November 2023

How do Diesel Generators Work?

In the heart of winter, ski resorts come alive with the hum of machinery, creating the perfect snow-covered landscape for avid skiers and snowboarders. Behind the scenes, a crucial player ensures that these resorts remain operational even in the harshest conditions – the diesel generator. In this blog post, we delve into the world of diesel generators, exploring what they are, how they work, where they are commonly used, and why they stand out as the preferred choice for a variety of industries.

What Is a Diesel Generator And How Does It Work?

A diesel generator is a standby power source that combines a diesel engine with an electric generator that converts energy through compression. The resulting energy can be used as a backup power source for an extended period. Unlike gas generators, diesel generators do not have a carburetor as they generate an electric current. Due to the capabilities of the internal diesel engine, diesel generators are known for their consistent power output and their long-range fuel tank design. As long as there is a consistent fuel source, you’ll have power.

The process begins with the combustion of diesel fuel in the internal engine, where the injected fuel mixes with air and ignites due to compression. The resulting movement of pistons converts chemical energy into mechanical energy, driving the crankshaft that, in turn, powers the generator’s alternator. The alternator generates an electric current through electromagnetic induction, and a voltage regulator ensures a stable current for distribution. 

Where Are Diesel Generators Most Commonly Used?

Diesel generators can be found anywhere from rural settings to commercial establishments as a way to combat grid-peaking. Industries such as construction, marine, mining, hospitals, forestry, telecommunications, and agriculture rely on diesel engines and diesel generators for their high-output power generation and reliability. More often than not, diesel generators are the workhorses of ski resorts. From snow-making machines to ski lift standby power, diesel generators are used to ensure ski resorts are ready for a day on the slopes with a steady power supply.

Did you know that snow-making machines alone can draw the same amount of power as a small town? Other diesel engine uses on the hill include snowplows and grooming equipment. Diesel generator backups thrive during emergencies, powering ski lifts during evacuations. The choice of fuel type, power output, and emissions becomes critical, with diesel generators standing out for their reliability and efficiency. 

How Efficient Are Diesel Generators?

Diesel generators are known for their efficiency, running at 80% of their total load capacity. The combustion process in diesel engines, relying on compression to ignite fuel, contributes to their fuel efficiency. This means that diesel generators require less fuel compared to natural gas generators, offering more energy per dollar spent.

How Long Can a Diesel Generator Run Continuously?

Well-maintained diesel generators are designed to last over 30,000 hours, making them a durable and long-lasting power solution. However, ignoring proper care and maintenance can significantly reduce their lifespan. With wear and tear, a poorly maintained diesel generator will last for 10,000 hours. With a continual diesel supply, standby diesel generators can run for approximately 3,000 hours. The longevity of a diesel generator depends on factors such as the fuel source, engine oil quality, power demand, motor efficiency, and engine type.

When it comes to your diesel generator, there are some added steps that you can take to extend its life, including:

  • Checking your oil levels regularly
  • Using high-quality fluids
  • Performing regular preventative maintenance
  • Preparing your generator for winter by switching to a lighter-weight engine oil

Why Is It Preferable To Choose a Diesel Engine Generator?

When it comes to powering through the unexpected, a diesel generator is your best option. Diesel engines are less expensive to maintain compared to gas generators. Your diesel generator can last for decades with regular maintenance and quality parts. To keep up with environmental standards, diesel generators and engine designs are continually improving in the search for a more sustainable and cleaner power solution.

Ski resorts are more and more frequently looking for ways to continue to serve on the hill while also finding ways to incorporate sustainability into equipment choices. Did you know that quality performance parts can be customized to your diesel generator? At DFC Diesel, we are committed to pushing industry standards to bring you the best of the best. We carry Speed of Air Hyperformance Pistons to bring your engine to the next level. 

Compatible with medium-duty engines, you can upgrade your diesel generator’s internal engine with Hyperformance Pistons this winter. With a proven track record of increasing your fuel efficiency by 15-25%, your diesel generator will be more reliable even in cold environments. Other benefits include:

  • Reduced oil change intervals by 50%
  • Increased power
  • Reduced engine maintenance
  • Reduced emissions
  • Smoother running engine
  • Reduced operating costs

We offer 0% financing for up to 24 months on all SOA Series engines for our Canadian customers, so don’t lose out on a good deal! Interested in learning more about Speed of Air Technologies? Contact us today for a custom quote!