Caterpillar launches new gas genset

Caterpillar has launched a new natural gas genset. The Cat G3512 is rated for standby power at 750 kW or 1000 kW at 60 Hz.

Caterpillar says the genset is ‘ideal for emergency, legally-required or optional standby systems such as office buildings, data centres, retail complexes, schools, government buildings and universities’. It adds that with an updated package design, the G3512 is modelled after the standby diesel solution.

Featuring the new EMCP 4.3 genset controller, the G3512 easily integrates with building management systems. It also includes complete SR5 generators, gas train, package-mounted radiators and simplified wiring connections.

Mike Yohe of Caterpillar Energy Solutions said the genset ‘checks all the boxes for the standby market segment’.

Himoinsa gensets to power Angolan capital

Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water (MINEA) has awarded Himoinsa the construction of a power plant that will supply electricity to the grid as well as supplying the Zango IV municipality and a pumping station in Cassaque, at the foot of the Kwanza river, which supplies 50% of Luanda’s water.

The project will generate 25 MW PRP and deliver 20 MW of continuous power, with 15,000 V at 50 Hz. In total, 18 gensets have been installed: nine of the HMW 1785 T5 series and another nine HMW 2200 T5s.

The project, which is being developed in three phases, is expected to be completed in the coming months. For the first year the completed power plant will be managed by Himoinsa, whose technical team will train MINEA staff. The plant will then be transferred to MINEA.

Rolls-Royce gas gensets for Ghana power plant

Rolls-Royce has delivered 36 of its subsidiary MTU Onsite Energy’s natural-gas-fired gensets for a power plant in Accra, Ghana.

The Type 16V 4000 L32 gensets produce 1560 kW of power and will feed 56 MW into the country’s grid. The high-speed gas engines will be serviced by MTU Asia in co-operation with MTU South Africa.

The VRA Tema plant is operated by VPower Group and is scheduled to come online next month.

Rolls-Royce said the project is expected to play a significant role in stabilizing the country’s power supply network. Ghana suffers from electricity shortages and the country’s Energy Commission has resolved to feed an extra 3000 MW into the grid by 2020.

Major oil and gas fields have been under development since 2007 and since that time these two fuels have been the primary sources of energy within the country.

Andrea Nono, chief executive of MTU South Africa, said: ‘Our gas-powered engines offer rapid solutions and are thus capable of helping to stabilize public power supplies.’

JCB offers telematics on its gensets

JCB says it has become the first genset manufacturer to make telematics standard on its offerings.

The LiveLink software will be available on gensets from 65 kVA to 600 kVA, which includes the QS 20 kVA-220k VA generator range, the full lineup of Scania-powered QX models and Inteli-Hybrid gensets.

JCB Power Products MD Jonathan Garnham said: ‘JCB LiveLink will radically change the way fleets of generators are monitored and managed. Our competitors cannot offer customers a telematics solution that is capable of delivering so much useful data. It is the ultimate customer benefit and will mean increased uptime, greater profitability and reduced cost of ownership.’

According to the company, Livelink allows for monitoring of operational hours and fuel levels, real-time monitoring of load profiling and load per phase, real-time notifications to prevent misuse or theft and provision of intelligent fuel management, health alerts, remote diagnostics and curfew alerts.

Cummins keeps ice frozen for Ice Cross Downhill World Championship

At the recent Ice Cross Downhill World Championship in St Paul, Minnesota, Cummins rental gensets supplied by United Rentals kept the ice frozen as the temperature climbed to 58˚F (14˚C).

Power supply for the event had to meet three contrasting needs, Cummins explains: the ice track needed to be kept frozen even if the outside temperature rose. Hospitality tents needed to be heated to provide guests with a comfortable retreat. And television coverage of the event had to have guaranteed power for lighting, cameras and communications gear.

A total of five rental gensets were used: four 500 kW C500 D6Rs operating in parallel, and a single 300 kW C300 D6R.


Case study: load bank testing for rental gensets

UK-based Pickerings Plant, which specializes in the hire of mechanical, non-mechanical and site accommodation equipment, recently purchased new load banks for all of its branches and invested in professional training. Both product and service were supplied by power resistor manufacturer Cressall.

Pickerings’ 100 kVA diesel gensets are hired out to provide power for these kinds of units. The company’s complete selection of on-site power equipment ranges from 10 to 100 kVA.

When diesel generators run for prolonged periods of time at low speeds or loads, it causes carbon build up and internal glazing; this is called wet stacking. The result is poor combustion, low pressures and temperatures, which can lead to serious operational problems such as decreased reliability and increased running costs.

Carbon buildup and internal glazing can set off a chain reaction that ends with the generator working inefficiently, belching out illegal levels of pollution and, if the problem remains unresolved, failing to start at all.

When buildup occurs, the diesel engines within the generators have to be completely stripped down. This involves the costly and time-consuming process of re-boring the cylinder bores, machining new honing marks and stripping, cleaning and de-coking combustion chambers, fuel injector nozzles and valves.

Unfortunately, carbon buildup and glazing to this extent are fairly common problems caused by lack of training or failure to follow operating guidelines. The correct way to mitigate these types of problems is to regularly test generators using a load bank.

Consequences associated with low loads can be largely avoided if the genset is regularly operated on a load of 40% or more of its rated power. Short periods of low load running are permissible providing the genset is brought up to full load, or close to it, on a regular basis. This is where load banks come in because they can test generators at full capacity.

Load bank testing verifies all primary components of a genset are in full working order. Load banks accurately mimic operational electrical loads of instruments, such as generators. This testing process steadily brings the unit to appropriate operating temperatures and pressures.

By stepping up the kilowatts applied to the generator on startup, the condition of a generator can be evaluated by its ability, or rather inability, to run at full capacity. The key is to test a generator at its full kW output rating.

In addition, if carbon buildup is detected in the early stages, running the engine at maximum load raises the internal pressures and temperatures, allowing the piston rings to scrape glaze off the bores and ensuring carbon buildup is burnt off.

Regular load testing is seen as preventative maintenance because it improves the working life of generators and ensures economic performance with reduced emissions.

For Pickerings Plant, load bank testing was essential when expanding its line of generators to include the bigger 100 kVA diesel gensets used for accommodation hire.

‘When we expanded our range of generators, it was important for us to ensure that customers were getting the very best in terms of service,’ explained Mark Chamberlain, managing director of Pickerings Plant. ‘We need to know the generators we hire out are capable of taking the desired loads, while operating efficiently and to regulatory standards. This means doing regular load bank testing to ensure optimum condition.

‘When Pickerings was shopping around for load banks, we conducted detailed research into a number of possible manufacturers. Eleven load banks are quite an investment, so a number of factors were considered before making our choice.

‘Cressall was able to supply multiple load banks with a short lead time and offered to train our staff, improving working knowledge with the apparatus and the process of load testing as a whole.’

Pickerings Plant bought 11 portable AC100 load banks from Cressall. The AC100 is ideal for testing three phase power up to 100 kW in 1.25 kW steps and is also suitable for testing single phase power up to 33 kVA in 400 W steps. This flexibility allows Pickerings to test smaller generators in its range.

‘Cressall’s AC100 load banks will ensure that our customers get a fully tried and tested generator every time and the training means that our new 100kVA generators will be well looked after.’

In the world of plant hire, the most important thing is for all equipment to be up to the task at hand before it reaches the customer. Pickerings Plant says it now has more peace of mind, safe in the knowledge it has the equipment and the skills to accurately test all generators are working at full capacity.