The Home of Diesel Generators

FAQs

Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions page where we will answer all of your questions on Diesel Generators, Electric Generators and a vast array of other well used terms and topics. We also have a detailed Knowledge Centre to further enhance your understanding and many products to choose from on our used generator and new generator pages.

  • It is vital to regularly check your generator to prevent breakdown. Below are some simple observations that can help keep your generator running smoothly (please note any further works should only be carried out by an experienced generator engineer):

    • 1.   You must check fuel levels, running out of fuel not only causes a breakdown but can cause the engine to suck in dirt from the bottom of the tank resulting in a filter blockage.
    • 2.  Ensure coolant and oil levels  are ok and top up if necessary.
    • 3.  Visually check the engine for any cracking hoses and fuel/coolant leaks.
    • 4.  Check your batteries are in good condition. Winter conditions and regular starting can cause batteries to deteriorate. It is a good idea to test your batteries charge to ensure they are still ok. Battery chargers should be connected when a generator is not running for an extended period.
    • 5.  If your generator is used as a standby application, a weekly run will help identify if there are any problems.

    FW Power can undertake a 75 point service inspection on your generator to ensure yours is ready to run. Call us today to find out more.

  • A common misconception  is that diesel generators are dirty, environmentally unfriendly and even expensive to run. Thanks to the invention of red diesel and advancing technologies, diesel generators can now run extremely efficiently and be a very cost-effective option. The simple answer to the question, however, is that a diesel generator is the most reliable backup power source currently available for extended running periods. Generators can start up in seconds providing a steady stream of power continuously.

    FW Power can provide Generators to suit most peoples budgets – Call us today to find out more.

  • Generators are rated by kVA, this indicates how much power the generator can produce. Mechanical engines are rated in KW’s or Horsepower.

    kVA = Kilo Volt Ampere.

    1 kVA= 1000 Volt Amperes (VA). A VA is the voltage times the current feeding an electrical load.

    1 kVA = 08 KW’s (electrical)

    If you are unsure of what power requirement you need FW Power offer a simple guide to sizing or if the application is more complex we can attend site and look at sizing for you.

  • A load bank is a portable device that is used to mimic the load on a generator. A load bank tests the generators operational performance at every stage i.e. 20%, 50%, and up to 100% load. This ensures the generator is capable of doing what it is required to do when the need arises. It is a crucial test for standby generators, especially as faults can be identified and rectified before the time arises when you need your generator.

    FW Power offers a full load bank test alongside our service contracts, we can however on request attend site as a one-off and undertake a full load bank test too. Please give our friendly office a call who will be able to help arrange a visit.

    Additionally, all of our used generators undergo a full load bank test, which gives you peace of mind the generator can produce its rated power.

  • Single phase :

    Consists of 3 cables: Live, neutral and earth. Typically the voltage is 220-240 Volts. Domestic houses have single phase supplies.

    Current will flow through only the live wire and there will be one return path (neutral) to complete the circuit.

    Three phase :

    Consists of 5 cables: 3 live ( L1, L2 & L3), a neutral and an earth. Typical voltages are 400-415 Volts between the live cables ( eg. L1-L2) and 200 -240 Volts between the live and neutral. hence a three phase system is often given the voltage as 415/240V.

    Both single phase and three phase power systems refer to units using (AC) alternating current electric power.

  • Yes, we work alongside a finance company that offers competitive packages. We also welcome customers using their own choice of finance company too. Each finance package is individually tailored therefore please call our office for more information. 01270 821419.

  • An ATS is an Automatic Transfer System. It is used alongside standby generators allowing generators to be started automatically. When the mains is healthy it provides power to a building. When the mains fails an ATS senses the failure and sends a signal to the generator to start and transfer power to the building when it is safe to do so.

    Check out our Knowledge Centre where we add lots of useful informational on products including ATS’s.

  • All generators have an earth cable connected which goes back to the main building earth rod. However, in the event of a building earth failure, there is still the possibility that the acoustic enclosure or base frame could become live during a generator fault. It is the job of an earth rod to ensure that this faulty current goes immediately to earth.

    If there is anything you are unsure about with regards to your installation, contact us and we will be able to advise.

  • Most engine manufacturers recommend service intervals of between 200 and 500 hours when the fuel filter, oil filter, and oil should be changed. For a new generator, a few manufacturers have an initial 50 run period for the first service.

    For Standby generators we recommend two service visits per year to sit alongside the weekly checks. We class these as a major and minor. The minor is a visual check of the generator whilst stationary and running, topping up any levels as required. The major covers all of the points of a minor but can also incorporate oil, filters and coolant changes as required.

  • When looking at what type of generator is best  for you firstly you need to asses what you need it for.

    Petrol Generators

     

    Petrol generators are usually a better option for  a small infrequent power requirement such as powering a caravan ,market stall or even powering a mobile jet washer.  Petrol generators are offered  in much smaller kVA ratings to suit these operations. To an every day user petrol is a cheaper fuel than white diesel, petrol generators are much more compact and are often mobile to suit their users needs.

    Diesel Generators

     

    That being said most industries where power requirements are higher than 10 kVA will usually opt for a diesel generator. Diesel generators run on Red Diesel which is cheaper than petrol. Diesel engines don’t have to work as hard as petrol engines to get the same power output which means like for like a diesel generator will usually last longer, cost less to run and take longer to depreciate in value than it’s petrol rival.

    FW Power supplies new and used diesel generators from 10 kVA  up to 2900 kVA.