Often, serviceability can be overlooked when doing detailed design work for a gas genset installation. Here are some simple ideas for gas power plant design that have the potential to reduce maintenance costs, increase uptime, and reduce overall life cycle costs.
Ask your manufacturer or supplier if these strategies can be used at your site, either before or after genset installation.
1. Match the capacity of your bulk oil storage tank to the size of the oil delivery truck to reduce the cost of delivered oil.
2. Match the size of the oil makeup tank to oil consumption. For example, a 1,600 kW genset could have approximately 140 gallons of oil capacity with a fill indication at 30 gallons below full. If the mid-life oil consumption is 6.2 gallons a day, you’d top off every 4-5 days. By installing a 150 gallon lube oil makeup tank, the oil top off interval would be monthly, saving technician labor.
3. Overhead lifting capability can save money by reducing labor hours – especially when it comes to larger gensets. Using the same example as above, over the course of 20 years, overhaul work will require an estimated 1,500 labor hours. An on-site hoist might reduce the labor commitment by up to 20 percent, or 300 hours for one engine.
4. Pre-install ports and sensors for emissions and O2 readings in your exhaust piping to reduce the time associated with taking readings.
5. Meter and record the total coolant drain volume when changing coolant. Use this information to fill the exact amount every time, preventing spills.
6. Install quick connect/disconnect mechanism for faster oil and filter changes.
7. Consider a compressed air engine starter and hard wired 24V DC connection to remove the cost and hazards of battery maintenance.
8. Besides scheduled oil analysis, a gas fuel analysis prior to installation provides a baseline sample of your fuel composition and contaminants. Regular gas sampling might also be included in a maintenance program, particularly for low energy applications such as landfill or biogas or if your engine is experiencing detonation.
These are just eight ideas that you can apply to your gas genset installation to extend genset serviceability and reduce costs. These suggestions may nor may not apply to all installations depending on the size of genset package, application, hours of operation, etc. Also, this list is far from complete.
- Have you or your service provider tried any of the above suggestions? What is your experience? - What are your ideas to make genset service more efficient? - Have you ever seen your engine go into detonation (knock) due to a change in fuel composition? - How often do you test your fuel composition and make engine adjustments?