Most people know that one of the quickest ways to destroy an engine is to run it without oil. An even faster way to destroy your engine is to ramp it up to full load in ten seconds or less without proper lubrication!
Did you know that most emergency generators are configured to ramp up to full load within seconds when there is a utility power failure?
If your generator has not been properly maintained or does not have an oil pre-lube system installed to ensure that the engine is always lubricated and ready for a fast start, your investment here may be at risk!
Over the years, we have helped a number of customers whose large emergency generators have been compromised because the engines have been inadequately lubricated.
In many of these cases we were looking at 1 MW or larger gensets where the customer had spent over $1M on their emergency power systems. The engine replacement on these units was pushing $500,000. Fortunately, we were able to repair the compromised engines at a fraction of the complete replacement cost.
But it begs the question, what can you do to avoid this situation and the costly repair that goes along with it?
How Can You Avoid This Costly Failure?
The simple answer is “pre-lube, pre-lube, pre-lube!”
Basically, always ensure that your engine has oil and is not “dry-starting.”
A dry start can be the result of the engine sitting for a long period of time without being run. During this downtime, gravity drains the oil back down to the crankcase leaving critical engine components without proper lubrication for start up. Hence, the term “dry-start.”
This metal on metal starting can be devastating to an engine under any circumstance and especially if it is trying to ramp up to full load in seconds!
There are three simple ways to avoid a dry starting your engine:
- Always “crank your engine over” without starting it after an oil change. This allows the oil to circulate through the engine components before the engine ramps up to its operating speed.
- Implement a maintenance program that periodically starts and runs your engine to ensure that it is always lubricated.
- Install an automated pre-lube system on your engine. This pre-lube system automatically lubricates and starts your engine on a schedule optimised for your specific engine. This ensures that the engine is always ready for a quick start and ramp up to full load.
In summary, dry starts will quickly damage or destroy any engine. To avoid this costly damage, implement an engine maintenance program.
We can work with you to develop this program and to install a pre-lube system on your engines if this is applicable.
Take action today and give us a call!