10/28/2014 | Winter is Here: Are Your Generators Ready?
Last year’s ultra-cold winter caught property owners, businesses and industrial concerns by surprise. Now, weather experts are predicting another equally cold winter. Any property owner or commercial/industrial operation that relies upon generators—whether natural gas generators or diesel generators for prime power or backup power—should prepare for winter conditions now, if they haven’t already.
- If your area experiences heavy snowfall that makes roads impassable—especially if you do not have generator technicians on staff, perform any scheduled maintenance early to avoid running without a properly maintained generator.
- If your generator is a standby generator located outside, have technicians double check the area around it to ensure that summer storms or fall leaf drops haven’t deposited an overload of debris that might block air vents. If leaves are still falling, check it again in a month. We have seen situations where a technician will crank a standby generator on a regular basis, as required, but not think to check the environmental conditions surrounding it.
- If temperatures drop below 32°F in your area, consider winter pack equipment. Winter packs significantly reduce the incidence of engine overload and cranking difficulties in cold weather. They also reduce engine and battery stress and wear. Depending upon the solutions you choose, winter pack accessories can ensure fast start and reliable operation in temperatures well below 32°F. HIPOWER SYSTEMS’ winter pack solutions can protect generators in temperatures as low as -50°F.
Examples of popular winter pack equipment that our customers request on their generators include:
Battery warmers enclose generator batteries in a thermal wrap that keeps the battery at a constant 80°F, boosting cranking power by as much as 75% and prolonging battery life.
Installed in the coolant circuit, a block heater keeps the engine’s coolant warm enough to enable the unit to start and attain/maintain the required load immediately.
Hydronic Coolant Heater
Hydronic coolant heaters gradually raise the engine’s coolant temperature, assuring even heating of the engine block. Although these devices work independently of the engine, they are powered by the generator’s own fuel and power supply.
Control Panel Box Heater
These heaters maintain the internal temperatures of enclosures above a minimum setting, preventing condensation damage to sensitive control panel electronics.
Louvers (dampers) ensure proper operating temperature inside generator enclosure by controlling the rate of air flow. The can be internal or external, but both work by ensuring the right ambient temperature for proper engine operation. Exterior models also prevent snow from entering the generator enclosure.
Snow Hood Kit
Snow hoods are specially designed coverings that prevent snow accumulation inside a generator enclosure.
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