly endless number of variations and interpretations of generator set ratings are enough to make anyone uncertain. This post is a brief overview of a white paper I’ve written that helps clarify some of the confusion surrounding ratings...

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There is a lot of talk about energy efficiency in the U.S. Capitol. Who will make it happen?

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KelscNM

Biogas Blossoming?

by on ‎09-10-2012 08:40 AM

Very few people would know that there is enough landfill biogas power generation already operating in the United States to power millions of homes. Even fewer are probably aware of the carbon reductions that are possible...

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While there are specific regulations associated with electrical system maintenance, these regulatory codes can be lengthy and confusing, and sometimes forgotten altogether...

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What aspects of your power system are you currently monitoring? How do you manage all of the data? Has condition monitoring created any challenges for you? 

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