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.
In recognition of our 10,000 registered users, I’d like to review why SpecSizer has become a critical tool for generator set sizing among consulting and specifying engineers, generator set installers and users all over the world.
What is SpecSizer?
SpecSizer is a free, PC software tool that allows users to select the most appropriately sized diesel generator set for virtually any electric power project. Users can size for their power needs with generator sets as small as 14KW or as large as 4000KW, and the SpecSizer tool can parallel up to 25 generator sets. Users input the details of the on-site power required including voltage, load demand, load types, duty application, maximum ambient temperature, altitude, EPA emissions and more. As a result, this software tool allows users to determine a truly customized and comprehensive power solution.
SpecSizer is also equipped with features such as the 20-Step Wizard tool that uses program logic to calculate the smallest possible generator set along with the least number of load scenario steps, which provides an optimal rating and footprint that minimizes costs. SpecSizer allows users to make load step changes to any user-defined criteria on the load scenario tab to assess possible sizing results. Check out this SpecSizer sample screen for a representation of how the selection process appears.
Why is it useful?
SpecSizer takes the guesswork out of accurately sizing a generator set for specific user load qualifications and needs. A mountain of research went into providing a sizing program with accuracy, which is the number one priority. The recommendations are based upon accurate, comprehensive algorithms, data and analysis. SpecSizer’s ability to evaluate eighteen load types, including uninterruptible power systems (UPS), motors, pumps, air conditioners, elevators, lighting and others, makes it comprehensive for the generator set sizing process. It reduces time and costs with the click of a button and allows users to size and specify the smallest generator set to fit an application. Its multiple features also provide sales support information, create guide specifications and offer printable sizing reports related to the generator set as a system inclusive of transient response performance derived from actual factory tests. SpecSizer has even been translated from English into seven other languages to serve users who speak Chinese Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
The SpecSizer software has revolutionized generator set sizing by simplifying the process. Not only does it include filtering processes to align the generator set selection with available options, it also provides web links and tools, such as volts/hertz optimization, percent of intermittent motors, and percent genset capacity used (EkW) to help with analytical and strategic decisions. One of the web links even provides the precise spec sheet you need for your job specification.
In addition to the generator set sizing analysis, SpecSizer provides the aforementioned guide specification in a concise, editable text document format that is dynamically linked to any program-selected or user-selected generator set. This is important because a user can produce a guide specification with Project Sizing Report and Transient Performance Report for any manually selected generator set populated on the Generator Set Selection tab. The Project Sizing Report provides engine, alternator and generator set technical data, and the Transient Performance Report provides the selected generator set’s transient response at 25% load change increments up to a full load. These reports can be distributed electronically as a single PDF file.
Is SpecSizer right for you?
The SpecSizer tool is designed for consulting specifying engineers but can be used by anyone looking to accurately size a diesel generator set. It has been updated with technical specifications on several new Cat power systems including generator sets, Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS), Switchgear and UPS. The latest version (2.8.0) also features Olympian generator sets including both open generator sets with improved derate capability and enclosed units for regions outside North America.
The free and downloadable software is intended to simplify the generator set sizing process. By registering, PC users are able to be notified of automatic updates to the program, which is important to maintain alignment with current generator set product releases.
For more information on SpecSizer’s free software tool download, click here.
We’re interested in hearing about your experiences with generator set sizing.
What tools do you commonly use to spec diesel generator sets?
If you use SpecSizer, which functions do you find most useful? Would you improve anything?
Where do you use SpecSizer, at the jobsite or back in the office?
How often do you use SpecSizer – daily, weekly, monthly?
How can we make SpecSizer better for you?
Would you like a Caterpillar dealer to contact you to help with your generator set sizing needs? If so, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach our SpecSizer help desk.